Autumn Journey Japan

Konnichiwa! (こんにちは Welcome to Japan! In the midst of curating several personal Journey’s to Japan, in depth, exclusive and tailored to our clients love of art, traditional pottery and temple gardens. This client has explored remote islands and the bustling cities of Japan with our exclusive teams, they are back for another Journey focused on art on Naoshima Island and making their way to Kyoto where they will enjoy a private meditation practice with the renowned Rev. Takafumi Kawakami at the Shunkoin Temple. Shunkoin Temple possess’ many important artistic and cultural properties related to Zen Buddhism, and also has a deep connection with Shinto and Christianity. The Rev. Takafumi Kawakami travels the world giving talks about Zen and mindfulness, and how these practices can help improve our lives in these modern and hectic times and help us be more creative and satisfied in our work.  His travels and talks have brought him to the likes of MIT, Brown University, TEDxKyoto & IDEO.

This journey is customized especially for those who love to travel the less explored, those who love the unique, original and traditional. We’ll dive into a beautiful blend of modern contemporary, as we discover art and architecture spread out across the islands of Naoshima. Then in bullet speed, you’ll cross the country to the contrasting heart of Japanese tradition, Kyoto. Kyoto boasts of 17 world heritage sites, geisha life, markets, endless temples, Zen and horticulture garden heaven to just name a few sightseeing options.

Advance planning and our exceptional partnership aids in securing the best suites at Benesse House on Naoshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea. The entire island has been transformed into an impressive art project all the while it maintains its traditional heritage as a fishing village. Naoshima boasts three main impressive museums as well as the Benesse House, established as a symbiotic place of nature, architecture and art. Perched on a small hill overlooking the ocean, this unique space was designed by the highly acclaimed architect, Tadao Ando. A few of the other fascinating works on the island play with the use of light and darkness – making your stay here an incredibly unique experience.

The Benesse House opened in 1992 as a facility integrating a museum with a hotel, it is based on the concept “Coexistence of nature, art and architecture.” Benesse House consists of four buildings and lodgings, all designed by Tadao Ando: Museum, Oval. Park and Beach plus a restaurant, cafe, spa and shop open to the general public.

Built with the intention to blend increasingly into the natural environment of Setonaikai National Park as the years go by. It is meant to be appreciated with the entire body, with long ramps, stairs, and passages to traverse, and with natural light from outside pouring in through apertures, weaving together the indoors and outdoors.

The Oval Suites (two), are very unique and due to the very limited rooms on the property, the Oval area is very much requested but limited availability we prefer and reserve these two suites. Standing on a hill and reached only by a funicular/monorail approx. 5 min ride from the museum, this dreamlike space has just six guest rooms, featuring a fusion of Setouchi’s natural beauty with Ando’s architecture.

Vast floor-to-ceiling windows in the guest room offer a sweeping view of the Inland Sea, and the walls of some of the guest rooms are decorated with drawings created by the artists.
Access to the Benesse House Oval is limited only to guests staying in Oval.

We have exclusive use of the James Turrell Open Sky installation. My private Skyspace sunset experience in the Argentine highlands at Hess Colome Vineyards made me a James Turrell sky space groupie. The elements of Light & Space itself is presented as art in James Turrell’s work. The three artworks on display were selected amongst Turrell’s representative series and span his entire career, enabling visitors to experience the changes in his work throughout the years. Open Sky  is on view during the museum’s regular opening hours, but our clients will be viewing a private special sunset viewing, Night Program, exclusively after the museum has closed to the public.

A few days in this picturesque area can be enjoyed on ebikes at a leisurely pace on Teshima Island, including Teshima Yokoo House. This is a collaborated artwork by artist Tadanori Yokoo and architect Yuko Nagayama, who renovated and altered an old private house in Ieura area, facing the harbor that forms the entrance of Teshima Island.

Teshima Art Museum – Perched on a hill on the island and overlooking the Seto Inland sea, this museum is the beautiful combined vision of artist Rei Naito and architect Ryue Nishizawa. A simple concrete structure that stimulates its visitors’ senses with the play of water drops on a concrete surface. Two oval openings in the shell allow wind, sounds and light of the outside world into the space. In the interior space, water continuously springs from the ground in a day long motion. Soak in the limitless harmony of where nature and architecture intimately interconnect.

Les Archives du Coeur – This art project beautifully houses recordings of the heartbeats of people throughout the world. The artist, Christian Boltanski, has recorded these heartbeats since 2008. This is a testament to the recordees’ existence. Listen to the heartbeats and also… leave your mark and record your own here too.

Guests will journey to Kyoto and visit specific art installations, Nijo Castle, and a private visit to Machiya (traditional Kyoto-style architecture). The beautiful city of Kyoto is home to numerous imperial sights and disputably the source of Japanese culinary tradition. Originally founded as Heian-kyo (literally “tranquility and peace capital”) by Emperor Kammu in 794 and enjoyed its golden age during the imperial court’s heyday from 794 to 1185. Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years, the name means “Capital City”, but the emperor and government are now located in Tokyo. With its many cultural landmarks and historical sites, and the abundance of traditional arts and literature, Kyoto is regarded as the cultural heart of Japan.

If you have ever wondered what the life and styles are of ordinary Japanese people are inside a traditional, historical Kyoto-style town house, known as Machiya, then wonder no more. You are welcomed and able to explore an exclusive glimpse of life in a traditional town house. Meet the current resident who will explain the architecture of the home and their passion for conservation of the house. Established in 1869, the building shows typical Kyoto-style architecture with Tsuboniwa-type small courtyard, traditional storage.

They will also enjoy a private Zen meditation session with priest, Rev. Takafumi Kawakami. The Reverend is well known and gives talks around the world about Zen and mindfulness and how these practices can help improve our lives in modern and hectic times. Private meditation session in English and will take place in a private room at the Shunko-in Temple.
Established in 1590, Shunko-in Temple is one of the 46 sub-temples situated in Japan’s largest Zen Buddhism monastery, Myoshinji. The priest will escort you around the temple and tell you tales of its history. Savor the taste of Matcha green tea and Japanese sweets which will be served at the end of the Zen session.

Another afternoon, we have reserved a private tea ceremony in an authentic tea room, using special utensils. For Japanese people, a tea ceremony is a mental discipline for pursuing “wabi” (a state of mind in which a person is calm and content, with a profound simplicity) and is at the same time a performance in which form and grace are paramount. The tea master will perform the ceremony and also explain about the historical and cultural side of this ceremony.

Biking in Arashiyama – Located in the northern outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama offers mountain landscapes. In old days, the area was favored by aristocrats to enjoy seasonal beauties. Togetsu-kyo Bridge, which means moon crossing bridge, is the landmark of this area. The Bamboo grove is also recommended to visit, where you are able listen to the bamboo leaves rustling in the breeze. You will also be escorted to Tenryuji Temple with a beautiful stroll-type garden.

Our ten-day Journey contains many other traditional ceremonies, crafts ware shopping, Sake tastings, garden and temple visits. A unique Ryokan stay at one of our favorite Relais & Châteaux properties in Kyoto, Kanamean Nishitomiya and specialty suites at Four Seasons Kyoto.

Our exclusive guide in Okayama, Noashima Islands – An Okayama native, she lives in Okayama and has great knowledge on the islands of Naoshima and this region. She has a guided many VIP’s diplomats and dignitaries.

Kyoto –  
We have two specialists on hand in Kyoto: Our esteemed guide is one of the top guides in Kyoto she is co-author of several international recognized guide books for Japan. She has written a book about guiding skills for English speaking guides and has guided many VIP’s, including foreign government officials and business leaders.

Our second guide, is well-known and has primarily guided many VIP clients. She is intimately associated with the temples and historic sites as well as the little hidden streets and corners and the professional specialized stores in Kyoto.

On the Culture Trail, from gardens and castles, to ancient temples – visit some of Japan’s most famed cultural gems. Carefully curated range of authentic experiences in old tea districts and the remote islands of Naoshima Island. With the world’s highest concentration of Michelin restaurants, you can assume they will also dine well! Countless local specialist restaurants will supplement the Michelin dining!

さようなら

Sayōnara

 


Exclusive Experiences – Private Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Unlimited World of Adventure Bespoke Journey October 23 – November 15, 2019.

As you may know, we are very supportive of the Four Seasons brand – we aren’t FS addicts, however, we appreciate the guaranteed particular high level of service, unique resort settings and often times, very exclusive activities. Confirmed by our personal experiences and our very satisfied clients, we visit and test as many hotels a year as possible!

Four Seasons was one of the first hotel groups to venture into the successful private jet business, a luxury hotel in the sky, posh amenities and service on these exclusive Jet Journeys begin the moment you set foot in the Boeing 757.  Your comfort is guaranteed at 40,000 feet when you travel the world aboard their custom-fitted Private Jet. Efficient airport meet & greet, check; Bose headphones, check; curated menus, check; comfortable beds, check.  Designed by the same team who conceive the style and character of their hotels and resorts, the distinctive Boeing 757 ensures that you fly in comfort and style and arrive rejuvenated and ready for new adventures at every destination.

Four Seasons Jet Adventure

These Journey offerings are a contemporary recreation of the by gone days of the traditional Grand Tour, no need for a chaperone or leather trunks filled with guide books, the Four Seasons Private Jet Journey will provide for every need. A gateway to adventures you may never have imagined. Rely on the expertise of Four Seasons as you are personally escorted from one world-class destination to the next. The smooth start-to-finish service ensures that every detail is seen to at every step along the way. Enjoy the luxury of Four Seasons hotels and resorts that embrace the natural beauty and authentic character of each destination. As you touch down in each new country, door-to-door luggage service transports your bags directly from the Private Jet to your hotel room and back again. The Executive Chef communicates with the culinary teams at each stop to ensure that everyone is aware of dietary restrictions and preferences. For extra peace of mind, a Journey physician travels with you to meet any needs along the way. Local experts and on-the-ground guides are ready to share insider experiences, and property concierges have recommendations to help you explore each new destination according to your personal travel style. Discover distinctive restaurants and recreation amenities and opt to indulge in unique local spa treatments as Four Seasons delights and surprises at every turn. You may wonder, why haven’t I done this before?

All itineraries include extensive options and activities, allowing you to customize your experience to match your own interests. Discover the world’s most breathtaking and secluded beaches in the Seychelles. Meander the Nishiki Market with the Four Seasons chef, lovingly known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” where you can sample the freshest local fare. Trek with a naturalist expert through Rwanda’s lush bamboo forests to observe mountain gorillas up close in their natural habitat. I’ve spent three days trekking in Rwanda and it was one of the most enchanting trips of my life. Nothing compares to an encounter with a massive 700-pound silverback gorilla or watching his young blackback offspring practice chest pounding. Escape on a bespoke three-night cruise through the Galápagos Islands and encounter the natural treasures of this unique archipelago. With Four Seasons access, an extraordinary array of options is at your fingertips.

Directly after we confirm, we will begin planning your personal itinerary with the help of our Four Seasons Global Guest Services Manager. On call for travelers before, during and after the trip, their dedicated professionals can accommodate any request and will help us curate your ideal Journey. Of course, we are also involved and will confirm you are happy! Choose from a variety of excursions, make private arrangements, or simply relax and enjoy the Four Seasons experience.

Four Seasons Jet Adventure

From the moment you step aboard the Four Seasons Private Jet, you’re surrounded by comfort and care. Designed, styled and custom-fitted to the highest specifications, the Private Jet features just 52 flatbed seats. Travel in style between nine extraordinary destinations on a Journey spanning natural, cultural and cosmopolitan attractions. A seamless Four Seasons experience is yours throughout the Journey, with stays at Four Seasons hotels and resorts—and, in two more remote locations, accommodations carefully curated by our team with the Four Seasons. Enjoy instinctual Four Seasons service from their team of dedicated professionals, including the Director of Guest Experience, Onboard Concierge and Executive Chef who accompany you throughout your trip. This is an exclusive Journey of discovery with the Four Seasons, a carefree trip around the world.

Let the Journey Begin!

Seattle – October 23 – 24, 2019

Explore –  Embark on your around-the-world adventure on the shores of the Puget Sound. Gather for dinner with your fellow travelers and your Journey’s dedicated support team at Chihuly Garden and Glass, where local artist Dale Chihuly’s vibrant glass creations glow against the backdrop of the city’s iconic Space Needle. If you have arrived early, opt to go behind the scenes to meet the producers and vendors of Pike Place Market on a private tour, or head to the Boeing factory for a one-of-a kind opportunity to view jets being assembled on the production line before they take to the sky. Or choose to get a birds-eye view of Seattle from a seaplane, soaring high above the evergreen forests and waterways that surround the city. The next day, you board the Private Jet for the flight to Kyoto.

Stay –  With views over the Puget Sound toward the snowcapped Olympic Mountains, Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is a luxurious urban oasis in the middle of the city. Enjoy sophisticated Pacific Northwest cuisine prepared with the freshest local ingredients at Goldfinch Tavern, an Ethan Stowell restaurant, and easy access to Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market, located just a block away.

Four Seasons Kyoto Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Kyoto – October 25 – 28, 2019

Explore –  Four Seasons is your key to experiencing Kyoto’s distinct mix of traditional Japanese culture and modern influences. Unlock the centuries-old magic of Kyoto, filled with 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as an untold number of hidden treasures. Practice meditation with a Zen master, and immerse yourself in the spirit of feudal Japan during a private lesson in the art of samurai sword combat. For a modern contrast, join the Four Seasons chefs on an exploration of the city’s culinary culture at the Nishiki Market, nicknamed “Kyoto’s Kitchen” by locals. Visit the ceramics collection at the Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery, which showcases both antique and contemporary pieces. Venture into the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, where rickshaws take guests down a winding path through the dense forest of towering stalks of bamboo. Their Michelin-starred sushi chef will give you an expert overview of Japanese cuisine, followed by a hands-on lesson in preparing a traditional meal.

Stay –  Intimate and contemporary, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is located in the city’s most scenic district. At the heart of this brand-new hotel is an 800-year-old pond garden that will immerse you in the serenity and beauty of ancient Japan. Pamper yourself at one of the largest and most luxurious spa facilities in Kyoto, take in the views from the waterside terrace, or sip a cup of freshly brewed matcha in the lovely Tea House. We have reserved this beautiful hotel many times and our clients love it!

Bali – October 28 – 3, 2019

Explore – Discover the heart of the island paradise of Bali as you explore its lush rain forests, terraced rice paddies and cultural traditions. Immerse yourself in Bali’s rich heritage of spirituality on a visit to four water temples along the Pakerisan River, including a dip in a sacred pool and a water purification ritual led by a temple priest. Drive through the valley in restored vintage Volkswagen convertibles to the Jatiluwih rice terraces, where traditional cultivation methods are still practiced. Embark on a white-water rafting adventure as you paddle along the rapids of the Ayung River, looking up at cascading waterfalls and keeping an eye out for local wildlife. Visit the Green Village, a unique, modern eco-architectural community of stunning homes built entirely by hand of local bamboo. Meet the jewelry makers, painters and weavers of Ubud, Bali’s capital of the arts.

Four Seasons Bali at Sayan. Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Stay –  Tucked away in the central highlands, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan is your personal sanctuary in the jungle. Unwind in your spacious villa, overlooking peaceful rice fields, water gardens and the sacred Ayung River. Dine on the terrace above a lush gorge or in a café beside the river as you sample a variety of Indonesian flavors. In the Sacred River Spa, unite body and mind with therapies drawn from Eastern traditions. Another oft reserved property we have happily organized for our clients!

Seychelles October 31- November 3, 2019

Explore –  Experience a little piece of paradise at your exotic seaside resort. On the island of Praslin, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a well-preserved ecosystem where you can stroll under enormous coco de mer palm trees found nowhere else on Earth. Venture to La Digue, a lush island home to groves of coconut palms and hibiscus gardens, as well as striking white-sand beaches studded with massive granite boulders. Back at your resort, dive or snorkel among a multitude of vibrant tropical fish in the clear warm waters. Stroll through cinnamon and takamaka trees with local artist Nigel Henri to high atop a granite plateau, where you will sketch the panoramic vista. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt to catch a wave with an expert surfing guide, or choose to explore the brilliant-blue waters on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Align your body and spirit with a traditional ritual at the island spa or center your mind during a mountaintop yoga session overlooking the sea.

Four Seasons Seychelles Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Stay – Set high on a hillside, the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles is a luxurious island sanctuary. Enjoy panoramic views of the Indian Ocean from your serene villa, which is beautifully outfitted with Creole furnishings. Refresh yourself with a dip in your villa’s private infinity plunge pool or soak up the sun on the wrap-around deck. Fresh seafood, island fruit and Creole flavors await in your resort’s restaurants and bars.

Rwanda November 3 – 5, 2019

Explore – The mist-shrouded Virunga Mountains are a haven for the rare and endangered mountain gorillas. Arrive in Kigali and transfer to your mountain lodge near Volcanoes National Park, where naturalist Dian Fossey famously studied these peaceful giants. Accompanied by a naturalist guide, trek through the scenic bamboo forest, where groups of mountain gorillas make their home. Spend an unforgettable hour watching a family of gorillas up-close as they play in the forest, groom each other, and munch on fruit and leaves. This wildlife encounter is a remarkable opportunity to be in close proximity to one of the world’s elusive creatures in its natural habitat. Return to your mountain lodge and relive the day’s adventures.

Stay – Though Four Seasons does not currently have a property in Rwanda, we have chosen a selection of well-appointed lodges near Volcanoes National Park, each immersed in the natural beauty of your surroundings. Stay in a mix of cottages, bungalows and comfortable rooms at one of the following properties: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Amakoro Songa Lodge, Virunga Lodge or Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel. Or opt to upgrade to Bisate Lodge, where six luxurious villas offer dramatic views of the volcanoes. I’ve stayed at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge and with its recent refurbishing, it is a superb lodge and close to Volcanoes National Park.  Bisante Lodge would be another fine choice.

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Marrakech November 5 – 8, 2019

Explore – The sights, sounds and flavors of Marrakech are best experienced in Jemaa el Fna square. Ride a horse-drawn carriage to this vibrant plaza, where snake charmers, acrobats and magicians entertain in the streets. Explore local food and spice markets with a specialist in traditional Moroccan cooking. Drive to the foothills of the rugged Atlas Mountains and then ride mules or walk to a Berber village to sip tea with a local family and share stories over a traditional meal. Immerse yourself in the lush blue-and-green paradise of the Majorelle Gardens, built in the 1920s by painter Jacques Majorelle, and lovingly restored by Yves Saint Laurent. See how the iconic French designer drew inspiration from Marrakech at the nearby Musée Yves Saint Laurent, which showcases his clothing, accessories and artwork. On a private shopping expedition with a local guide, seek out the best spots to shop for Berber carpets, leather goods, jewelry and luxurious fabrics. You don’t want to miss any of these activities, we have meandered the souks, bargained for Moroccan treasures and have sent many clients to magical Marrakech!

Four Seasons Marrakech Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Marrakech Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Stay – With Moorish gardens and restful swimming pools, Four Seasons Resort Marrakech offers a peaceful oasis, where you can view the canopy of the resort’s garden from your private guest room. Opt to take a refreshing break in the Quiet Pool, enjoy a traditional ghassoul clay cleansing ritual at the Spa, or delight in the fusion of Mediterranean and African cuisines at your resort’s restaurants.

Bogotá November 8 –11, 2019

Explore –  With everything from colonial-style buildings to the most talked-about restaurants, Bogotá has emerged as South America’s must-see destination. Visit the city’s beautiful historic center to explore the Museo Botero, which showcases the work of renowned Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, as well as other international masters, including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Step into the vibrant Latin culture of Colombia with a private salsa lesson. Sip on fresh-roasted coffee, one of the country’s most famous exports, and learn to identify its distinct qualities. Explore Bogotá’s flourishing street art with a local artist, who will lead you through a neighborhood that has been transformed by vibrant outdoor murals. Let one of the Four Seasons chefs guide you through the flower and fruit sections of the colorful Paloquemao Market. Discover why this city is known as a food lover’s paradise on a guided progressive lunch, sampling chef-prepared dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Your Four Seasons Concierge can make reservations for you at one of the city’s excellent restaurants to complete your culinary exploration.

Stay – Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá is a chic, contemporary retreat located in one of the city’s must-visit neighborhoods. Guest rooms are designed to evoke a sense of openness with unique features such as hand-knotted carpets and original artwork. Sample the international flavors at Nemo, a new restaurant in collaboration with famed Colombian Chef Harry Sasson or unwind at the serene Spa.

Galapagos Archipelago, Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Galápagos Islands November 11-14, 2019

Explore – After your Private Jet lands in Ecuador, you depart on a local flight to the Galápagos Islands to embark on the Silver Galápagos. Venture into the remote Galápagos Islands, where centuries of natural isolation have allowed unique plants and animals to develop. Your adventure begins on Isabela Island. Explore the sheltered waters of Tagus Cove by kayak or on a snorkeling excursion for a chance to encounter sea turtles, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and Galápagos penguins that make their home here. Take an exciting Zodiac boat ride into Elizabeth Bay, a stunning landscape where desolate lava fields meet a green mangrove forest. Keep an eye out for the blue-footed booby, an iconic species of marine bird found only on these islands. Look for sea lion pups on Floreana Island, where a small colony thrives amid the lava rocks along the shore and seek out sea turtles that nest on its white-sand beaches. Discover the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure on this three-night private cruise, where you can swim or hike during the day and unwind with a massage or cocktail aboard the ship at night.

Stay –  Enjoy an extension of your Four Seasons Private Jet Experience aboard the Silver Galápagos, which is exclusive to this group. The Four Seasons Executive Chef will curate all onboard dining experiences, while the dedicated Four Seasons Concierge takes care of all your needs as you set sail through the Galápagos Islands. Unwind after the day’s adventures in a variety of suites, each featuring an elegant design and high-end amenities.

Miami  November 14 – 15, 2019

Explore – Your around-the-world Journey concludes in Miami. Upon arrival, settle in to your luxurious room at the new Four Seasons beach hotel, which provides spectacular views of Biscayne Bay and Miami’s skyline, and relax after your global adventure. Recap the highlights of your incredible Journey as you toast to your new friends at a festive farewell dinner and enjoy a night’s rest before returning home on an independent flight. Choose to extend your stay and let a local expert guide you through the best spots for authentic food in Little Havana, the epicenter of Cuban culture in Miami. Or opt to explore the Magic City’s diverse arts scene, from the street murals in the Wynwood neighborhood to the innovative galleries in the Design District. If time permits, escape to a luxurious poolside cabana for a signature spa treatment, or enjoy a nightcap on the rooftop terrace.

Four Seasons Miami Downtown. Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Stay – Four Seasons Hotel Miami sits in the heart of the Brickell neighborhood, where gleaming skyscrapers are interwoven with high-end boutiques and trendy restaurants. The city’s artistic influences come to life within the hotel’s walls, from the art deco flourishes in your guest room to the towering bronze sculptures of Adam and Eve by Colombian artist Fernando Botero in the main lobby.

An Exclusive World of Adventures Aboard Four Seasons Private Jet

October 23 – November 15, 2019.

Fees: Per person price, double occupancy $143,000.00

The Grand Journey: seamless and luxurious, with interesting gateways, why not invite a group of friends or family and share this memorable Journey?

Four Seasons Jet Adventure

Limited space available. Can we transport you on this Unlimited World of Adventure!