Awaji is the Top Spot for “Slow Tourism”

禅坊 靖寧

Slow tourism, a concept that emphasizes leisurely travel and authentic experiences, has been gaining momentum among modern travelers in recent months. As the world rushes forward with ever-increasing speed, many are yearning for a more deliberate and meaningful way to explore new destinations.

Awaji Island, a popular destination in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, is a great place to discover the beauty of this style of travel, offering a wide variety of relaxing, enriching experiences.

Slow Tourism: the basics

Have you ever returned from a trip feeling tired instead of refreshed? This might be due to cramming too many activities into a short period. Slow tourism is the solution.

Take your time, foster genuine connections with locals, and fully immerse yourself in the destination’s ambiance. There is a growing awareness of the benefits of slower travel, such as reduced stress, better well-being, and deeper appreciation of local culture and nature.

This travel approach allows for more spontaneous and enjoyable experiences, free from the anxiety of keeping up with a rigid schedule.

Slow tourism also encourages mindfulness and presence, which can lead to improved mental health. Taking the time to savor each moment, whether it’s enjoying a quiet sunrise or a peaceful stroll through a village, can enhance emotional well-being.

With more time to explore, travelers can engage more deeply with their destinations, learning more about local traditions, cuisines, and more.

Step-by-Step Approach to Slow Travel

1. Spontaneity in your itinerary: Keeping things flexible opens the door to spontaneity, for a greater feeling of discovery. Follow a natural pace rather than trying to fit in as many destinations as possible.

2. Avoid tourist traps: find the hidden gems, and steer clear of typical tourist crowds to enjoy travel better with less stress.

3. Stay longer in each destination: Spend more time in one place before moving on. Immerse yourself in the local culture and environment.

4. Ask locals for recommendations: Locals know the spot better than anyone! So, strike up a conversation to get insights you won’t find in guidebooks.

Awaji Island: Where Time Slows Down

Awaji Island is an ideal destination for slow tourism, with tranquil landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and welcoming communities. Located between Honshu and Shikoku, the island is accessible yet one step beyond the hustle and bustle of Japan’s major cities.

Travelers can explore the countryside, enjoy leisurely walks along pristine beaches, experience unique hands-on experiences, and much more. Let’s take a closer look!

Find Peace amid the Beauty of Nature

Getting in touch with nature is one of the best ways to enjoy slow tourism on Awaji Island. Among these, the Zen Meditation Experience at Zenbo Seinei is not to be missed. Perched at the edge of the wooden deck lost in meditation surrounded by the island’s majestic landscape, find inner peace, explore Zen cuisine and more. Mindfulness and wellness lie at the heart of Zenbo Seinei.

Click here for reservations

Name Zenbo Seinei
Address 2594-5 Aza-Banaka, Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
Tel 0799-70-9087
Website https://www.zenbo-seinei.com/en/
Program Reservations https://zenbo-seinei.urkt.in/direct/offices/587/courses
Hotel Reservation https://rsv.temanasi.jp/29/room/search
Operation Hours Mon: 9:00 am~5:00 pm / Tues~Sun: 11:00 am~6:30 pm
Closed: Varies depending on a month. Please inquire.

Click here for details of ZEN Wellness SEINEI

Just down the road is GRAND CHARIOT. Known as one the finest accommodations in the Kansai region, it offers a unique glamping experience. Replete with a traditional Japanese rice-bran enzyme spa and private bath house, this retreat allows guests to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying luxurious amenities.

Imagine staying in rooms crafted from fragrant Japanese cypress, where every detail enhances your connection with the wonders of nature. In the evenings, unwind while gazing out over the sparkling lights of Awaji Island and Kobe across the bay, under a magical sky of stars.

For a tranquil retreat surrounded by nature in the lap of luxury, GRAND CHARIOT is outstanding choice!

Click here for reservations

Adress 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
Located at Nijigen no Mori in Hyogo Prefecture Awajishima Park
Tel 0799-64-7090
Website https://awaji-grandchariot.com/
Reservations https://go-grandchariot.reservation.jp/en
Click here for details of GRAND CHARIOT

For the adventurous spirit yearning for the great outdoors, Awaji Island also has numerous trekking and hiking routes that not only offer stunning settings, but also teach us about the island’s rich history.

Meaningful and Authentic Experiences

Another benefit of slow tourism is the opportunity to engage in more meaningful and authentic experiences. Fortunately, the exceptional background of Awaji Island as an ancient hub of arts, from ironwork to ceramics to cuisine, means there is a wealth of hands-on activities to enrich your visit.

Have you ever considered an incense-making workshop? As Japan’s largest producer of incense, Awaji Island holds significant importance in the country’s incense industry. Travelers can craft their own incense, and learn this ancient art form inspired by the fragrances of trees and flowers on the seabreeze.

Additionally, Awaji Island is also known for producing one of Japan’s top 3 tile varieties. Several places on the island offer visitors the chance to design and create their own tiles, providing a unique, personalized souvenir of their island getaway.

One of the most popular hands-on experiences in the region is the natural indigo dyeing workshop. Participants learn the traditional method of dyeing fabrics made from cotton and linen using natural indigo dye. This practice results in various beautiful blue shades, from pale and light to deep and intense, making each piece unique and vibrant.

So don’t rush through life. Take things slow, and make a plan to not plan so much in Japan, with a “slow tourism” trip to Awaji Island. You won’t regret it!