Our first week, we will explore the classic wonders of Japan, traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto. Appreciate the contrast between modern, even futuristic architecture and centuries-old temples in Tokyo. Discover the storehouse of Japanese traditional culture in Kyoto, complete with a geisha experience and a night in a Ryokan.
On our second week, we go off the beaten path to uncover the country's hidden gems, from Kyoto's region to the Japanese Alps of Kanazawa where glamping in front of Mount Fuji will be experienced. Enjoy the beautiful countrysides of Kyoto and Takayama. Experience a night in a temple, sharing the Monk's traditional way of life, meditation and peaceful environment. Discover and appreciate a rich palette of local Japanese cuisine, from Kaiseki to street food, from Michelin-starred restaurants to simple yet memorable monk vegetarian meals.
Interested in doing both weeks? Take advantage of our 2-week offer and uncover all the secrets in the land of the rising sun.
Experience the magic of fall in Japan and its brilliant foliage. The whole country is colored in various shades of red, orange and yellow. This journey includes the opportunity to walk through gardens, mountains and the countryside and fall in love with the natural explosion of colors Autumn in Japan is.
From Michelin-starred restaurant reinventing Japanese cuisine to the traditional vegetarian Buddhist Monks meals, from Kaiseki dinner (the Japanese Haute Cuisine) to the memorable street food, you will get a full taste of Japan, including a sushi cooking class.
Explore Zen Buddhism, through diverse temple visits, even sharing the Monks' lifestyle and rituals for a day. Experiment the impact Zen has on the whole Japanese culture, to include hot spring baths, meditation, peaceful gardens and endless nature.
In one punch, you get to discover exciting cities and slow-paced villages, food for your body and soul, a mix of modern and traditional world, privately guided tours and time to explore on your own, always leaving room for flexibility and last minute enhancements.
Today, we welcome you in Tokyo. You are transferred by private car and greeted at the property by your hosts. After some time to freshen up at your hotel, we are expected for our welcome dinner at Gonpachi restaurant, famous for being the setting of the famous fight scene in Kill Bill.
Today, we explore the city with our private guide, and start in the busiest urban hubs of the incredible modern metropolis of Tokyo: Shinjuku and its skyscrapers, setting of the well known "Lost in Translation" movie, Harajuku and its Kawaii crowd-wearing "Lolita fashion" attire, Shibuya and its famous hectic street crossing. Tonight, enjoy an evening on your own discovering the exciting food scene of Tokyo, with our recommendations.
Today, we have set up a day-trip to Hakone, a mountainous town famous for its hot springs and views of the iconic volcano Mount Fuji. On return, enjoy your last night in Tokyo, armed with the best recommendations and suggestions from your hosts.
This morning, we ease into our transition from modern cities to traditional ones by visiting Asakusa district, retaining the vibe of an older Tokyo. We will stop at Senso-ji, a Buddhist temple built in the 7th century, before making our way towards the train station where we board the iconic Japanese bullet train. On arrival in Kyoto, we provide recommendations so you may explore on your own for a memorable first-time impression of this magical city.
Today our private guide takes us to through some of Kyoto's most famous sights and off the beaten path spots. We then discover the fascinating world of the Kabuki Theatre before heading towards Kamo river for a night at leisure. There, uncover a great selection of traditional restaurants, whisky bars and jazz clubs.
We depart for Arashiyama, starting the day with a romantic old train ride through the scenic Hozugawa Valley, enjoying the red colors of Japanese maple leaves in fall. Arriving at Arashiyama, we trade our train seat for a bicycle one and discover the various temples and shrines, impressive bamboo grove, Monkey's Park and the pristine Japanese gardens. Back in Kyoto, we get ready to enjoy the mysterious world of Geishas during an exceptional dinner.
The last day of our first week will be spent relaxing in a traditional Ryokan (Japanese Inn with bathing facilities and traditional food) in Arima Onsen (hot springs area) located one-hour drive from Kyoto. The ideal day for rejuvenation diving into the finest Japanese traditions. We spend the night in Arima.
We say farewell to guests heading home, who receive a private airport transfer. Guests staying get a day at leisure (recommendations will be provided) while we welcome guests arriving for week 2. Tonight, we hold a welcome dinner at one of our favorite Kyoto eateries.
Get ready to discover the Okunoin: a dramatic temple and cemetery, one of Japan's most sacred sites. Our day continues with an authentic experience through Zen Monks' lifestyle: we spend the night in a temple. Forget all you have ever imagined about austere monk cells. Walk around the peaceful gardens, relax in their hot spring baths, enjoy a memorable traditional Buddhist meal, soothing body and soul.
Curious minds will have the opportunity to participate in the early morning ceremony honoring the ancestors, followed by a Goma fire ritual. The consecrated fire is believed to have a powerful cleansing effect spiritually and psychologically. After breakfast, we head for the colorful autumnal wonderland of Mount Yoshino and stop for lunch at a 3-star Michelin restaurant. The afternoon will be dedicated to visiting Today-ji temple, one of the world's largest wooden structure, housing Japan's largest Buddha statue. We come back to Kyoto where we enjoy the last night of our journey in this magical city at leisure.
Traveling on the famous bullet train, we arrive in Kanazawa, "little Kyoto". We walk around the food stands of the Omicho Market, for a taste of Japanese street food. After lunch, we head for Kanazawa Castle park, before exploring Higashiyama district, hosting traditional tea houses. It is also a neighborhood famous for gold leaf craft. We end the day with a private cooking class, learning how to prepare sushi and of course, enjoying them afterwards!
Our morning starts with a walk through Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan's three most beautiful gardens. Elect to visit one of the exceptional close-by museums: the 21st Century Museum, focusing on art produced since 1980, or the Suzuki Museum, giving you lots of insights about Zen Buddhism and showcasing a sublime "Water Garden". You may also choose to spend more time exploring the wonders of Kerokuen Garden before we depart for the Japanese Alps and Shirakawa-go, a World Cultural Heritage site. We discover this mountain village and its typical "Gassho" style houses, residences built from wooden beams that support their characteristic thatched roof. Our night is spent in a glamorous Japanese style residence, combining the relaxing effect of homely timbers, the rejuvenation of natural hot springs and the pleasure of a melting Hida-Beef meal.
What a better way to end this week than glamping in front of Mount Fuji? After a short walk in the narrow streets of centuries-old Takayama, lined with wooden merchants' houses, we depart for Hoshinoya Fuji located on a red pine slope overlooking beautiful lake Kawaguchi. Walk in the forest, take a nap in your minimalist yet luxurious cabin looking at the lake and majestic Mount Fuji just behind, quench your palate with one of the Japanese whiskey selections or relish the smoky aroma of an enormous bonfire. Then soothe your body and soul with rich cuisine experience inspired by wildlife.
This morning, you have a chance to join a wake-up session that involves brewing coffee in the outdoors while nibbling on seasonal snacks, go for early morning canoeing, rowing across the placid waters of the lake or horseback riding through the woods below Mount Fuji. After lunch, we make our way to Tokyo, where we will enjoy a guided tour through the most exciting nightlife districts of the Metropole, before enjoying our farewell dinner.
Sadly this inspiring journey comes to an end. We send you home with a lifetime worth of memories, inner peace, and good laughs. Interested in extending your journey? If you joined us only for the second week, how about letting us set up extra days in Tokyo. Hiroshima, Osaka, or Seoul in South Korea are also great options to discover more Far East mysteries.
Dosho, KoboDaishi's own disciple, built Ekoin almost 1200 years ago. "Eko" originally means "Transference of Merit.
Staying at Ekoin temple for a night gives you the opportunity to share Buddhist Monks lifestyle and enjoy the relaxing environment of the temple, its garden and its hot spring bath, in a minimalist yet comfortable setting.
You are invited to try Syojin Ryori, the traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, in your room, facing the garden. You may also participate in a meditation class in the afternoon, learn Buddha Sutra writing, join the morning ceremony honoring the ancestors or the Homa Fire Ritual.
This is the perfect stay for curious minds wanting to get an insight about Japanese Buddhism as well as for tired bodies craving for a peaceful and relaxing environment.
Hoshinoya Fuji is a glamping resort located on a red pine slope overlooking beautiful Lake Kawaguchi, a stone's throw away from Mt Fuji.
The minimalistic design of the cabins accentuate the majestic views on the lake and the iconic volcano.
Outside, a series of wooden platforms appear to float among the natural landscape like clouds. Guests are encouraged to spend time among the immense, pristine trees, relishing a Japanese whisky, chatting around a campfire or relishing a delicious meal prepared with local ingredients found in the wild.
Vintage elegance in the hip heart of Tokyo - An air of golden-age glamour hangs over The Tokyo Station Hotel. This domed, red-hued building has been part of the city skyline for over 100 years. Today, the hotel blends Omotenashi – the time-honored spirit of Japanese hospitality – with 21st century luxury. And with no less than ten eateries on-site, it promises an indulgent escape.
Step inside and you’ll find vaulted ceilings, polished floors and preserved period features. In the airy atrium you can have breakfast beneath the skylight, or unwind in the contemporary spa. Then head to one of the bars to sip cocktails on rich, leather chairs before an evening of fine dining.
From your palace side rooms you’ll have wonderful views of Tokyo, and when it’s time to get out and about you’ll find yourself right in the center of the city. You could stroll through the Imperial Palace Gardens, explore the historical station beside the hotel or spend an afternoon in the luxury boutiques of Ginza – Tokyo’s designer shopping district.
Although being right in the center of Kyoto with convenient access to town, Villa Sanjo Muromachi Kyoto is situated in an area where the sounds of life - unchanged since olden times - can be heard. This compact luxury hotel features only 12 rooms. The ideal place to feel home and go along with the leisurely pace of the ancient capital. Tradition and innovation are vividly present in the villa. The attention to details and the hospitality of the staff create the perfect environment to relax after long days of visits.
The luxury they boast is not limited to being sumptuous. they have prepared the guestrooms with a main focus placed on producing the compactness of having what is required in good, required quantities – on delivering quality that is substantial and fine-tuned.
An alley wet from water sprinkled for coolness and a soft light escaping through openings of a latticed door are two of the many features of this property.
Taketoritei is regularly cited as one of the best Ryokans in Japan. A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese Inn that features tatami matted rooms and are located mainly in hot springs areas of the country. Taketoritei is located in Arima Onsen, the oldest Onsen (hot springs) town in Japan, founded 1300 years ago and a timeless relaxing place for emperors, nobles and samurais.
The modern Japanese resort host two kinds of hot springs: the Silver one (Radium hot spring) and the Golden one (high temperature, containing high level of iron and salt). Soaking in these baths before savoring Kaiseki (Japanese Haute cuisine) dinner is the quintessential Japanese experience!
Rates displayed are per person, based on double occupancy.
All listed retreats (hotels, villas and barges) are, at times, subject to changes. If replaced, similar or higher standards will be upheld.
A refundable deposit of $1500 per person is due at the time of your reservation. In case of a cancelation at more than 90 days prior to departure, your deposit will be returned minus a $500 per person administrative fee.
Your final balance is due 90 days prior to departure, at which point your journey becomes non-refundable.
NEW! Find a replacement at least 30 days prior to departure and your journey will be fully refunded, minus a $500 per person administrative fee.