November 10th-18th, 2018
November 20th-28th, 2018
Join us on an adventure as we travel to southern Japan to explore far and wide. We'll travelling via train, ferry, and foot to a vast array of places - down neon-lit streets of dense and layered cities, up to hidden mountain temples, sing together in our own private karaoke room, and much, much more!
PROGRAM: OSAKA, KOBE, KYOTO, HIROSHIMA, & MIYAJIMA ISLAND
Our nine-day / eight-night journey will challenge creatives to explore, expand and express themselves amongst exciting Japanese cityscapes and serene mountains.
• Visiting the bright neon streets of Osaka
• Opportunity for a late night sing-along in our private Karaoke room
• Serene hikes through mountains and mountaintop temples
• Explore ancient castles and peaceful gardens
• Dig for hidden nerd-treasure in otaku-heaven of Den Den Town
• Play with cute kittens in a local cat cafe (optional) and shop the covered streets of Amerikamura
• Visit and draw playful Japanese Macaques in their local habitat
• Get face-to-face with Miyajima's friendly Nihonjika deer
• Hike to beautiful Mount Misen and the surrounding mist-covered mountain temples.
• Get a chance to visit a relaxing Japanese onsen.
• Visit Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima and more!
AND OF COURSE... Plenty of time for creative conversation, sketching the gorgeous surroundings, and tons of LGAL led activities!
This program will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis based on the order that applications are received. If you are interested in joining with a partner or friend, please be sure to mention their name in the application form! Thank you!
Join us on an unforgettable adventure as we explore bustling neon-lit cities, beautiful misty mountains, ancient castles, serene temples and shrines in southern Japan!
The Light Grey Adventure Programs are all about traveling to incredible spaces with like-minded people who want to take in culture, arts, history, and gorgeous natural spaces with their sketchbooks in hand! Whether you are an experienced traveler or someone just venturing out for the first time, we have everything set up so you can just relax and go!
LEADING UP TO THE JOURNEY:
Well before you leave the comfort of your home, the Light Grey staff will contact each person to coordinate arrival times and our rendezvous in Osaka. Each participant will receive all of the information they'll need to pack, prepare, and get excited about our journey including information on how to arrange for your discounted foreigner's Japan Rail pass (the best way to travel across Japan!
***Notice! Securing a Japan Rail Pass:
Participants are required to purchase a Japan Rail Pass separately from the admission to this program. The Japan Rail Pass is a hugely discounted unlimited-use pass for the Japan Rail network of trains, and it will be our premiere mode of transportation during the program. This pass must be purchased directly from Japan Rail which requires a foreign (non-Japanese) passport and delivery address. Participants will need the 14 day pass. This allows for a little bit of time before and after the journey. They are only offered per week, so this is the best option for traveling. This is not included in the fee for the Light Grey Art Camp: Japan Culture Tour, and will need to be purchased separately. Information on how to order your pass will be included in the welcome packet sent to each participant upon confirmation.
The cost is $436 for a 14 Day pass.
Below is an sample itinerary for our trip! Please note that we take into consideration weather, seasonality of the program, and anything else that may disrupt enjoyment of the highlights during the trip and will adjust our schedule where needed in order to provide the best experience to all travelers! Day schedules may be in a different order depending on the group dates / arrival times.
As everyone arrives, we'll rendezvous at the Osaka Station and HQ and introduce you to the team and to the other travelers! We'll tour the neighborhood, and wander the local spaces and places around our home-sweet-home for the week and introduce ourselves over Japanese snacks and a tiny Japanese lesson. We'll learn to take the train together and give you a mini-tour of the customs for riding trains, etiquette while in Japan, and get everyone settled into our new home for the first half of our stay. In the evening, we will head to the Temma neighborhood for street food and traditional Japanese Karaoke in our private room!
We'll set out to visit Osaka Castle and see the beautiful surrounding gardens. There, we'll learn about the history of the castle and have a chance to sketch while we wander. After lunch at a local street vendor, we'll scour crates of vintage video games or vaults of manga in Osaka's famous Den Den Town (known as the Akihabara of the West), and participants can opt in for some quality cuddle time at a local cat cafe or stop and shop in the nearby covered shopping streets of Shinsaibashi, where you'll find a mix of fashion, food, and tons of unique shops.
As the sun goes down, we'll head to the streets of Namba district -- where we'll marvel at the animated storefronts, sample the savory street-food and enjoy the energetic sights and sounds of the streets!
We'll venture a bit further from our HQ, starting with a trip on the train to the nearby mountain city of Kobe. Here we'll be able to experience a city where the past mixes with the present, and the urban co-exists with the natural. We'll visit ancient temples nestled in snugly in the bustling metropolis, before heading to the edge of town, where the city meets the mountain. At Mt. Maya we'll hike to the striking, tiered waterfall hidden in the trees, before enjoying a coffee at the mountaintop herb gardens and listen to the mythology of the landscape.
At night, we'll head to a noodle bar for dinner and settle in for a night of incredible Japanese-designed board games such as Deep Sea Diver, and A Fake Artist Goes to New York!
Next, we'll venture to Kyoto, the former Imperial capital, a city rich in history and culture. We'll visit some of the incredible temples on our way to Kurama, a timeless historical village on the outskirts of town. We'll take a scenic train ride out of the city to an area deep in the forest that seems untouched by modern times. Here we'll hike up the mountain through a series of breathtaking shrines nestled amongst the natural beauty, and down the other side to another small historical town, Kibune. We'll have a sit-down meal at a family restaurant in Kibune and take a quick stop to see the local gallery featuring local artwork, pottery and crafts. If you wish, you can opt-in to visit a traditional Japanese onsen and relax before returning to the city at night.
We'll head back towards Kyoto to the beautiful town of Arashiyama. Here, we'll stroll through a towering bamboo forest, wander a sprawling traditional estate with fanciful gardens and serene pathways. In the afternoon, we'll climb to the top of a nearby mountain to visit a monkey park containing a troop of 120 free-roaming Japanese macaques, visit the 1200 moss-covered stone statues at Otagi Nenutsu-ji, then grab sushi at night before heading back home for the evening!
After a short break, you are welcome to opt in to join us as we head to an arcade to play games and pose in the photo booths or wander the city at your leisure.
We'll enjoy a peaceful ride on the Shinkansen with our bento boxes and watch the scenery pass as we head south, all the way down to our new HQ in Hiroshima. Here, we'll spend the day exploring the new city, taking trips down the covered shōtengai and playing games together at our international hostel! This cozy home has space for us to relax, play games, and is just a few blocks from the shōtengai (covered shopping streets!) Here, we'll introduce you to a great ice cream shop, point out some of the best bookstores and toy shops in the city, and let you loose to spend the night exploring the city and the incredible arcades of Hiroshima.
The following morning, we'll be up bright and early to visit one our favorite locations in Japan, the magical Miyajima Island! A short ferry ride will put us on the beach of a charming, isolated town where friendly wild deer wait to greet visitors arriving from the mainland. Miyajima is home to some of the most majestic and iconic temples in all of Japan, as well as the mysterious and misty Mt. Misen. Here, we'll be free to spend our time as we'd like; hike the mountain and visit it's many temples and shrines, sketch the famous Daishō-in Temple Complex and it's famous floating torii, or just wander the village, sampling it's famous maple leaf cakes and sitting on the beach with the friendly deer.
We'll wake up in Hiroshima and visit the sobering Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Hiroshima is the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack, and this site is dedicated to commemorating the victims and educating visitors. We'll have the afternoon to explore the other areas at our leisure and meet up one final dinner together in Japan, over Hiroshima's famous okonomiyaki.
We'll enjoy one final trip to a local coffee / tea house and say our goodbyes before helping everyone back to the Shinkansen to Osaka.
If you wish to stay longer, need assistance with recommendations for a longer stay, we'd be happy to help! The Light Grey staff will be happy to help you coordinate your adventure and will be in touch with everyone upon registration to assist with whatever travel needs you may have.
*** This itinerary may be subject to changes based on weather or potential fun-opportunities that may arise out of the seasonality of the journey.
ABOUT LIGHT GREY ART CAMPS:
The Light Grey Art Camps are designed to be fun, full of inspiring adventures & creative challenges including fun creative discussions and activities, and a chance for us to see incredible spaces together and learn from each other!
This adventure is perfect for people looking to connect with other creatives over a unique and intimate experience where we'll step out of our comfort zones and have a great time getting to know one another! For more information about Light Grey's other programs, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Japan Culture Tour (9Days / 8Nights) - $1,750 USD: The base price includes lodging, mandatory entry fees to all attractions, guided tours, museums and events that are part of the core program, and assistance with a train card for non-Japan Rail travel.
Notice! Japan Rail Pass: $436 for 14 Days
Participants are required to purchase a Japan Rail Pass, which is a hugely discounted unlimited-use pass for the Japan Rail network of trains. This pass must be purchased directly from Japan Rail which requires a foreign (non-Japanese) passport and delivery address. Participants will need the 14 day pass. This is not included in the fee for the Light Grey Art Camp : Japan Culture Tour, and will need to be purchased separately. Information on how to book your rail pass will be emailed out to all participants after confirmation.
LODGING & OUR HOME:
Our Art Camps are for individuals looking for an intimate, camp-like atmosphere!
We offer dormitory-style sleeping accommodations with roommates. We have an assortment of sleeping options, and couples are encouraged to apply together in order for us to assign the most comfortable sleeping arrangements for all. Our trips are planned with budget in mind and we do our best to keep the cost down by choosing spaces & places that allow us to share resources on our journey!
Light Grey Art Camp International trips allow for visitors to experience a wide range of local cuisine per their own tastes. We will be out traveling every day, and will be in populated locations that ofter several options for most meals. We will do our best to help find establishments that can accommodate participants dietary restrictions, but be aware the Japanese diet varies a great deal from the West, and communicating can be difficult! We will try our best to assist all participants with dietary needs as best we can. Most meals are not included in the price of the program, but we do have some special surprises, sweets and snacks we will be providing during our journey! Meals are relatively inexpensive in Japan, with the street-food being some of the most affordable (and tasty!) We will be stopping at a grocery store on the first day for anyone wishing to stock up on essentials for meals at home or for additional snacks on the journey.
This is a moderate-to-high activity level trip that includes a lot of time spent on foot. We will be walking a great deal, in both cities and mountains. Even when taking public transportation, there in no guarantee to a seat. Participants should be ready to explore on foot and a spend a large amount of time outdoors. The average southern Japan temperature in November is 60 degrees fahrenheit, and cool fall weather is common. We expect all types of weather, and will provide a packing list to participants in advance of the trip.
Flights are not included in the price of this program as people may be joining us from all over the country or beyond!
We encourage people to look into flights to Osaka International Airport in Osaka. Anyone wishing to spend more time in the area may also request information on other fun things to see while your'e in town, or recommendations on how to extend your trip!
This Art Camp International Culture Tour is 21+.
Positions are first-come, first-served. Please feel free to fill out the application form noting your details about which trip(s) you'd like to join, and upon receiving your application, we will contact you within a day or so to confirm your spot.
Payments will be due upon receipt, and your position in the program will be confirmed as soon as payment is received.
** Tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE, so please feel free to ask any questions you may have and we will gladly help! We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance for your travels.
If you have any questions about the experience, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
*Photos taken by Chris Hajny, at locations that all appear on this Light Grey Art Camp International trip.