Japan Escape | November 2017
Join us and our partner, photographer & designer Haruka Sakaguchi of The Denizen Co., during the first of November for a 10 day Escape to the hidden hot springs & old post towns of Japan. An odyssey of slow food & travel, we'll start the journey at the beloved Ryokan Sanga, the location of our annual retreat, where we'll spend 3 days exploring the local village of Kurokawa and a traditional ceramic making village as well as soaking up the various onsens on the property. We'll depart and spend an afternoon on the road traveling by plane & train to the feudal era post towns of Tsumago & Magome in the Kiso Valley. We'll stay at the Fujioto Inn and enjoy traditional meals prepared with the specialty beef of the region and local, seasonal produce as is the norm in Japan. The next morning we'll venture into Magome where we'll have a lunch of noodles & street food before hiking the ancient trail between the two towns, stopping at a waterfall & a welcome house for tea and sweets along the way. We'll return in time for shopping in Tsumago and another elaborate dinner by the Fujioto Inn. The next morning we'll make our way to the Shinkansen and travel to a "hitou", a hidden hot spring, in the snowy mountains. We'll stay at the historic Tsurunoyu Inn in Nyuto Village where a natural milky hot spring that bubbles up from the earth. We'll eat fish stew cooked over coals & sip hojicha on tatami mats after days spend exploring the myriad springs of the area. The following day will be devoted to enjoying the hot springs at the inn. Throughout the entire trip we will offer hand-on, individual photography instruction to those that desire it, and will engage in an ongoing dialogue about the history, culture, and food of Japan as well as of the philosophy of wabi-sabi and how it informs our concept of slow living. The Escape will be open to 6 guests and we encourage couples, partners, and friends to book together and likewise welcome singles traveling on their own. The cost will be around $7500 USD or €6800 (at current conversion rates) per person. Individual payment plans are available, otherwise payment is due in 3 deposits.
Ryokan Sanga, Kurokawa
An oasis tucked in the forests of the Aso Mountains, Ryokan Sanga is the site of a natural hot spring whose healing waters have been visited by generations looking to slow down & rejuvenate. On our first night we will indulge in a traditional kaiseki meal, a meal that is as much art & evoking emotion as it is about physical sustenance. The outdoor baths on this property are some of the most beautiful and serene in Japan. It's from here that we will explore a traditional ceramic making village, where only a handful of families have been making Onta pottery for generations.
Tsumago & Magome, Kiso Valley
Two well preserved Edo era post towns, traveling here is time travel. The Nakasendo Trail, a feudal era route, runs through the mountains between them. It's an leisurely 2-3 hour hike complete with waterfalls & a welcome house with green tea & sweets along the way. Dinners will be prepared by the Fujioto Inn where we'll dine in yukatas and enjoy the local specialties from wild plants to tender beef and regional sakes.
Hidden deep in the snowy mountains of the Tohoku region, this onsen village is set in the Towado Hachimantai National Park and surrounded by virgin beech forests. Another time travel destinations, the inn we will stay at was visited by feudal lords over 350 years ago. After days of natural hot springs we'll enjoy dinners of foraged wild delicacies cooked in hot pots over open coal fires sitting on tatami mats.