15-day Reiki-trip to Japan with world renowned
Reiki teacher and author Frans Stiene
(November 6th to 20th 2023 Booking code GRJ15-2311)
The illustrated itinerary for the 2023 trip can be found as pdf here: Flyer Japan trip 2023.
About the trip:
During the 15-day trip we visit many places of Reiki history. In Mikao Usui Sensei´s birth place we find the big gate that he donated to it´s shinto community. Nearby the shrine we see the memorial stone that the Gendai Reiki Hō cummunity erected there in September 2018. Other places of interest in Taniai are the spring from that Usui´s family produced Sake and the shrine that has been Usui´s primary school in his time. Of course we make a trip to Mount Kurama, the site of his enlightenment experience. As well Mount Hiei, the site of his Buddhist exercises and Kyōtō, where he practiced Zazen meditations for over three years. In addition, we stay the ancient imperial city of Nara where we will have our three days retreat* „The system of Reiki from a traditional Japanese perspective“ with Frans Stiene. There will be two more workshops, one of Zazen practice, one of Japanese calligrapy. On one day we participate in an exchange meeting with Japanese Reiki practitioners in Ashiya near Kyōtō. Possibly we meet Hiroshi Doi there, the founder of Gendai Reiki Hō, author of great Reiki books and member of the Usui Reiki Ryōhō Gakkai. During the trip you have opportunities for sightseeing, onsen spa and shopping.
* = period of relaxation/stress relief and spiritual practices outside the usual environment.
The trip with pilgrimage character is predominantly carried out by public transport (speed trains, local trains and metro). To Taniai we have a hired bus. Concerning luggage one should consider weight and volume that every owner is able to handle oneself. Wheeled bags are highly recommended.
Especially during hikes in the mountains or explorations in the cities, average, physical constitution and good footwear are a prerequisite. A small packpack for carrying water, rain protections and personal things is always good to have.
From the first step at the airport the whole journey is about embodying the Reiki precepts, especially „don’t be angry“ and „don’t worry,“ even if the plane might be delayed or the accommodation in the hotel may be exceptionally for more than two people.
Another key word is „flexibility“ (some know Frans understanding of „firm & flexible“ from his seminars). That is as one example, that in small places in the mountains with perhaps only one hotel and simple equipment, a special catering requests could sometimes become difficult. We try to fulfil vegetarian or vegan wishes in the best possible way, but this may not always be available with guarantee.
Osaka airport • overnight stays at Kyōtō and sightseeing in Japan´s most beautiful town • day trip to Mt. Kurama, place of Usui Sensei´s satori • overnight stays at Mt. Hiei & workshop • overnight stays at Nara and sightseeing • retreat & workshop • overnight stays in Osaka • daytrip to Usui Sensei´s birth town & Shinto blessing ceremony • daytrip to Ashiya for Koryu-kai meeting and dinner with Hiroshi Doi´s Reiki practitioners community • Osaka airport. The illustrated itinerary can be found as pdf here: Flyer Japan trip 2023.
The trip is aimed at Reiki enthusiasts of all lineages regardless of their Reiki style and level of training.
The participation in the 3-days retreat requires just any Reiki level in any Reiki lineage.
The optional participation in the exchange meeting with Japanese Reiki practitioners requires a Reiki training of any lineage and level of training. Registration shall be made with Holistika, who covers the participation fees.
- journey: 2,850 Euros + retreat-fee 550 Euros = total 3,400 Euros
- deposit amount = 20% of the travel price and retreat-fee after receipt of the booking confirmation (680 Euros)
- Maturity of the remaining payment = no later than 4 weeks before the start of the journey (2,720 Euros)
The price includes:
- all overnight stays of the 15-day trip, depending on availability mostly in shared double rooms
- entrances to the sights according the tour description
- participation fee for Reiki-meeting koryu-kai
- tour operator liability insurance
- travel organisation and group escort on site by tour operator and
Reiki teacher Oliver Drewes
- 3-day retreat „The system of Reiki from a traditional Japanese
perspective“ worth 550 € (included) with Frans Stiene
The travel price does not include:
- private insurances
- means of transport
- entrances or costs for activities apart from the tour description
- personal costs like laundry service et cetera
- everything else that is not listed as included in the price
- everything that is listed as Additional costs of third parties
Additional costs of third parties:
- international flight*
- train, taxi, bus & cable car rides (around 300 €)
- hired bus to Taniai, proportionately shared (around 50 €)**
- Shinto blessing ceremony (around 30 €)
- Zazen workshop fee (price still pending, please look for pdf update)
- Calligraphy workshop fee (price still pending, please look for pdf update)
- for payments from outside Europe, intern. money transfer costs **
* Please choose a flight arriving no later than November 8th. After breakfast on November 9th, we are leaving together towards Kyōtō.
** The costs for the rental bus to Taniai are, depending on its size about 65,000-90,000 yen (approx. 550-750 €) and are divided by the number of participants of our group.
**** If you book from inside Europe there are no costs for international bank transfer. If you book from outside the European Union the deposit and the remaining payment each causes bank transfer costs. Unfortunately Holistika can not carry that (20 people making two transactions – deposit and final payment – each with between 25 and 100 Euros every time could worst case mean more bank costs than what Holistika remains after all). At least for the deposit payment it has turned out that PayPal is cheaper. For the final payment you can check wheter added 2,49% PayPal basic fees + PayPal borderpassing fees between 1,8% and 3,3% are cheaper than your international bank transfer costs. Last ones depends from bank to bank and country to country.
November 6th to 20th 2023
• Reservation of changes: Changes that do not affect the character of the trip (e.g. the course of a round trip in a modified or inverted order or, for organizational reasons, accommodation in other, equivalent hotels during a round trip) are not intended, but reserved.
• Minimum number of participants: To make the trip possible, a minimum number of at least 12 participants is required. Please do not buy a flight ticket before reaching is communicated by the organizer.
• Maximum number of participants: Considering comfortable travelling and aspects like hotel room availabilty, restaurant space limitations and seminar room size, the group is planed to have not more than 20 participants.
• Group formation: Due to the international activities of Frans Stiene in the US and Australia, the vast majority of the group is expected to be English-speaking. In addition to compatriots of Frans Stiene from the Netherlands, Reiki practitioners from Germany and Switzerland have already expressed interest. The retreat with Frans Stiene is held in English, a translation in German is not provided. Information during the trip and organizational explanations will in addition to English be given in German by the accompanying tour operator Oliver Drewes.
• Black list: The „Community List“ of unsafe airlines published by the EU Commission on the basis of EU-VO 211/2005 can be found at Holistika’s Internet page or under https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban_de or could on request be sent to you before booking.
Travellers from whatever nationality will find the information at their respective foreign offices sites.
German nationals do not have to apply for an extra visa to enter the country before travelling. A „Temporary Visitor“ permission will be given for 90 days at the airport. However, please pay attention to a passport valid for at least six months longer than the date of travel.
No vaccinations are required to enter Japan. The German Foreign Office generally recommends checking standard vaccinations (such as tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps, measles, rubella and the current influenza protection) in accordance with the current vaccination calendar of the German Robert Koch Institute and, if necessary, to complete them.
The Reiki’s home country, Japan, is characterised by very friendly and helpful people. With English, however, you can only really get on in the big cities. In the province, a small basic vocabulary (if not learned by rote with a cheat sheet) or an offline translation app of the smartphone helps.
- Goodbye: sayonara
- Thank you: arigatō gozai masu (masu pronounced mas / arigatō alone would be rude, since it is only abbreviable among well-acquaintances )
- Excuse me: sumi masen
- Good evening: konban wa
- Good morning: ohaiyō gozai masu (masu pronounced mas)
- Good day / hello: konnichi wa
- Yes: hai
- I say goodbye now / before blowing one´s nose: shitsurei shi-matsu (actual meaning = I am impolite now)
- no (actually not existing this way): chotto hangaete mi mashō (actual meaning = let´s think about that)
- Cheers!: Kampai or even Ikki
- Invoice: warikan
- Thanks you very much: arigatō gozai meshita (meshita pronounced mashta)
- Name card: meishi
- Where is the toilet please: Toire wa doko desu ka?
- The bill please: o kanjo o negai shi masu
Behavioural hints: There are many, but at this point one: gifts are not unpacked in Japan in the presence of the gift-giver. When handing over a gift, no matter how much value it has, the overreach formula is Tsumaranai mono desu ga, uketotte kudasai! and means translated The gift is not of great value, but please accept it anyway.
Traveling comfortably: Train and metro tickets are available at offices and vending machines with English menu. Just to evoid standing in line with the whole group it turned out to be the best that I buy all tickets while the group waits together with Frans. With the final payment amount I will charge the estimated fees for all trains, metros, taxis, buses and cable cars. At the end of the journey I will calculate if there is a differance between estimated and real costs that you or I should balance in favor of the other.
Staying mobile on the go: Nowadays, there are various providers that lend SIM cards. I have had good experiences with CDJapan. On the English website (https://rental.cdjapan.co.jp/index_en_jpy_7.html) I borrowed in 2016 SIM card suitable for my smartphone for 2,800 yen (about 22 Euros / 25 USD) for 14 days. It was send to the first hotel where you stayed. By pre-addressed and Franctized envelope, it can put in any mailbox and send back on the last day (mail boxes at Narita Airport Terminal 1: 4F Departure Lobby, Terminal 2: 3F Departure Lobby). Alternatively, this for example is recommended on the Internet as well: (https://www.der-japan-rail-pass.de/services/simcard).
Helpful apps: An app with excellent translation and voice output, but one that needs an online connection, is Translate Voice Free. Usable offline, if you have previously downloaded your vocabulary online, are Google Translator and iTranslate. With the app Scanner & Translator you can even get photographs of warning signs, bus timetables or restaurant menu cards translated.
Questions made that are of interest for all
Question: I wonder how Covid-19 affects traveling, booking and organisation. Is there something different?
Answer: Indeed there is and let´s look at four differences.
ENTRY: If an entry to Japan would require vaccination, sorry you would have to make sure so.
DEPOSIT: Normally you pay 20% at the moment of booking and 80% no later then four weeks before traveling. As the chance that the trip can not take place now is still higher than in normal times, I don´t request the deposit payment at the time of booking. I request when the minimum of participants (12 persons) is reached and most properly the trip can take place.
CANCELLATION FEE: After your deposit payment is done and I have made binding bookings of hotel rooms and means of traffic I would have to charge a fee in case or your cancellation. You might wonder what about a special free of charge cancellation if you can´t participate due to an illness of, suspicion of or positive test of Covid-19 or quarantine necessity. Well, unfortunately I can not cancel for you already booked hotels or reserved means of trafic free of charge myself. Therefor this case regrettably will not exempt you from payment of cancellation fee in accordance with my travel organizers terms and conditions. But if you don´t want to bear the risk yourself you can care for an appropriate insurance for this case.
IMPAIRMENTS: Traveling in Covid-19 times you must be aware that during the trip precautions to contain the pandemic, such as wearing a mask, distance and hygiene rules and possible other measures, may constitute significant impairment.
Question: 100 years ago in 1922 Usui Sensei had his Satory exeperience and I have heared that is celebrated in Japan. Do you join any of these with the group?
Answer: I have been looking with Frans Stiene at this. There are several celebration organizers. Due to Corona we don´t know which celebration finally really takes place. Some have a minimum and others a maximum of participants, some are considered more for practitioners of individual Reiki lineages only, one is sheduled for April, another for May, another for August. Eventually we decided not to make our trip organizing depending of this and others. Of course the trip 2022 is special and we could make a circle with all trip partitioners from all the different countries and Reiki backgrounds to exchange thoughts what makes it special for and take a moment in silence to honour and thank the Reiki founder Mikao Usui Sensei while being in this country and following his footsteps with that trip.
Question: Could I make a reservation a couple of weeks before until it is sure that I get free days from the company?
Answer: Please understand that reservations are difficult to make. We would have to make this possible for others as well. It´s not good to reject bookings and hold reservations that might finally not lead to bookings while the others have in the meantime decided to spend their time somewhere else. Worst case finally not all places are booked and before bookings have been rejected. It´s just too much work and advertisement costs to risk that.
Question: I wonder if I am young enough to do a trip with pilrimage charakter, what do you think?
Answer: Age is not the criteria to join our group. Though you have to keep in mind that this is not a journey with four star air condition bus and an own driver how carries your luggage to the hotel. We use public transport, changing the means and going to or leaving from hotels means walking and carrying luggage oneself. Please take care that your luggage is not too heavy for you and give preference for suitcases with rolls.
Question: Two years ago I have been to Tokio and as a hotel guest I received a mobile which I could use inside and outside for calls and mobile internet. It was easy to use the Google maps, to browse and I could download my whatsapp account or whatever social media account. Public Wi-Fi leaves a lot to be desired in Tokio but the mobile internet on the handy worked well. As far as I know it is a common and free service at a lot of hotels in the cities. If that is the case in the hotels you are going to book then there is no need to buy a sim card, right?
Answer: In 2016 I didn´t personally experience that and I am sure that not all hotels will have that service during our trip. Some have Wi-Fi, so if you are happy with time to time access to the internet in hotels, restaurant or local public spots, you really don´t have to care for a sim card. Finally it´s your choice. I personally would prefer if everyone would have a sim card, so that in the unlikely event that someone might get lost, we could easily stay in contact.
Question: Could I have a single room if the price is not much different?
Answer: Concerning single rooms let me explain what is problematic about. The question is less the price. The question is what does this mean for travel organisation? If offered to you it must be offered to all. If the price would not be that much higher, everybody would of course prefer a single room.
As you can imagine hotels are not really interested in this. For travel organizers it would be much more difficult and complicated to find hotels. With 20 travellers added 2 with Frans and me at least eleven rooms are already a limitation of hotel choice.
In the tourism industry hotels or travel organizers or hotels and travel organizers try to avoid this by the price. The travel company RVD for example charges for a single room or a double room with single occupation the price as for two persons. So Holistika informs from the very beginning that only shared rooms are offered.
Though from organizational point there could be the need for single occupation when there is no adequate number of men and women to share the room with the same gender. So having an uneven quantity of women or men could single occupation make necessary, if not three people occupation is the solution. And honestly not only in small hotels in Japan shared rooms with more than two people is the normal case.
In case of single occupation a fair and for all acceptable solution has to be found. In that cases the lot shall decide among those who would be interested in single occupation. A new hotel would mean new lottery.
Question: What will the total price will be about?
Answer: The journey price is 2,940 Euro and the retreat price is 550 Euro. The costs for train, taxi, bus and cablecar rides could be around 300 Euros, the shared bus costs to Taniai I guess around 50 Euro depending on the group size. If you like a Shinto blessing ceremony that would be around 30 Euros. The price for the zazen and the calligraphy workshop I honestly don´t know yet but will be well affordable. You have to add costs on your site like the flight ticket, costs for travel insurances, costs for meals and personal expenses.
Question: Are international bank transferral costs on my behalf?
Answer: I am sorry that with Holistika being located in Germany, booking from outside Europe result in international bank transferral costs. These vary from every country and every bank. The Holistika prices are not considering this, means the fair price calculation is based on the expectation to receive even from persons from foreign countries the same incoming amount as from local people. Just 25 Euros less, which wouldn´t look much at first view but finally mean 25 Euros less for the deposit payment, 25 Euros less for the final payment, and sum up with 20 travellers to 1,000 Euros already. Equivalent to 2,000 Euro with 50 less and 4,000 Euros with 100 Euros less for bank costs in every payment. This is why all customers from outside Europa are kindly asked to cover ALL international bank transferral cost. So don´t just pay the amounts of the deposit or the final payment but check the transfer costs with your bank and make sure that this amount can be received by Holistika. As written 'under Additionals costs & what is not included' at least for the deposit payment PayPal has turned out to be an alternative.
Question: Do you know if PayPal might be the cheaper alternative?
Answer: The International bank transfer costs that you have to add on your payment amount are depening from bank to bank and country to country so that you have to check. In case you want to pay with PayPal there are fix percentages that Holistika adds on your payment amount.
If you are located in Germany this is 2,49% PayPal fee, so national bank transfer without charge is better for you. If you are located in an EU member country this is 2,49% PayPal fee + your borderpassing PayPal fee (+1,8% or +2,0% or +3,0%) depending on the group to that your country belongs, see list below. As international bank transfer within the EU member countries is free of charge, that is better for you. If you are located in a non EU member country, this is 2,49% PayPal fee + your borderpassing PayPal fee (+2,0% or +3,3%) depending on the group to that your country belongs, see list below. So if 4,49% or 5,79% PayPal are lower than the international bank transfer costs from your bank, you have to check please.
PayPal Country List:
Country group North Europe (2,49%+1,8%): Denmark (including Faroe Islands and Greenland), Finland (including Åland), Iceland, Norway, Sweden.
Country group Europe I (2,49%+2,0%): Belgium, Germany, Estonia, France (including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Mayotte, Martinique, Réunion), Gibraltar, Greece, Great Britain (including Channel Islands and Isle of Man), Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Vatican City, Cyprus.
Country group North America (2,49%+3,0%): Canada, United States of America.
Country group Europe II (2,49%+3,0%): Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kosovo, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Serbia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary.
Country group Latin Ameria (2,49%+3,3%): Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Cuba, Honduras, Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Dutch Antilles, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Country group APAC (2,49%+3,3%): Australia, Bangladesh, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Federated States of Micronesia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Kingdom of Bhutan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Vietnam, People's Republic of China.
Country group Other countries (2,49%+3,3%): All countries that can not be found in any other group.
Question: What might the price for meals not included in the journey price will be like?
Answer: Japan is more expensive than where you or I live but the menu cards have choices from cheap to expensive. Breakfast, as far as available in our hotels, is included in the travel price. Breakfast, if taken outside our hotels, is not included in the travel price. Dinner and in case we make stops for lunch or tea/coffee/cake is on everybody’s own costs. After the last journey I have realized to have had average costs of 6,000 Yen / 50 USD each day for meals for myself.
Question: Could you make sure that I always get vegan and gluten free diet?
Answer: Honestly and frankly I have to say that I can not guarantee vegan gluten free diets. Meals are not included. What restaurant we take depends on what is on the way and what the group attracts. As Frans is vegetarian you can be sure that we have a look for non-meat food but completely free of animalistic ingredients might be a challenge in Japan. Hope you can get along with that.
Question: Should I change money before and are there ATMs?
Answer: My personal experience is that the exchange in the country is the best rate. The first ATMs you find at the airport. In big cities ATMs are easy to find. Just consider that on the one hand you might have maximum limitations for each day depending on your bank, on the other site maximum limitations for each day depending on the local ATM like 20,000 Yen / 180 USD or even lower.
Question: After having send my booking form, could I already book my flights?
Answer: Please don´t book your flight before the minimum quantity of travelling persons is achieved and only after you have got your confirmation/invoice.
Question: Does an automatic sending confirmation of a booking form from your homepage mean we have a contract?
Answer: There often is a big misunderstanding. A contract as most know means two correlating declarations of intention, so called offer and acceptance. Some people think the advertisement for a trip for a example is the offer and sending the booking form is the acceptance so that this would mean to have a contract. From commercial and juridical view it is different. The advertisement is not an offer, it is the suggestion to the public to give an offer. The booking then is the offer. The acceptance, necessary for a valid contract, is the confirmation/invoice send by Holistika to the person that has send the booking form. The auto responder is just to confirm successful sending of the booking form.
Question: Are there certain things worth seeing in November compared to other months and what is the temperature like at that time?
Answer: November as month to travel is a historical development. Before doing this trips together with Frans and his retreats included I had an agreement with Doi Sensei to come with German Reiki students for training in October. Autum because at that time spanish groups came during spring time and Doi Sensei only wanted to have two international classes each year maximum due to his age. October because in November you don´t get accomodation at his place as most properly the local football team again reaches the final match taking place in November. So when Doi stopped teaching I moved to November as the leaf colours in October are not yet that indian summer like as on month later. Temperatures at the last trip have been around 15-20 degrees celsius and above. If you wonder what clothes to choose have a look at our trip pictures from 2019.