A compelling new addition to Elegant Resorts' prestigious portfolio, Japan is completely unique. The only place on earth you'll find traditions as old as time converging with the modern world's greatest innovations in complete harmony, Japan overwhelms travellers with both natural beauty and man-made magnificence. As with every destination, our passionate Luxury Travel Specialists have dived deep into the country's heart to explore everything from luxury hotels to unmissable experiences, returning with first-hand expertise to enhance your luxury Japanese jaunt.
The living embodiment of Japan's rich culture, many people would instantly recognise the graceful Geisha from their distinctive white face and red lips. Masters of Japanese arts including song and dance, they play hostess to guests visiting traditional teahouses, putting on performances and engaging in skilful conversation. Immerse yourself into their world with a traditional Japanese dinner accompanied by professional Geisha entertainment and the insight of a local expert.
One of the most recognised natural phenomenon's of Japan, Sakura (or cherry blossom) turns the country a sumptuous shade of pink during spring. Although the flowers are undoubtedly a spectacle for travellers, locals still appreciate these pink-hued petals, believing their arrival symbolises new beginnings. Celebrate Sakura season with a traditional hanami picnic beneath the blooms, alongside friendly locals.
Describing Tokyo as a modern metropolis would be an understatement. This city has become renowned across the globe for leading the way in technology and innovation. Cross Tokyo's iconic sights off your list with a city highlights tour alongside a local guide, visiting monuments including the old town of Asakusa and Tokyo's oldest temple, Sensoji. For traditional and contemporary luxury, we highly recommend staying at The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho.
Sushi instantly springs to mind when you think of Japanese food, but just like the sprawling landscapes, cuisine is remarkably diverse across the country. Full of flavour and freshness, popular ingredients include seafood, noodles, rice and vegetables, and for travellers seeking worldwide delicacies, Tokyo is home to more Michelin-star restaurants than any other city in the world.
The small yet scenic town of Hakone is the gateway to Japan's highest mountain, majestic Mount Fuji. Although it's often difficult to catch a glimpse of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can travel up the peak by cable car, or take a scenic boat ride at the mountain's base on peaceful Lake Ashi, in an attempt to capture your perfect photograph.
Japan's sleek and ultra-modern bullet train (Shinkansen) runs with to-the-second punctuality. Reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h, you're whisked between some of Japan's most vibrant cities with unrivalled efficiency, with only sixty seconds to hop on and off at platforms! No need to worry about your luggage, it will be 'forwarded' to your next destination for the ultimate convenience.
For wildlife devotees, taking a scenic walk through Jigokudani Park and watching Japanese macaques (recognisable by their striking red faces) bathing in the natural hot springs is an endearing experience. Unfazed by humans, the monkeys particularly enjoy the warm waters when the region is blanketed in snow, with adorable babies often spotted affectionately clinging to their mothers for warmth.
Snow Monkeys in Jigokudani Monkey Park, Yudanaka, Japan
One of Japan's long-lived traditions, relaxing in the gently bubbling waters of a traditional onsen (hot spring bath), which are heated to at least 25 degrees, provides idyllic recovery time for the body after days of exploration. Relais & Châteaux hotel Gora Kadan benefits from being heated by volcanic rocks, meaning it conveniently features its own natural onsen.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Perhaps one of the most powerful and moving experiences in Japan, this poignant memorial park sprawls across 120,000-square-metres, including the main Peace Memorial museum, as well as a scenic park with many memorial monuments dedicated to those who lost their lives in the tragic attack in 1945.
While Japan is abundant with well-known luxury hotel brands, it's well worth experiencing the authenticity of a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn). Ryokan Biyu no Yado in the centre of Yudanaka delivers the ultimate Japanese cultural experience, with open-air onsen baths to indulge in, and traditional Japanese breakfasts served each morning.