Mission and Philosophy

Shakuhachi Roots Pilgrimage Mission

“We recognize focused travel to study shakuhachi and traditional music in Japan is deeply transformative and refreshing for the spirit. Our mission is to offer inspirational, educational, culturally-enriching, and most importantly, joyful tours that deepen your shakuhachi experience.”

Our Philosophy
  • On the Japan Roots Pilgrimage, we will be lodging in a variety of places which include traditional, Japanese-style ryokans, local hotels, and the occasional convenient, business hotel. These lodgings are selected to be close to the sights and culture. By staying in central locations, you are within walking distance of what you came to see. This saves you time and money, and gives you lots of independence. All of the ryokans and hotels, with the exception of the Buddhist temple on Koya-san, have en-suite bathrooms. The bathrooms will include a bath/shower combination, sink and toilet, while the Buddhist temple has shared bath and toilet facilities “down the hall.”
  • We prefer to eat in smaller, more intimate restaurants. There are probably more restaurants per capita in Japan than anywhere else in the world and because of space limitations in Japan, many of these restaurants only have a small counter and/or a couple of tables that are (again) off-limits to larger groups. We always include Kaiseki-style dinner served at the ryokans. This is truly another unique experience that cannot be missed.
  • We feel food is an important part of traveling. One of the biggest misconceptions of Japan is that the Japanese only eat sushi. Nothing could be further from the truth. Japanese food is very diverse, and varies region-by-region. We introduce our tour members to the many different types of foods, and we always try to include at least one Kaiseki-style dinner on each tour. Known as the gourmet-style cooking in Japan, Kaiseki dinners are another essential Japanese experience. For those who are vegan or vegetarian, it is more difficult, but with enough effort, it is possible to maintain this diet.
  • We use mainly public transportation. We use the same trains, subways, buses, taxis and ferries that millions of Japanese use every day. By traveling this way, you will get much closer to the people and culture you traveled thousands of miles to discover. And no trip to Japan is complete without at least one ride on the Shinkansens (bullet trains).
  • Our tour itinerary is very dynamic and is designed to allow you to see a great amount in a short amount of time. We don’t stay too long in one area so you feel like you’re always moving forward and evolving. An appropriate amount of free time is built into the itineraries for you to follow your own curiosity and interests. Our intent is to make our tours “quality” plus “quantity.”
  • We include many well-balanced cultural extras such as tea ceremonies, meditation sessions, Shinto purification (misogi), and Japanese music performances.
  • “Coming from nowhere, going to nowhere, like the wind.” – Komuso motto