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Explore Japan virtually from the comfort of your home

Explore Japan Virtually From the Comfort of Your Home!

2020-04-23
In addition to the many ways the coronavirus has quickly impacted our lives - from school closures to working from home - it's also meant that our families are no longer able to explore Japan's cultural and entertainment landmarks. Museums are closed and domestic travel is not recommended under the country's state of emergency.
 
While nothing can replace seeing Tokyo's skyline from Tokyo Tower's highest point or watching snow monkeys in Jigokudani in person, technology can give us the next best thing! Many museums, zoos and other popular destinations in Japan have live streams or virtual tours. Your family can relive sakura season or keep tabs on the cute cats at a shelter in Hyogo.
 
See below for some of our favorite virtual destinations in Japan. We hope soon we'll all be able to visit these places in person, but until then - enjoy!
 
Watch the famous Japanese macaques unwind in the onsen, play with one another or be fed by park employees. The park is beautiful and the monkeys are delightful! This live stream offers several different views, so it's a lot of fun to check in on what all the monkeys are doing.
 
Check in on all the animals at the zoo (who might be enjoying the break from an audience!) with these video offerings from Sapporo Murayama Zoo. Elephants, hippos, rabbits and armadillos are just some of the critters your family can see living their best lives. You can also follow the zoo on twitter to see their latest videos.
 
A Fujisan sighting is always a treat. It's truly beautiful! If you're not living within seeing distance, though, this site offers numerous angles to check in. Make sure to bookmark the locations; they'll make for great viewing spots once we're in the clear from this pandemic!
 
A little bit different than just a virtual tour, Kids Web Japan offers a peek at traditional culture - think sumo, judo and bento - through multimedia lessons. There are lessons on everything from ikebana to calligraphy and travel itineraries for castles and ninja villages.
 
Google is making it easy to explore some of Japan's most famous landmarks. Our favorite? Tokyo Tower! Get a sunny day view of Tokyo's skyline from the top of the tower. Use the "nearby" feature to explore your family's favorite neighborhood spots or any major cultural institutions around the world.
 
This video from the Japan National Tourism Organization is a few years old, but it's still a thrilling watch! See if your family can name some of the destinations included. How many have you visited? Where will you go next?
 
NHK has curated videos that represent destinations all over Japan. From cycling tours of Oita to volcano spotting in Kagoshima, there are hours of content for your family to enjoy in this special offering.
 
While housecats may be known for their ability to nap for hours on end, that doesn't change how cute they are! Miaou House in Hyogo has webcams trained on their kitties so you can watch them snooze, play, eat and snooze some more. It's very calming and very kawaii.
 
Sakura season is always fleeting - that's part of its appeal. But because it was so much more difficult to enjoy this year's blossoms, we recommend these videos! You can see the cherry blossoms at Ueno, Tachikawa, Nakemeguro and Toyama. We'll cross our fingers for hanami 2021!
 
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