More details on our trip*:
After arriving in Kyoto individually, the group will meet up on the first evening at our hotel, a combination between a traditional Japanese guesthouse with tatami mats and futons, but with private bathrooms. We will celebrate our first gathering over a Kyoto obanzai style dinner prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients in a very old machiya.
The next two days will be spent exploring Kyoto and experiencing the rich, enticing beauty its culture has to offer. In addition to delicious meals, in restaurants and even in local homes, we will take part actively in the culture by means of tea ceremony and a Japanese craft lesson in a machiya. There will also be some free time, to either visit more temples and gardens (Kyoto has so many!) or peruse some of Camila's favorite local shops. Spring is also the time of year for outside promenading by the Kamo river.
On the morning of the fourth day we depart on the train towards Kanazawa, where we will visit Kenroku-en garden, known as one of the three Great Gardens of Japan. Its name means "garden which combines six characteristics"– the six aspects considered important for an ideal garden: spaciousness, serenity, venerability, scenic views, subtle design, and coolness.
The next day has something very special in store: a visit, workshop and lunch at a 150 year-old, family-run pickle shop. You never imagined pickles could be this good, or this varied. And don't get me started about their gelato! Our personal favorites are the miso or the umeboshi flavors.
In the afternoon, we will visit the geisha district; Kanazawa is one of the few cities in Japan to have a still functioning geisha district or chayagai.
The following morning, day six, we will head towards our third destination tucked away in the mountains north of Kyoto. After enjoying a special local dinner prepared by our hostess, we will spend the night at our peaceful riverside accommodation preparing for the exciting things the next two days in the village have in store, which all explore themes of cooking and craft, and include some fun workshops as well as visits to local craftspeople in their element.
On day 8 we head back to Kyoto, where we will have some free time for that last-minute whatever-I-want. A kaiseki style dinner will mark our last eve together, and in case you're still hungrey, we will share a last traditional Japanese breakfast before saying goodbye on day nine, our hearts and bellies full and happy.
* Subject to change according to availability