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PRIVATE TOUR

Japan

Immersive Japan

14 NIGHTS FROM £13,500 per person

Although wonderful, Japan offers much more than the classic images of Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms. This unique tailor-made tour to Japan will take you beyond the tourist hotspots, introducing you to some of the lesser-known areas and aspects of Japanese culture and craft – from Bonsai schools and artisan pearl craft workshops, to soy sauce breweries and traditional tea ceremonies in temples.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS expand_more

Learn the ancient botanical art of bonsai on a private lesson with a master

Head into Karuizawa’s wildlife-rich woodland, spotting endemic species with a local ecologist

Visit Kanazawa’s captivating Kenroku-en Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan

Try your hand at traditional Japanese lacquerware techniques, crafting souvenirs to take home

Through A Local Lens

Join Kyoto resident Peter Macintosh – who was married to an ex-geisha and lectures on Geisha Studies at Kansai University – as you enjoy dinner and drinks with a real-life geisha, asking her questions through Peter’s helpful translations.

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Immersive Japan

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TOUR DETAILS

    DAY DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    TRANSFERS

    • Type:
    • Summary:
    • Feature:
    • Rooms:
    • Location:
    • Star rating:
    MEAL BASIS

    DAY 2-5 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Explore Japan’s captivating capital with a knowledgeable guide. Stroll through Zen gardens, before exploring the ritzy Omotesando district, dubbed the “Champs D’Elysees of Japan” for its avenue of highend shops. Refresh with a drink at the iconic Park Hyatt Hotel, the setting of hit blockbuster ‘Lost in Translation’. Head out of the city to the brilliant Bonsai Museum, learning about the painstaking detail that the bonsai masters put into their art, before your very own lesson at the Seikoen Bonsai School.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to the station and board the bullet train for your journey to Karuizawa. A guide will join you throughout to ensure your complete comfort and relaxation.

    Mandarin Oriental, Tokyokeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Luxury Hotel
    • Summary: A serene property in Tokyo's vibrant heart
    • Feature: Incredible city views and great atmosphere
    • Rooms: 157 rooms and 21 suites
    • Location: Tokyo, Japan
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 5-7 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    As soon as you arrive in Karuizawa, head out with your guide to explore this upscale mountain town, visiting the Meiji-era Mikasa Hotel, now a dedicated National Treasure. Experience the area’s natural beauty from the Usui Pass observation platform and the Shiraito no Taki Waterfalls, before checking into your hotel, Hoshinoya Karuizawa. Enjoy an incredible private walking tour of the woodland with a local wildlife specialist, spotting the area’s unique flora and fauna.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to the station and board the bullet train for your journey to Kanazawa. From here, take a private car transfer to Nikko Hotel Kanazawa. On the way, enjoy a stop at the enchanting Kenroku-en Gardens.

    Hoshinoya Karuizawa
    • Summary: A resort village on the banks of small lake and surrounded by forests
    • Feature: Modern, clean hot springs for both indoor and outdoor bathing
    • Rooms: 77 rooms
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 7-9 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Spend some time at your leisure in the culture-rich city of Kanazawa, before heading on a private tour of the Yamato Soy Sauce brewery, learning how this iconic Japanese condiment is made. Stroll along the bustling Ono waterfront, stopping for sushi – accompanied by Yamato’s soy sauce.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to the station and board the Thunderbird Limited Express train for your journey to Kyoto. From here, take a private car transfer to Four Seasons Kyoto.

    Nikko Hotel Kanazawa
    • Summary: A comfortable hotel with a fantastic location and varied dining options
    • Feature: Rooms are located all above the 17th floor, offering panoramic views over the city
    • Rooms: 254 rooms
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 9-12 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Explore Kyoto, Japan’s spiritual heart, on a guided tour. Enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in the 17th century Korin-in Temple, before spending the evening dining with a geisha. An exclusive experience awaits the next day as you visit two artisan workshops specialising in the traditional Japanese lacquerware techniques of Raden and Makie. Work alongside the masters of these generational arts to create souvenirs of your trip – including a tea tray with inlaid pearl and gold powder.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to the station and board the bullet train for your journey to Hiroshima.

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyotokeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Luxury Hotel
    • Summary: A stunning hotel nestled within an 800-year-old pond garden
    • Feature: Interactive and intimate Michelin-starred Japanese dining
    • Rooms: 110 rooms & 13 suites
    • Location: Kyoto, Japan
    • Star rating: 5 Star
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 12-14 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    As soon as you arrive in Hiroshima, your guide will whisk you off to the Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb attack of 1945. Then, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the traditionally Japanese Shukkeien Garden, before checking in to the Sheraton Grand Hiroshima. Head out of the city to the pretty seaside town of Tomonoura, home to the Residence of the Ota Family, once affluent merchants famous for producing the alcoholic drink, Homeishu.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to the station and board the bullet train for your journey to Tokyo.

    Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotelkeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Luxury Hotel
    • Summary: A contemporary property close to Hiroshima's highlights
    • Feature: The Sheraton Shine Spa offers a menu of luxurious therapies
    • Rooms: 238 rooms
    • Location: Hiroshima, Japan
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 14-15 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Back in Tokyo, spend the evening with a Brooklyn born-and-raised bartender in a speakeasy bar. Enjoy an expertly selected tasting flight of top Japanese gin and whisky, learning more about their importance.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to Narita International Airport for your flight to the UK.

    Mandarin Oriental, Tokyokeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Luxury Hotel
    • Summary: A serene property in Tokyo's vibrant heart
    • Feature: Incredible city views and great atmosphere
    • Rooms: 157 rooms and 21 suites
    • Location: Tokyo, Japan
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    TRANSFERS

    • Type:
    • Summary:
    • Feature:
    • Rooms:
    • Location:
    • Star rating:
    MEAL BASIS

DAY ACCOMMODATION

TRANSFERS

  • Type:
  • Summary:
  • Feature:
  • Rooms:
  • Location:
  • Star rating:
MEAL BASIS

DAY 2-5ACCOMMODATION
Tokyo, Japan

Explore Japan’s captivating capital with a knowledgeable guide. Stroll through Zen gardens, before exploring the ritzy Omotesando district, dubbed the “Champs D’Elysees of Japan” for its avenue of highend shops. Refresh with a drink at the iconic Park Hyatt Hotel, the setting of hit blockbuster ‘Lost in Translation’. Head out of the city to the brilliant Bonsai Museum, learning about the painstaking detail that the bonsai masters put into their art, before your very own lesson at the Seikoen Bonsai School.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to the station and board the bullet train for your journey to Karuizawa. A guide will join you throughout to ensure your complete comfort and relaxation.

Mandarin Oriental, Tokyokeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Luxury Hotel
  • Summary: A serene property in Tokyo's vibrant heart
  • Feature: Incredible city views and great atmosphere
  • Rooms: 157 rooms and 21 suites
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 5-7ACCOMMODATION
Karuizawa, Japan

As soon as you arrive in Karuizawa, head out with your guide to explore this upscale mountain town, visiting the Meiji-era Mikasa Hotel, now a dedicated National Treasure. Experience the area’s natural beauty from the Usui Pass observation platform and the Shiraito no Taki Waterfalls, before checking into your hotel, Hoshinoya Karuizawa. Enjoy an incredible private walking tour of the woodland with a local wildlife specialist, spotting the area’s unique flora and fauna.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to the station and board the bullet train for your journey to Kanazawa. From here, take a private car transfer to Nikko Hotel Kanazawa. On the way, enjoy a stop at the enchanting Kenroku-en Gardens.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa
  • Summary: A resort village on the banks of small lake and surrounded by forests
  • Feature: Modern, clean hot springs for both indoor and outdoor bathing
  • Rooms: 77 rooms
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 7-9ACCOMMODATION
Kanazawa, Japan

Spend some time at your leisure in the culture-rich city of Kanazawa, before heading on a private tour of the Yamato Soy Sauce brewery, learning how this iconic Japanese condiment is made. Stroll along the bustling Ono waterfront, stopping for sushi – accompanied by Yamato’s soy sauce.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to the station and board the Thunderbird Limited Express train for your journey to Kyoto. From here, take a private car transfer to Four Seasons Kyoto.

Nikko Hotel Kanazawa
  • Summary: A comfortable hotel with a fantastic location and varied dining options
  • Feature: Rooms are located all above the 17th floor, offering panoramic views over the city
  • Rooms: 254 rooms
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 9-12ACCOMMODATION
Kyoto, Japan

Explore Kyoto, Japan’s spiritual heart, on a guided tour. Enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in the 17th century Korin-in Temple, before spending the evening dining with a geisha. An exclusive experience awaits the next day as you visit two artisan workshops specialising in the traditional Japanese lacquerware techniques of Raden and Makie. Work alongside the masters of these generational arts to create souvenirs of your trip – including a tea tray with inlaid pearl and gold powder.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to the station and board the bullet train for your journey to Hiroshima.

Four Seasons Hotel Kyotokeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Luxury Hotel
  • Summary: A stunning hotel nestled within an 800-year-old pond garden
  • Feature: Interactive and intimate Michelin-starred Japanese dining
  • Rooms: 110 rooms & 13 suites
  • Location: Kyoto, Japan
  • Star rating: 5 Star
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 12-14ACCOMMODATION
Hiroshima, Japan

As soon as you arrive in Hiroshima, your guide will whisk you off to the Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb attack of 1945. Then, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the traditionally Japanese Shukkeien Garden, before checking in to the Sheraton Grand Hiroshima. Head out of the city to the pretty seaside town of Tomonoura, home to the Residence of the Ota Family, once affluent merchants famous for producing the alcoholic drink, Homeishu.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to the station and board the bullet train for your journey to Tokyo.

Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotelkeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Luxury Hotel
  • Summary: A contemporary property close to Hiroshima's highlights
  • Feature: The Sheraton Shine Spa offers a menu of luxurious therapies
  • Rooms: 238 rooms
  • Location: Hiroshima, Japan
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 14-15ACCOMMODATION
Tokyo, Japan

Back in Tokyo, spend the evening with a Brooklyn born-and-raised bartender in a speakeasy bar. Enjoy an expertly selected tasting flight of top Japanese gin and whisky, learning more about their importance.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to Narita International Airport for your flight to the UK.

Mandarin Oriental, Tokyokeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Luxury Hotel
  • Summary: A serene property in Tokyo's vibrant heart
  • Feature: Incredible city views and great atmosphere
  • Rooms: 157 rooms and 21 suites
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY ACCOMMODATION

TRANSFERS

  • Type:
  • Summary:
  • Feature:
  • Rooms:
  • Location:
  • Star rating:
MEAL BASIS

TOUR MAP

TOUR EXCURSIONS

Glamorous Tokyo
Full Day Tour

Experience the glamorous side of Tokyo on this fantastic full day tour by private car. First, visit the beautiful Koishikawa Korakuen garden, an area loved by locals but lesser known by tourists, flaunting stunning seasonal flowers. After a walk through the gardens, you will be whisked to the ritzy neighbourhood of Omotesando, often dubbed the Champs D'Elysees of Japan due to its flagship designer stores. Enjoy lunch at a popular teppanyaki restaurant here, before continuing to Shinjuku Gyoden Garden, an urban green space that is also loved by locals – you will likely spot them practicing instruments, playing sports or simply relaxing in their free time. Your final stop on the tour is the iconic Park Hyatt Tokyo, a hotel perhaps best known as the setting for part of Sofia Coppola's hit film ‘Lost in Translation’. Here, head to the glamorous New York Bar for a drink (one included) overlooking the Tokyo sunset.

Bonsai Museum and Seikoen Bonsai School
Full Day Excursion

You will be met at your Tokyo hotel by a local guide and private vehicle to head to Omiya, home to the wonderful Bonsai Museum, the world’s first publicly run museum devoted to this traditional Japanese botanical art. Here, peruse an impressive collection of these miniature yet majestic trees, learning more about their symbolism and how they are grown. Then, take a walk to the nearby Seikoen Bonsai School for your very own bonsai making lesson with an expert. Due to quarantine rules, your creation can’t be taken home with you, though you can keep the pots and tools – and skills, of course - to begin keeping your own bonsai back at home! Then, head back to Tokyo.

Karuizawa Highlights
Full Day Tour

Explore the upscale mountain resort of Karuizawa on a guided tour. Begin with a stroll along the romantic shopping street of Karuizawa Ginza, perhaps tasting the famed local desserts, before reaching the Shaw Memorial Church, founded in 1895 by a Canadian missionary. Then, visit the former Mikasa Hotel, one of Japan’s first Western-style hotels opened in 1906, now a museum and listed National Cultural Heritage building. Next, it is time to discover the natural delights of the area, with a visit to Usui Pass, boasting beautiful views over the mountains of Gunma Prefecture. Finally, head north to the striking Shiraito no Taki Waterfall, aptly translating to “waterfall of white threads”.

The Wildlife of Karuizawa
Two Hour Tour

Join a local wildlife specialist for a two-hour tour discovering the fantastic flora and fauna of Karuizawa. Meeting at a nearby wildlife centre, you will head out into the woods in search of several species of plant, animals and bird. Many species here are endemic only to this part of Japan, making it a real favourite among wildlife enthusiasts. Please note that this tour includes around 2-3km of walking.

Kenroku-en Garden
Guided Visit

Join a guide for a visit to the captivating Kenroku-en Garden in Kanazawa, characterised by ponds, streams, trees, traditional teahouses and the striking Seisonkaku Villa, once the residence of the local feudal lord’s mother and now a public museum. Ranked as one of the top three gardens in the whole of Japan, prepare to be awed by its beauty, no matter what season you visit. The name Kenroku-en refers to the six attributes traditionally considered vital in the creation of the perfect garden, all of which are said to exist here.

Yamato Soy Sauce Brewery and Ono Waterfront
Half Day Excursion

Head by road to the Ono region of Kanazawa, home to the Yamato soy sauce brewery, renowned throughout Japan for its high-quality product. Enjoy a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the brewery, learning more about the unique fermentation process involved in creating Japan’s famous condiment, as well as discovering how miso is made. Then, take a stroll past the old-town factories and warehouses of the Ono waterfront, before a delicious sushi dinner at a local family-run restaurant – accompanied by Yamato soy sauce, of course! If time and weather allow, there may also be the chance to watch an evening fish auction, before heading back to your hotel.

Cultural Kyoto
Full Day Tour

Join a guide for a day exploring Kyoto’s most captivating cultural sites. Begin at the beautiful Honen-In Temple, characterised by its enchanting moss-covered gate and extensive gardens. Walk along Philosopher’s Path beside a cherry-lined canal, named after one of Japan's most famous philosophers, who was said to practice meditation while walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University. Reach the Nanzenji temple complex, one of Japan’s most important Zen Buddhist temples, home to many sub-temples and beautiful rock gardens. Next, you and your guide will transfer by car to the famous Gion district where you can enjoy a delicious tempura lunch in an old Kyo-Machiya townhouse. Then, head to Korin-in Temple, founded in 1613, where you can take part in a traditional tea ceremony, an iconic Japanese ritual and a must-do on any visit to Kyoto.

Private Geisha Dinner in Kyoto
Evening Experience

Your host for this evening will be Peter Macintosh, a Kyoto resident for almost 20 years, and considered to be the foremost Western expert on geisha. He was married to an ex-geisha, studies Japanese arts and is a lecturer on Geisha Studies at Kansai University.
The evening will begin with an engaging walking tour through some of Kyoto’s geisha districts, as Peter explains more about their traditions and history. After the walk, you will enjoy a sumptuous Japanese dinner in the private room of a traditional restaurant. Enjoy dinner and drinks with an hour of private maiko or geisha entertainment consisting of conversation and dancing accompanied by the shamisen (Japanese stringed instrument). You will also have a chance to ask questions about the geisha and their world (translated into English by Peter), as well as play traditional drinking games. This is a special night of food, drink, traditional entertainment, and great photo opportunities.
 

Traditional Japanese Laquerware Workshops
Full Day Excursion

While based in Kyoto, join a guide for a trip to the quiet residential district of Saga, where you will visit two traditional lacquerware workshops. The first specialises in Raden (the inlaying of pearl shell onto lacquerware) and Makie (decorating lacquer with gold or silver powder). In an exclusive private experience here, work alongside masters of this generational art to decorate either a coaster or tea tray to take home with you. After lunch, you will visit the second workshop, this one specialising in Zogan, a traditional Japanese method of inlaying different metals onto a base, used originally for weapons and ceremonial utensils. Again, you can join an artisan to try out the method for yourself, creating your own inlaid accessory – either a phone strap, pendant or tie pin. As the process is so complex, you will only be able to experience a segment of it, though the product will be completed and mailed to you once you’ve returned home.

Hiroshima Exploration
Half Day Tour

Explore Hiroshima with your private guide, beginning with a visit to the moving Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The area where the park now lies was ground zero for the Atomic Bomb on 6th August 1945, after which the Memorial Park was created and dedicated to those who lost their lives in the attack. Stroll through the park and discover the many memorials, monuments and statues. Then, visit the stunning Shukkeien Garden, in which valleys, mountains and forests are represented in miniature form. The garden dates back to 1620 and flaunts many characteristics of a traditional Japanese garden – including teahouses, pods and pathways.

Tomonoura
Full Day Tour

Today you will be met at your hotel by your guide and a car for a day tour to the pretty seaside town of Tomonoura. Highlights include the Joyato Lighthouse - the symbol of the town - as well as the Residence of the Ota Family, affluent merchants from the Edo period who were renowned for their production of Homeishu, a Japanese medicinal alcohol made using rice, spirits and various herbs. Take a walk around the Tomonoura harbour overlooking the inland sea, before lunch (not included) and a visit to the beautiful Fukuzenji Temple, with views over both Bentenjima and Sensujima Island. Behind the temple, pay a visit to a Homeishu shop, perhaps sampling this unique local spirit. If time allows, you may also visit the Nunakuma Shrine, dedicated to the gods of the sea. Please note that the Ota Family Residence is closed on Tuesdays so if your visit falls on a Tuesday, you will visit the wonderful Irohamaru Musuem or the Museum of History & Folklore instead.

Japanese Spirit Tour in Tokyo
3-4 Hour Tour

Join Kyuma, a Brooklyn born and raised bartender and food and drink specialist, who will host an evening filled with Japanese spirits. At a local speakeasy bar, you will be presented with a tasting flight of carefully selected Japanese gin and whisky. As you sample each tipple, Kyuma will explain more about their production, unique qualities and any awards they’ve won. Afterwards, if you would like more drinks, they will be payable on the spot. At the end of the tour, Kyuma will take you back to your hotel, or can give you further ideas if you would like to continue exploring on your own.

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

March to May is spring, often the best time to visit thanks to warm temperatures, little rain and the bloom of the iconic cherry blossoms. Autumn is also a great time to visit, with beautiful orange colours and many music, sports and cultural events.

  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Best

14 NIGHTS FROM £13,500 per person

Price based upon economy flights from London, transfers, UK airport lounge passes and meals and excursions as specified.

REQUEST A QUOTE

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