Dive into Traditional Japanese culture with Buddhist Teachings, Daily Meditation & Yoga
Join Tate in Japan for a yoga retreat unlike any other. You’ll begin with a stay at a temple in Kyushu and meditate with a Zen master, experience a traditional tea ceremony, ikebana flower art and relax in the onsen thermal hot spring baths.
For a change of scenery, we’ll travel to the beautiful city of Kyoto on the Shinkansen bullet train to explore markets and temple gardens to finish off the retreat.
Our first destination is the peaceful countryside of the Kunisaki Peninsula on the island of Kyushu, where we stay for 4 nights at a beautiful temple. Little developed, our location is dotted with sleepy hamlets and temples with verdant forests and paddy fields interspersed with mountains.
Our accommodation is traditional Japanese style, all rooms have tatatami mattresses and a private toilet. Two of the private rooms are adjoining, meaning one person will access their room through the other room. These rooms have their own separate toilets and the showers are shared and located in the onsen.
In Kyoto we have exclusive use of a small 4 story boutique hotel in a quiet but central residential area near the Kamogawa river. All rooms here have western styles and ensuite bathrooms with showers.
Our resident Zen Buddhist priest will offer morning meditation session before your practice. Between your sessions you’ll have time to soak in the onsen and enjoy the beautiful temple gardens which will be resplendent with fiery red autumn leaves.
We will experience the Japanese art of chado, the timeless and gentle traditional tea ceremony and ikebana flower arranging with a local expert using wildflowers and plants.
We will also have some exploring the area, including the old Samurai village of Kitsuki and a local sake brewery. We visit Makiodo, a treasure house of Buddhist relics and walk to Tashibu-no-sho, a charming village with some of the most picturesque countryside found in Japan. We 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. Our time in Kyoto includes yoga at a local studio, a guided walking tour to Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, a temple famous for its rows of unique Buddha statues and Saihōji, a fairytale like moss temple. We will be eating are local cafes, noodle bars and restaurants to experience the many flavours and traditions of Japanese cuisine and there will be free time to explore the city at your own pace.
In Kunisaki you’ll enjoy 3 Japanese style meals each day. Meals include locally sourced fish but we can cater for vegetarian and vegan meals too. Please note that gluten free menus are NOT possible here.
On some days your lunch will be bento style as we will be out exploring. On our trip to Midozo we 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. We do not serve alcohol here.
In Kyoto we will eat in local cafes, noodle bars and restaurants and experience the many flavours and traditions of Japanese cuisine. If you’d like to order a glass of wine or local sake with your meal here, you may do so at your own cost.
1 private room with adjoining bathroom just opened up!!. Email Tate for more information on pricing, etc.
*$750 non-refundable deposit due at time of reservation.
Our retreat takes place in 2 locations. We start at Fukuoka, and we finish in Kyoto. The easiest travel route is via Osaka, but Tokyo also works. The Shinkansen train from Kyushu to Kyoto is included in your retreat.
We recommend that you stay 1 night in Osaka or Tokyo on arrival before taking your onward connection.
Meeting place and time
We will meet at Hakata train station in Fukuoka at 13.30 on Saturday 25th November.
Option 1: Osaka-Fukuoka
- You can take the Shinkansen train from Osaka Station direct to Hakata Station in Fukuoka. Journey time is 2.30 hours and cost is around $120. (Note this is not covered by a Japan Rail Pass).
- You can fly from Osaka Itami airport to Fukuoka airport with Nippon Airways. Flight time is 1.15 hours. You can get to Hakata station from Fukuoka airport by subway – the journey time is less than 10 minutes.
Option 2: Tokyo-Fukuoka
- You can fly from Haneda airport in Tokyo to Fukuoka with Nippon Airways. Flight time is 2 hours. You can get to Hakata station from Fukuoka airport by subway – the journey time is less than 10 minutes.
- The direct Nozomi train from Tokyo to Fukuoka takes 5 hours and costs around $200. Japan Rail Pass holders cannot use Nozomi train, so you’d need to take the Hikari and Sakura trains which take 6 hours.
- You can get a Shinkansen bullet train from Kyoto to Osaka. It takes around 15 minutes, and it costs around $20. You can also take the Special Rapid service Kyoto to Osaka, which takes 30 minutes and costs around $10.
- You can take the Nozomi, the fastest Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo, it takes 2.20 hours and costs around $120 (note this is not covered by a Japan rail pass). There are also other train options that take a little longer and cost around £75 (these will be covered by a Japan rail pass).
This is a great resource for train information.
Meet the Teacher
As a E-500RYT, Tate's classes are challenging, yet accessible, where he blends alignment, strength & mindfulness to get his students to truly understand what is happening in their body at that moment. His clear, concise verbal cuing allows for students move into, hold, and move out postures safely and successfully. Tate's teaching has a focus on creating better balance between strength and flexibility for a long term, sustainable yoga practice.
His primary teacher is Jason Crandell.
Based in Seattle, Tate has thousands of hours teaching public classes, hosting retreats & leading workshops, teacher trainings and yoga immersions through his yoga school. You can practice with him online using his YouTube channel where you'll find a library of classes and tutorials.