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Japan's Cultural Tapestry

Immerse yourself in the country's singular cultural and culinary traditions

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Japan is a captivating blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity, a place where vibrant cities coexist with (and support) tranquil enclaves, both natural and man-made. Designed for curious travelers, this collection provides a peek at the dynamism.

Japanese Culture

Japanese Buddhist Statues

Japanese Buddhist statues come in countless shapes and forms, and they are not just objects of prayer but also meticulously crafted works of art in their own right. When Buddhism reached Japan in the mid-6th century, religious statuary came with it, and in thickly forested Japan, the statues began to be made mostly in wood. Runtime: 28 min.

This Japanese Tea Master Has Been Hosting Ceremonies for Decades

In this short film from National Geographic, watch sensei Sobin Koizumi—who has been involved with tea ceremonies since she was six years old—host a ceremony. Runtime: 4 min.


Art historians Beth Harris and Steven Zucker review the sublime 17th-century Zen rock garden at Ryōanji temple in Kyoto. Runtime: 4 min.

The Samurai

In this excellent BBC podcast, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of the samurai and the role of their myth in Japanese national identity. Runtime: 42 min.

Sushi: The pinnacle of Japanese cuisine

Prepared by master sushi chefs using only the finest and freshest ingredients, each delicate bite will tantalize your taste buds and elevate your senses. Learn about this delicacy (and how to eat it!) and you'll be eating sushi like a local.