See a peaceful old-world Japan while staying in a 5* traditional Ryokan on this healthy and inspirational yoga retreat.
During the retreat we will walk through the beautiful Kiso valley during cherry blossom season, visit waterfalls and rural villages, meditate in a wonderful Japanese temple, try our hand at calligraphy, soba noodle and chopstick making and enjoy relaxation time in a wonderful 5* traditional Ryokan with Onsen hot spring spa baths and on-site massages.
We will begin our 9- day magical journey together in Tokyo, where we will meet, dine and have one night in the Park Hotel Tokyo, to have the opportunity to see Tokyo and give our bodies time to rest. The next day after breakfast we will take the train together through stunning scenery, via Nagano, before arriving at our retreat center in the Kiso valley. There will be guided walking on beautiful trails on most days of the retreat, a few fun workshops (Calligraphy, Soba noodle and chopstick making) and inspirational yoga classes twice daily (before breakfast and dinner). All activities are optional. Please see below for the full schedule.
Check out this video to get an idea of the peaceful, traditional nature of the Ryokan and the beautiful surrounding valley.
This retreat includes:
- A full body massage
- 1 night at the Park Hotel Tokyo
- 7 nights accommodation in a 5* traditional Japanese Ryokan in the Kiso valley
- Healthy and delicious meals. Breakfast, most lunches and dinner (lunch at local restaurants at your own expense on 3 occasions)
- A full week of yoga classes (check the retreat schedule for detailed info)
- Guided walks through the Kiso valley and along the Nakasendo trail
- A calligraphy workshop
- Yoga and meditation in a traditional Japanese temple
- An optional visit to the Kiso culture center to learn about Japanese traditions and take part in fun workshops like chopstick making
- All travel between Tokyo and the retreat center
Our retreat center in Japan is a luxury Ryokan (a traditional Japanese Inn) surrounded by the old-world vistas of Japan that the Kiso Valley is known for. This 5* Ryokan features indoor and outdoor therapeutic mineral springs, communal spaces both inside and out where guests can relax and take in the beautiful views, rooms with woven-straw flooring, traditional Japanese furniture and futon mats.
The modern, elegant rooms are all en suite. They have traditional Japanese furniture, living areas with sofas and tables, as well as terraces with garden views. Rooms with tatami floors, futons and chabudai dining tables are available. Upgraded rooms have open-air baths on the balcony.
You can reserve 4 types of en suite rooms on this retreat:
- Standard Japanese room – up to 2 people (can be reserved as single occupancy)
- Japanese room with semi-open air bath – up to 2 people (can be reserved as single occupancy)
- Large Japanese room with open air bath – up to 4 people (perfect for couples or a small group of friends)
- Large deluxe Japanese room with open air bath – up to 4 people (perfect for couples or a small group of friends)
The quality of the food on our retreats is very important to us. You will enjoy healthy, nutritional meals carefully chosen by our local chef to complement the retreat perfectly. The food will be absolutely delicious and mostly vegetarian or vegan but you can opt for fish or meat when booking your retreat. Please include your dietary requirements in the section provided at checkout. We use organic and local produce where possible.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Based in London, Clive Fogelman has been teaching yoga and meditation for many years with studios, businesses, charities, hospitals and schools. He has been leading retreats around the world for over 8 years. His accessible approach to yoga and meditation is influenced by a range of disciplines he has trained in including group work, psychology and sports coaching.
His tailored yoga classes emphasise linking breath and movement to direct attention inward and become more aware of each moment and the unique nature of our own body. Drawing on the parallels between yoga and life, the practise becomes a profound opportunity for self exploration and transformation. The classes will also offer a wonderful opportunity to find balance, rejuvenate and deeply restore.
Clive teaches Hatha, Vinyasa flow, Restorative and Yin yoga, offering variations for all levels and how people are feeling at any given moment. His meditation classes include guided visualisations, mindfulness practises, breathing techniques and often integrate poetry.
Clive’s website: www.helloyoga.co.uk
Experience guided walks through the stunning Kiso valley during cherry blossom season.
Our gentle half day hikes last 2 – 4 hours (including stopping for lunch) with plenty of time to take in the beautiful views. On our hikes we will visit some wonderful rural villages along the Nakasendo trail (more on this below).
No prior fitness level is required.
All hikes are optional.
THE KISO VALLEY
The Kiso Valley (木曽路, Kisoji) is located in Nagano Prefecture, and runs alongside the mountains of the Central Alps in Japan.
From the early 1600s until the late 1800s, the Nakasendo (“path through mountains”) served as a vital travel artery, connecting Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo). 70km of this ancient trade route ran through Kiso along with 11 of it’s ‘post towns’; from Magome in the south to Niekawa in the north. Restrictions enforced by the shogunate in the 17th and 18th centuries meant that travellers had to make their trip on foot, which lead to the development of post towns every few kilometers to provide travellers with places to eat and rest.
Along the Kiso Valley, a few post towns, particularly Magome, Tsumago and Narai, have been incredibly well preserved to look as they did when they served travellers of the Nakasendo. On our walks through the Kiso valley we will be able to enjoy the stone paths and traditional wooden Japanese buildings of a bygone era.
Some Kiso facts:
- The Kiso Valley is bordered by the Central Alps to the east and Mt Ontake to the west
- The wooden products you find for sale around Kiso are made from top quality hinoki cypress; prized by emperors, it will last for centuries
- The Ontake faith is a blend of Shinto, esoteric Buddhism, and ancient shamanic practices
- At 3,067 meters, Mt Ontake is Japan’s second highest volcano after Mt Fuji
WHAT TO BRING
We recommend bringing hiking boots or sensible outdoor footwear, sunglasses, sun cream, a bathing suit (for the hot tub / spa / pool).
We provide all yoga equipment (mats, blocks, bricks, straps, bolsters, eye pillows and blankets) but you are welcome to bring your own mat if you wish.
We also provide towels, bathrobes and slippers at the ryokan so no need to bring your own.
During the meet and greet we will go over the schedule and weather report for the week so we can adjust the schedule a bit if necessary. We will fit the massages in around the schedule.
‘The whole experience was beautiful. The setting, the chalet, the food, the yoga, the massage, the food, the walks, the spa day, the food, and the total vibe – calm but energising, excellently organised but relaxed – were all perfect. The food was delicious, healthy, satisfying. El and Anna were totally brilliant. I loved the food. Clive’s yoga was inspirational, every day. But the aspect that perhaps I wasn’t expecting, and which surprised me, was the power, joy, and inspiration I gained from my fellow guests. Thank you all.
And did I mention the food..?’ – Simon Blake
‘The other guests were wonderful; inspiring and real pleasure to spend time with. Everyone involved in running the retreat was very welcoming, friendly and really fun to have around. Eleanor and Anna made us all feel really at home and looked after us brilliantly. Wonderful, inspiring, responsive yoga teacher. I had the best massage I have in years. The food was excellent, absolutely delicious. The views were magnificent. Perfect balance of structure and freedom.’ – Fiona Paveley
‘I can’t recommend this retreat enough! Wonderful people, surroundings, yoga, food, activities….everything. I will be booking again.’ – Rhonda Martin
‘My yoga retreat with Bluerise far exceeded my expectations. All of the staff were keen to make every day an enjoyable one, and nothing was too much trouble. The schedules were planned each day, though nothing too rigid, the accommodation was outstanding, and to top it all the food was 5* quality. I can’t wait till my next one!’ – Vanessa Reeve