On the one hand, it is a hyperfuturistic vision of neon and next-gen tech, while on the other, it is a place of deeply held traditions from Shinto to samurai. Japan is a long and slender, highly volcanic archipelago. Over two-thirds of it is covered by mountains, with bubbling hot springs at every turn. Each season offers its own charm. In the warmer months there is excellent hiking, through cedar groves and fields of wildflowers, up to soaring peaks and ancient shrines. In the winter, all this is covered with snow and the skiing is world class.
Trunk Hotel supports charities such as Arts and Creative Minds, a space for mentally and physically challenged people; More Trees, connecting cities with forests; and Shibuya Playground Committee, providing children the opportunity to play outside.
Tokyo’s seemingly never-ending sprawl is a marvel, the ultimate city in which to get lost and enjoy local hospitality in izakayas, before quiet contemplation in hidden temples. To connect with the country’s traditional culture, head away from the capital and spend the night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), sleeping on futons and tatami mats, and padding through well-worn wooden halls to the bathhouse. The island nation is also known for its stunning nature—from soaring mountains and remote beaches, to forests that invite Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, meaning time spent appreciating a forest for health reasons.
Japanese cuisine has great regional variations. The hearty dishes of the mountains are dramatically different from the delicate sushi for which the coast is famous. Then there are the noodles: Japan’s top ramen pilgrimage sites are Fukuoka, where the speciality is tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen, and Sapporo, where the specialty is miso ramen. The food is intensely seasonal, meaning you can visit at a different time of year and experience totally new tastes.
Words Vidula Kotian Date 04 October, 2020
As we assess all that we’ve taken for granted this year, we found that travel is high on that list. We are dreaming about traveling through Japan but find that it’s also become important to ask how and why. Inspired by the unique Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, we decided to peer into this captivating land through this special lens.
Further brought a group of architects, hoteliers and place-makers from across the Asian continent to Tokyo to explore new ideas about urban living and the cities of tomorrow.
“Foolish the doctor who despises the knowledge acquired by the ancients,” Hippocrates wisely said—and we couldn’t agree with him more. Ancient wellness practices such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine advocate a holistic view on wellness, connecting the body with the mind and working with local plants and herbs to take you to a new dimension of health.