I am so excited to share this new Journee with you! Kyoto has long been a destination that has inspired me, and I know that the love of this beautiful place influenced every item in this Journeebox.
I first learned of Kyoto in 1997 when the city hosted the world’s first legally binding climate treaty. I was an intern at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and our office was abuzz with both hope for a more sustainable planet and envy of those in the agency that helped represent the US during the summit! All these years later it is my pleasure to take you on a Journee to one of the world’s most sustainable cities.
Traveling to Japan from the Americas is an immersive experience. In airports, the sound of unique announcements echo through the halls and most signage is in three written languages: Kanji, Kana, and English. As you Journee toward land transit, the smell of Japanese food lingers in the air. To reach Kyoto you would take a quick trip on the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo, and soon find yourself in the center of a bustling metropolis steeped in history.
Once the Imperial City of Japan from 794 to 1868, Kyoto is a UNESCO Heritage site. Known for its culinary refinement, Zen temples, and beautiful architecture, it was fortunately spared the destruction of World War II. The streets are narrow and feel as if you have traveled back hundreds of years. Kyoto can arguably be called the cultural heart of Japan.
With this Box, which includes items from family businesses—one almost a hundred years old—we invite you to imagine the spring Sakura flower blossoms and the red koji gates of the Buddhist temples. Take a deep breath, play our Kyoto playlist, unbox your Journee, and experience Kyoto, Japan: “land of the rising sun.”
Koizumi Junsaku “Twin Dragon Ceiling” - Inside detail of Zen Buddhist temple Kennin-ji｜建仁寺
Birthplace of Zen
Winding through the ancient streets, curving rooftops and stately temples can be seen among the more modern buildings. The philosophy of Zen is embedded not only into the walls and tapestries of Kyoto's temples, but also in every step along the way. Kyoto was the first place in Japan to adopt the principals of Buddhist Zen, which emphasizes the importance of self-discovery and self-mastery, as well as learning to balance our place within nature and the world.
An important part of the art of Zen is the tea ceremony. Each action in a traditional tea ceremony is done with purpose, inspiring the participants to slow down and focus on beauty among the harsher and faster parts of life.
Passing a local tea shop in Kyoto, we might smell the distinct flavor of the sweet and herbal matcha (green tea) in the air, calming and enticing all who pass by. To carry a bit of that sweetness and Zen home to you, this JourneeBox includes two packets of matcha. Made in Japan, this matcha is perfect for contemplative mornings or slow summer afternoons. 100% green tea leaves, use this matcha to make tea, or add to your cooking for an authentic Kyoto flavor.
Meaning: Every encounter is a once-in-a-lifetime encounter. Sometimes used as a reminder to cherish every moment because you’ll only experience it once, ichi-go ichi-e is associated with the tea ceremony: "Even though we may see each other often, each visit is unique and special."
Continuing the Journee through Kyoto, we might notice another interesting sight: people of all ages carrying packages wrapped in brightly colored cloths.
The tradition of wrapping with furoshiki (a square cloth) dates back as early as 700 B.C. Once used to carry the royal robes of emperors, the furoshiki tradition has continued until the present day and represents the Japanese importance of wrapped gift giving. Giving a gift without wrapping it would be considered impolite in Japan.
Furoshiki are used to wrap gifts, small items, lunches, sake bottles, produce, and so much more. They have returned to popularity in recent years as cutting down on plastic waste has become a concern in Japan.
Made in Japan, your JourneeBox furoshiki can shift easily from one use to another, all while complimenting your unique style! Made of 100% polyester, your furoshiki cloth is double sided, machine washable, and intended to last.
Learn more about how to fold furoshiki here:
The Japanese word kaizen means "improvement" or "change for the better." The word refers to any improvement, one-time or continuous, large or small. We at Kevia & JourneeBox are continually trying to improve our efforts to connect with people around the world and achieve greater sustainability. We cheer you on in your own kaizen improvements, big and small!
Join us for an exclusive workshop, already included in the price of your
JourneeBox, and learn more about how to use your furoshiki!
Sign up at the link at the bottom of the page.
Taking a moment to rest at a cafe on our Journee through Kyoto, we might find something sweet to eat! Sweetness, beauty, and simplicity are apparent around every corner of Kyoto, and they're certainly present in the traditional mochi (rice cake) sweets.
Though made from the simple ingredients of rice paste, sugar, and water, the making of traditional mochi is labor intensive, which only makes the gooey treats all the more rare and satisfying. Historically eaten to celebrate childbirth, weddings, and New Years, mochi has become a favorite treat all year long and all over the world.
In this JourneeBox you'll find traditional, cherry blossom flavored mochi, made in Japan just for you. Their traditional red bean paste filling and rice cake texture will transport you to ancient Kyoto. They'll serve as a reminder to celebrate the sweet things in life!
Meaning: This Japanese proverb is similar to the English expression “water under the bridge.” It inspires the idea of forgiving, forgetting, and letting go of unwanted burdens. Letting the water flow helps wash away your worries and gives you time to focus on the sweetness of life.
As we circle back through the city on our Journee, it is apparent that Kyoto has cultivated a careful balance of many things: nature and city, the tang of tea and sweetness of mochi, the serenity of Zen and the energy of a million inhabitants. Finding a balance, both in our external lives and within ourselves, is rejuvenating. Another important philosophy of Zen practices.
In this JourneeBox, our Kevia Papaya & Seaweed Scrub will bring the rejuvenation of the Kyoto Journee right to your own home!
Directions: Imbue freshly cleaned skin with this gentle exfoliating Papaya & Seaweed Scrub for natural rejuvenation. Our unique blend features papaya seed oil, seaweed, and matcha green tea for both an ultra-hydrating effect and clearer complexion. Test on a small area before using. Apply a small amount to clean, moist skin, and rub into a thin layer. Leave on for 2-3 minutes. Use warm water to gently wipe off the scrub. Follow with moisturizer. *Warning: For external use only. Keep out of reach of children.
Ingredients: Aqua, Carica Papaya Seed Oil, Seaweed Extract, Matcha Green Tea, Almond Shell (Granules), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Theobroma Cacao Butter, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alco hol, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Limonene, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, Hexyl Cinnamal, Propylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Linalool , Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Citronellol, Citral, Talc, Methyl2-Octynoate, Caramel, Iron Oxides, Fragrance
As our Journee through Kyoto comes to an end, we might find ourselves walking beneath the beloved sakura (cherry blossom) trees that line many walkways of the city. Representing new beginnings and renewal, it's no wonder that hanami (cherry blossom viewing) has been a tradition for over a thousand years.
Stepping back onto our imaginary bullet train, it might feel sad to leave behind the history and beauty of such a powerful city. But with the Sakura Flower Earrings by Kevia, you can carry a small token of the wonders of Kyoto with you wherever you journee next.
Explore more of the culture of cherry blossoms in Kyoto by visiting:
Meaning: This phrase represents the beauty of everything around us.
It serves as a reminder to enjoy the natural world we live in.
Japan is a culture steeped with tradition, refinement, elegance, and grace. By traveling physically or virtually we learn; in Kyoto, we find a place that is both timely and timeless.
Get our latest weekly releases, offers, guides and more.