Kazuo Ishiguro: Tokyo, Hiroshima and other sites, Japan

Our trip will be March 16th-23rd and we will travel throughout Japan for the entire trip, going from site to site. We will meet on March 16th in Tokyo and end on March 23rd near Hiroshima. As we know that many of you will want to continue traveling after the conclusion of our trip, we will help you figure out how to continue your travels or get to the airport from there. 

We will be carrying The Buried Giant by: Kazuo Ishiguro and thinking about the theme of repentance as we travel, walk, read, write and talk. We will go from urban to rural settings discussing repentance in Japan both culturally and politically and asking ourselves what role we want repentance to play in our own lives? Are we waiting for people to make amends with us? Do we need to offer ourselves up? 

Please expect to walk around 5 miles a day and sometimes more. 

The itinerary will include the buzz of Tokyo, the rich peace of Buddhist monasteries, reflecting in the Peace Park in Hiroshima, gentle mountain hikes, temples, and hopefully monkeys. 

The price of the trip is between $8,800-9,500, depending on room sharing. In the registration form, you will be able to state your preferences and we will do our best to accommodate everyone's needs.

What is included:

  • Seven nights in a private or shared room in Japan
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Transportation within Japan from Saturday, March 16th-23rd 2019. 
  • One-on-one chaplaincy sessions with Vanessa and Matt
  • Daily talks on the novel, spiritual reading practices, Japan, and repentance. 
  • Museum visits, private tours, picnics, and talks with local experts

Who will be on the trip: 

  • The Reverend, Dr. Matthew Potts, Professor at Harvard Divinity School
  • Vanessa Zoltan, MDiv, MS, Executive Director of Not Sorry Productions and Co-Host of Harry Potter & The Sacred Text
  • Elizabeth Slade, Co-Director of Common Ground Pilgrimages and consultant
  • Haruka Umetsu Cho, PhD student in Religion, Gender & Culture, Harvard University

This trip for you if... 

  • If it is your first time to Japan or 30th time to Japan. We won't hit all of the Japanese highlights on this trip, but we will have a great list of recommendations for you to continue your journey after we finish. 
  • If you want to learn about Japanese ideas of practice and "religion".
  • If you love Kazuo Ishiguro and want to spend a week on a journey, contemplating one of his many great books. 
  • You want to think about the role of repentance in the world and in your own life. 


Disclaimer: We will be discussing painful things on this trip; so please take care of yourself when thinking about whether or not this pilgrimage is for you. 

Deposits for the trip are $1,500 and are due within a week of receiving the payment link.  First installment of $3500 is due October 1st and final payment is due on December 1st. Once deposits and payments are made, they are not refundable unless we can find a replacement for you. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out at readingandwalkingwith@gmail.com

Transparency around cost:

We know that this trip is an expensive one so we wanted to tell you a little bit about why. Firstly, we intentionally keep this trip small. Part of what makes these pilgrimages a magical experience is that we become a strong community together. Keeping the group small means we can't benefit from economies of scale that larger tours might have.

We also want this work to be sustainable, so we can continue creating these experiences for a long time, and we are also committed to working with expert and accomplished staff in order to provide the best experiences for participants. This means that we want to pay staff fairly. At the moment, considering the time that goes into preparation, as well as during the the pilgrimage, we are probably not quite at a living wage, but we aim to get there. 

Common Ground pilgrimages are not like any other retreat or vacation, and we hope that you join us on what we are sure will be a once in a lifetime and transformational experience. 

 To read testimonials about people's experiences on our previous trip, click here



Rev. Dr. Matt Potts talking about our trip.

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 5.30.50 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 5.30.20 PM.png