10 Days Pilgrimage Tour to Kyoto
Encounter Shinto, Japan’s native religious tradition, and Japanese Buddhism and their influence on Japanese culture
Based in Kyoto, Japan’s de facto cultural capital, we will explore the relationship between Buddhism and the arts, the history and basic doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism, the pantheism of Shinto, the religiosity of contemporary Japanese people and much more.
Facts About Kyoto
Kyoto is the de facto cultural capital of Japan. Known for pottery, tea ceremony, fabric dyeing, traditional theater and other arts.
Buddhism first developed in Japan in the Nara and Kyoto area; many important temples and Shinto shrines.
Kyoto is a beautiful city, surrounded on three sides by mountains and two rivers running through it, with tall building restrictions.
Things to do in Kyoto
Kyoto has 200 Michelin-starred restaurants, 7 of which have three stars, an impressive statistic given its population (approx. 1.5 million). More than Paris! The city’s restaurant scene is highly competitive, mainly due to its popularity as a tourist destination for the Japanese themselves.
Kata, or form, in essence the proper way to do things, is a key to understanding Japanese culture. From coffee shop employees to chefs, everyone has learned a kata or pattern of action. Example: meals at Zen a monastery follow a set of movements from start to finish, that everyone must learn.
Although much smaller than nearby Osaka, Kyoto has hundreds of bars, some of them specializing in a type of alcohol (e.g. 400 types of tequila) or music (e.g. a bar that only plays the Beatles). I once observed a bartender take more than 10 minutes to prepare the best gin & tonic I’ve ever had.
George Klonos has Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Stanford University), specializing in Japanese religions. He has taught at Stanford and Yale Universities in the US, as well as the Society for Intercultural Studies in Athens. For three years he led the Japanese Buddhism program at Antioch University in Kyoto.
George has lived in Japan for 5 years, (3 in Kyoto); speaks the language; studied and taught Buddhism & Japanese religions at university level; he also has experience leading groups of this nature in the Kyoto area. More info.
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