13 Days Springtime Yoga Holiday in Japan

Thrilling Yoga Holiday Japan

Expert tip: This is one of the most popular yoga retreats offered Japan.

On this thrilling tour you will discover ancient gardens, stay in a temple lodging in the spiritual Koyasan and catch magnificent views of the iconic Mount Fuji. Step aboard a bullet train for a high-speed adventure, turn the pages on Kanazawa's poignant history, be enchanted by the many temples of Kyoto and soak up the unique atmosphere of Tokyo and Osaka.

Meet the instructors

Patricia
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Highlights

  • 4-day yoga and meditation retreat in Koyasan
  • Buddhist vegan breakfast and dinner in Koyasan
  • Daily breakfast (Western or Japanese depending on hotel)
  • 3 nights accommodation in shukubo (temple lodging) with private bathroom on twin sharing basis in Koyasan
  • 9 nights accommodation in hotels in single occupancy
  • Tour guide services in Tokyo and Kyoto
  • Forest bathing experience
  • Tea ceremony

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles


4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 12
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00

During this trip, you will stay for nine nights in single rooms at three-starred hotels in Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, and Tokyo.

We will be staying in a shukubo (temple lodging) in Koyasan on twin sharing basis for the authentic feel of the Buddhist monk's life. Our accommodation is a 1000-year-old Buddhist temple, which offers Japanese-style accommodation, a beautiful garden, and free WiFi. Staying at a shukubo will be an unforgettable experience.

Program

The Temple Lodging Experience: A Taste of the Buddhist Lifestyle. Mount Koya was originally established in the year 819 by the famous monk Kukai (also known as Kobo Daishi). To this day it remains a spiritual retreat and one of the holiest places in Japan.

During this retreat, we will take a break from our busy travel schedule and spend time in nature and the tranquil environment of Mount Koya to look inwards, to still the mind.

Various styles of yoga styles will be offered throughout, either a flowing vinyasa sequence at mid-morning; yin yoga or yoga Nidra at sunset to cap the day. Guided pranayama and meditation complement our practice. All levels and abilities are welcome. Please bring your own mats and props.

You will be staying in a shukubo (temple lodging) for the authentic feel of the Buddhist monk's life. Shukubos originally offered accommodation to pilgrims. Our accommodation is a 1000-year-old Buddhist temple, which offers Japanese-style accommodation, a beautiful garden, and free WiFi. Rooms feature tatami-mat flooring, comfortable futon bedding, and paper sliding screens. There is also a public bath available for guests' use. Please note that facilities are basic yet functional. Staying at a shukubo is an unforgettable experience.

A special vegetarian, often vegan, diet is followed by monks and believers in areas influenced by Buddhism. It is called shojin ryori in Japanese, which can be translated as "food of devotion". This nourishing food will be served during our stay. Our breakfast and dinner are included in the retreat package. Meals are served at the Japanese-style dining room, where chairs can be provided upon advance request.

Day 1: Narita / Tokyo

On arrival at Narita or Haneda, you hop on the Narita Express or Tokyo Monorail to Tokyo immediately for a three-night stay in the Japanese capital.

Day 2: Tokyo

Guided tour: Visit traditional Tokyo, the Buddhist temple of Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon) and Ueno on the east side.

Day 3: Tokyo

Guided tour of Japan’s vibrant capital visiting the site of the Imperial Palace and the famous Ginza district. Visit modern Tokyo: Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Roppongi on the west side.

Day 4: Kanazawa

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.

Day 5: Kanazawa

The day is at own leisure. Suggestion: Visit the Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa Castle, Nagamachi Samurai District, Higashi Chaya-gai (the most famous geisha district), and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. There will be a tea ceremony in the afternoon.

Day 6: Kyoto

Travel by train to Kyoto. After check-in, the group will go to Arashiyama to see the famed Bamboo Grove for some forest bathing and Tenryu-ji Temple. The rest of the day is free to relax at leisure.

Day 7: Kyoto

Guided tour: Stroll through the beautiful traditional streets of Ichinen-zaka and Ninen-zaka. Walk to Kiyomizu-dera. Afterward, visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) and take a walk down Nishiki Market. As well as visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, which was used in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” if schedule permits.

Day 8: Koyasan

Travel light by train and cable car to Koyasan, a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a sacred place of Buddhism. Built on top of a wooded mountain at nearly 1000 meters above sea level, Mount Koya’s temples form a village that will transport you to a different world and allow you to enjoy a magical atmosphere.

Stay at one of the temple's accommodation facilities called shukubo and experience the ascetic training of the Shingon Buddhist sect. Dinner is included and a yoga session will be in the afternoon or evening.

Day 9: Koyasan

The day is at own leisure. Visit the many temples and/or you can try other cultural/religious experiences as well like hand-copying of sutras and ajikan meditation, both leading to your spiritual well-being (at extra cost).

You can also participate in the morning rituals. Dinner is included. The yoga session will be held in the morning and afternoon/evening.

Day 10: Koyasan

The day is at own leisure. Visit the many temples and/or you can try other cultural/religious experiences as well like hand-copying of sutras and ajikan meditation, both leading to your spiritual well-being (at extra cost). You can also participate in the morning rituals. Dinner is included. The yoga session will be held in the morning and afternoon/evening.

Day 11: Osaka

Last yoga session after breakfast. Travel to Osaka for the final leg of our trip. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the big city. Visit Dotonbori, thronged with an unbelievable number of restaurants and amusement facilities. The rest of the day is free to relax at leisure.

Day 12: Osaka

Free day at your leisure. Farewell dinner and karaoke.

Day 13: Departure from Osaka

Our journey ends here and you are welcome to continue with your Japan adventure or head to the airport for your flight.

Included excursions

Guided tour in Tokyo: Visit traditional Tokyo, the Buddhist temple of Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon) and Ueno on the east side. Visit modern Tokyo: Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Roppongi on the west side.

Guided tour in Kyoto: Stroll through the beautiful traditional streets of Ichinen-zaka and Ninen-zaka. Walk to Kiyomizu-dera. Afterward, visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) and take a walk down Nishiki Market.

Instructors

Patricia Olabre
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.

Retreat location

This yoga holiday will take place in various locations in Japan: Osaka, Kyoto, Kanzawa, Koyasan, and Tokyo.

Food

During this trip, you will be served breakfast, which can be either Western or Japanese meal, depending on the hotel we will be staying at. During the 4-day retreat in Koyasan, Buddhist vegan meals (breakfast and dinner) are included in the package.

Please be advised that most Japanese food is cooked in fish broth. Vegetarian restaurants are available yet limited.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Pescatarian
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Massage treatments are available in all cities we are visiting at an additional cost.

What's included

  • 9 nights accommodation in hotels in single occupancy
  • 3 nights accommodation in shukubo (temple lodging) with private bathroom on twin sharing basis in Koyasan
  • Buddhist vegetarian breakfast and dinner in Koyasan
  • 4-day yoga and meditation retreat in Koyasan
  • Daily breakfast (Western or Japanese depending on hotel)
  • Tour guide services in Tokyo and Kyoto
  • Tea ceremony
  • Forest bathing experience

What's not included

  • International flights
  • 7-day Japan Rail Pass
  • Entrance fees
  • Kimono rental
  • Extra activities
  • Coin locker rental
  • Luggage transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Visa
  • Public transport fees
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND).

Departure is from Narita International Airport (NRT), Haneda Airport (HND) or Kansai International Airport (KIX).

Cancellation Policy

  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 60 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
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Location
Quality of activity
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13 days / 12 nights
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Availability

Arrival: Sunday April 7, 2019
Departure: Friday April 19, 2019

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