WHERE ARE WE GOING NEXT?

春風に吹き出し笑ふ花もがな
haru kaze ni / fukidashi warau / hana mogana


A Spring breeze is blowing
I’m bursting with laughter
— wishing for flowers

 Haiku by Matsuo Basho, Spring, 1668

Springtime in Japan: Walking, Yoga and Hot Springs Retreat

April 20 – 27, 2024

Join Jeni & Rocky as they journey to Japan. Jeni was raised in Japan and has longed for years to return to the country of her childhood. (There may be tears!)

Step into old-world Japan while staying in a 5-star traditional Japanese Inn, called a Ryokan. Walk with us through the beautiful Kiso valley during the inspiring cherry blossom season, visit waterfalls and rural villages, meditate in a Japanese temple, delight in tasting food that is as artfully presented as it is delicious to eat, try your hand at calligraphy, and relax in Onsen hot spring baths.

We will start our journey together in Tokyo where we will meet, and spend one night in the Park Hotel Tokyo. ( We suggest you arrive a few days early to explore Tokyo and give your body time to acclimate to the time difference.)

The next day after breakfast, enjoy a delightful train ride to Bessho Onsen where a luxury ryokan inn awaits us. Spend three days enjoying the natural hot springs, exploring beautiful forests and visiting ancient temples in the Nagano region.

To finish out the week, we will take a three hour train ride to a five-star ryokan in the Kiso valley, where more gorgeous hikes and a few fun workshops (calligraphy, soba noodle and chopstick making) await.

Yoga classes will be offered by Jeni Martinez to help you feel more balanced and grounded while exploring new sights, sounds and sensations. With daily yoga, you may also hike more comfortably during the day and rest more fully at night.

All activities are optional.

Note: If you are interested in a longer stay to experience cherry blossom season to its fullest, we recommend visiting the southern regions of Japan before the retreat and northern regions after the retreat.

Our Japanese Retreat

 

ACCOMODATIONS 

 

Our retreat centers in Japan are luxury Ryokans (traditional Japanese Inns) surrounded by the old-world vistas of the Kiso Valley. These luxury Ryokans feature indoor and outdoor therapeutic mineral springs, communal spaces both inside and outside where guests can relax and enjoy the views, rooms with tatami (woven-straw flooring), traditional Japanese furniture and futon mats.

The modern, elegant rooms are all en suite. In addition to the traditional Japanese furniture, the living areas include sofas and tables, as well as terraces with garden views. Upgraded rooms have open-air baths (ofuros) on the balcony.

In our Kiso Ryokan, where we will stay 3 nights,  you can reserve 2 types of en suite rooms: Standard Japanese Room (Single Occupancy) with or without an open air bath (ofuro) and a Large Japanese Room (Double Occupancy) with or without an ofuro. The addition of the private ofuro determines final pricing.

 

What’s included in our Springtime in Japan Yoga Retreat

This retreat includes:

All travel between Tokyo and the retreat centers 

1 night at the Park Hotel Tokyo 

6 nights accommodation in traditional Japanese Ryokans in Nagano and Kiso

Healthy and delicious meals: breakfasts, most lunches and dinner. (Does not include 1st night dinner in Tokyo and 3 non-hosted lunches at local restaurants along the Nakasendo Trail.)

A full week of yoga classes

Guided walks through Bessho Onsen, the Kiso Valley and along the Nakasendo Trail

A calligraphy workshop

Use of the onsen, natural hot spring baths, in both ryokans

Meditation in a Japanese temple

An optional visit to the Kiso Culture center to learn about Japanese traditions and take part in fun workshops like chopstick making.

 

Not included: Airfare to and from Japan, travel and cancellation insurance (recommended), alcohol, 3 non-hosted lunches and one dinner, tips

                                  

 

Journey to Japan Retreat April 20-27, 2024     Sold Out!

$7150 per person

$7300 with private hot tub option per person

$500 deposit to confirm your place

Final payment is due: January 10, 2024. No refunds after this date.

See Terms and Conditions page for refund policy

Wow! This one SOLD OUT quickly!

Please CONTACT us if you would like to be placed on the waiting list.

HEALTHY EATING

The quality of the food on our retreats is very important to us. You will enjoy healthy, nutritional meals carefully chosen by fantastic local chefs to complement the retreat perfectly. We will endeavor to accommodate any special dietary needs. We use organic and local produce where possible.

THE HIKES

Experience guided walks through stunning Bessho Onsen region and the historic Kiso Valley. Our gentle half-day hikes last 2-4 hours (including a stop for lunch) with plenty of time to take in the gorgeous views. On our hikes we will visit some rural villages along the Nakasendo trail.

All hikes are optional.

Check out this video to get an idea of the peaceful, traditional nature of the Kiso ryokan and the beautiful surrounding valley.

 

ABOUT THE KISO VALLEY

The Kiso Valley (木曽路, Kisoji) is located in Nagano Prefecture and runs alongside the mountains of the Central Alps. An ancient 70 km trade route called the Kisoji was developed along the valley and served as a very important means of commerce in the area.

The Kisoji became even more important from the beginning of theEdo Period, when it was amalgamated with other routes in the formation of the 500 km long Nakasendo. The Nakasendo (“path through mountains”) was one of the two main routes that connected Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. It contrasted with the other principal transportation route of the time, the Tokaido, which ran along the sea shore.

Because of restrictions by the shogunate, travelers were almost always forced to make their trips on foot. As a result, “post towns” developed every few kilometers to provide travelers with places to rest, eat and find nightly accommodation during their arduous journey.

Along the Kiso Valley, a few post towns, particularly Magome, Tsumago and Narai, have been preserved to look as they did when they served travelers of the Nakasendo. Visitors are able to enjoy the stone paths and wooden buildings of a bygone era.