KYOTO, JAPAN \<br>RITUAL+RENEWAL \<br>Apr 18-24, 2020

KYOTO, JAPAN \<br>RITUAL+RENEWAL \<br>Apr 18-24, 2020


RITUAL+RENEWAL [LUXURY] - Our first week sold out so quickly, we've added one overflow week. Stay in the historic heart of Kyoto, visit temples, cultural activities, tastings, yoga in a temple, and a Japanese spa day, all with the addition of workshops designed to help you find your own personal ritual.


SAVE $250 until Nov 15. Promocode JOINJAPAN



After our first Japan week for 2020 sold out in only 1 day, we have added a special overflow week. Join us for a special week of deep renewal as we explore the power of ritual to bring us into the present moment and into the flow state. Our RITUAL+RENEWAL retreats combine a look at the ancient tradition of tea ceremony (not as a beverage, but about the ancient tradition of a meditation around the entire process), as well as a daily flow and/or yin yoga class. Both together facilitate deep emotional release and heart opening and so accentuates our exploration of mindfulness, connection and slow, soulful living! Then to continue the idea of ritual, we will work through a few workshops in the week learning more about what ritual means, and how to cultivate a practice of personal ritual into our daily lives - whether it be in the form of stopping for a cup of tea, taking a walk in nature, or journaling. Guests will leave better equipped with the knowledge of how to be present, slow down and how to make personal rituals a new habit.

This retreat is led by Sarah Scarborough of Tea Huntress. Sarah has devoted the last twenty years of her life to discovering the culture and agriculture of tea and sourcing the finest varieties. As a registered yoga teacher, she offers vinyasa classes rooted in the Ashtanga tradition as well as Yin yoga to compliment the power of tea ceremony to connect and change us.


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 bonsai trees, wooden pagodas, and rock gardens (and we might still be able to see some cherry blossoms before the season ends). 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, a special tea-focused activity with a local artisan….learning more about this special elixir, an 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 yoga class 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 more restorative yin on some days and a flow on others. Ritual workshops and meditation through tea ceremony will be explored as another daily part of the retreat. Our 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.

Sarah Scarborough has devoted the last twenty years of her life to discovering the history, culture and soul of tea. As a tea buyer for her company, Firepot Nomadic Teas, she has traveled the world to source the finest, ethically and organically grown varieties. As a yoga teacher, she uses the ritual of daily tea practice to bring us into the present moment and prepare us for meditation and asana. Sarah lives in Nashville with her husband and two boys and shares the power of tea to connect and change us via Tea Huntress. 

* Participation in classes and activities is optional throughout the retreat. All levels welcome!



  • 7 days / 6 nights (Apr 18-24, 2020)

  • Inclusive Retreat Price = $5,980 (shared room*), +$990 (single room)

  • 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

  • Daily Breakfast

  • 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

  • Taxes

* 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)

  • Yoga clothes

  • Smart phone with camera and/or digital camera

  • Plug adaptors / converters