A totally blissed out experience. I learned new things, had new adventures, and met some fantastic people. It felt good to do something so awesome for myself. Thank you for this incredible experience!
— Debra H.

What does a Pravassa vacation look like?

What makes Pravassa's travel concept different?

Close to our heart, mind, body, and soul, our company wellness principles lay the foundation upon which every Pravassa tour is built.  No matter where in the world we take you, expect these principles to shine through on each of our wellness travel journeys.  

1) Unique Boutique Accommodations - Scouting and vetting hotels is a hallmark of Pravassa’s customer service. We specialize in forming relationships with locally run properties that shine a light on the best of hospitality. Typical Western amenities may not be available, but their heart & charm make for an authentic experience. 

2) Locally Sourced Food - The best way to learn about a culture is to trace its history through food. Local recipes can tell stories across time and geography. Our wellness food philosophy: eat locally sourced food, mostly vegetables; renews our commitment to sustainability and opens a world for you to nourish your body in the best way possible. 

3) Exclusive Experiences - All Pravassa journeys give you access to expert educators and exclusive travel experiences. We craft relationships that offer insider access to cultural festivals, local's homes, and onsite offerings created just for Pravassa's guests.

4) Stress-Free Travel - By expertly handling every detail of your trip, Pravassa puts you on a path to wellness and a stress-free vacation. From our exclusive travel guides and pre-departure consultations to VIP customs clearance and on-site transportation, you'll never have to sweat the small stuff with us.  

5) Time for Self-Care - In our over scheduled, constantly connected world, self-care often goes by the wayside. Pravassa gives you permission and the time to stop, recharge, and bring joy into your life.

6) Wellness Support, Pre, During, & Post Journey - From jet-lag hacks to advice on how to stay healthy while traveling, Pravassa is here to guide and support your journey from the time you register to after you return home. Joining our connected community enhances your entire vacation experience. 

 

What can i expect on a Pravassa tour?

A Pravassa travel experience is more than just a vacation. We plan a stress-free vacation, which restores your best self.  Our 5-tenet wellness philosophy®: BREATHE. MOVE. EXPERIENCE. MINDFULNESS. NOURISH. ensures you'll have a #changedbytravel experience. Here how:

  • We will limit this group size to a maximum of 12 travelers in order to create a harmonious tribe. 
  • We personally research and scout our itineraries ensuring they are properly vetted for wellness travel.
  • We craft each tour to have a balance between cultural excursions, physical activities, and down time to explore on your own.
  • We never drop you off at a must-see sight in a cattle call. Instead we partner with expert guides who invite you to be immersed in the culture and have an authentic and often exclusive experience. 
  • We eschew large tour buses and instead use vans that seat three-across.
  • We understand the importance of diet & nutrition and work with all our travelers to accommodate their needs.
  • We connect you to our like-minded community made up of solo travelers, couples, friends, and families, all over 18 years of age.
  • We create a Pre-Departure Package, which includes an exclusive travel guide, wellness tips and travel hacks, a wellness consultation, and access to our team who will answer all your questions. 
  • We make sure you are greeted at the airport with a friendly face to whisk you to our first location.
  • We welcome the group in an opening wellness session, which we release the stress of traveling and discuss our upcoming itinerary. 

 

How do i get there?

You’ll fly into Tokyo and out of Osaka. Flights from the US take anywhere from 14 – 24 hours of travel time depending if you travel non-stop or with layovers. Expect airfare to run from $900 - $1600 for an economy-class ticket. Travelers are responsible for booking their own flights. Do not book your flight until the vacation is confirmed to depart. At that time, Pravassa forwards suggested booking routes. 

 

What is the Japan arrival & departure info?

Check-in is available from 3pm on October 13th. Group transfers into Tokyo city and into Osaka for departure will be arranged. Flights should arrive between 12:30 – 4:30pm and depart after 12pm. 

If you choose to arrive/depart outside of the set transfer times, we will be happy to help arrange your transportation for an additional fee. 
 

Are there entry & Travel requirements?

All travelers’ passports MUST be valid for 6 months after date of entry into Japan (May 2018). Please make sure to check your passport at least three months before your departure so you have time to renew it if necessary.   

No Visa is required to visit Japan if you are a US, EU, or Canadian national. 

For this trip we suggest packing no more than a 10kg/22lb suitcase and a large tote or backpack - we'll offer tips & tricks on how to do this! A packing list will be sent as part of your pre-departure package, but to get started you'll need: layers, yoga/fitness clothes, earplugs, and a good pair of slip-on walking shoes.  

Are there health/medical concerns?

Please consult a travel doctor and the CDC website for up-to-date travel vaccinations. 

Even if you're healthy, accidents can happen! Healthcare in Japan is top notch and we strongly recommend purchasing a quality, but low cost plan. Our favorite, from World Nomads, covers things such as trip delay, lost luggage, accidents, and medical emergencies. 

Stomach problems can be common when traveling. Drinking a lot of water is the best way to stay healthy. We suggest you pack activated charcoal and probiotics to keep your gut healthy and calm should it become upset. Pharmacies are readily available in Japan should you need anything on the trip. 

 

What level are the active excursions?

Japan's Activity Level is MODERATE. Focus is on walking, climbing temple stairs, and a leisurely bike ride. 

Our #changedbytravel hashtag is most appropriate when you find yourself far away from home in a foreign land. Expect to be taken out of your comfort zone - where your most profound personal change will happen. For active experiences in Japan (temple tours, walking tours, bike riding, etc.) we ask that you wear good walking shoes, preferably ones that are easy to take on and off.  
 

What can I expect in the Wellness Classes?

We will be joining local yoga classes taught, in English, by local instructors. While all fitness levels can be accommodated, we suggest you take some yoga classes before we depart to familiarize yourself with the practice. 

The meditation and forest bathing sessions will be held outdoors at various times of day. These sessions will be a mixture of movement, seated meditation, and discussion designed to stretch and stimulate your body and mind. 

Remember that you have the freedom to skip any activity that does not resonate with you. 

 

Are there additional fees?

International airfare, additional meals, alcohol, personal expenses, additional activities such as day tours, transportation, or Onsen booked in addition to our itinerary will all be additional fees.

 

Is Japan for me?

Japan offers up a mysterious and complex culture, which is why it’s so alluring to foreigners. Here are a few local customs to understand that will help you to decide if this tour is a good fit for you. 

  • Remove Your Shoes: Shoes are never worn indoors in Japan. You are expected to take them off at the entrance to a house or temple and exchange them for slippers. Japanese etiquette requires you to wear socks without holes in them. For large, crowded temples, we suggest carrying a shoe bag so you can slip your own shoes into your backpack and keep them with you.
  • Tatami Rooms: Traditional Japanese Inns and Ryokans are made up of multiple tatami mat rooms. The number of mats per room determines how many futons are set up each night. With space in Japan at a premium, these rooms are multi-functional: eating, drinking tea, office space, and bedrooms. Inn hosts will either set up your futon every night or show you how to do it. Sleeping 6 to a room is not uncommon, although for this trip, we’ll have 2 people per room. 
  • Bow in Greeting: Bowing is an art form in Japan. From a slight incline of the head to a full bow from the waist, children are taught the intricacies from the time they are little. For travelers, upon meeting and upon departing company of a Japanese person, a smallbow is acceptable and respectful.
  • Onsen: Hot Springs (Onsen) are one of the quintessential experiences in Japan. With more than 3,000 springs and many more public baths (Sento), you can find something for everyone. Most common are the indoor baths, usually segregated between men and women, as you are required to be naked with strangers. While tattoos are forbidden in most public baths, we know of a great one in Kyoto that permits them. We encourage you to try one while traveling.
  • Ritual and Ceremony: Nothing in Japan is done without ritual and honor. From serving tea to praying in temples to meeting someone for the first time, the Japanese have mastered the art of mindfulness. The tea ceremony is Japan’s most famous contemplative ritual. Tea masters study for a minimum of 10-years to learn the art of boiling water, pouring it, and how much matcha to use. Ceremonies last between two to four hours and are popular when conducting important business deals. If you want to experience a tea ceremony yourself, let us know and bring your wallet. A decade of study does not come cheap.
  • Table Manners: Slurping your soup and noodles is a time-honored tradition in Japan and is actually a polite sign, which shows you’re enjoying your meal. It’s perfectly ok to raise the bowl to your mouth to enjoy every last drop. Napkins are not a part of the table. Instead, heated wet towels are given at the beginning of the meal. Use it to wash your hands, carefully refold it, and set it aside. You’ll need it later to wipe up any mess created from using chopsticks with all your meals - silverware is not something restaurants typically have. 
  • Tea, Tea, and More Tea: The history of tea in Japan dates back to 9th century text written by a Buddhist monk. Today, tea – green, jasmine, sencha, matcha - is consumed throughout the day. While coffee is becoming trendy in the major cities, you will not always find it served at hotels, inns, or Ryokans. As a back up, we carry some instant coffee with us as hot water is always available. 
  • 7-Eleven is Heaven:  Found on every corner in Japan, 7-Eleven carries everything you can imagine. From yummy bento boxes to sake to ramen to ATM's that accept foreign debit cards, you can find everything you need here, including iced coffee.

 

What do I need to know about traveling japan?

  • The national language is Japanese. Westerners are not expected to learn the language and English characters are prevalent in the metro and on street signs. We’ll teach you a few key phrases and our experts will be there to guide you so no need to worry. 
  • The currency is the Japanese Yen and cash is king. No need to get Yen prior to travel,we will provide suggested amounts to bring and exchange upon arrival. ATMs that take foreign cards can be found within the 7-Elevens.
  • No Visa is required to visit Japan if you are a US, EU, or Canadian national.
  • There is no tipping in Japan. It's actually considered impolite to tip. 
  • Electricity is 100V and outlets take US plugs.
  • WiFi is available at our hotel in Tokyo and when using free city networks in our other locations.
  • Fall will be in full swing during our tour. Temperatures will range from 50s - 70s with a mix of cloudy and sunny days. Pack layers so you can remain comfortable.
  • Japan is one of the safest places to travel, but we always suggest keeping alert and using common sense so you’ll have nothing to worry about.
  • Tap water in Japan is perfectly safe to drink.
  • Space is a luxury in Japan. Hotels do not have closets and trains have small luggage areas. 1 carry-on and 1 backpack is what you'll need to make it comfortable through our trip. 
  • If you have tattoos, you will need to keep them covered while in Japan. Still having cultural ties to Yakuza, it's considered impolite to show them while a guest in the country.
  • Ryokans and Japanese Inns are a traditional way to travel in Japan. Often over 100 years old, they have Shojii Screen walls, tatami floors, and shared hallway bathrooms. We recommend you travel with earplugs and pajamas. 
  • While it’s relatively easy to avoid meat in Japan, being a vegetarian is a new concept as the cultural diet is heavily based on fish, even the broths of soup and noodle dishes are fish based. During our group meals we’ll do our best to accommodate dietary requests and serve local healthy ingredients.
  • If you have a gluten allergy or celiac disease, we cannot accommodate you for this trip due to wheat being prevalent in everything from rice to sauce in Japan.

 

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