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Late this spring, Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin, a long-time sangha member of Hoen-ji and Dai Bosatsu Zendo, will lead a tour of Japan. A message from Nyogetsu contains detailed information below; please note that the deadline to register at the discounted rate is February 15th.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin, and I have been a Shakuhachi teacher/performer for the past 41 years. The Shakuhachi is the only melodic instrument used in Zen Buddhism.
I have been active in Buddhist Centers on the East Coast, among them: Hoen-ji (Syracuse, NY), Zen Center of Rochester (Rochester, NY), Dai Bosatsu Zendo (Livingston Manor, NY), Fire-Lotus Zendo (Brooklyn, NY), Zen Mountain Monastery (Mt.Tremper, NY), the Philadelphia Meditation Center (Haverford, PA), Chan Meditation Center (Queens, NY), Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia(Philadelphia, PA), Village Zendo (NY, NY), Shobo-ji (NY, NY) and many more.
I have been leading annual tours to Japan for the past 34 years. My tours focus around temples and gardens and historical and natural attractions. I can say that, without a doubt, my Japan tour is the most economical tour on the market!
The date for this year's tour is May 16th to June 1st, 2014.
Last year's tour was my best to date! This is, in large part, due to the 5-day side trip to the southern island of Kyushu which we will be returning to again this May. This year's trip will be even better because a visit to Nagasaki has been added. We will be visiting Peace Park and the Peace Museum as well as visiting the Buddhist Temple Row. With the help of two Kyushu colleagues, we will visit Mt. Aso, which is the world's largest active volcano, Kumamoto Castle, Musashi's Caves and the tropical resort town of Takasaki-Shi.
Some highlights of our tour:
- The historical capital cities of Kamakura, and Nara
- The great Shakuhachi maker Sadao Chinone's studio and workshop, at his farm in Hitachi-Shi, Ibaraki Prefecture
- The Ise No Kami Jingu, the oldest shrine in Japan in Tenri-Shi
- The Kabuki-Za
- Asakusa outdoor shopping area of Tokyo
- We will take part in a traditional tea ceremony in the city of Uji (where it was originally created)
- In Kyoto there will be many visits to gardens, Buddhist temples and shrines, including the Imperial Gardens of Katsura Rikyu and Shugakuin, Kiyomizu-Dera, Heian Jingu, Gion Corner, and Ginkaku-ji (the Temple of the Silver Pavilion)
Participants on the tour also have the opportunity to take Shakuhachi lessons which are available on a daily basis from myself, and on the Kyoto part of the trip, from Kurahashi Yodo II Sensei.
But the most outstanding thing about my tours is that we do everything with Japanese people – where the true heart of Japan is!
You must reserve early! We have a few spots still open.
The order of some of the activities is subject to change.
Note: we will be traveling via JR (Japan Railroad) on a one week Pass during a portion of this tour.
Friday, May 16 - Leave around noon from JFK or LaGuardia Airport in New York, or from another airport, and fly over the International Dateline gaining a day.
Saturday, May 17 - Arrive at Tokyo's Narita Airport in the afternoon. We will proceed to Tokyo by bus. While in Tokyo, we will stay at the Tohon Dai Kyokai. Shakuhachi lessons can be taken anytime during the tour with Ronnie. While we are in Tokyo, additional shakuhachi lessons can be taken, if so desired, with such masters as Aoki Reibo, Mitsuhashi Kifi, Furuya Teruo and Kakizakai Kaoru. Tohon Dai Kyokai.
Sunday, May 18 - Visit the home of Sadao Chinone (a famous shakuhachi maker) in Hitachi City in Ibaraki Prefecture and have the opportunity to purchase a shakuhachi. We'll have a feast and tour his work/studio and family farm. We'll finish off the day with a soothing bath at a local onsen (hotsprings resort) and visit a historic Buddhist temple.21
Monday, May 19 - We will visit Kamakura, which is a beautiful small city near Tokyo. Kamakura was one of the ancient capitals of Japan and is known for its gardens, Buddhist temples and having the largest outdoor bronze Buddha in the world.
Tuesday, May 20 - In the morning, we will visit the most famous outdoor shopping area of Tokyo - Asakusa. That afternoon you will have the opportunity to attend a performance of the grand Kabuki, at the newly remodeled Kabuki-Za Theatre. Earlier in the day we will have the opportunity to visit the area around the Ginza.
Wednesday, May 21 - Today we will begin our one week JR-Pass. We will travel to the city of Tenri, Japan and stay at the Tohon Tsumesho for two nights. We may be able to see Mt. Fuji from the Shinkansen (the Bullet Train) on the way!
Thursday, May 22 - On this day we will listen to one Besseki Lecture, and afterwards we will spend the day in Nara - the first capital of Japan. Visiting the Nara-koen (a city park with bowing "sacred deer"), the Nara National Museum of Art and Todai-ji (a Buddhist temple and the largest wooden structure in the world containing the largest bronze Buddha - the Dai-Buttsu). We will also visit the famous Kofuku-ji Buddhist temple.23
Friday, May 23 - Tuesday, May 27 - Leaving early in the day on the Shinkansen, we will spend this day and the next four days on the Island of Kyushu. Here we will see the largest active volcano in Japan (Mt. Aso), visit the Museum and Peace Park in Nagasaki and its Temple Row with its many beautiful Buddhist temples. We'll stay in the beautiful seaside city of Miyazaki, which is known for its many Buddhist temples and shrines. We will also visit Kumamoto and visit Kumamoto Castle there.
Friday, May 23 - Travel early in the day from Tenri to Nagasaki via the Bullet train. In the afternoon we will visit Temple Row. We will stay in a Hotel in Nagasaki.
Saturday, May 24 - After spending the majority of this day visiting the famous Peace Park in Nagasaki, where we will perform for the spirits lost at the museum commemorating the war losses. We will then proceed to Kumamoto where we will check into our hotel and perform a concert with Jeff Cairns and his teacher Tsurugi Sensei either this evening or the following evening.
Sunday, May 25 - We will spend this whole day in Kumamoto with Jeff Cairns visiting Kumamoto Castle and Mt. Aso (the world's largest active volcano). We will travel around Kumamoto by rented van.24
Monday, May 26 - Travel early in the morning to Miyazaki City on the 7:00 AM Shinkansen. We will spend the day with Hiromichi and Noemi Kimoto visiting famous shrines, Buddhist temples and other sites. In the evening we may have a concert with a famous Shakuhachi Minyo (folk music) teacher.
Tuesday, May 27 - On this day, we will take the Bullet train to Kyoto. Accommodation for our five nights in Kyoto will be at a small Kyoto Hotel near Kyoto Station, which was rated #1 of the 183 places to stay in Kyoto by the website Trip Advisor. While in Kyoto we can also arrange to take as many lessons with Kurahashi Yodo II Sensei as desired. Our hotel is in close walking distance to Nishi Honganji - the home Temple for Jodo Shinshu Buddhism (the largest Buddhist sect in Japan).
Wednesday, May 28 - This day will be our visit to the Imperial garden of Shugakuin and the Imperial garden of Katsura Rikyu. We will also visit downtown Kyoto, where in Gion Corner we may see geisha walking around! Kanazen (the only shakuhachi store in Western Japan) and Chio-in Temple and/or Yasaka Jinja may also be included.
Thursday, May 29 - We will visit downtown Kyoto for more sightseeing and shopping, marvel at the beauty of the exquisite gardens of Heian-jingu and purchase souvenirs at the Kyoto Handicrafts Center. On this day, we will visit the famous Ginkakuji (Temple of the Silver Pavillion).
Friday, May 30 – We will visit the Buddhist Temple Kiyomizu-dera, and walk up the hill to the famous “Philosopher's Walk”. Earlier in the day, we will try to visit Hon Daigo and visit the city of Uji, where the Tea Ceremony was invented. In this city we will visit two Zen temples where Dogen Zenji bones are interned and experience an abridged version of the Tea Ceremony.
Saturday, May 31 - On this day we will visit Tofukuji Temple complex and the shakuhachi sub-temple Meian-ji. We will have lunch with Rev. Soichi Takahashi at Soryo Bun-Kyokai. In the evening, we will have a performance with Kurahashi Yodo Sensei. We may visit Sanju-Sangendo (the Hall of a Thousand Buddhas).
Sunday, June 1 - We depart from Osaka International Airport or from Itami – the domestic airport, arriving back in the USA around noon the same day because of the International dateline.
Thank you so much,
Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin
Fri, May 16, 2014 - 12:00am - Sun, Jun 1, 2014 - 12:00am