Cherry Blossom Meditation Retreat

5 April to 12 April 2020

Cherry blossom festival goes back 100s of years in Japanese culture and represents the fragility and beauty of life. It's a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short. Join me in a meditation retreat during the enchanting Cherry Blossom festival in an iconic mountain village near Nara.

$1290 & up

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Facilitator

Jay Chodagam is a meditation teacher, TEDx speaker, producer of Peace in the Park festival and SPIRIT Summit conference and host for the Wise Leader retreats. His guided meditations have over 500,0000 listens worldwide. He has been invited to speak at Google, McKinsey and Gap Inc., and at universities including Stanford.

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What to Expect?

Included Not included
7 Overnight stays in Traditional Japanese Tatami rooms International flights
Three vegetarian meals a day Your transport from and to airport, before and after the retreat
Day trip to see cherry blossoms with picnic lunch including entrance fee Visa for Japan (if applicable)
Day trip to temples with picnic lunch including entrance fee Travel insurance
Daily meditation and movement classes Cancellation insurance (optional)
Japanese Tea ceremony Spending money
Kimono dressing session  
Origami workshop  
Calligraphy workshop  
Iai-Nuki Martial Arts session  
English+Japanese speaking tour leaders  

Practical Information

Level of fitness

For this Travel you need medium level of health. You need to be able to walk a fair amount each day we are touring. A lot of exploring in Nara area will be done on foot, but we will walk in a reasonably relaxed tempo. If you are in good health you can easily participate in this journey. To cover longer distances we use buses.

Due to the active nature of the trip this journey is not suitable for people with reduced mobility.

Insurance

The costs of health care abroad or an unexpected repatriation can be huge. To prevent these high costs, you require travel insurance. We suggest our travelers obtain adequate a travel insurance for the full coverage of medical assistance and repatriation and can ask for proof of this insurance.

We advise you to take out cancellation insurance, but this is not mandatory.

Your travel companions

Our group size will be minimum of 10 and maximum of 14 travelers. Travel is confirmed to depart if at least the minimum number of travelers have made a booking. In some cases the tour can confirm the departure, even if the required minimum number of travelers has not been reached.

Travel documents

You are required to have a passport that is valid for the duration of you stay in Japan.

Citizens of 68 countries, including USA, UK, Canada and most European countries, can visit Japan for a stay of up to 90 days without having to apply for a visa. A list of applicable countries and rules and conditions can be found an the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Visitors from other countries must apply for a visa in advance here.

For those travelers requiring a visa, please ensure yourself of the through time for this application, we recommend to submit your request at least 4 weeks before departure. You are responsible for having the right travel documents.

For emergency purposes make a scan of your passport, visa, and other important documents and mail them to yourself, or put them online in the cloud. So, in case of theft or loss during the journey, you always have copies of your important papers on hand.

Packing List

  • Passport
  • Layers to keep you warm
  • Sunglasses
  • Slip-on footwear that’s easy to take on/off
  • Walking shoes
  • Camera
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Hat
  • Water bottle

Location Information

Venue

World Maple Park Hirara is set in the beautiful countryside of Nara prefecture. It has an orchard with 3,000 maple trees and 1,200 plant species from around the world. Our venue is a well kept wooden building that used to serve as an elementary school before the 2nd world war. The village locals intervened in it’s demolition plan, took charge and converted it into a non-profit cultural centre in 2012 aimed at providing rich traditional experiences.

Getting there

Osaka International (KIX) airport is the closest international airport. There is public transportation that gets you from Osaka International airport to the retreat venue, World Maple Park Hirara in approximately 2 hours.

From Osaka KIX airport, take the Kansai-Airport Limousine Airport Shuttle Bus for Yamato Yagi Eki. This bus departs every hour 15 minutes past the hour. In 65 minutes get off at Yamato Yagi Station. Walk 1 minute to Kintetsu-Osaka Line Express. Get on Kintetsu-Osaka Line Express Aoyamacho towards Haibara. In 15 minutes get off at Haibara Station. Exit from Haibara Station South Exit. Take bus bound for Utano or Higashiyoshinomura Yakuba. Get off at Furuichiba Mikumari Jinja. It’s a 3 minute walk to Hirara World Maple Park (our venue). Or call us from the bus stop for a pickup.

Dress

In Buddhist temples you must cover your shoulder and knees. Dress appropriately in places of worship or cultural significance.

Money

The Japanese currency is the Yen. Money can be obtained from ATM's with Maestro or Cirrus symbol. These are commonly located in post offices 7-eleven supermarkets and at airports. Credit cards are accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants. Cash money in Euros or US dollars can easily be exchanged at hotels.

We recommend you bring with you an amount of cash in Euros or US dollars for emergency purposes. If possible, bring an additional credit and/or debit card for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

Schedule

Day 1  
3 - 5 pm Arrivals
5:00 pm Orientation
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Meditation
7:30 pm Opening Ceremony
9:00 pm Adjourn for evening
Day 2-4  
7:00 am Wake up Exercise
8:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am Free Time
10:00 am Meditation Session
11:00 am Nature Trail Hike
1:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Free Time
4:00 pm Cultural Immersion Session
6:00 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Fireside Chat
9:00 pm Rest
Day 5-6  
7:00 am Wake up Exercise
8:00 am Breakfast
9:30 am Leave for Day Excursion
12:00 pm Picnic Lunch
5:30 pm Return from Excursion
6:00 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Fireside Chat
9:00 pm Rest
Day 7  
7:00 am Wake up Exercise
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am Session & Closing Ceremony
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Departures