Family Gathering -Japan
Kyoto and the Ishikawa countryside
An 8 day Family Gathering
April 5 to 12
We’ve all grown up with Japan as a mythic place, a land of incomprehensible scripts, sacred custom, ninjas and samurai, monsters and noodles. 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 used to parking our preconceptions on arrival, reshuffling our expectations to accommodate surprise. But Japan… Japan is exactly as you imagined, and more than you dreamed.
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 seems to need nothing more than what it can invent or recall. The two months we spent here in 2019 deeply affected our whole family. We are so thrilled to return to friends, to food, to culture and mystery. And we can’t wait to share it with you.
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’ll begin on the western edge of Ishikawa, settling 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, sunglasses at night, 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 all together in this unique property, visit local hot springs, explore the bamboo forests and hiking trails. Working together with the team, we’ve developed a beautiful collection of learning experiences for the whole family, focusing on local craftwork, and on the relationship between Japanese culture and the nature around us. We spent three weeks on this farm back in 2019, and have stayed in regular contact with the beautiful young family who runs it. The farm is a magnet for eclectic visitors, and surprises seem to be on the menu daily. Some highlights may 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 evening with ingredients from the farm.
From Ishikawa we’ll travel by train south along the shores of Lake Biwa to Japan’s 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 that’s been selling soba noodles for over 500 years. We’ll spend a secret evening with a team of performers, members of what they call “The Resistance”, bringing new ideas and forms into Noh theatre, an ancient performing art. We’ll sink into the artistic nexus of Kyoto with an evening at Far Moon, the city’s most heartfelt dining and art project. We’ll crisscross the river on bicycles on a hunt for the best ramen (spoiler alert, the man behind the city’s most memorable bowl has dreads and loves reggae) . We’ll close our eyes under a shower of cherry blossoms and cool, Spring air.
We would love to share this experience with you.
5 to 12 April, 2023
Ishikawa and Kyoto
€3250 for each adult
€1500 for each child (kids four years old and under are free)
Our first four nights will be spent at Takigahara Farm. We will share space in this unique property, which has a large communal bunk room, two private rooms that sleep four each and the Stone House, a lovingly restored ryokan that can sleep up to four people. Space in the bunkroom for your family is included in the price. If you’d like to upgrade to a private room or the stone house, see below. Upgrades based on availability.
Stone House €550 additional for four nights. Sleeps four.
Director’s Suite €350 additional for four nights. One double bed and two bunk beds.
Band Room €250 additional for four nights. Sleeps four in bunk beds.
Guests will be responsible for booking and paying for their own lodging for our three nights in Kyoto.
We have partnered with the Ace Hotel to provide a special rate for our guests who choose to stay there.
For those looking for other options, we are happy to help guide you to the best neighbourhoods and stays.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
Four nights lodging at Takigahara Farm.
Welcome Dinner at Takigahara Farm.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner all days in Ishikawa.
Four days of workshops and excursions in Ishikawa.
Train station transfers and all transport in Ishikawa.
Train fare from Kagaonsen to Kyoto.
Welcome dinner in Kyoto.
Kyoto bicycle tour/temple grounds visit.
Noh theatre experience.
Artist workshop in Kyoto.
Afternoon and dinner with the family running a celebrated urban farm and restaurant.
Farewell dinner at one of Kyotos most arty and heartfelt food projects.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
Lodging in Kyoto.
Meals, except where noted.
Alcohol (always available for purchase, and you know we’ll bring out some surprises 😉).
Airfare and transit from your point of origin to Kagaonsen train station.
Shopping, gratuities, kooky vending machine splurges…
Travel insurance ~we ask that all families purchase travel insurance.
For our booking conditions and other matters, please visit our FAQ page or reach out directly
READY TO JOIN US?
Please reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.