Monday, January 5, 2015

Invitation to a probably a most memorable travel to Japan

by Koichi Kobayashi

You are invited to join in a select group of people to participate in assisting building a memorial Japanese Garden to commemorate victims of tsunami/earthquake of March 11, 2011 in Tohoku, Japan and recovery from it. Garden building project is organized by Japanese Garden Association as a 5 year program. You will receive training from traditional Japanese gardeners who supervise building and will befriend with young Japanese gardeners from all around Japan as well.

After garden building, we will visit gardens and temples of World Heritage, designation,  coastal cities undergoing recovery and coastline area which is designated as a new National Park. Travel will start from Seattle on October 8 through 22 ending in Tokyo.  Optional travel goes to Kyoto/Osaka.

Supported by Seattle Japanese Garden Society, Japanese Garden Society (Tokyo) and assisted by North American Japanese Garden Association. ( confirmation is pending at this time).

There are many of you who have benefited overtime being associated with Japan or apprenticed and studied in Japan, yet some of you including myself, who do not know how to assist Tohoku, Japan for their recovery from disasters of March 11, 9011, in some meaningful and constructive way.

There is a unique opportunity to assist in building a Japanese Garden near Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. This garden, when completed, will be a memorial and prayer for victims of disaster and commemorate their efforts in recovery and future development.

Designing and building of this garden is organized by Sendai Chapter of the Japanese Garden Society. It is being built on a five year program with a completion date set at 2019 to coincide with the society's 100 year anniversary.

This is an excellent opportunity for those thinking and pondering how best to participate in recovery in Tohoku but mutually beneficial. You could attempt to do that in signing up  for a work study and volunteer program being developed by Koichi Kobayashi with an assistance from Japanese Garden Society and NAJGA.

With this program, participants will engage in assisting building a commemorative Japanese garden under Japanese expert's supervision, visiting and learning conditions and people of cities devastated.

This is the base program for thirteen days. There could be an optional tour to Kyoto, for five days. Program start will start on October 8, 2015 in Sendai with October 8 departure from Seattle. Cost will be around $4,800.

If you are interested in joining, please send me your name, address, email, work place, profession etc. to Koichi Kobayashi.

For preliminary itinerary, see next page.

Koichi Kobayashi
Ph. 206- 2869644

December 20, 2014 - Preliminary Itinerary:  Base Plan

Day 1:  Departure from Seattle (Delta Air) Departure date is October 8, 2015.
Day 2:  Arrival in Tokyo  and orientation
Day 3:  Transfer to Sendai & Introduction to Garden Building
Day 4:  Garden Building

Day 5:  Garden Building ( Presentation on Japanese gardens in North America by participants)
Day 6:  Garden Building and Farewell Party ( Oct. 13)
Day 7:  Tour Sendai and Matsushima
Day 8: Transfer to and tour Hiraizumi/Moutsuji Temple

Day 9: Tour Hiraizumi/Moutsuji Temple) and surroundings
Day 10: Transfer to Rikuzentakata ( Undergoing massive construction with a new park)
Day 11: Learn Rikuzentakata and tour surrounding coastline ( New National Park)
Day 12: Departure from Rikuzentakata to Tokyo( Free on your own in PM)
Day 13: Leave for Seattle ( Delta Air)

Preliminary Itinerary:  Option Plan

For those going to Kyoto area:
Day 13:  Departure from Rikuzentakata to Kyoto
Day 14:  Kyoto: Town, Temples and Gardens
Day 15:  Kyoto
Day 16:  Nara/Osaka
Day 17:  Leave for Seattle from Kansai Air Port (Osaka)


  1. I will be please to graphically present this opportunity if there is any interest at Tateuchi Room etc. Koichi Kobayashi

  2. Koichi, this is such a lovely idea! Thank you for sharing. Can you specify what kind of skills people considering the work study should perhaps have? Is it open to anyone interested? Is physical garden work required and how heavy? Sounds exciting anyway :)