Reiki-trip to Japan 2019 (English version)

16-day Reiki-trip to Japan with world renowned Reiki teacher and author Frans Stiene

November 08th to 23rd 2019 – Booking code GRJ16-1911

The illustrated itinerary (print-out layout) can be found as pdf here: Flyer-Japan-trip-2019_GB.pdf

About the trip:

Short descriptionCharacter of the journeyItineraryTarget groupParticipation in retreat and exchange meetingPrice & what is includedAdditionals costs & what is not includedDateFurther information

During the 16-day trip, we visit the memorial stone of the Reiki founder Mikao Usui Sensei in Tōkyō, his birthplace in Taniai with the memorial stone erected there in September 2018, Mount Kurama, the site of his enlightenment experience, Mount Hiei, the site of his Buddhist exercises and Kyōtō, where he practiced Zazen meditations for over three years. In addition, we visit the ancient imperial city of Nara and the shrine of the Meji Emperor, from whose Gyosei poems Usui Sensei selected 125 for the Reiki practice.

Other stops include the coastal town of Atami, where Chūjirō Hayashi had his country site house and ended his life, as well Fuji Mountain, whose ascent Japanese Reiki teacher Hiroshi Doi Sensei likes to compare to the path of Reiki. During the trip we have opportunities for sightseeing (Tōkyō, Kyōtō), onsen spa (Atami, Kurama) and shopping (Tōkyō and on the way).

On three days, a retreat* “How Japanese spiritual teachings formed and influenced the system of Reiki” with Frans Stiene will take place in the Kyōtō area. On one day it is planned to participate in an exchange meeting with Japanese Reiki practitioners in Ashiya near Kyōtō.

* = 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). 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.

Depending on the interest and condition on the day, participants can optionally take part in program additions such as evening meditations et cetera.

Narita Airport – Tōkyō by Narita express train – Atami by Shinkansen – Kawaguchi Lake & Fuji Mountain by Mishima express bus – Kyōtō by Shinkansen – visits to Kyōtō and trips to Mount Kurama & Kurama Onsen, Mount Hiei and to Nara – Ashiya by regional train and Reiki exchange meeting with Japanese Reiki practitioners – birthplace of Usui Senseis Taniai and memorial stone by Shinkansen via Gifu Hashima and from there by rental bus – Narita by Shinkansen via Tōkyō – Tōkyō by Narita express train – Narita Airport. The illustrated itinerary (print-out layout) can be found as pdf here: Flyer_Japan_trip_2019_GB_web

 

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.

Price:

    • journey: 2.490 Euros / 2,820 USD + retreat-fee 530 Euros / 600 USD = total 3.020 Euros / 3,420 USD

    • deposit amount = 20% of the travel price and retreat-fee after receipt of the booking confirmation (604 Euros / 684 USD)

    • Maturity of the remaining payment = no later than 4 weeks before the start of the journey (2.416 Euros / 2,736 USD)

The price includes:

    • all overnight stays of the 16-day trip, depending on the hotel mostly in double rooms 

    • breakfast, as far as available in our hotel

    • Sightseeing bus in Atami

    • Express bus (2 1/2 hours) to Lake Kawaguchi and Mount Fuji

    • Kawaguchi sightseeing buses of the green and the red line

    • all admissions of the sights according to the travel description

    • Reiki exchange meeting fee

    • Travel organisation and group escort on site by tour operator and Reiki teacher Oliver Drewes

    • three day retreat with Frans Stiene

    •  

The travel price does not include:

    • International flight *

    • Japan Rail Ticket **

    • proportional costs on the rental bus to Taniai ***

    • Bank transfer costs ****

    • possibly additional taxi rides

    • meals

    • breakfast, when ordered outsite our hotels

    • travel insurances

    • personal expenses such as laundry service, etc.

    • all other services not listed as included in the price

* Please choose a flight arriving no later than November 8th. After breakfast on November 9th, we start together for a trip to Tōkyō city.

** 14 days standard ticket 355 Euros / 400 USD (valid for all trains on the JR route including Shinkansen high-speed trains and Narita express trains), www.jrailpass.com (48 hours express delivery)

*** The total cost of the rental bus to Taniai is about 60,000 yen (450 Euros / 510 USD) and is divided by the number of participants of the daytour and possibly additional Japanese Reiki practitioners (the last time in October 2016 there were a total of 15 participants).

**** 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 when we add the 2,49% (15 Euros / 17 USD). 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 8th to 23rd 2019

• 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: The minimum number of participants is 12. Please do not buy a ticket before reaching is communicated by the organizer.

• 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.

The journey you can either book online here or you send us the printed booking form by post or as an e-mail attachment.

 

About Japan:

Entry regulationsHealth regulationsCountry informationTravel hints for Japan

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.

Helpfull vocabulary:

    • 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: Single local trains are not expensive and tickets are available at vending machines with English menu, but you can evoid standing in the line and that charges for high-speed Shinkansen trains add up (Kyōtō – Tōkyō already about 130 Euros). I have spend more than 400 euros on Shinkansen and express train tickets in 2016, and 100 Euros added from local train tickets. Therefore, the Japan Rail Pass is highly recommended. On the website (www.jrailpass.com) you can buy a 14-day standard ticket for 355 Euros / 400 USD. This applies to all trains on the JR network including Shinkansen high-speed trains and Narita express trains. The shipping costs for the delivery within 48 hours are 26 Euros/ 30 USD, the delivery is free of charge when purchasing two tickets.

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: 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 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: Last year 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 2,820 USD, the retreat 600 USD, the Japan Rail Pass 400 USD, the shared bus costs I guess between 25 and 50 USD depending on the group size. 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: Do you have own made or travellers made experiences that might be helpful to consider for myself?

Answer: Experiences are always individual but I would like to give some examples ...

• One traveller had problems with his camera battery, so it is good to have a second one and of course not to for get the camera charging equipment.

• Once a sd-card stopped working, so it is good to have a replacement sd-card.

• One lady had problems with her smartphone battery, so a power bank for charging on the way is good to have. Beside the smartphone charging cable anyway.

• In Japan they have 100 Volt, in Tokyo and Osaka 50 Hz, in Kyoto and Nagoya 60 Hz. So I recommend to have a least one travel adapter. Depending on your need maybe more or you take a small plug board to connect with you.

• It´s advantageous to remember to carry the insurances documents and make sure that the passport validity is at least six month longer than return date.

• Useful are sun cream, sun glasses, possibly sleeping mask and depending on your room mate earplugs.

• One time a lady had neither an alarm clock nor a smartphone for waking up and the group was not so glowing to wait for her every single day.

• Once a traveller lost his smartphone in a taxi and wished he would have had a sim card inside to call the driver with one of our group phones to come back.

• Frustrating for the whole group could be if one traveller had no Japan Rail Pass. You don´t get it in Japan and need to order before. In case of not having the whole group could not quickly enter a local train or Metro but would have to wait for one single person to buy it. That could be a challenge, first to find the ticket machine, then to understand how to run it and possibly wait in a line with dozens of Japanese people in front and others in hurry behind. I unfortunately couldn´t assist in that time as I have to make sure that he group takes the right train in the right direction from the right platform and have the right information where to change into what connection train.

• Depending on season and region there could be really annoying mosquitos / sand-flies. The foreign anti-insect cream in most cases is not helpful at all, so better to buy local products.

Question: After having send my booking form, could I already book my flights and buy the Japan Rail Pass?

Answer: Please don´t book your flight before having booked with Holistika, 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.