The Magical Forestry Tour
Would you like to immerse yourself in the
spiritual heart of Japan and enjoy a
truly rural Japanese experience?
Dates: 11th May – 18th May, 2019
This tour is operated and lead by ‘Spinning Reel Media & Travel’
The Magical Forestry Tour will be led from Sydney by filmmaker/journalist (and self-confessed Japanophile) Richard Snashall and travels to the beautiful Kii Mountains of Wakayama, with guests staying at a small family run hotel, Ashitanomori, in the village of Kawayu Onsen.
Located south of Osaka and only hours from Kansai International Airport, the region is famous for the World Heritage listed Kumanokodo, a series of sacred mountain and forest trails that have been walked by everyone from emperors to common people for well over a thousand years. The Kii Mountains are revered in Japan as the area where Shinto and Buddhism came together, and the many temples and shrines along the Kumanokodo reflect this history and blending of beliefs.
The hotel is owned by the Kurisu family, who have been (and are still) involved in local farming and forestry for at least 7 generations. Ashitanomori sits beside the beautiful Oto River and was designed and built by the enigmatic octogenarian Hiromasa Kurisu, using timber from his own local forest. Hiromasa still works 7 days a week running his farming and forestry operations as well as the hotel. He and Richard became friends when Richard made a documentary about Hiromasa and his life in the Kii Mountains, and the idea of a small tour for Australians was born.
The Magical Forestry Tour offers guests the opportunity to become part of local life for 6 days (5 nights) joining in activities with Hiromasa and the family on their own land. These include tea harvesting, processing and (of course) tasting, rice growing, forestry, Japanese cooking, calligraphy and zen meditation.
Guests will be able to enjoy hiking the breathtaking Kumanokodo, visiting local shrines and temples, and relaxing in Ashitanomori’s private hot spring onsens (baths) or even digging a personal onsen in the smooth pebbles next to the Oto River. Much of the delicious fresh food served at Ashitanomori is grown by the Kurisu family.
The Magical Forestry Tour will be a relaxing, rejuvenating and personal experience for a small group, guests will be welcome to involve themselves in as many or as few of the activities as they wish. Guests are welcome to extend their stay in Japan, amended flight bookings can be made without penalty prior to ticketing. However, there may be a difference in cost of airfare subject to availability.
Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to immerse yourself in rural Japanese life, absorbing and participating in the local culture, all while staying in a wonderful family hotel.
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