KYOTO, JAPAN \ Apr 11-17, 2020
KYOTO, JAPAN \ Apr 11-17, 2020
FORM+FOCUS [LUXURY] - Back by popular demand! Our newly redesigned Japan itinerary is set for the height of cherry-blossom season in the land of the rising sun. Stay in the historic heart of the city, and enjoy cultural activities, tastings, yoga in a temple, and a Japanese spa day.
EARLY BIRD PROMO: SAVE $300 BEFORE JULY 15
We are returning again to the ‘land of the rising sun’, Japan. This time we’ll be accompanied by our private guide during our week and led through some of the more hidden, off-the-beaten-path experiences and sacred places in and around Kyoto. We’ll be exploring yoga combined with creativity classes - both practices designed to lead us to a closer look into the Zen mindset of simplicity, quiet inward focus, and being present. Yoga and meditation classes will be held daily to prepare our bodies and minds, and then our travel journal creation classes, led by collaborator Julian Hyzler, will help us find news ways of seeing. Both yoga and art working together to find FOCUS in the many layers of smells, sites, and sounds that abound in this amazing part of the world. *NO PREVIOUS ART OR YOGA BACKGROUND REQUIRED. All levels are welcome, and participation is voluntary. Projects and classes will be offered as a completely exploratory, unintimidating and personal experience.
Come away with us for a week in the incredible and culturally-rich country of Japan. where we’ll be staying in the cultural capital of Kyoto, the city with 1600 temples. We will be finding a nice balance of traditional with modern in our home for the week, a new modern hotel built with the spirit of the Japanese ryokan (traditional guest house) but with all of the modern conveniences. Guests will enjoy western-style beds in the usual minimal Japanese style. The hotel offers a Japanese bath spa room for guests as well as an amazing restaurant, bar, and lounge, and it’s located in Kyoto’s famous Gion district, where one may spot a Geisha walking the streets.
Opened in 2017, the Celestine Kyoto Gion is unmistakably a contemporary luxury hotel, and while the name may not be well known outside of Japan, it’s the flagship product of an experienced hospitality group; the Celestine hotels, here and in Tokyo, are on par with the luxury hotels operated by the big international groups. What sets this particular Celestine apart is the way it seamlessly integrates the look and feel of modern luxury hospitality with the tranquility and ease of ryokan life.
The setting is urban, but only just, with the Kamo river on one side and Mount Higashi on the other, and with several historic and cultural sites within walking distance. The soaring stone-clad double-height lobby, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and curvaceous modern furniture, sets an impressively stylish tone. The rooms, meanwhile, split the difference between modern luxury and tatami tradition — you’re instructed to remove your shoes at the threshold, in case you’re not already in the habit. And the restaurant, while not strictly a ryokan-style kaiseki, is a piece of history all the same; housed in its own separate classically-styled building is the new iteration of Yasaka Endo, a Kyoto institution for over a hundred years. —TabletHotels
Healthful, vegetarian food is part of the retreat experience, including breakfast and dinner daily, and select lunches, either hosted at the hotels or out and about in town. Some meals will have an option for seafood as we're in the land of some of the freshest fish on the planet. Ingredients are local and seasonal, and our meals will be inspired by the Japanese traditions. We'll enjoy a traditional coursed "kaiseki" menu, a sushi dinner, a ‘yufodu’ lunch, as well as some modern selections at newer restaurants, a tea-ceremony, and even a sake-tasting!
Not only will we take advantage of the amenities and beauty of our hotel and the neighboring temple for the week, but this retreat will also be full of culturally-rich experiences that will give guests a full taste of the offerings of Japan. By being located in Kyoto, we get the balance of the city amenities, but also really get to sense the calm and spiritual side of Kyoto and the neighboring countryside. Here guests will feel as if they've stepped through a Japanese painting - with cherry blossoms, bonsai trees, wooden pagodas, and rock gardens. We'll take a tour outside the city to the famous "Golden Pavilion" Kinkakuji and walk the way of the "Thousand Torii Gates" at the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Our days in the center will include a visit to the famous market, participation in a traditional tea ceremony, temple visits with on-site travel journal creation lessons, evening walk through the Gion district where we'll keep our eyes open for passing Geisha, and even a spa day at Kyoto's premier luxury spa - complete with treatments and relaxation time fit for a Zen master.
Daily meditation and yoga classes will be offered in a way to relax, stimulate, and help guests grow in their own personal practice. Classes are open to all levels, beginner to practiced, and can range from gentle, restorative, and more vigorous vinyasa flow and ashtanga styles.* Style and class levels will be determined and moulded to fit participating students' needs, and with a small intimate retreat class size, students will be able to get personalized attention and comfortability to deeply explore their practice. Our yoga classes during our time in Japan will take place in a private next-door temple. We’ll enjoy the serene experience of a Japanese garden just in front of us, while we practice in the room of wood, paper, and tatami mats, where monks still meditate today. One day we will be led through a meditation by a monk as the start to our yoga class. This is a very special and unique experience, one of which many tourists will never have been able to participate.
* Participation in classes and activities is optional throughout the retreat. All levels welcome!
DETAILS / PRICING
7 days / 6 nights (Apr 11-17, 2020)
Inclusive Retreat Price = $5,980 (shared room*), +$990 (single room)
EARLY BIRD PROMO: SAVE $300 BEFORE JULY 15
Deposit to hold space = $1,500
Max # Guests = 12
NOTE: this retreat requires a larger minimum to confirm. early sign ups will receive confirmation once this number is reached so at that point they can finalize their travel plans
* Guests traveling alone can choose the shared room and we match up based on guest profile. Rooms are spacious with separate beds and private bathrooms.
** Final balance due 45 days before retreat start date.
Read full cancellation policy in our Terms & Conditions.
Hotel accommodation (Japanese luxury hotel, western-style bedding, private bathrooms)
Daily yoga class at a 660-yr old private temple overlooking a Japanese garden
Daily creativity and travel-journal classes
Private Zen Meditation led by monk
Most dinners and selected lunches
Welcome cocktail reception
Kaiseki (Japanese tasting) fine-dining welcome dinner
Learn about and enjoy a Yudofu lunch
Visit to a Japanese sake brewery for tour + tasting
Transportation to/from day trips
Visit to the Golden Pavilion and Sagano Bamboo forest
Walking tour of Higashiyama district
Entrance to Kyoto sites, temple visits
Sample the local delicacies while strolling along Nishiki Market
Private walking tour to Fushimi district, with its iconic thousands of red Shinto gates
Japanese culture experience classes:
Kimono textile weaving studio and souvenir-making
Participate in a tea ceremony in a gorgeous Japanese garden
Spa day with treatments at luxury Kyoto spa
* airfare not included
** all provided meals are vegetarian, with some seafood options on specific meals. special dietary restrictions can be accommodated
Walking tour of the Higashiyama / Gion district of Kyoto
Day to visit surrounding area sites including the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) and the Bamboo Forest
Visit to the Nishiki Market to explore the street foods, shops, and market vibe
Experiential Japanese cultural lesson (tea-ceremony, textile class)
Private tour of the Fushimi Inari Red Torii Gates
Sake brewery tour + tasting
Luxury Spa day with treatments
*tentative schedule, activities may be substituted based on weather and seasonability. All activities are carefully chosen based on the best experience for the guests.
Nearest major international airport: Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX)
We can assist in your travel plans upon booking and arrival is simple by train or shuttle from airport
For those wishing to arrive/depart in Tokyo and/or extend their travel by adding some time in the capital city, this is easily reachable by direct bullet train to/from Kyoto
Besides the basic packing and travel needs, here are a few things to think about bringing with you.
Bathing suit (spa day and on-site onsen)
Smart phone with camera and/or digital camera
Plug adaptors / converters