An Intrinsic Love for buckwheat

Discover Japanese buckwheat noodle bars

The Japanese have been cultivating buckwheat for about 12,000 years. This is why you would find buckwheat noodle bars in airports, train stations and on street corners. In the Middle Ages, when the cultivation of rice was still very labour intensive and costly, peasant farmers in Japan could not afford the rice (although they grew it) and depended on buckwheat as a staple food. Buckwheat, however, is not poor food. Rather, scientific facts prove the rich nutrients of Japanese buckwheat and the locals, regardless of their social status, enjoy eating buckwheat noodles all year around.  

The first thing you can do on your arrival is to find a buckwheat noodle bar.


The bullet train

clean, fast, reliable, efficient

When in Japan, you can depend on the high-speed bullet train network to travel around safely on time. If you book your bullet train journeys early enough, a discount scheme called the Japan Rail Pass should be available to you. The speed of the bullet train can reach 320 km/h (199 ml/h). No wonder the locals often prefer to use the bullet train to flying when travelling between major cities.

They sell you boxed sushi on the bullet train.



Kyoto, the ancient capital of japan

Flavours of zen

Go to Kyoto. If you take a bullet train from Tokyo, in less than 3 hours you would be in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. There is one temple you ought to visit. Ryōan-ji in Kyoto is a Zen temple. Ryōan-ji was founded in 1450. Most visitors to Ryōan-ji say that the main garden, which is rectangular in shape, represents the calm ocean with 16 small islands scattered across it. It is remarkable that the garden, which does to use water as its component, creates a generally fluid and oceanic impression.

The mindfulness of Zen, which the designers of this garden intended to encourage the observer to experience, seems to come into play only when one takes the trouble to sit quietly on the wooden veranda overlooking the garden.