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.
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