Culture: Experiencing the Essence of Japanese Culture in Kyoto

In the heart of Kyoto, where Hacarus headquarters is located, you can explore and gain insight on Japanese culture.

Hacarus supports those who want to WORK IN JAPAN, WORK IN HACARUS. If you would like to know how you can live in Japan, please take a look at all provided support information! We share the information not only for future Hacarus applicants, but also for people who are interested in Japan! Would you like to surround yourself in Japanese culture?

Because Kyoto was the past capital of Japan, most traditional activities as well as the image of Japan" can be found here! Here are some of the main examples of the traditional activities you can experience here in Kyoto:

Seated Meditation (Zazen, 座禅)

Also known as "zazen", this is a traditional practice where you explore peace and mindfulness. The goal of zazen is to be in a state of existence with nature "one with nature" and reach a point of "satori", to gain enlightenment. In zazen meditation, you sit with your legs folded, spine erect, and eyes closed, paying no attention to your thoughts but understanding yourself to a much deeper level. Below is an article on a Hacarus company activity, a zazen practice session at a temple! (in Japanese)

Many temples hold courses in meditation. In recent days, seated meditation practice at a Japanese temple can also be led in English as in Shunkoin Temple shown in the link below.

Tea Ceremony (Sado, 茶道)

Here, you can indulge in the tranquility and quietness of Japanese tea ceremony, which was introduced to Japan by tea master Sen no Rikyu in the 16th century. You can learn about the basics of the aesthetic rituals in Japanese tea ceremony, including knowing what to say when tea is served, how to hold the bowl, or how you must turn your bowl in a clockwise direction prior to drinking. Below is a photo of what is called a chasen (茶筅), a type of whisk that made of bamboo used to mix tea.

Flower Arrangement (Ikebana/Kado, 生け花/華道)

Ikebana or kado, otherwise known as the art of flower arrangement, is the arrangement of flowers (including branches, leaves, stems, buds) in a vase to express emotion and bring one closer to nature. The link below provides a more detailed and spiritual explanation on the origin, principles, and materials in ikebana.

Kyoto Traditional Handicraft (Dentou-teki Kougeihin, 伝統的工芸品)

With more than 70 types of traditional handicrafts, Kyoto has many opportunities for hands-on experience in craft making. More famous handicrafts include silk weaving (nishijin-ori), silk dyeing (kyo-yuzen), indigo-dyeing (aizome), Kyoto folding fans (kyo-sensu), byobu (folding screens), ukiyoe (woodblock print), lacquer ware (Kyo-shikki), Kyoto dolls (kyo-ningyo), Kyoto ceramics (kyo-yaki, as shown below) as well as a multitude of other traditional crafts take place in Kyoto.

Kimono (Traditional Japanese Garment "Kimono", 着物)

Kyoto is where many kimonos are manufactured, dyed, and sown. You can imagine that as a capital where all the the geisha in Japan can be found, an endless variety of kimonos can also be found! You can rent out a kimono, the traditional attire of Japan, at many kimono rental shops. One of the more famous and cheaper kimono and yukata shops, known as wargo, can also be found right across Kyoto station in Kyoto tower.

Temples and Shrines (Otera and Jinja, お寺と神社)

Kyoto is well-known as one of the best-preserved cities in Japan with numerous temples and shrines listed as a World Heritage Site. There are a total of 17 UNESCO heritage sites and worldwide, Kyoto has one of the largest collections. These famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto include:
1. Nijo-jo Castle
2. Shimogamo-jinja Shrine
3. Kamigamo-jinja Shrine
4. Nishi-Hongwan-ji Temple
5. To-ji Temple
6. Byodo-in Temple
7. Kozan-ji Temple
8. Mt.Hiei-zan Enryaku-ji Temple
9. Saiho-ji Temple
10. Ujigami-jinja Shrine
11. Daigo-ji Temple
12. Ginkaku-ji Temple
13. Kiyomizu-dera Temple
14. Kinkaku-ji Temple
15. Ninna-ji Temple
16. Ryoan-ji Temple
17. Tenryu-ji Temple

And those are just a few of the wonderful experiences you can have in Kyoto!

Other Topics Covered for Hacarus Work in Japan Support Program

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