Music Retreat at Chikusenso

18th to 22nd October 2023 (Arrival date 17th and depart on 23rd October)

Mt. Zao Onsen Resort & Spa is nestled at the foot of Mt. Zao in Togatta-Onsen in the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan. North of Tokyo and West of Sendai, the area is known for its rugged beauty and spectacular crater lake, ski slopes and onsen.

The retreat is for both saxophone players ready to embark on a fun and immersive programme of instruction and for those interested in listening and learning about jazz and other music forms and how music can positively impact your life and well-being. All in the calm and creative environment of this wonderful luxurious traditional ryokan spa.

There will be lots of opportunities to see and hear Snake in an informal and relaxed setting. In addition to saxophone tuition for those on the learning journey, there will be numerous opportunities see and hear Snake in a different way - and to enjoy informal relaxed acoustic evenings with music and talks. Non-players are invited and encouraged to attend Breathing Workshops, Pilates, Meditation class and the daily morning stretch and breathe sessions.

Snake will play saxophone, Irish whistle and the Japanese Shakuhachi. He'll tell some stories from life in the music business and on the road and will answer questions on any subject.

Suitable for all ages. Snake speaks some basic Japanese.

This is an amazing opportunity to enjoy a luxury Japanese spa Onsen with full traditional Ryokan breakfasts and evening meal included. A completely chilled environment in rural Japan away from the western influences of the big cities.

The Sax Workshops 

Limited to 10 Participants

Will include; 

Breathing and posture 
Tone development 
Expressive playing. Stylistic techniques. Spicing up the notes (Embellishments, effects) 
The art of playing ballads, slow tunes 
Jamming to EDM/Dance Music 
Maximising your practice time 
Ensemble Playing 

There will be opportunities for students to take part in evening concerts. 

Snake is always gentle, encouraging, patient and will respond to needs of and requests from individual students.

Chikusenso sits by the side of the Sumi river, which joins the Matsu river in the local town Togatta Onsen. The area is known for its clear mountain waters and production of high quality rice; the local sake reflects this and we highly recommend trying some. When travelling to the onsen town, you're bound to notice the small field agriculture system and lots of fruit trees. There are fishing ponds, dairy farms and cheese makers close by. 

The local bus heading for Sendai Train Station leaves from the centre of town and is a 30 minute walk from Chikusenso. The bus journey takes just over an hour. There's also a taxi service available locally. It's a lovely walking area with the Zao mountains and Okama volcanic crater a short distance away.