360 Virtual Experiences Showcase Best of Japan Amid Quarantine

While COVID-19 has forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and affected so many spectators’ travel plans, Japan has come up with an innovative means by which armchair travelers can still experience some of its many wonders.

The Japan National Tourism Organization has released a 360-degree virtual reality video, which features iconic scenes found across the Land of the Rising Sun, entitled “Where Tradition Meets the Future”.

From signature cultural elements, such as sushi-making, sumo wrestling, and Geisha performances to views of majestic bamboo forests and the modern-art sculptures of Naoshima, this VR experience will surely whet the appetite of wanderlusters everywhere.

Many 360-degree virtual reality videos also offer online visitors a chance to engage in the springtime custom of ‘hanami’ (flower viewing), displaying the country’s world-renowned cherry blossoms in full bloom at such locations as Tokyo’s Ueno Park, Fukushima’s Miharu Falls, with its famous higan “waterfall” cherry tree that’s over 1,000 years old, and Hirosaki Park, featuring a full view of its seventeenth-century castle.

Other virtual experiences currently on offer include:

—In Shizuoka Prefecture, a rotating 360-degree live feed looks out over the port town of Mochimune

—A live camera feed from above Tokyo’s world-famous Shibuya Crossing

—Live webcam footage of the ski slopes at Niseko Village in Hokkaido, with mountainsides freshly covered in powder

—Live camera footage from Jigokudani, a park in Nagano where hot springs famously draw feisty snow monkeys

—Livestream video at the nation’s famous Nihondaira Zoo features footage of “celebrity” polar bears Rossy and Vanilla

—In Toyooka City, Hyogo Park’s live footage of Oriental white storks during hatching season, which lasts until April.

For more information, visit japan.travel/en.

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