Why Travelling to Japan should be in Your Bucket List
By Yogi Padilla
Time really flies. More than three years passed, but I can still vividly recall the fondest memories of our business trip to Japan.
Back in 2013, three of my colleagues and I had the wonderful opportunity to be sent to Japan Fall Training on the 1st week of December. Our travel schedule was really hectic. But let me share my experiences in one of the cultural places we visited that really opened my horizon to witness the beauty of the Japanese environment and culture; Meiji Jingu.
Meiji Jingu is a popular Shinto shrine and known to be dedicated to the worshipped spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife. Its location is so vast that one must be ready to walk long distance from the main gate or the so-called “Torii” which will lead you to the Meiji Shrine complex. Entering the “Torii” made me feel like I was being transported to another dimension. Filled with awe, I observed that the place was so peaceful and you could easily feel its solemnity. Truly, it was like a different world from the outside.
We were lucky to have witnessed a traditional Japanese wedding happening at the time of our visit. The wedding parade with the priest, maidens and the whole entourage who were wearing traditional Japanese clothes was really exciting to see. We silently gazed at the wedding parade and was lucky enough to have taken some photos. Our guide told us that when the entourage enters the shrine, then it’s not allowed anymore to view the ceremony nor take photos.
Thanking our luck, it was wonderful to see and explore the shrine complex, write prayers for our professional and personal intentions, and experience reading some prayers left by other visitors. We have yet to see and enjoy the wonderful garden in the shrine complex so we look forward to visiting again someday.
It’s a good feeling to appreciate another’s culture as it broadens one’s horizons. People from other countries naturally have their own culture and it’s an eye opener to witness them yourself during an immersion visit. The experience gives breadth and meaning, and draws appreciation especially if you are teaching students, online or virtually, whose roots are from that same country.
For me, Japan is a country that values purity and orderliness. Its mesmerizing tourist attractions, such as the Meiji Jingu Shrine, will make you stay and hope to visit again, and its environment is really awesome. From something traditional to something ultramodern, the Land of the Rising Sun is a country that you want to be in your travel bucket list.