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

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Arts
Kyoto is the de facto cultural capital of Japan. Known for pottery, tea ceremony, fabric dyeing, traditional theater and other arts.
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Buddhism
Buddhism first developed in Japan in the Nara and Kyoto area; many important temples and Shinto shrines.
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Landscape
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

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Gastronomy
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.
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Culture
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.
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Nightlife
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.

Tour Schedule

Activities
  • Onsite lectures
  • Stays at Zen Buddhist monasteries (incl. practice)
  • Stays at Esoteric Buddhist monasteries
  • Stays at traditional Japanese inns
  • Excursions to museums and temples

Locations
  • Kyoto
  • Nara
  • Koyasan
  • Wakayama (Kii Peninsula)
  • Okayama


Tour Package
  • Price: 2750€
  • Days: 10/11 days (Kyoto + 2 nights Okayama, 2 Koyasan, 1 Wakayama)
  • Alternative for 6/7 days tour – price 1850€
  • Includes: accommodation, transfers, half board, temple entrances, special guide
  • Note: Depending on the time of the visit it is possible to attend ceremonies and festivals in the wider area of residence.

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tour to japan, oramaworld travel
tour to japan, oramaworld travel
Subject: Mahayana Buddhism
  • Day 1. Kyoto: Visit to temples Kenninji and Kiyomizudera
Subject: The introduction of Buddhism in Japan
  • Day 2. Kyoto: National Museum, Sanjusangendo Temple, Fushimi Inari
  • Day 3. Nara: Todaiji and Kofukuji Temples, Kofukuji National Museum
Subject: Inner (Tantric) Buddhism: mandala, mudra, mantra
  • Day 4. Koyasan: Okunoin Park Cemetery and Lecture by Eijo Priest (overnight stay)
Subject: Monasticism and asceticism in Zen Buddhism
  • Day 5. Koyasan: Fire Ceremony (overnight)
  • Day 6. Kyoto: Mount Kurama and thermal baths
  • Day 7. Toshoji Monastery (practice in Zen Buddhism) (overnight stay)
  • Day 8. Toshoji (practice in Zen Buddhism) (overnight stay)
  • Day 9. Kyoto: No Theater, Toji Temple Outdoor Market
Subject: The mountaineering asceticism: Religion and Nature
  • Day 10. Kumano (overnight stay)

Tour Information

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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tour to japan, oramaworld travel
tour to japan, oramaworld travel

You are viewing 10 Days Pilgrimage Tour to Kyoto, last updated on 03/06/2020.