Recently it’s been almost impossible to take any trips abroad let alone in your own country. That’s where online tours of Japan can help you out. If you were thinking about taking a trip to Japan this summer and suddenly find yourself under these circumstances or if you’re just so tired and bored of not being able to go anywhere, these online tours can transport you to the sightseeing spots of your choice without you actually leaving your house. It’s a great way to pass the time and enjoy the sights and culture of a far away country. Below are some reasons why you should try an online tour of Japan.
3 Reasons to Experience an Online Tour of Japan
1.You don’t have to leave your house
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is raging around the world, a lot of countries including Japan, have strict rules on who can enter the country. People visiting for sightseeing reasons will probably be the last group to be allowed in after the pandemic subsides a bit. This means that the chance to actually visit Japan is still a few months away at the very least and it could take as long as a year for this to happen. At this point no one knows for sure when the restrictions against tourists entering the country will become relaxed. So it’ll be a long wait for those of you hoping to visit.
Also, even if the restrictions do become relaxed a bit, you may still feel cautious about traveling somewhere outside your own country. With virtual tours, you won’t actually be doing any traveling at all so you can feel safe in your very own house. The tours are held using online communication services like Zoom, Skype, etc. You’ll be able to watch as the guide travels to the sightseeing spots on your behalf and shows you the sights virtually. You can ask them questions or request that they show you something up close or anything that you’d be able to do if you were actually there yourself. Plus it’s a great way to release the stress of being trapped at home for so long.
These Zoom or Skype tours are also great for people who have a difficult time traveling, like the elderly or people who have disabilities. Going to a different country is physically taxing on even the healthiest of us. However, being unable to travel doesn’t mean that people don’t want to go somewhere different and experience something unique. So being able to see the sights of a different country virtually is a big plus. It’s almost like a new way to travel.
2.Experience Japan in a Short Amount of Time
If you were actually visiting Japan from your own country, unless you live in Korea or the east coast of China, it’s a long flight. For example it takes around 7 or 8 hours from Singapore or northern Australia, around 11 hours from California, around 14 hours from New York, around 12 hours from England, etc. And you need to double that time for a round trip. And don’t forget the time it takes to travel around Japan too. For example from Tokyo to the popular Kyoto area, it takes about 3 hours. If you think of it that way, you can save a lot of time and money by having the guide take you to the sightseeing spots virtually instead of personally going there. The duration of the online tours of Tokyo or Kyoto are around 1-2 hours each, so you can experience Japan in a very short period of time. Imagine the different types of online tours you’d be able to experience within the amount of time it would take you to fly to and from Japan.
Below are examples of tours.
What makes visiting Japan online different from just watching a video introducing different sightseeing spots in Japan is the fact that the tour is totally customizable and real time communication with the guide is possible. You can choose the sightseeing spot(s) that you’d like to see and the guide will actually go there on the day while you watch via your computer, cellphone, or other communication device. You can ask questions and ask them to show you something up close or ask them to go closer to a particular area, etc. A good example would be the little souvenir shops that line the street in front of Sensoji Shrine in Tokyo. A generic video explaining Sensoji temple would probably only hint that these little shops are there and would probably not step into them or introduce little souvenirs that may be interesting. In a virtual tour, the guide could point out the popular snacks they sell here which many people are eating on the street like fried bean buns or show you some cute knick knacks they sell in the stores or take you down some side street off the main shopping street. The possibilities are endless because what the guide shows you is really up to you.
Other than tours of sightseeing spots like Tokyo or Kyoto, there are also online activities. For example a virtual “origami” (paper folding) experience or a virtual Japanese tea ceremony experience. The guides or teachers will take you through the process step by step and you’ll be able to enjoy a conversation with lots of information about cultural aspects only a local would know about. It’s a great way to pass the time at home when you’re unable to go outside and it could also be a fun and educational opportunity for kids too. A lot of children have gotten used to online learning during this COVID-19 crisis so why not adults too? Talking to someone in a far away country can be very fascinating and stimulating even though it’s not face to face. And there’s a lot of beautiful scenery in Japan that you would definitely enjoy seeing, like Mount Fuji or the shrines and temples too.
Below are some of the online activities we offer on the GoWithGuide website.
Ukiyo-e academic tour (Traditional Japanese woodblock prints)
Origami Workshop (Traditional Japanese paper folding)
Rakugo (Traditional Japanese Comedy)
In the recent trend of social distancing, staying connected is so very important. And supporting each other through these difficult times is just as important. The local guides who have always been there to help foreign tourists when they come to Japan, are now sitting idle without anyone to guide. Our online tours are a sustainable way to make sure tourism in Japan doesn’t die out and to make sure the local guides are still there to guide our foreign guests when things go back to normal. You’ll probably understand if you live in a country or area that has a big tourism industry. This pandemic has had a great economic impact on the industry and at this point it doesn't seem like it's going to end anytime soon. Support our local guides and their livelihood by choosing to try one of our online tours. It’s a great way to enjoy yourself and help someone out, at the same time. You’re sure to get your money’s worth of education or entertainment and you can also see how the locals are dealing with this COVID-19 situation in Japan.
Online tours have great promise if you think about it. In the future, most people may be able to own their own VR (virtual reality) headset, letting them see in 3D. But even in the present, think about the things you’d be able to see, hear, and experience with your own eyes and ears through the screen. It’s different than just watching a documentary program or hearing about it from someone. It’s interactive, it lets you go places you can’t for physical or economical reasons, and you can do all this in the comfort of your own home. So, be a pioneer and try a virtual tour of Japan! It’s bound to broaden your horizons.