[Virtual Tour] Aomori Samurai Spirits， Truth of Ninja & Hirosaki Castle Cherry Blossom Tour: Hirosaki Castle， Zenringai， Zen Meditation， Ninja House & Swordsmith Workshop Visit with National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter (1st Session， From 11:00 JST)
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Tohoku (Sendai, etc.) Experience Plan
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1. On this virtual tour, see Aomori Prefecture in Japan's Tohoku Region, and enjoy Japan icons such as samurai, ninja, Japanese swords, and cherry blossoms, all in the comfort of your own home. Participating is easy! Download Zoom on your device (smartphone, PC, etc.) in advance, and once it is time to start, click on the designated URL, and enjoy the tour online.
2. This virtual tour is led by a National Government Licensed English Guide Interpreter in real time. In order to make it so that participating customers feel as if they are strolling around, you will be shown pre-recorded tour footage while a knowledgeable National Government Licensed English Guide Interpreter with a hospitable heart provides explanations for sightseeing spots and Japanese culture. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to mention them to the guide right then and there!
3. Through a Zen meditation experience at a Zen Buddhist temple and a visit to a swordsmith that actually makes Japanese swords where samurai spirits dwell, learn from a local expert about Bushido (samurai code of chivalry) and Japan's sense of reverence from time immemorial. In addition, experience the many tricks and traps set up in an actual ninja residence. As the recording for this tour was made just in time for the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival, you can enjoy seeing beautiful cherry blossoms. Customers can surely feel Japan's spirit from different angles.
4. Drone footage is used on this virtual tour. Look forward to seeing Saisho-in Temple's five-story pagoda from an angle only drones can deliver.
11:00- Icebreaker The National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter, who is a local expert in Aomori Prefecture, will greet customers and tell them some of the prefecture's basic information such as its geography, industries, and fascinating features. The guide may also possibly ask questions about the customers. Enjoy participating in an interactive conversation. This tour's theme is samurai and zen. While explaining the day's itinerary, corresponding information will also be given.
Hirosaki Castle Park Let's begin by visiting Hirosaki Castle Park, one of Aomori's symbols. The Hirosaki Castle tower is designated as an important cultural property of Japan. It is also a popular cherry bossom viewing spot, and today, get to know the highlights while on a stroll among cherry trees in the castle park grounds. You'll be able to see Japan's oldest Somei-Yoshino cherry tree. The inside of the keep is a historical museum where visitors can learn about the Hirosaki Domain's history. Highlights such as the sword and armor of the feudal lord will be shown. You'll also see streetscapes with former samurai residences.
Zenringai This district offers a unique scenery as it is dotted with 33 Zen Buddhist temples along a cedar tree-lined road. Visitors will surely want to take pictures of this spot. Walk along an avenue of cedars, see the iconic Chosho-ji Temple, and visit Saisho-in Temple. At Saisho-in Temple, see up close the five-storied pagoda designated as an important cultural property. After taking delight in the sight of Zenringai, let's experience zen meditation. Some Zen Buddhist temples allow visitors to do zen meditation along with the priest. Today, while it may be just for a short time, try to quiet your mind.
Ninja House Hirosaki City is not just about samurai; it is also rich in ninja history. Take a stroll along an area lined with ninja residences, and take a peek into a house where ninja once lived. There are various tricks set up, including hidden spaces as well as contraptions that warn of intruders.
Japanese Swordsmithing Workshop Visit At the end of the samurai tour, visit a swordsmith that makes Japanese swords, which hold within it the samurai spirit. Watch a video of the swordsmith forging the blade, refining the steel and turning it into a sword. Learn about the sword and zen and feel the "samurai spirit," the samurai code of chivalry, as you watch a sword drawing performance.
-12:00 Q&A Session Feel free to ask questions to the tour guide who is a local expert.