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Overview

Travel the iconic cities of Japan in style. Dine at top restaurants serving up the finest cuisine and exclusive wine selections, be pampered with a private chauffeur while visiting the famous sites of Tokyo and Kyoto and complete the discovery of Japan with a special dinner with a Maiko, Kyoto’s traditional Geishas.

Trip Highlights

Japan in Style

Special welcome dinner in Tokyo

Indulge in a special kaiseki-course dinner at the award winning Wadakura restaurant with seasonal specialties carefully served with an excellent wine selection.

Stay at top ryokan of Hakone

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.

Private dinner with a Maiko

Dine on a traditional multi-course meal called kaiseki ryori while interacting with a Maiko and learning about her craft and the world of Geisha.

Itinerary

1

Arrival in Tokyo

Narita International Airport (NRT) to Central Tokyo: 1.5 h Haneda International Airport (HND) to Central Tokyo: 50 min

Upon arrival to Tokyo Airport, a private chauffeur will be waiting to provide transport to the Palace Hotel Tokyo for check-in.  The rest of the day is at leisure.

Tonight’s dinner consists of a special kaiseki-course dinner at their award winning Wadakura restaurant. 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

This morning at 09:00 / 09:30 there will be a private pickup from the chauffeur and guide at the hotel for a full-day of sightseeing in Tokyo.

One of the stops includes Asakusa, part of Tokyo’s shitamachi (old town). Asakusa is home to Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, and is also the city’s oldest Geisha district.

Afterwards, visit Meiji Jingu, Tokyo’s most famous shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and a popular venue for traditional Shinto weddings.

The drive will also cruise past famous Tokyo landmarks including the Ginza area, the Imperial Palace, and the Shibuya ‘scramble’ crossing.

The day’s itinerary is entirely flexible. Other sights within the city can be substituted for the day’s visits. 

Time: Start (guided tour): 09:00 or 09:30 Duration: 8 h

Overnight in Tokyo at Palace Hotel 5 Stars (Deluxe)

3

Tokyo – Kamakura – Hakone

Tokyo to Kamakura: 1.5 h Kamakura to Hakone: 1 h

Leave the hustle and bustle of Tokyo behind at 09:00, journeying by private transport to Kamakura for a morning of sightseeing.

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.

Time:

Start (guided tour): 09:00

Duration: 8 h

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

Overnight in Hakone at Gora Kadan 5 Stars (Super Deluxe)

4

Hakone

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 all the way up to Mt. Owakudani, the source of 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 chances to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji. Please bear in mind, however, that the mountain is notoriously ‘shy’ and necessitates an entirely clear day to be seen in full.

Dinner tonight will be served again in the room.

Time:

Duration (guided tour): 8 h

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

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 Stars (Super Deluxe)

5

Hakone

Today is a self-guided day.

Suggested Self-Guided Itinerary:

Start with a ride on the Guinness World Record-holder ropeway, heading all the way up to 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 chances to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji. Please bear in mind, however, that the mountain is notoriously ‘shy’ and necessitates an entirely clear day to be seen in full.

As an option, a private car and a guide can be arranged upon request (must be booked in advance; supplementary charges apply).

Note:

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

Dinner tonight will be served again in the room. Relax in the yukata (lightweight kimono), and enjoy the onsen.

Overnight in Hakone at Gora Kadan 5 Stars (Super Deluxe)

6

Hakone – Kyoto

Odawara Station to Kyoto Station: 2 h

Get ready for the journey to Kyoto, home to around 2,000 shrines and temples, 17 of which are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A private taxi provide transport from the ryokan to Odawara Station, where the shinkansen (bullet train) can be caught to Kyoto Station.

Upon arrival at Kyoto Station, our private chauffeur will take guests to the hotel in Kyoto.

The rest of the day is at leisure.

Optional Evening Tour: A Taste of Gion Food Tour

Kyoto’s Gion district is often cited as many a visitor’s favourite part of the city. The historic cobblestone streets are lined with traditional, narrow wooden buildings known as machiya, teahouses known as ochaya, and traditional shops selling local specialities.  

The first stop is a lively standing bar, where guests can enjoy a drink and delicious local bar food as a prelude to the rest of the tour. After this, take a leisurely stroll around Gion. As most geisha start to entertain at 18:00, the chance of seeing elegantly attired geisha darting along the winding streets to their engagements is quite high.

Then, head to a cozy restaurant owned by a charming and amiable woman from Kyoto who prepares each meal herself. Enjoy an entertaining conversation with her, while sampling each dish, which is prepared with the utmost care and attention, using the finest seasonal ingredients.

The final stop of the tour is a sake bar with a location so clandestine even locals struggle to find it. Partake in different varieties of sake, chosen to complement the selection of nibbles.

After this delightful evening well spent, either return to the accommodation or continue to explore the city independently.

Time:

Start: 17:00

Duration: approx. 3 h

Note:

  • A luggage transfer is available from Hakone to Kyoto (must be booked in advance; supplementary charges apply).

Overnight in Kyoto at Four Seasons Kyoto 5 stars (Super Deluxe)

7

Kyoto

Start (guided tour): 9 h Duration: 8 h *including pick-up, drop-off, and transit time

Today explore the former imperial capital with a knowledgeable local guide, utilizing Kyoto’s comprehensive bus system to visit some of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites. As an option, a private car can be arranged upon request (must be booked in advance; supplementary charges apply).

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 Kinkaku-ji, or the Golden Pavilion, which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death, it became a Buddhist Temple at his request and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples.

Delve deep into Japanese culture with an exclusive half day tour of Kyoto. The day begins with a visit to Kodai-ji, one of Kyoto’s most famous Zen Buddhist temples. Although the sub-temples of Kodai-ji are usually closed to the public, special access has been granted for today’s tea ceremony.

Enter the stunning 400-year-old temple and stroll around its beautiful Zen garden. Then meet with a tea master who will explain about Japanese tea and the relationship between the ceremony and Zen Buddhism. Then the ceremony will begin, with the master explaining each movement and its meaning in detail.  

During the ceremony, join the teacher in making tea, following the motions as he demonstrates. Once ready, sample some traditional confectioneries before sipping the tea to counter its bitter flavour.

Following this interactive experience, take a walking tour around Kyoto’s Higashiyama district. Admire the picture-perfect streets, whose gently sloped stone stairways are lined with tea houses and artisan shops. Stop by Kiyomizu Temple for a short tour of this architectural masterpiece. Climb to its 13-metre high veranda, which was built without the use of any kind of joiners, and enjoy an impressive view of Kyoto.

After soaking up the views of Kyoto, return to the hotel or continue exploring the city’s sites.

Note:

  • Kiyomizu-dera is currently undergoing renovations, with proposed completion in 2020.
  • Overnight in Kyoto at Four Seasons Kyoto 5 stars (Super Deluxe)

8

Departure from Kyoto

Central Kyoto to Kansai International Airport (KIX): 2 h

Spend 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 transfers by private car to the airport.
  • 2-Day Hakone Free Pass from Day 4 to Day 5 (valid from Odawara).
  • One-way taxi transfer from ryokan to Odawara Station for Day 5.
  • One-way bullet train ticket from Odawara Station to Kyoto Station for Day 5 (reserved seats, green class).
  • All transfers by private, air-conditioned vehicles as mentioned in the itinerary for Days 2 to 6.
  • Return taxi transfers for Day 7.
  • Luggage transfer from Hakone to Kyoto for Day 5 (one luggage per person; same-day arrival).
  • English-speaking guides and entrance fees for tours mentioned in the itinerary for Days 2 to 7.
  • Dinner with a Maiko on Day 7.
  • Information Pack.
  • 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.

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    Please fill in the appropriate information below regarding any travel plans or enquiries. Our team of travel experts will get back to you shortly.

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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.

    Please fill in the appropriate information below regarding any travel plans or enquiries. Our team of travel experts will get back to you shortly.

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