Japan Tour 2012
With a little over four weeks until we go and the planning is nearly completed. We wanted to update you on what’s happening.
Our itinerary…you will see we have some official matters to attend to with local governments. This includes demonstrating in Seki City, Okayama, Kyoto and Himeji. We will prepare our performance with Fuji sensei from Nagoya and we plan to do more training throughout the tour. One of the tour high lights will be Za Zen meditation in Kyoto. There will be sufficient free time for you all to explore the areas we visit yourselves.
Fundraising… for the Great Eastern Earthquake victims is one of our key goals for this tour. At the demonstrations we will have an opportunity to give a inscribed ‘Hope and Friendship’ silicone bracelets or badges in return for a donation. We ask that you help wherever and whenever possible to ensure our fundraising efforts are successful.
Costs as low as possible…We have worked carefully on your behalf to keep the costs as low as possible. The air fares were a very good price. To keep things simple we have organised the accommodation, group transport, fund raising supplies and gifts for our hosts.
Accommodation… will be on a shared basis and is working out to about AUD$40 (NZ$50) per person per night. On the first two nights we are hosted by Fujii Sensei in Nagoya at his dojo. That should be a really nice experience.
The rest of the accommodation (8 nights) will be balanced between Ryokan or business hotels. The indicative cost is around AUD$320 (NZD$400) per person overall. Given we are a larger group prepayment is required by the Ryokan and Hotels.
Transport…will be mainly a 25 seated rented coach. This has been booked and the estimated cost including fuel is AUD$225 (NZD$280) per person. While we have endeavored to fix prices, we may need to ask you to pay for any extra over and above the budgeted amount at the time. Any local transport we might also use (e.g. buses or trains) will require you to pay for at the time also. We suggest you allow in your budget say AUD$50 (NZD$60) for this contingency.
Suitable gifts… It is necessary to show appreciation for our hosts hospitality, friendship, help and support. We are endeavouring to get the costs of gifts met by sharing it out to the wider Hokushin membership. We realise you have made a significant financial commitment in going on this tour. However we believe it is appropriate to meet the trip organising costs and this has been set at AUD$100 (NZD$125) per person.
Budget… it appears the cost including airfares, accommodation, coach hire and trip organising costs is shaping up to be around AUD$1,850 (NZD$2400). This is very good value for what we hope will be a very memorable time in Japan.
On top of this will be your food and spending money. Subject to your personal dietary requirements we suggest you budget around AUD$30 (NZD$40) per day for food. We also recommend you bring a good supply of snack food from home to save you money. We will always have a supply of bottled water on the coach for your hydration and convenience. There will be a small cost for this.
Za Zen meditation will cost 2500 yen (AUD$30 or NZD$38). We will ask for you to pay just prior to the event.
What we need from you now. We now require you to pay a total of AUD$645 (NZD$800). Where you have paid a AUD$200 deposit this will be deducted from this total. Would you please kindly arrange to deposit the funds to your Australian or New Zealand Trip account by 20th September or contact your trip co coordinator if you have any queries.
Other things you may want to do… include arranging travel insurance, organising sword ordering with your sensei if you are getting a sword from Japan, start putting together your snacks, try and reduce your luggage to 15kgs or less for travel convenience, help with any pre trip fund raising activities, work hard at your Iaido training and brush up on your Japanese phrases.
We’ll update you again soon.
For this year’s trip to Japan we intend to not only train with and establish links with Iaido practitioners, while experiencing Japan and its unique culture, but also take the opportunity to raise money to assist with the relief and rebuilding effort following the tragic tsunami and nuclear disaster that devastated parts of the country last year (with the assistance of Rotary International). Numbers will be limited, so please register your interest as soon as possible. This year we plan to travel in a hired bus, giving us the opportunity to see more of the county beyond the train lines.
12th: Arrive Nagoya
Lunch with Grand Master Kimura followed by training with Hokushin members.
Training and stay at Toshukan Dojo.
14th: Seki City Demonstration and Fundraising (selling commemorative pins and wristbands)
Tameshigiri training with Toyama Ryu
15th: Seki City → Fukui (Eiheiji Temple)
Zen Temple Meditation
Eiheiji is the head temple of the Soto Sect of Zen Buddhism. It was founded in 1244 by DogenZenji, the Buddhist scholar who introduced Soto Zen to Japan in 1228, after studying in China for several years. A one night stay costs 8000 yen and includes a bath, dinner and evening meditation on the first day, and an early start (3:30am), meditation session, morning service and breakfast.
16th: Fukui → Kyoto
With its 2000 religious places- 1600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, as well as palaces, gardens and architecture intact, it is one of the best preserved cities in Japan.
Stay in traditional Japanese Ryokan.
: Kyoto → Okayama
Visit Okayama Prefectural Government and Bizen Sword Smith.
19th: Okayama → Himeji
Protocol with Himeji City Government.
Demonstration in the grounds of Himeji Castle.
Himeji Castle is the best example of a Japanese castle as it has never been destroyed or even damaged in war. Himeji Castle was completed in 1609, but a fort existed on the site as early as 1333. Himeji Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the “Himeji-jo” listing.
Visit Nagoya Castle and Museum.
Training at Toshukan Dojo and farewell party with Hokushin Members.
Nagoya Festival and shopping at Komehyou.
22nd: Tour Nagoya and departure.