Special Interest

These tours are run once or twice per year on set dates.
Availability is extremely limited – max. number of 8 guests per tour.
Early advanced booking & 50% deposit required

TEA TOUR [May 2018 & Oct 2018]
International tea expert, Tim d’Offay, joins us to impart insider knowledge garnered through his long experience sourcing the finest teas from Japan and around the world. En route we are joined by a veteran tea farmer and a Swiss master of chado, as we explore tea’s significance in Japanese history, culture, society and cuisine.

Together we experience Japan’s two greatest cities, Tokyo and Kyoto, from an insider’s perspective, and also venture into a much-lesser known Japan; deep countryside where some of the nation’s preeminent tea is produced on a small, family-owned estate. Our exploration of tea leads us to museums renowned for their exquisite works of art with significance in chado itself, to tranquil temples where chado developed, and to artisanal workshops, where some of the highest quality utensils used in the ceremony are crafted. We enjoy tea in many of our meals not just as beverage but also an ingredient in dishes.

Our meals are a culinary delight, ranging from sumptuous banquets at a traditional Japanese inn, through farmhouse-style cuisine at local restaurants to feasts at some of Kyoto and Tokyo’s foremost dining establishments. Our accommodation varies from modern, Western-style hotels to a traditional Japanese inn: all of which offer the excellent service typical of Japan.

 

SUMMER FESTIVAL TOUR [August 2018]
Tohoku (lit. ‘north-east) was one of the last regions of Japan to be subjugated in the 9th Century and in the days of Bashō, Japan’s most famous travelling poet, a trip to northern Honshū was still synonymous with walking to the ends of the Earth. Even now this area is very much the rugged north; a land of mountains and remote hot springs, of ancient folk beliefs and unique customs born of centuries of isolation. The locals are independent, plain-spoken and resolute. They are also warm and welcoming. Together these characteristics held them in good stead in the aftermath of the catastrophic tsunami that devastated much of the region’s east coast in 2011. They also retain a strongly rural identity, which is expressed in their festivals, some of the most spectacular in Japan.

In one thrilling week this tour takes in four of these spectacular festivals, including participation in the breathtaking Aomori Nebuta festival, and visits the samurai town of Kakunodate as well as the famed and scenic Matsushima Bay.

Accommodation varies from a modern hotel to an ‘off-the grid’ traditional hot spring inn, and a 300 year old farmhouse, that is still a family home.

 

YAMABUSHI TRAINING PROGRAMME [June – October]
The Yamabushi are the ancient mountain priests of Japan. Their role was to guide people to their true nature, and to teach discipline and warrior ways. And although the few remaining are mostly hidden from public life these days, their work has not changed. What they offer is more relevant than ever: an unforgettable journey of self-development and self-discovery in the sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan.

Located 4 hours from Tokyo, Dewa Sanzan is renowned for its biodiversity, mystical scenery, and rituals of spiritual rebirth. Traditionally and among select groups today, Dewa Sanzan is a unique hub of animistic Shinto and Buddhist fusion, where different forms of Japanese spirituality blend into one.

Under the direction of a 13th generation master, the training will take back into your lives with a renewed sense of your power, a greater understanding of your potential, and a new ability to cut through obstacles. You will gain the ability to disconnect from distraction and stress by taking yourself back to nature and back to yourself.

Accommodation is in a pilgrim’s lodge. This important Shugendo location is traditionally reserved for Shugendo initiates, however on this tour, the doors are open to you.

 

YOGA RETREAT [April 2018]
Details TBC

 

If you would like to discuss any of these tours, please contact us.