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Whether it’s Kurosawa movies or modern manga, the geisha or its unique cuisine, Japan never fails to tickle the imagination. So inscrutable is the island-nation that travellers say one visit is never enough to grasp the essence of its people and traditions.

Learn Bushido, the martial art of sword-fighting

If you are not into Samurai swords unless they are wielded by Tom Cruise, sign up for a tea ceremony that’s as old and exciting but considerably less perilous to life and limb. Sekishu-ryu Isa-ha is an exclusive tea ceremony based on the spirit of the Bushido art form and now, in association with the 3-star Michelin restaurant Hamadaya, it’s been thrown open to people like you and me. The once-in-a-lifetime experience is available to just one party of upto eight people only on Mondays and Fridays, and is followed by a best-of-the-season dinner at the restaurant.

Rates are from ¥94,000 for a party of two, with ¥47,000 for each additional person, inclusive of the Kaiseki dinner. For reservations and enquiries, contact the concierge at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, on 00813 3270-8240.

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