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I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
– Mary oliver
Follow your appetite for adventure on an unforgettable journey through the Ishikawa Prefecture. Staying first in Tokyo, then moving to a picturesque center of art and idyllic gardens and finally landing at hot springs on the oceanfront, this 8-day Japan Yoga Retreat is a perfect combination of comfort, authentic cuisine, inspiring yoga, culture and local experience with your teachers Mark Silva and native Japanese speaker, Ai Kubo.
Experiencing Japan is experiencing life as art. To truly get a taste for it, we immerse ourself in the vibrant cuisine, impressive ancient architecture, rich culture, deep appreciation for nature and of course. yoga with Ai Kubo and Mark Silva. This is a can’t miss glimpse into the variety of offerings of Japan which we will enjoy from the comfort of wonderful accommodations.
We meet in the energetic epicenter of Japan, Tokyo, and stay at the historical, luxurious Tokyo Station Hotel. After experiencing the dynamic life of the city and enjoying our first Bento boxes, we escape west to Kanazawa for intricate world-renowned gardens and castles, preserved historic districts, tea houses, and delicately-prepared meals that provide a glimpse into another era. We will participate in a family-run Matcha Green Tea Ceremony and dine at the local morning market before we take a scenic train to the small hot spring town of Wakura Onsen to fall in love with Japan’s abundant hot springs, history and expansive landscapes.
We will soak and explore, taking in Japan off-the-beaten-path. We might even cook eggs in a natural spring! Our home there will give us a sense of true Japanese comfort by highlighting our surroundings and providing simple yet comfortable accommodations where guests will sleep either on single beds or traditional Japanese mattresses. Through the retreat, Ai and Mark will offer amazing yoga and their deep personal love for Japan.
This trip will be an incredible opportunity to adventure with a yoga teacher who is a native Japanese speaker and who’s roots are in the land we are traveling to. Together, with Ai and Mark, we will create a truly vibrant week together. Yoga is always a central part of our travels at YOGASCAPES, so for the most part, we will practice yoga daily on this trip. There is one day where will get off our mats to move and stretch while exploring the Noto Peninsula. Every day will offer new experience!
Please note: Food is absolutely central to this retreat. Most meals are included in this trip although there are several lunches and dinners that are not because guests enjoy exploring on their own. The colorful, nourishing and plentiful meals will take this experience to the next level and the cuisine here invites openness and flexibility around diet. On most of our retreats, we can accommodate nearly every dietary request, but dietary restrictions are not easily accommodated in Japan. For that reason, we request that if you register for this retreat you consider that there will be very limited options to eat vegetarian/vegan/gluten free because many subtle ingredients (ie. fish powder) in most items cooked will not be able to be removed. Please ask us if you would like suggestions for other delicious trips that can accommodate requests more easily.
See trip FAQ here.
Mark Silva is a Yoga Teacher and Software Developer. He loves to cultivate wonder in the surrounding world, pulling us into a deeper connection with Consciousness. Initial experiments and forays into yoga classes, have grown into a life-long love affair with yoga practice and philosophy, and all that it can offer us. Yoga and Meditation practice have held a place in his heart for over 10 years. His teachers have included: Richard Rosen, Abby Tucker, Sianna Sherman, and Noah Maze. His children teach him something everyday. Mark’s playful classes give best results when full attention to the mind and body are given!
Mark is certified E-RYT 500, and teaches regular public classes, workshops, and retreats. He frequently collaborates with his partner, Ai Kubo.
“I am a yoga teacher, mother and a scientist. I teach busy people to dive deep inside their heart to find what is most important to them so they can align their lifestyle in order to live their lives with full potential.”
Ai is a yoga teacher, mother of two girls, and a scientist. Now with over a decade of teaching experience, she devotes her teaching helping busy people find balance, improve wellness, and live their lives to their fullest potential. Ai is also a scientist. She received PhD in epidemiology from from Columbia University, and has about 30 scientific publications in peer-reviewed medical journals. Her research has been focused on the effects of life-style related factors such as diet on cancer. She also conducted a study on yoga, “A pilot intervention study of yoga for multiethnic patients with heart failure,” published in International Journal of Yoga Therapy (2011). Currently, she is developing studies to see if meditation and mindfulness can reduce stress among cancer patients and their partners. When she is not teaching yoga or working as a scientist, she enjoys spending her time with her two young daughters, gardening, cooking, hiking, biking, and being in nature. She loves the idea of ‘locavoire’- she grows many types of vegetables in her backyard so she has always super-fresh ingredients on the family table. Her two daughters are her best yoga teachers, constantly reminding her to live in the present moment, and to enjoy life fully.
Tokyo Station Hotel: Located in the center of Tokyo for over 100 years, people have continued to watch the history of the people and the city here. In Autumn 2012, Tokyo Station Hotel was reborn. It is the place of important cultural assets station building and former literary mastery in the loved red brick rooms where functionality meets modernity. This is a top hotel for visitors because it is an amazing place to be introduced to the fascinating life of Tokyo.
Tokyu Hotel Kanazawa: Adjacent to a bus stop, this elegant, urban hotel is 7 minutes’ walk from the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and a 12-minute walk from the Kenroku-en gardens. The stylish rooms, some with city views, feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minifridges, as well as tea and coffeemaking facilities. Suites add living rooms. Room service is available. There’s a high-end French restaurant and a Japanese eatery with panoramic city and garden views. Other amenities include a chic bar and a cozy guest lounge.
Tadaya: (Shh… our best kept secret). Situated on a hill with beautiful views of the sunset, Wakura Onsen Tadaya is a traditional Japanese inn built in 1885. The inn features a bar, a tea lounge, banquet halls, karaoke booths, and saunas. Kaiseki cuisine made with seasonal ingredients is served. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the large common baths and open-air baths while gazing at the scenery. Both Western-style and Japanese-style guest rooms with tatami mat floors and futon bedding are available. Some guest rooms feature private open-air baths. Internet is available.
We offer three payment options based when you sign up! We encourage those that can’t afford the full price option to sign up early for the lowest price. We strive to maintain a balance between offering our programs to the widest range of participants and running a sustainable and thriving company so that we can continue to create and share our experiences with you. Please inquire about payment plans. We can split up your payments however final payments are due at least 45 days prior to the start date of your retreat.