【Japan Heritage】 Online Teaser Trips: Experience Japan’s Culture, History, and Nature From the Comfort of Your Own Home
The internet has been a blessing for a number of reasons, and tourism is right at the top of the list. Not just for research, though—now, you can take real tours of actual places led by knowledgeable guides, all without leaving your couch.
At 9:00 a.m. JST on July 17, seven participants and one guide gathered together on a Zoom video call. After some brief self-introductions, the tour began! A short teaser video gave the participants a taste of what was in store, followed by around 30 minutes of high-quality footage with real-time commentary from the guide.
The tour took us around Mt. Mitokusan in Tottori Prefecture, specifically focusing on the climb to Sanbutsuji Temple, which is known as the most dangerous Japan Heritage site. The video footage was provided by a television station and was largely first-person perspective, so it was not only high quality, viewers could really feel as if they were climbing the mountain and seeing the scenery for themselves. And the scenery—Buddhist temple halls and structures included—is quite impressive. The mountain has an elevation of 900 meters, and the view from Sanbutsuji Temple’s Nageiredo Hall is breathtaking. Coincidentally, so is the climb to get there: the video footage also showed shots of visitors climbing through dark caves and up sheer rock cliffs with nothing to hold on to but a metal chain.
During the tour, the guide told us all sorts of anecdotes about the area, the history of the temple, facts about Buddhism, and more. At the end, she even gave us some local recommendations of her own, adding a personal touch. There was also some time for the participants to ask any questions they had thought of during the tour.
At the end, we asked the participants for some feedback and opinions. While their reactions were largely positive, they did mention that there were a few hiccups during the tour, such as the video skipping and the audio sometimes cutting out, likely due to the online platform. They also expressed that they would prefer a more interactive tour where they could talk with the guide and ask questions during the tour instead of waiting until the end (spoiler alert: future Online Teaser Tours will be interactive!).
The participants also said that the tour was a brand-new experience, it satisfied a desire for human connection and felt as if they were really there, and it helped get them extra excited for future trips they are planning to take to Japan. Most of the participants had not heard of Mt. Mitokusan or Sanbutsuji Temple beforehand, but all of them said that their desire to visit the area in person increased after taking part in the tour. The general consensus was that learning more about a place has a strong influence on deciding future travel destinations.
The goal for the Online Teaser Trips is not just regular online tourism, but instead to create interactive, intriguing, unforgettable experiences that let you deepen and expand your knowledge while learning about history, culture, and more. Not only are these online tours convenient for when you can’t physically travel, they’re also an excellent way to prepare for future in-person trips you might be planning to take.
Be sure to check out the links below for more information about the Online Teaser Trip, Sanbutsuji Temple, and other Japan Heritage sites.
Click below to participate in the Online Teaser Trip and read more about Sanbutsuji Temple
Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple has stood on a dangerous cliff deep in the mountains of Tottori Prefe...
Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple hidden in the mountains of Tottori Pref...
Japan Heritage Official Site - Japan Travel