Tempozan Anipa is an animal cafe where you get to pet lots of animals. There are many animals in this small place, alpacas, capybaras, kangaroos, tortoises, dogs, cats, birds and many small animals. It was our first time seeing capybaras and getting to touch them. The kangaroos were slightly scary but they weren’t the adult size. The alpaca was super cute.
When it’s the summer you can not only rent a kimono, but you can also rent a yukata (an informal and light cotton kimono) as well. It goes without saying, but a yukata is perfect when viewing a fireworks festival, viewing the Gion Festival, watching the ceremonial fires of the large Japanese kanji characters on the mountains in Kyoto, and a number of other summer festivals. But it’s not just festivals, when visiting somewhere specializing in sweet foods and eating a matcha (powdered green tea) based parfait or shaved ice, wearing a kimono is part of the fun of doing so in Kyoto.
According to Shinto tradition and lore, Nara deer were the sacred messengers of the gods, such that, in ancient times, killing a deer in Nara was a crime punishable by death. These days the deer are no longer considered sacred, but to honor tradition they’re considered national treasures, which is why you can see them roaming in Nara Park. In fact, that’s why the park is sometimes called Nara deer park or Japan’s deer forest; it’s easily the area’s most defining feature. Today, there are over 1,200 deer in Nara Park, which is located in Nara, in Japan’s Kansai region. These deer are called sika, which is derived from the Japanese word for deer: shika.
Mount Fuji is 3,776 meters high and the tallest mountain in Japan. It has been an object of faith and worship since ancient times for the Japanese people and has inspired countless paintings and poems – in short, it is dear to an entire nation. With this background, it has been registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2013. Mount Fuji isn’t always visible from Tokyo and even if you stay for a week, weather and season might have it hide behind clouds the entire time. But for us, seeing Japan’s most famous mountain is at the top of our bucket list.
In Japan, the appearance of cherry blossoms, known as sakura, signals the beginning of spring. The arrival of these flowers is an annual event so significant, that there are forecasts pinpointing exactly when and where the flowers are expected to bloom. From an outsider’s perspective, this may seem excessive. However, when taking into account the fact that sakura are only in bloom for a maximum of about two weeks, it’s understandable that people would want to find out both the ‘kaika’ (blooming) and ‘mankai’ (full bloom) predictions in order to make the most out of the ‘hanami’ (flower viewing) season.