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Come to Japan for an autumn yoga retreat with senior Jivamukti teacher, Emma Henry. November is the season of autumn leaves, where verdant foliage turns a spectacular fiery red, which you will experience in abundance in forests and beautiful temple gardens. You will immerse in traditional Japanese culture on the peaceful Kunisaki Peninsula and then travel to the beautiful city of Kyoto.
During the first four nights, you will be staying in a Japanese style inn set in a quiet location in beautiful low mountains of central Kunisaki. The inn also has some delightful onsen thermal hot springs where you can enjoy each day. For the last three nights, you will stay in a centrally located hotel in Kyoto.
Your first destination is in the peaceful countryside of the Kunisaki Peninsula on Kyushu, Japan’s most westerly main island. Although it is a little developed, Kunisaki is dotted with sleepy hamlets and temples with verdant forests and paddy fields interspersed with craggy ridges and mountains.
Your days will include Jivamukti yoga classes, Japanese farmhouse cooking, and plenty of time to luxuriate in onsen thermal hot springs and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The Japanese art of Chado, a timeless and gentle traditional tea ceremony and Ikebana flower arranging with a local expert using wildflowers and plants are also part of your retreat.
You will enjoy an afternoon at Futago-ji, the most important temple in Kunisaki, where you will try zazen Buddhist sitting meditation under the friendly guidance of Gojun-san, the young priest of the temple.
On your last day on the island, you will head out exploring. You will visit Makiodo, a treasure house of Buddhist relics and Tashibu-no-sho, a charming village with some of the most picturesque countryside found in Japan. You then walk along ancient pilgrims trails through forests to the spectacular Kumano Magai-butsu, the largest Buddha relief carvings in Japan that date back over 900 years.
Then, it’s time to jump on the Shinkansen bullet train to the city of Kyoto for the weekend. After a morning yoga session and breakfast, you will head out on Saturday to explore.
Your walking tour will include a visit to Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, a temple famous for its rows of unique Buddha statues, and to Arashiyama, a green oasis where you will visit the famous bamboo forest and stroll along Hozugawa River before heading to the sublime Okochi-Sanso Villa with its famous gardens. Your Sunday is free so you can choose how to explore this incredible city.
Advanced Jivamukti teacher, Emma Henry, will be teaching daily yoga classes. Morning classes will be two hours and you will experience a strong Jivamukti practice. Afternoon sessions will be Yin or Restorative yoga.
Each Jivamukti class offers a dynamic asana practice that is infused with inspiring teachings derived from the ancient yogic texts. Classes will include chanting, breath awareness, flowing Vinyasa sequences, alignment exploration, hands-on assistance, relaxation, and meditation.
Your teacher, Emma Henry, is one of the top Jivamukti teachers, so you can be sure of feeling challenged and inspired to safely explore and deepen your yoga practice on this retreat.
Modifications and progressions are given so that students of all levels will find these yoga classes rewarding, but it is recommended that you have previous experience of a flow class and enjoy being challenged by a dynamic style of yoga. It is a yoga style that will require you to commit to your classes.
Enjoy exploring Makiodo, a treasure house of Buddhist relics and Tashibu-no-sho, a charming village with some of the most picturesque countryside found in Japan and walk along ancient pilgrims trails through forests to the spectacular Kumano Magai-butsu.
Hop on the Shinkansen bullet train to the city of Kyoto, where you will visit Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, a temple famous for its rows of unique Buddha statues, and Arashiyama, a green oasis, and stroll along Hozugawa River before heading to the sublime Okochi-Sanso Villa with its famous gardens.
The retreat will take place in the peaceful countryside of the Kunisaki Peninsula on Kyushu, Japan’s most westerly main island. Little developed, Kunisaki is dotted with sleepy hamlets and temples with verdant forests and paddy fields interspersed with craggy ridges and mountains. You will then experience a change of scene as you zip into the city of Kyoto on the Shinkansen bullet train to explore grand temples and visit the Arashiyama bamboo forest.
In Kunisaki, you will enjoy three Japanese-style vegetarian meals each day. On some days, your lunch will be bento style as you will be out exploring. On your trip to Midozo, you will have lunch at a local farm, made up of local produce that includes foraged, seasonal wild vegetables. Water and green tea will be available with your meals.
In Kyoto, a simple breakfast is included. As you will be out exploring during the day, you will eat lunch and dinner out. Please take note that these five meals are not included in your retreat.
Please book your flight to arrive at Kansai International Airport (KIX). From there, you can take the bullet train from Osaka Station direct to Hakata Station in Fukuoka. The journey time is two and a half hours and costs 100 GBP. Please note that the bullet train is not covered by a Japan Rail Pass. You can also take the slower Sakura or Hikari trains which take around three hours but is covered by Japan Rail Pass.
If you book your flight to Haneda Airport (HND), you can take the direct Nozomi train, which takes five hours and costs around 165 GBP. Japan Rail Pass holders cannot use Nozomi trains, so you would have to take the Hikari and Sakura trains which take six hours.
You should arrive at Hakata train station, which is the meeting place in Fukuoka, by 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5, 2018. You can also get to Hakata station from Fukuoka Airport (FUK) by subway and the journey time is less than 10 minutes.
From Kyoto to Osaka, you can get a Shinkansen bullet train from Kyoto to Osaka. It takes around 15 minutes and costs around 12 GBP. You can also take the Special Rapid service Kyoto to Osaka, which takes 30 minutes and costs around 5 GBP. You can take the Nozomi, the fastest Shinkansen bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo, which takes two hours and 20 minutes and costs around 100 GBP. Please note that the Nozomi train is not covered by Japan Rail Pass.
There are also other train options that take a little longer and cost around 75 GBP, but they are covered by a Japan Rail Pass.