Culture Travel

These virtual tours with a local guide offer a travel-free way to experience historic Japan

Japan IRL may be off the cards at the moment, but a new tour service aims to give wannabe visitors the next best thing. Japonisme is a virtual tour service that allows laptop explorers the chance to join online tours hosted by experienced local guides.

There are currently two online tours available, one a Ukiyo-e art experience, and the other a sightseeing trip around the city of Takayama. 

Both are conducted in English, and take place over Zoom, and last for around 75 minutes each. Tickets are 1,800 yen per person (around £12). 

Japonisme is the brainchild of Mika Shiraishi, a professional government-licensed tour guide. Mika has guided more than 2,000 people from around the world, and here offers an interactive bespoke experience for those still unable to travel to Japan for real.

Shiraishi-san says the virtual tours aren’t just for experienced international travellers, but anyone who may have had to give up their dreams of exploring Japan, be it through health or circumstance.

Japonisme is the brainchild of Mika Shiraishi, a professional government-licensed tour guide…

All virtual tours are conducted in English over Zoom

With Virtual Tours Japan Art Trip – Ukiyo-e tour participants are invited to take an interactive dive into the world of ukiyo-e art. Established during the 250 years of closed borders in Japan, ukiyo-e depicts the everyday life of the common people, prominent Kabuki actors and popular landscapes. ‘This tour goes far beyond a visit to a museum,’ we’re told.   

Alternatively, if you want to ‘get out and about’, Virtual Tour Japan -Takayama takes you on a stroll through the city of Hida, Takayama. Known as Little Kyoto, the historic city of Takayama is a showcase for Japanese culture with fascinating sites, including the Takayama Festivals, Miyagawa Morning Market and Old Town. 

The line-up will soon expand to a virtual tour of Kyoto and a virtual Sake Brewery Tour. We can’t wait! For more visit Japonisme online.

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