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Overview

Experience Japan’s evocative culture and legendary hospitality on a luxury holiday. Travel from vibrant Tokyo to charming Kyoto, crossing through magnificent mountain landscapes on the way. Discover a land where tradition and modernity go hand-in-hand while indulging in private tours, world-class cuisine and stylish hotels.  

Trip Highlights

Indulge in Japan

Enjoy exclusive touring

This Japan holiday includes a top-level guide, exclusive activities and the flexibility to adapt touring to suit individual needs. 

Stay at Japan’s most stylish hotels

Enjoy five-star luxury hotels with local decorative touches in the cities and impeccably-restored, authentic inns in the smaller towns.

Indulge with memorable meals

Dine at Tokyo’s top table, visit bustling street-side barbeques and enjoy a private dining experience with an authentic geisha.

Itinerary

1

Arrival in Tokyo

Distance and journey time (approximation): Narita International Airport (NRT) to Central Tokyo: 1.5 h Haneda International Airport (HND) to Central Tokyo: 50 min

Upon arrival to Tokyo’s airport, our representative will be waiting to assist with transport to the hotel via private vehicle.

Tonight’s dinner consists of a special kaiseki-course dinner at their award winning restaurant ‘Wadakura’. Enjoy the seasonal specialties carefully prepared and presented by the chef, accompanied by an excellent wine selection

Overnight in Tokyo at Palace Hotel : 5 Stars (Deluxe)

2

Tokyo

Start (guided tour): 09:00 or 09:30 Duration: 8hrs *including pick-up, drop-off, and transit times

Enjoy a full day city tour of Tokyo alongside an expert, local guide with private transport provided throughout. Among the stops of the day will be Asakusa, part of Tokyo’s shitamachi (old town), which is both the city’s oldest Geisha district and is also home to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple.

Afterwards, pay a visit to Meiji Shrine, Tokyo’s most famous shrine, taking part in a traditional Shinto purification dance and receiving a blessing from a Shinto Priest.

While cruising around these iconic quarters of Japan, take note of the passing Ginza area, Imperial Palace and Shibuya ‘scramble’ crossing.

The itinerary is entirely flexible and can be altered to accommodate any other sites within the city.

Overnight in Tokyo at Palace Hotel 5 Stars (Deluxe)

3

Tokyo – Hakone

Tokyo to Kamakura (68km): 1 h Kamakura to Hakone (46km): 1 h

Leave the hustle and bustle of Tokyo behind for a morning of private sightseeing in Kamakura.

One of Japan’s former capitals, Kamakura is a delightful seaside town home to many ancient temples and the Daibutsu, a giant bronze Buddha.

Continue on to Fuji Hakone National Park, where the night’s accommodation will be at Gora Kadan. Gora Kadan is one of Hakone’s finest ryokan, particularly famous for its outstanding Japanese kaiseki cuisine, which will be served in the dining area of the private living quarters.

The room is Japanese style, featuring tatami mat flooring and comfortable futon beds. Some rooms even feature a private outdoor hot spring bath.

Overnight in Hakone

Time:

Start (guided tour): 09:00

Duration: 8hrs

*including pick-up, drop-off, and transit times

4

Hakone

Duration (guided tour): 6 h *including pick-up, drop-off, and transit times

Today, tour the surrounding national park with a guide and private car.

The adventure will begin with a ride on the Guinness World Record-holder ropeway, heading to the peak of Mt. Owakudani, the source of the hot water in Hakone’s hot springs.

Continue onwards to Togendai, where a majestic replica pirate ship will sweep across Ashinoko, a lake that was formed by a volcanic eruption 3,000 years ago.

After the cruise, the next stop will be the Hakone Open Air Museum, which creates a harmonic balance of nature and art by exhibiting various sculptures on its spacious grounds in combination with beautiful views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Besides the sculptures, the Hakone Open Air Museum also features various indoor galleries, including a sizable Picasso Collection that displays some paintings, prints, sculptures, and ceramic creations of the legendary artist.

Throughout the day, there will be multiple opportunities to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji. Please keep in mind, however, that the mountain is notoriously shy and necessitates a completely clear day to be seen in full.

Dinner tonight will be again served in the private living quarters.

Pre-Arranged Luggage Service:

We have pre-arranged a luggage transfer service from Hakone to Kyoto. Simply leave the luggage at the bell desk on or before 08:00 on the day of checking out. The luggage will arrive at the hotel in Kyoto on the evening of the same day of pick-up.

Note:

- The ropeway that goes to Mt. Owakudani has resumed operations but for safety reasons, hiking on the mountain is still prohibited.

Overnight in Hakone at Gora Kadan                                            

5

Hakone – Matsumoto

Gora Kadan to Odawara Station: 0.5 h Odawara Station to Matsumoto Station: 4 h *via Nagoya Station Matsumoto Castle to Myojinkan: 0.5 h

Leave Hakone behind and head to Matsumoto, located in the heart of the Japanese Alps.

Depart Hakone today heading for the Japanese Alps. A private taxi will provide transport to Odawara Station to catch the 4-hour train to Matsumoto. The first leg of the journey will be aboard the world-famous Shinkansen (bullet train), which reaches speeds of up to 230km/h. Change onto the Limited Express Shinano Wide View (first-class seat) for one of the most scenic train journeys in Japan.

Matsumoto has flourished as a castle town since the 16th century. In addition to its historical and cultural heritage, Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains and is acclaimed for its beautiful views. To the west the Japan Alps rise to heights of 3000m and are known as “The Roof of Japan”.

Upon arrival, our guide will be waiting to provide private transport for a half-day guided tour through the region.

This afternoon, visit Matsumoto Castle, one of the most complete and beautiful among Japan's original castles. It is a good example of a so called “hirajiro”, a castle built on the plain rather than on a hill or mountain. The castle is also called Crow Castle because of its black walls and spreading wings.

Tonight’s stay is in another amazing location, in the heart of the “Northern Japan Alps.” The Tobira Onsen Myojinkan is a little jewel, tucked away in the calm and serenity of the mountains. The ryokan is famous for its relaxing baths, aromatherapy and sophisticated kaiseki, which is a marvellous balance of textures, flavours and colours.

Overnight at Tobira Onsen Myojinkan, Matsumoto

Time:

Start (guided tour): around 14:00

Duration: 4hrs

*including pick-up, drop-off, and transit times

6

Matsumoto – Kyoto

Myojinkan to Matsumoto Station (15km): 0.5 h Matsumoto Station to Kyoto Station (336km): 3 h *via Nagoya Station

Before taking the 3-hour train to Kyoto, enjoy one final soak in the relaxing baths of the ryokan. The first leg of the trip will be on the limited express train Wide View (first-class seat) and the second will be via Shinkansen.

Kyoto is home to an astonishing 2,000 shrines and temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Upon arrival, the guide will be waiting at the platform to lead the private, half-day sightseeing tour through Kyoto. 

The first stop will be at Heian Shrine, home to one of Japan’s largest torii gates. The highlight of this shrine is its gardens collectively called ‘Shin-en’. Naka Shin-en, one of the four gardens, was featured in the movie ‘Lost in Translation.’

Continue on to Kiyomizu-dera (pure water), a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the atmospheric Higashiyama district.

After this short tour of Kyoto, transport will be provided back to the hotel.

Note: Kiyomizu Temple has been undergoing renovation since 2008, with some of its halls and structures wrapped up with covers. The construction has a certain but not overwhelming impact on a visit.

Overnight in Kyoto

Time:

Start (guided tour): around 13:11

Duration: 4hrs

*including pick-up, drop-off, and transit times

7

Kyoto and Nara

Enjoy a full day of private sightseeing alongside an expert local guide.

Start the day with a visit to Nijo Castle. This ornamental castle, surrounded by stunning gardens, was built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence. The main building was completed in 1603 and is well-known for its Momoyama architecture, decorated sliding doors, and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors.

Continue on to Kinkakuji, or the Golden Pavilion, which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun and is today one of Kyoto’s most famous Buddhist temples.

Follow up with the 1.5-hour drive to Nara. For 74 years during the 8th century, Nara was Japan’s capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain.

Begin by visiting Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Next will be Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine.

There will also be some free time to wander through Nara Park, also called “deer park” due to the large population of tame deer living there.

After the tour, an escort will be provided back to the hotel in Kyoto.

Time:

Start (guided tour): around 9 h

Duration: 8 h

*including pick-up, drop-off, and transit time

Overnight in Kyoto at Hyatt Regency Kyoto 5 stars (Deluxe)

8

Kyoto

Enjoy the day free at leisure to explore this beautiful city. A private car will be available for 8 hours today.

Get an in-depth, exclusive look at Japan’s Geisha culture in Kyoto. Late this afternoon join a guide for a walking tour of Gion, Kyoto’s Geisha district, followed by a truly special dinner with a Maiko!

Start with an introduction, listening as the guide explains about Geiko, the local name for Kyoto’s geishas, and their Maiko, or apprentices. Then explore the atmospheric streets, walking past local shops and restaurants on the way to Yasaka Shrine. From here continue to Hanami-koji where lavish tea shops line the roadside.

Carry on to a theatre where Geisha and Maiko perform traditional dances. Then cross Kyoto’s famous Tatsumi Bashi Bridge, passing a legendary teahouse and small street shrine along the way. Arrive at Shirakawa Canal for a walk along the streets which are lined with cherry trees and brimming with charm.  (Note: depending on the location of the restaurant, the walking tour may need to backtrack to one of the places mentioned above).

After the walking tour, enter a local restaurant for a memorable dinner in the company of a Maiko. Dine on a traditional multi-course meal called kaiseki ryori. Interact with the Maiko, learning about her craft and the world of Geisha. During dinner, the Maiko will entertain by performing traditional dances and teaching popular Japanese drinking games.

Pose for photos with the Maiko, capturing memories to share with friends and family back home, before bidding farewell to the hostess and returning to the hotel.

Overnight in Kyoto

Time:

Duration (dinner with Geisha): 3 h

9

Departure from Kyoto

Kyoto to Kansai Airport (KIX): 2 h

The rest of the day is at leisure until the included private transfer to Kansai International Airport.

Important Information

  • Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • Meet and greet at the airport and return private transfers to the airport.
  • Dinner at Wadakura on Day 1.
  • Luggage transfer from Hakone to Kyoto on Day 5 (one luggage per person).
  • Green car shinkansen tickets from Odawara to Matsumoto on Day 5.
  • Green car shinkansen tickets from Matsumoto to Kyoto on Day 6.
  • English-speaking guides for Days 2 – 7.
  • Private cars, transfers, and entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary for days 2 – 7.
  • Private car for 8h on Day 8.
  • Dinner with a Maiko on Day 8
  • Information Pack.
  • Camera / video entrance fees
  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately).
  • Some local transport (e.g. some local city buses, taxi transfers, etc.).
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone, and other expenditures of a personal nature).
  • Travel insurance (please see below).
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

Customize this tour

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    We’re experts who take pride in tailor-made itineraries that suit any need. Please fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

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