To learn about a particular country, it’s important to learn the language, as well as to learn about the country's culture and history. If you work hard and study, you can deepen your understanding of the country you’re trying to learn about. However, traveling to many areas in that country and coming into contact with its unique culture is one of the best ways you can deepen your understanding of it.
In the Edo period (1603-1868) something known as the 伊勢参り (ise-mairi) was very popular. This was a trip that involved large numbers of Japanese people walking to what is considered Japan’s most sacred shrine "Ise shine" in the city of Ise, Mie prefecture and praying there. What you can gather from the ise-mairi is that since many hundreds of years ago Japanese people love traveling. Also, you gather that there are many places across Japan (not just Ise shrine) that have special meaning to the Japanese and which are worth visiting.
The articles below feature places in Japan that are worth checking out. Some of the places featured are tourist attractions, but they’re all places that have been chosen specifically as places where you can get a deeper understanding of all aspects of Japan. Some of these places are easily accessible via public transportation, while others require a car as they’re a little bit out of the way and are quite possibly the sort of places that only locals visit. Throughout these articles, I hope that you can gain a better understanding of where to visit when in Japan. I also hope that you can get a better sense of just exactly what the “real Japan” is.