Autumn in Kyoto
November 9-19, 2015
with Eddie Soloway
Japanese gardens at the peak of color.
About the experience . . .
I cherish specific moments. A calligrapher in his late seventies, in one breathtaking gesture, created a masterpiece. We were in awe of a Noh mask maker, eighty-nine years old, telling about being a prisoner of war in Siberia while cradling a piece of wood in his feet as he began the process of whittling away the layers into a mask of beauty. It started to rain in the 1300-year old Saiho-ji Moss Temple, and the autumn colors went electric. Day after day we had intimate visits with ancient gardens and profound artisans, our meals were in little inns, restaurants, and homes, and designed to let us taste the whole spectrum of traditional foods. This experience, off the radar of the average tourist, came to me because alumni Ed Dean and Helen Hasenfeld told me I had to get together with Steve Beimel and Nancy Craft of Esprit Travel. Esprit is founded on the idea of quality experiences in and around Kyoto. They go off the beaten path to give you immersions that the tour buses don't know about. They are friends with, and have long term relationships with, the artists. They have a small staff of local guides, and this year Tomoko Kisaka will be back with us, lending her inside stories and gentle touch. And they believe in taking time, in going slow. Their approach is identical to what we talk about in making profound images of the natural world. And it gets better. . . we will be in Kyoto for the peak of autumn foliage.
In the spirit of the Photographic Experiences, this nine night adventure is about immersing ourselves in a diversity of gardens, neighborhoods, and artisans, rich with photographic possibility. It is about having quality time, insightful knowledge, and even time to go back. It is not a workshop, in the sense that we will not be indoors for all the sessions we first had together, though we will have several short sessions in our hotel meeting room to share ideas, and for those folks wanting to bring along the tools to download and edit images, we will celebrate photographs made during the experience. Most of all, this is an immersion into a place of great beauty with the growing community of friends and photographers in "A Natural Eye".
Here are the details:
Travel: Most people will leave the U.S. or Canada on November 9th, arriving in Japan on the 10th. If your flight and energy allow, we will gather casually late on the 10th, but our first meeting as a full group will be on the morning of the 11th. The experience will end after breakfast on the morning of November 19th.
Costs: $4,950.00 which includes round trip airport transfers from Osaka Kansai Airport by MK Skyshuttle, nine nights shared occupancy lodging at Kyoto's PalaceSide Hotel, local group transportation per the itinerary, nine breakfasts, six lunches, two dinners, local guide (Tomoko Kisaka), and group leader (Eddie Soloway). Single supplements are limited, and available for an additional $250.00 based upon availability. The price is based on a minimum group of 12. The price is subject to adjustment for both a smaller group size and currency fluctuation.
Not included: International travel to Osaka Kansai Airport, meals not mentioned, drinks at meals, tips to tour leader, laundry, and items of a personal nature. If you request a double, and a room mate is not found, the single supplement addition will be charged.
PREREQUISITES . . . This experience is for alumni as well as friends and spouses that embrace the photographic focus. In the first four years we had several family members or friends of alumni join us, and we all had a blast.
CONFIRMATION DATE . . . You will receive an e-mail by July 1 giving the workshop a final confirmation.
PREPARATIONS . . . Esprit will send a detailed planning handbook, flight, dietary and health forms, and a pertinent reading list when the experience is confirmed. You will also receive a list of photographic preparations. A final itinerary will be mailed approximately three weeks before the start of the experience.
Here is our tentative itinerary. It will be finalized approximately 30 days prior to departure, and is subject to change.
Friday, November 13 Northeastern Kyoto
Sunday, November 15 Nanzen-ji, lunch with geisha, Gion Stroll
Monday, November 16 Tofukuji Monastery, gold leaf artist, free afternoon
Wednesday, November 18 Ryoanji and the Saihoji Moss Temple
Thursday, November 19, Depart Japan
© Eddie Soloway. All Rights Reserved.