We take as our inspiration the Japanese enso – a circular form, often painted with brush and ink, which is a focus of meditation in the zen school of Buddhism. It is a shape replete with symbolism. It contains all and nothing, it illustrates connection, and can also represent the cycle of life. It is perfect yet at the same time imperfect. In many cases, the enso is not a full circle – and in this sense it can be a journey without completion, a story still to be told, a future not yet written. An open enso is inclusive and not exclusive. When an enso is drawn, it is a focused creation of the moment, and is a manifestation of the person drawing it. The enso is created in a single stroke and there can be no hesitation. The imperfection of enso makes it the perfect representation of the imperfect nature of existence. It is imperfectly perfect and this same concept sits at the heart of what we do.
Why would a travel company take the idea of imperfection as its core belief? Many might think that this is counterintuitive when so many companies promote themselves as offering a ‘perfect’ experience. For the team at Tourcrafters Japan, it is imperfection that elevates our tours. Our tours do not tell a static story of completion, in a closed, rigid experience to be consumed. We believe that travel is so much more – that travel is participatory, and is best rooted in community, connection, and interaction.It has the power to transform and the power to elevate. Until you join us in Japan, the story, and your story, is not yet written. Like the enso, it is open and inviting. Your experiences are found in their moment and in their connection you make to Japan in your travels. Without you, these experiences are still incomplete, still imperfect. Your time in Japan will have a departure date, but the experiences and memories of these moments become a part of you that you bring with you throughout your life.