It is not news that Malaysia has a love affair with the Land of the Rising Sun. In fact, Malaysia has been one of the top ten countries in the world to visit Japan. With the rise of the “experience economy”, travellers now seek authentic and local activities that goes beyond the usual sightseeing.
Off-the-beaten path neighbourhoods and Airbnb Experiences are proving popular with bookings from Malaysia, USA, Australia, Singapore, China, UK, Canada, Thailand and Philippines. Check out where everyone is headed as Airbnb shares a list of experiences unique to Tokyo for those planning to travel during the cherry blossom season.
Yanaka neighborhood in Tokyo offers travelers the opportunity to immerse themselves in authentic Japanese culture, where traditional ways of life are still part of the neighborhood’s daily routine. The area is known for Japanese sweets, tea and artisanal shops where craftsmen and shop owners take pride in making accoutrements for Kabuki actors and geishas who used to wander the neighborhood’s narrow alleyways. Springtime sees Yanaka Cemetery bursting with expansive cherry blossom trees, an alternative yet beautiful way to see these blooms in full force.
Explore Yanaka and Kuramae town, a. k. a. the “Brooklyn of Tokyo,” while riding on “tokyobike”. Explore the old and new sides of Tokyo on a bike as you cycle past small artisan workshops still in operation and factories that now house coffee shops and a chocolate factory.
See Yanaka from the eyes of a local while you stroll through a shopping street, looking at kitchen knives and sampling sweets like karinto and manju from traditional Japanese shops. Get lost in narrow labyrinthian streets, arrive at an old wall made of tiles and make a final stop at Yanaka Cemetery for a prime cherry blossom viewing opportunity.
Learn about the history of wagashi (Japanese sweets) from the owner of a renowned wagashi shop. Complete the Experience with organic Japanese tea.
Alternatively, you can also make cherry blossom trip a memorable one by connecting with the locals whether you are in Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto. The local Airbnb host community, passionate about their local culture has created unique sakura-themed experiences and discover unique elements of Japanese culture. Goodbye crowds in parks for hanami-viewing, and instead participate in what locals do as well.
Here are some activities you could explore:
- Enjoy a scenic view of cherry blossoms in your private kayak and watch the world go by with Cherry blossom kayaking.
- Beautify your Gram with cherry blossom maki sushi rolls.
- Impress your friends back home with culinary skills of making cherry blossom Japanese sweets.
As you can see, there’re plenty of scenic routes and things to do while you’re in Japan. Get planning now y’all ;)
Photos credit: Airbnb.