KOKYU SPA-Wellness in Kyoto
“It’s all about the mind-body-soul connection,” says Chuuma-san, the head therapist at Kyoto’s newest spa, KOKYU. Dressed in a muted red linen dress with lustrous hair and dewy skin, I found myself in awe of her cheerful-yet-calm demeanor. As I listened to her talk enthusiastically about KOKYU, a spa/gallery space off Nijo Teramachi, I couldn’t help thinking… “I’ll have what she’s having.” Chuuma san sums up the spa’s philosophy quite simply: “We can sometimes trick our minds not to feel stress, but our bodies… our bodies will give us cues. We wanted KOKYU to be a place where people learn to listen to those cues by becoming more in-tune with themselves.
Sakura- Fleeting Moments
Spring 2022, just like a passionate fling, the sakura (cherry blossom) came in heavy, made a scene, left us intoxicated and longing for more. Connecting with the Buddhist idea of mortality, mindfulness, living in the now, the blossoms are a timeless metaphor for human existence and is a reminder of how fragile our lives are. As Victoria Abbott Riccardi reminds us, its not just about the 3 days of full bloom but its about the full romance- from start to finish. “One day we strolled down the Philosopher’s Path, which proved as enchanting as I had hoped in the fragrant pink bloom of spring. Since ancient times, the Japanese have heralded the arrival of the cherry blossoms because they symbolize the ephemeral beauty of life. But it isn’t just the three or four days of open flowers that stirs the senses. It is their arrival and departure. Looking at a bud about to burst open offers the pleasurable anticipation of rebirth, while the soft scattering of petals on the ground is often considered the most beautiful stage of all because it represents the death of the flowers.” – Victoria Abbott Riccardi See you again in 2023. Words: Sara Aiko Photos: Sara Aiko
Toryo Ito-Creative Ideas and Zen Buddhism
Meet Toryo Ito, the deputy head priest of Ryosoku-in temple who is fusing Zen philosophy with creative new ideas to nurture the growth and possibility inherent in all of us. Toryo-san started off by just implementing an easier booking system for his mediation classes, but now he’s running a variety of Zen programs that implement art and design into their concepts. Not limiting himself to the confines of the temple walls, he has taken his teaching and mission online and on the road. Curated Kyoto catches up with Toryo-san to talk about his mission and what his latest creative endeavor entails. Words by: Sara Aiko (SA) Creative Direction by Sara Aiko Photos by: Kingy