The airline provided a taste of Japan through an ikigai immersion at the Tatler House in Singapore

During a time of limited travel when everyday feels like groundhog day, there’s an even greater impetus to find your reason for existence and motivation to thrive. This is why the Japanese concept of ikigai resonates with many around the world, a philosophy that Japan Airlines is actively introducing to its global community of curious travellers.

While ikigai is difficult to directly translate in English, at its core is finding one’s purpose in life. Finding your ikigai is said to lead to a more fulfilling and happier existence, something that neuroscientist Ken Mogi, who authored the book Awakening Your Ikigai, truly believes. Last year, Japan Airlines started a lively conversation about ikigai led by Mogi, in a bid to inspire people to discover this empowering philosophy and use it in their daily lives.

In Singapore, Japan Airlines created ikigai immersions to help showcase this concept to Tatler Singapore’s community of travel lovers. “Only when we experience the pains of not being able to travel do we realise that much of our wellness, is often tied to travel itself," explained Yap Sze Hunn, marketing manager for Asia-Oceania regions of Global Customer Experience and Marketing at Japan Airlines. 

Related: What Is the Meaning of Ikigai? Japan Airlines Shares The Secret Of Achieving A Fuller Life

Only when we experience the pains of not being able to travel do we realise that much of our wellness, is often tied to travel itself

—Yap Sze Hunn, marketing manager for Asia-Oceania regions of Global Customer Experience and Marketing at Japan Airlines.

The Journey of Ikigai began with a trip to Japan through food, with curated bites such as Hokkaido scallop pudding and chilled somen noodles with roasted salmon belly and Hokkaido trout ikura, as well as Japanese sakes from The Tatler Bar in Singapore.

In between light bites and drinks, the group spoke about their memories of travelling to Japan, while Yap shared hidden spots that must be rediscovered once borders open post-pandemic. The small group then proceeded to the hands-on workshop, carefully chosen to help demonstrate the principles of ikigai. The workshop led by ikebana instructor Christopher Lim, focused on the pillars “harmony and sustainability” as well as “being in the here and now”. Through creating their own flower arrangements, it heightened the group’s appreciation of the transient and ephemeral pleasures in life.