Travelling is something we just can’t do at the moment, but there is a way to temporarily quench the wanderlust — through virtual travel. We know, we know, it definitely isn’t the same, but hear us out! Walk Japan is a pioneer of luxury travel walking tours, taking small groups to the undiscovered places of Japan. As a way to continue to explore the beautiful country, they’ve launched a new series of virtual travel tours — Talk Japan. It’s a brilliant way of visiting the gorgeous country without leaving the comfort of your couch.
These captivating talks are a gateway to connect with Japan from the comfort of your home and you can register on their website for free. While we may not be able to physically trek through the rolling hills of Kunisaki or the snowy peaks of Hokkaido, they do insights into Japan’s vast history, culture and traditions.
Whether you’re looking to seek out Walk Japan in the future to travel or are simply interested in the wonders of this incredible country, do join for a virtual experience of a lifetime. Here are some upcoming talks for March and April.
What matters is water: ‘How I grow rice in my village’
Japan isn’t a wealth of natural resources but water is abundant across the nation. The rice paddies are a testament to this as they are flooded in the spring with each field shimmering with reflections of the setting sun and the surrounding countryside. Steaming bowls of white rice are essential to Japanese cuisine and invariably appear at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rice is also transformed into a range of other treats including senbei crackers, mochi cakes and, of course, sake.
Given its abundance, rice may seem like a straightforward crop to grow. However, in his talk, virtual travel tour leader Takuya Ugajin takes us through the dedicated year-round process of controlling huge volumes of water he needs to grow his rice in Nagano Prefecture. Takuya also enlightens us in the unique role that water played in forming Japanese Shinto beliefs and shrines.
11th March 2021 11am JST
‘What I think about Ueno when I think about Ueno’
Tokyo’s Ueno Park is a popular spot for ohanami, the Japanese celebratory spring picnics that are held under the full-bloom of sakura cherry trees each year. The tradition of Ohanami is highly anticipated by all and are extremely fun despite sometimes being raucous social occasions. In Ueno, however, before the bloom of the sakura blossoms, it saw a dramatic unfolding of events in the late 19th Century.
Professor Bill Steele reveals in his virtual travel tour how Ueno Park became a battlefield during the Boshin War (1868-69). He describes the unrest and uproar of the age and pays heed to the heroic soldiers, who are fondly remembered to this day in Japan and commemorated with statues in the park.
1st April 2021 11am JST
‘Read before you drink: unlocking the secrets of your sake bottle’
Walk Japan tour leader and head researcher for the Sake Industry News newsletter, Shima san brings her sake expertise to her virtual talk on Japan’s libation to the gods. Shima san delves into the variety of Sake available, introducing us to the different grades and complexity of flavours available. She also provides insights on how to choose a sake to accompany different occasions and tastes, and how to just simply imbibe for the pleasure of Japan’s most unique beverage.
22nd April 2021 11am JST
To join Talk Japan events register on their website, and complete the form. Talks will also be recorded and made available for viewing at a later date.
About Walk Japan
National Geographic has described Walk Japan as “one of the 200 Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”. The company leads the way in providing the most fulfilling and enjoyable tours available in Japan. Walk Japan has an unrivalled range of regular, scheduled tours for Japan and is researching more for the future. It also creates and runs private, custom tours tailored to customers’ particular interests. These include private tours for families, friends, societies, companies and schools.