Itinerary Highlights
    • Take a private Japanese cooking class
    • Marvel at the sensory teamLab Planets exhibition in Tokyo
    • Visit a traditional onsen spa town
    • Experience a chanoyu tea ceremony
    • Cycle through the countryside of Kyoto

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Tokyo and Kyoto are like the lungs of Japan; together, they breathe life into this fascinating country. This trip takes you from the new capital to the old one by train, from futuristic Tokyo to historic Kyoto via the charming spa town of Shuzenji Onsen. You’ll have four days to experience Tokyo’s effervescent modernity, whether that means enjoying the urban view from the Ferris wheel or taking in the costumes of eccentric cosplayers. While you’re here, you’ll learn the basics of Japanese cuisine with a talented chef, and immerse yourself in the incredible sensory world of the teamLab Planets exhibition. Then it’s on to Shuzenji Onsen, where you’ll enjoy Japanese hospitality in a traditional ryokan,
and spend the rest of your time bathing in onsen baths and strolling along forest paths between rolling hills veiled by a light mist. You’ll then take the train to Kyoto, where you’ll have another four days to soak up the serenity of temples, taste the city’s traditional soba noodles, and experience the refinement of chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony. We’ll also arrange for you to take a private cycling tour into Kyoto’s surrounding countryside, where breathtaking landscapes meet artisanal crafts. In each destination, our Concierge is always on hand to make recommendations, book activities and help with any last-minute needs or desires.


Everything is 100% tailored to you


After taking advantage of our fast-track check-in and security services and complimentary airport lounge access, you’ll board your 14-hour flight to Tokyo. You’ll spend the night on board and arrive in the Japanese capital the following morning, ready to start your 11-day adventure.



When you land at Haneda Airport, you’ll take the train into the city using your handy Japan Rail Pass. Your accommodation will be near Shibuya station, not far from the Hachiko Memorial Statue or the crowds of the famous Shibuya Crossing. Here, you’re right in the middle of the urban throng, and from your hotel room you’ll have a view of this exciting city. If you need a bit of down time after your long journey, simply relax in your comfortable room or head down to the bar to sip a drink mixed by an expert bartender. This evening, enjoy a meal of French-Japanese cuisine in the hotel’s restaurant.



Today we’ll arrange for you to hone your culinary skills in a private cooking class, where you’ll be introduced to washoku (‘food of Japan’). With a focus on seasonality and locality, washoku has been inscribed onto UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This class combines theory and practical technique so you can learn more about Japanese culture while picking up some cooking skills for impressing your friends back home.



Capital of the East and home of urban modernity, this dynamic city is unlike anywhere else, and it’s yours to explore today. If you’re looking to experience the more eccentric parts of Japanese culture, head to Harajuku, where cosplayers and fashion-conscious locals showcase their most fabulous outfits while browsing trendy shops and boutiques. The Akihabara district is famed for its electronics retailers, while the winding alleyways of Shinjuku Golden Gai are home to some 200 pubs and taverns, where you can cosy up with a beer or some sake. Museums can be found in swathes in Tokyo, and some of the most original include the Daimyo Clock Museum, the Tokyo Toy Museum and the Tabi Museum. While this city is certainly brimming with modernity, there’s plenty of traditional culture to be found here too: buy a ticket for a kabuki or noh show; see a sumo competition; take a walk in the old district of Yanaka; visit the Meiji Jingu shrine; or head to the Fukugawa Edo Museum, which houses a replica of a Tokyo shitamachi neighbourhood from the 1800s. If you have 15 minutes to spare, the Diamond and Flower Ferris Wheel in Odaiba gives you a view across the city from 377ft high. And if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the city, head to one of its pockets of peace such as Rikugi-en or Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens. If you like, we can also arrange for you to visit a sumo school.



Today you’ll visit the incredible teamLab Planets exhibition, a digital universe where lights, mirrors and innovative digital technology come together to create another world. At the entrance, you’ll take off your shoes and socks – part of the course is tactile and requires you to be barefoot – and move through spaces that multiply, change colour, blur and regenerate; music accompanies you through these zones that leave you both disorientated and mesmerised. This amazing sensory experience is unlike any other.



This morning you’ll wave goodbye to Tokyo and head to Shuzenji Onsen on the Izu Peninsula by train, which takes around two hours. You’ll spend tonight in a ryokan, a traditional inn where you’ll experience the best of Japanese hospitality. Don’t miss a dip in the thermal bath which is fed by a natural hot spring; here, the sun flashes through the leaves of the surrounding trees, and birdsong echoes all around. A walk along the forest paths is another great way to soak up the atmosphere in this special place, where man and nature seem to exist in harmony. This evening, enjoy some sophisticated washoku on site.



Today you’ll take the train to Kyoto, the artistic and historic imperial capital where you’ll spend the next four nights. In your city-centre hotel, you can expect private bathrooms, comfortable bedding and contemporary facilities as well as traditional Japanese touches such as a public bath, where you can indulge in treatments and massages. In the lounge bar, snacks and drinks are available all day to keep you fuelled up in-between exploring.



After a breakfast buffet of Japanese, Chinese and international dishes this morning, you’ll head to a tea house to take part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Chanoyu, the ritual of preparing and drinking green tea, is said to have been inherited from Zen Buddhism, and at its core it’s about sharing a moment of harmony or even spiritual connection. As Japanese as sumo or onsen, chanoyu is yet another way for you to soak up this country’s rich culture.



The magic of Kyoto weaves its way into every part of the city. From the traditional machiya townhouses of Gion to the mineral garden of the Ryoan-ji temple, from the scenic terrace of the modern station to that of the 17th-century Kiyomizu-dera temple, Kyoto combines poetry, art, tradition and modernity in a way that makes you marvel at the past, admire the present and look forward to the future. Today is about experiencing the city at your own pace, but if you need recommendations about what to do or where to eat, just ask our local Concierge. If you like, we can also arrange for you to visit Saihô-ji and its moss garden today.

DAY 10


This morning you’ll head out of the city to experience Kyoto’s countryside on a private cycling trip. With your guide leading the way, it won’t take you long to reach the landscapes of green rice fields with a backdrop of sapphire mountains. The route follows the Katsura River to Arashiyama, where you’ll find a beautiful bamboo grove. Not far from here, the 14th-century Tenryû-ji temple was founded by the famous Buddhist monk Muso Soseki, and the estate is today home to a family of Japanese macaques. Along the way, you can pay a visit to some local craftsmen who are some of the most skilled in the country.

DAY 11


Your trip to Japan has unfortunately come to an end. Today, you’ll take the train to Osaka airport where you’ll board your return flight to the UK.

A la carte


Despite the involvement of some high-level non-Japanese fighters, sumo remains a distinct marker of Japanese identity. Accompanied by a guide, you’ll visit one of these schools where the future rishiki (wrestlers) are trained. This is a community where young fighters live according to strict discipline, and your half-day visit here is a great introduction to this fascinating world.


Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient temple is dedicated to the Buddha Amitabha. The Koinzan Saiho-ji, as it is formally known, is particularly famous for its moss garden, which is home to around 120 species. Saiho-ji is widely regarded as the most beautiful garden in Kyoto, a fairy-tale-like combination of dappled light and soft green banks centred around a lake. You’ll also find three tea houses here. Visits are carried out in small groups and supervised by monks.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The estimated cost for this trip starts from £3,365 to £4,955 per person. The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote. The average starting price for this trip is £4,260 per person.
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