Kurokawa, Japan | Wabi Sabi Retreat | April 1-5, 2019
Kurokawa, Japan | Wabi Sabi Retreat | April 1-5, 2019
Join Beth Kirby and Haruka Sakaguchi far from the familiar at a photography, creative business, and slow living retreat set at Ryokan Sanga, a traditional onsen hot spring fed bathhouse, in a secluded Japanese forest. Located in the Aso Mountains near the village of Kurokawa, the onsen is situated on a natural hot spring that flows from an ancient source where generations have come to bathe in its healing waters. We'll gather here for the sixth year in a row—in the place of their inception—to explore the Japanese aesthetic philosophies of wabi-sabi & mono no aware—the beauty of imperfection, impermanence, and shadow—as well as Japanese cuisine, photography, and designing an intentional life & business you love.
During our time together we’ll take full advantage of our surroundings and embrace a meditative pace of life. This retreat is an immersive cultural & culinary experience as well as an opportunity to learn DSLR photography basics for beginners or expand your portfolio for more advanced photographers. We will enjoy the hot springs, have group discussions, and come together for classes including a photography 101 practicum that will focus on mastering a DSLR in manual mode, a Lightroom editing demonstration where you can see how we edit our photographs, a Wabi Sabi & Slow Living talk, and a class called “The Art of Sharing” where we discuss online marketing from Instagram to e-mail for bloggers, creatives, and small businesses. All classes are optional. This retreat will be an opportunity to take beautiful photographs of your surroundings as well as an otherworldly travel and food experience. It's our hope that you will walk away rejuvenated & grounded with fresh eyes for approaching your vision for your life & business as well as the practical knowledge to execute it as well as with lasting relationships with likeminded people. The communities formed in past years of the retreat have resulted in meaningful friendships all over the world.
Please Note: This is not a styling retreat. We will be teaching photography & editing as well as online marketing & social media strategies for creatives and small business owners. We will be shooting the environment and travel. We will not be teaching food or prop styling during this retreat as we will focus on the experience, wabi sabi, slow living, photography & editing in Lightroom, and online marketing & social media strategies for creatives.
When: April 1-5, 2019 | Check In is at 3 PM on the first, Check Out is at 11 AM on the 5th
Hosts: Beth Kirby of Local Milk & Haruka Sakaguchi of The Denizen Co.
For Who: This retreat is open to singles, couples, and small groups of all levels & walks of life that are interested in photography, the food & culture of Japan, and taking time to develop their own road map to a life and business they love. If you are friends or a couple that would like to share a room, simply purchase 2 “shared room” tickets and send us an email letting us know you’d like to be together!
How Much: All prices are given in USD. See the drop down menu at the bottom for room pricing. (the price will appear at the top of the page when you select your room choice!) If you would like to only pay a 50% deposit email firstname.lastname@example.org. The second half of the deposit will be due before or on January 25th, 2019.
Included in the retreat:
4 traditional dinners—these meals are an art form & they employ seasonal, local ingredients to explore the balance of taste, color, appearance, and texture to not just create a culinary experience but an emotional one
3 local lunches
4 breakfasts, both western and traditional Japanese
traditional Japanese tatami room at Ryokan Sanga and access to all on-site hot spring bathing facilities
all outings & transportation during retreat
all classes—Photography, Lightroom Editing, Wabi Sabi & Slow Living, and The Art of Sharing: A Guide to Content Marketing, E-Mail Lists, and Instagram
one day of site-seeing including a visit to a traditional tea house, a traditional ceramic making village, lunch at a restaurant the specializes in local mountain vegetables, and shopping
This is a 5 day retreat, with a full 3 days. The first day will be our arrival & welcome day where we do introductions starting at 5 PM, settle in, and have our welcome dinner. The next three days we will have classes and explore together. On our final day, we will share a breakfast and depart at checkout around 11 AM.
Airfare or transportation to and from the retreat. When you arrive in Kurokawa a shuttle from Ryokan Sanga will come pick you up to bring you to the inn.
While we will provide you with up-to-date information on how best to access the village we do not act as travel agents and cannot assist in the booking or planning of your trip.
We do not promise to promote any guest businesses or accounts.
While we have years of experience in photography, small business, and online marketing & social media we do not possess “magical secrets”. Shocking, I know! : ) We will share our skills, strategies, and hard won experience with you, and teach you in a few hours what took us years to learn ourselves. While an intrepid person with lots of time could learn everything they need to know about virtually anything online we hope to provide you with things you can’t get online: an unforgettable travel experience, community, tons of face-to-face time to ask all of your questions, and the opportunity to expedite the learning process with experienced professionals as opposed to piecing it together slowly by yourself.
One to one coaching. All classes are in a group setting. That said, feel free to grab one of us to have a look at you instagram feed, website, or portfolio any time! That’s what we’re there for.
This Retreat Is For You If…
You’re looking to connect with likeminded, creative individuals
You’re ready for an adventure and once-in-a-lifetime experience
You need to take a step back from being IN your life so you can work ON your life
You want to learn the process of marketing your business online
You want to learn all about using Instagram for business
You’re tired of trying to put all the online business puzzle pieces together yourself
You’re inspired by travel, different cultures, and cuisines
You want to gain confidence using a DSLR camera
You want to build your portfolio with beautiful pictures of Japan
You want to learn to edit your photos to pop and find your own visual style
You believe that taking time to experience, slow down, and connect is just as important as the “hustle”
You know that nothing great was ever built over night
You are interested in or have questions about any of the following: social media, instagram, blogging, podcasting, online marketing, email list building, branding, photography, or editing!
You’ve always wanted to go to Japan or already love it!
You have an open mind and heart
You want to learn how to make a living doing something you like doing online
This Retreat Is NOT For You If…
You’re a very nervous traveler
You’re afraid to try or don’t enjoy new foods and new cultures
The unexpected nature of travel (things happen!) and being in a different place easily upsets or frustrates you
You aren’t flexible and don’t enjoy “going with the flow”
Cancellation Policy: Please know you can make it before booking. Due to the involve logistics and up-front costs, this retreat is 100% non-refundable unless you can find someone to take your place. We strongly advice you to purchase travel insurance in the unlikely event of missed flights, natural disasters, strikes, or other unforeseen events in your life. We cannot emphasize this enough!
Important: The ryokan does not accommodate picky eaters or personal dietary restrictions that aren’t medical. If you have a serious or life-threatening allergy, please let us know prior to purchasing so we can check with the inn to see if it's one they can accommodate. We can accommodate vegetarians but vegan menus are not possible.
We urge you to read our FAQ before purchasing, and if you have any questions afterwards please reach out!
I can’t wait to meet you all!