Family Gathering -Japan
Kyoto and the Ishikawa countryside
April 2-7, 2020
PLEASE NOTE: We are monitoring the situation with the coronavirus outbreak and any potential impact on travel to Japan.
Our trips are lightly scheduled. Plenty of freedom for you to explore, making your own way through these remarkable places and returning to the warmth of dinner and good wine with friends. Together, like family.
We’ve all grown up with Japan as a mythic place, a land of incomprehensible scripts, sacred custom, ninjas and samurai, monsters and noodles. From afar Japanese culture seems to carry unparalleled respect for the past while living in a future the rest of us haven’t begun to imagine… and we’re not just talking about the cool toilets. After much travel we’re quite used to parking our preconceptions on arrival, reshuffling our expectations to accommodate surprise. But Japan… Japan is exactly as you imagine. Glued to the window on the first train ride from Narita Airport into the dizzying blur of Tokyo you are transported into a futuristic world, grown in neon by a nation that, until recently, seemed to need nothing more than what it could invent or recall. We loved the months we spent in Japan and we cannot wait to return.
Our journey will begin in the ancient capital, Kyoto. We’ll spend some days exploring the balance between Kyoto’s deep history and its energetic present, driven by the newly arrived and the recently returned. History runs deep in Kyoto, but it’s the way new ideas can grow from ancient tradition that really makes this city remarkable. We’ll spend some time with a dear friend, a photographer and 16th generation owner of a local restaurant which has been selling soba noodles for over 500 years. We’ll spend a secret evening with a team of dancers, members of what they call “the resistance”, bringing new ideas and forms into Noh theatre, the oldest performing art in the world. We’ll crisscross the river on bicycles on a hunt for the best ramen. We’ll close our eyes under a shower of cherry blossoms and cool, Spring air.
From Kyoto we will venture North along the western edge of Ishikawa and settle on a farm in a tiny village at the end of a green valley. The property is owned by one of Japan’s most enigmatic collectors, like a Japanese Karl Lagerfeld, with sunglasses permanently affixed and his fingers in many interesting pies. His touch is in every corner of the centuries-old farmhouse, from the Danish furniture to the desk where he practices calligraphy. We’ll stay in tatami rooms and visit the local Onsens, walk in the countryside and explore the bamboo forest. The farm is a magnet for eclectic visitors. Plans include: a 30-foot long bamboo noodle slide with the neighbors, an indigo dying workshop with a local expert, a night with a friend whose family has produced the region’s best sake for hundreds of years and a wood-fired pizza night with ingredients from the farm.
We would love to share this experience with you.
DATES: April 2-7, 2020
WHERE: Kyoto and Kagaonsen, Ishikawa
COST: Real costs for all lodging and activities, plus €2000 QC fee.
WHAT’S INCLUDED: We will organize and book lodging, arrange special events and workshops, provide links and guidance on transport in country.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED: Shopping, gratuities, flights, travel insurance.