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On this thrilling tour, you’ll discover ancient gardens, sacred shrines in Nara and Kyoto and enjoy the views of the iconic Mount Fuji in Hakone. Step aboard a bullet train for a high-speed adventure, turn the pages on Hiroshima’s poignant history, be enchanted by the floating Torii gate in Miyajima as well as well-preserved Edo-era districts, art museums and regional handicrafts in Kanazawa and soak up the unique atmosphere of Tokyo and Osaka.
During this retreat, you will stay for eleven nights in single rooms at three-starred hotels in Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Kanazawa, and Tokyo.
Various styles of yoga will be offered throughout the retreat, either a flowing Vinyasa sequence to wake you up before breakfast or Yin or Nidra yoga at sunset to cap the day. Guided pranayama and meditation complement your practice. All levels and abilities are welcome. Please bring your own mats and props, and be advised that various teachers at local studios as well as Patricia Olabre will lead the yoga sessions. You also do not have to do any yoga (sessions TBC).
On arrival at Osaka, you will make your own way from the airport to the hotel by hopping on the train for a two-night stay. Visit Dotonbori, thronged with an unbelievable number of restaurants and amusement facilities. Each person will get a single room. Check-in is at 15:00.
You will have a free day to explore more of Osaka’s sights. There will be a group karaoke session after dinner. Please note luggage transfer is required.
You will travel by train to Hiroshima. After arriving and checking in to the hotel for two nights, the rest of the day is free to relax at leisure. There will be a yoga session in the afternoon at a local studio.
The next morning, you will have time to explore Hiroshima and Miyajima independently. Visit Miyajima Island with perhaps the most photographed site in Japan, the floating Torii Gate. Explore many shrines and temples and sample local goodies like maple leaf-shaped cakes before crossing the sea and visiting the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.
Stroll through the park and discover the many memorials, monuments, and statues before heading into the museum itself. There will be a yoga session in the afternoon at a local studio.
You will travel by train to Kyoto. After checking in, you will go to Arashiyama to see the famed bamboo grove and Tenryu-ji Temple. There will be a yoga session in the afternoon at a local studio.
Self-guided tour suggestion: stroll through the beautiful traditional streets of Ichinen-zaka and Ninen-zaka, and walk to Kiyomizu-dera and Kodai-ji. Afterwards, visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), continue to Nijo Castle surrounded by stunning gardens, and take a walk down the Nishiki Market. There will be a yoga session in the afternoon at a local studio.
You will go on a day tour to Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital and was considered the cradle of Japanese culture and arts with an extraordinary abundance of temples and Buddhist monasteries. Visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. From there, head to Nara’s most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, Shin-Yakushiji Temple, and go on a leisurely wander through Nara ‘Deer’ Park.
On the way back from Nara, visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, which was used in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”. There will be a yoga session in the afternoon at a local studio. Please note that luggage transfer is required.
Travel light to Kanazawa to see perhaps the best-preserved major Edo-period city in the country with the samurai, merchants, geisha, and the lords all having left their mark on Kanazawa in a compact, easily navigable central area. Kenrokuen, one of Japan's "three best landscape gardens" and considered by many the most beautiful of them all.
The day is at own leisure. Suggestion: visit the Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa Castle, Nagamachi Samurai District, Higashi Chaya-gai (its most famous geisha district) and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. There will be yoga sessions in the morning and late afternoon.
Travel to Tokyo for the final leg of your trip to enjoy the sights and sounds of the big city. You will have the rest of the day at leisure to explore Tokyo. Suggestion: visit the site of the Imperial Palace, the famous Ginza district and modern Tokyo: Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Roppongi on the west side. Or visit traditional Tokyo - the Buddhist temple of Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon) and Ueno on the east side.
Full day tour from Tokyo to Hakone going by round trip express train with a Hakone Free Pass. You can ride the pirate ship on Lake Ashi, take a funicular railway up the ropeway, ride the cable car to Owakudani and see the hissing volcanic crater from above. After sightseeing, soak and refresh in hot springs then go back to Tokyo late in the evening. Includes hot spring ticket.
Your journey ends here and you are welcome to continue with your Japan adventure or head to the airport for your flight. Breakfast is included.
Please note, although this is an escorted tour, all city tours are self-guided to allow each person freedom to do their own itineraries. The group leader will be on hand to assist with any plans. Participants also need to be able to walk a lot comfortably and carry their own bags as they go up and down stairs / escalators. All travel involved will be on public transportation, and two-luggage transfers are required (10 GBP per way per bag).
Japan rail transportation throughout the trip is approximately 45,000 yen. Purchasing a 14-day Japan rail pass is required (highly recommended). It is valid for 14 days after activation either upon arrival or on Day 3. You can still use them if you extend your trip after Day 12. Each city has its own private company running the trains and buses, hence, subways and buses in cities are separate expenses from the Japan rail cost.
Included in the package is a full day tour from Tokyo to Hakone going by round trip express train with a Hakone Free Pass. You can ride the pirate ship on Lake Ashi, take a funicular railway up the ropeway, ride the cable car to Owakudani and see the hissing volcanic crater from above. After sightseeing, soak and refresh in hot springs then go back to Tokyo late in the evening. Includes hot spring ticket.
British Wheel of Yoga (Yoga)
Patricia has been a full-time yoga teacher since she completed her 500-hour teacher training course with the Krishnamacharya Healing Yoga Foundation under Marc Beuvain in London. She is also a certified British Wheel of Yoga teacher. She finished the prenatal yoga foundation course with Birthlight in 2010 and a year later, the mother and baby yoga integrated course with Yogacampus and Sitaram Partnership. She is qualified as a children's yoga teacher through YogaBugs and Yoga'd Up. Patricia has recently been certified to share the benefits of Yin yoga.
This yoga retreat will take place in various locations in Japan: Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Kanzawa, Hakone, and Tokyo.
During this retreat,you will be served breakfast, which can be either Western or Japanese meal, depending on the hotel you will be staying at.
Please book your flight to arrive at Kansai International Airport (KIX).
Departure is from Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND).
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