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A Japanese Journey - Tokyo to the Noto Peninsula

As this exploration of Japan begins, you’ll traverse the lively environs of Tokyo; its myriad temples, shrines and nostalgic quarters and sharply contrasting modern architecture. Hopping on a bullet-train, leaving the Tokyo bustle behind, you will head to rural Yamanaka to stay in a traditional onsen. Onward, you’ll travel to historic Kanazawa on the Noto Peninsula to marvel at a landscape of temples, castles and Japanese gardens. Finally, the journey across picturesque countryside by train to Kyoto gives you a taste of the south. Characteristic temples, the famous rock garden and a bamboo forest will highlight the sights of this holy city.

Highlights
  • Stay in luxury at some of Japan’s best accommodations, such as the Ritz Carlton
  • Travel on Japan’s high-speed bullet train
  • Stroll the famous Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa
  • Explore the I.M. Pei-designed Miho Museum - considered one of Asia’s finest.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1

Your private transfer will take you to your luxury accommodation - The Peninsula. Relax in the sky lobby and indulge in fine dining, lounges and spas as you spend your evening at leisure.

Day 2

Explore the neighborhood of Yanaka today to see the Nezu Shrine - one of Japan’s oldest - featuring tunnel-like torii-gates, and visit the 13th-century Tennoji Temple, characterized by its bronze Buddha statue. After a rest in the Kyu Iwasaki-tei garden, move onto the Aoyama area and the Nezu Museum. History buffs can peruse the pre-modern collection, though some may opt for a shopping spree on the district’s hip boutique store boulevard.

Day 3

Another full day of touring begins with the Fukagawa Fudo temple in the city’s Fudo ward, where a Buddhist fire ritual is practiced several times daily. The nearby Ameyoko Market is a narrow-laned and lively place perfect for foodies and shoppers. The afternoon sees a guided tour of the Musashino Art University Museum and Library. Music lovers can enjoy a night out at some of Tokyo’s jazz clubs, while others may opt to visit to see traditional wrestlers in action.

Day 4

Today you're on your own and free to explore Tokyo or just relax and indulge in The Peninsula luxury. Suggested activities include a visit to the Gothic City Hall or taking in the amazing views from the Tokyo Skytree. Foodies will love the culinary choices offered at Yakitori Alley or Monja Street.

Day 5

Today the journey continues to the famed hot-spring town of Yamanaka Onsen situated in the western coastal prefecture of Ishikawa. Take the bullet train from Tokyo station, a two-and-a-half hour journey, followed by a one-hour private transfer to the luxurious Kayotei Ryokan. Spend a relaxing afternoon in the open-air bath on the private balcony of your Japanese-style Suite or explore the charming surroundings before heading back for dinner.

Day 6

Spend the day strolling around Yamanaka Onsen, where you can visit various art studios and get an insight into the work of porcelain masters, wooden furniture artist or tatami mat makers. The famed Kutani porcelain originated from this area. Take the chance to discover the Kakusenkei Gorge and meander along the Daijoji River which provides stunning views of natural water pools, waterfalls and remarkable rock formations. In the evening, enjoy an exclusive Japanese dinner in a private dining room at your ryokan.

Day 7

Drive one hour to Kanazawa City, one of the best-preserved major Edo-period city in Japan. Visit Omicho fish market, peruse the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, and enjoy a gold-foil wrapped ice cream in the geisha ward. In the evening, get settled at the Hotel Nikko - the tallest structure in the city - before exploring local dining options or stay in and enjoy dinner in style.

Day 8

Start your day with a leisurely stroll through the traditional landscapes of Kenrokuen Garden, one of the three great gardens of Japan. After a stop at a teahouse, the next stop is the majestic 17th-century Kanazawa Castle - a one-time renowned university. In the Nagamachi neighborhood you’ll visit Nomurake - an Edo-period restored Samurai residence.

Day 9

After a transfer to Kanazawa station, you’ll take the two-hour bullet train ride to Kyoto. Once you have checked in at the Ritz Carlton, you are free to enjoy the afternoon at leisure. The city has a vast array of temples and shrines should you wish to explore them - such as the 6th-century Shimogamo Shrine - or you may choose to simply make use of the luxury facilities on offer at the hotel.

Day 10

A full day of touring awaits you today, including Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Golden Pavilion and Ryoanji Temple - the site of Japan's most famous rock garden. Time permitting, you’ll explore Nishiki Market and the Gion neighborhood. If you wish, enjoy a meditation ceremony with a monk before returning to your hotel for an evening of relaxation.

Day 11

Embark on a half-day trip to the I.M. Pei-designed Miho Museum - located about 90 minutes by car southwest of Kyoto and considered one of Asia’s finest museums. Each exhibit in the Miho Museum was carefully selected as much for its artistic beauty as its historical significance and great care is taken in how each item is displayed. Spend the afternoon as you like - we recommend a visit to one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites the city has to offer.

Day 12

Today you will travel a short distance northeast of downtown Kyoto where you will encounter Mt. Hiei, one of the three holy mountains in Japan. There are many routes to the top, each taking around four hours. Once there, take in the stunning view overlooking Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan, before making your way down again - you can either take the country’s longest cable car, or hike an alternative route. Enjoy your last night at leisure in the Ritz Carlton’s luxurious surroundings.

Day 13
Departure

Today your Japanese adventure comes to an end and you will leave for next destination or your start your journey home.

 

Suggested Accommodations

Location
Accommodation
TOKYO
The Peninsula Tokyo

The Peninsula Tokyo

Mere steps from the Imperial Palace sits Tokyo’s newest luxury hotel, The Peninsula Tokyo. Located in Marunouchi district just a short walk from the shopping paradise of Ginza, the hotel is perfectly located for business or pleasure. With a total of 314 elegantly decorated rooms and 47 suites, the Peninsula Tokyo’s accommodations are among the most spacious in all of Tokyo, and offer plenty of amenities including espresso machines, complimentary Internet access, multifunction fax machines, nail polish drying machines, and shoe shining service. The hotel’s culinary options include Cantonese cuisine at the Hei Fung Terrace, regional Japanese fare at Kyoto Tsuruya, and International food and beverages at Cirque Culinaire and Peter. For relaxation, enjoy the hotel’s state of the art health club with pool complex, undergo a “spa journey” at the Peninsula Spa by ESPA, or try a leisurely jog around the Imperial Palace. Other amenities include a business center and a boutique store that offers food, gifts and souvenir items.

 
 
YAMANAKA ONSEN
Kayotei

Kayotei

Located outside of Kanazawa, The Kayotei is a traditional Japanese ryokan set within the forested hills of Yamanaka Onsen. The Kayotei boasts 10 Sukiya suites arranged in the traditional style of a tea ceremony pavilion mixing antique tansu chests of drawers, low-polished oak tables, hand-painted screens, traditional ceramic pieces and modern sculptural designs. The ryokan includes two indoor communal baths sourced from natural hot springs. The baths are glassed in on three sides, providing guests with onsen views of natural forest scenery. Kayotei’s chefs prepare Japanese Kaiseki cuisine served in tatami rooms.

 
 
KANAZAWA
Nikko Kanazawa

Nikko Kanazawa

Located in the heart of Kanazawa, the Nikko Kanazawa Hotel is a bastion of modern luxury in one of the best-preserved ancient towns in Japan. With 254 Guest rooms and a few exclusive suites, the Nikko Kanazawa is designed with an eye towards artistry, incorporating minimalist interior design with artistic accents from young, local artists. Wining and dining options include: Le Grand Chariot, a jazz lounge and bar; Vol de Nuit bar; Icho for Japanese Teppanyaki; Toh Lee, authentic Chinese and dim sum; Benkei, an upscale sushi lounge; The Fountain café; and The Garden House, featuring an international buffet. Hotel amenities include Internet connectivity in all rooms, a pool and a fitness center with Jacuzzi and sauna, a spa with aromatherapy and traditional Japanese treatments, boutique stores, a salon, and a florist. The Nikko Kanazawa Hotel is approximately 45 minutes by car from Komatsu airport (KMQ), with service from Tokyo Haneda (HND).

 
 
KYOTO
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

Just steps away from the popular streets of Gion, Kawaramachi and Pontocho, the hotel is the perfect gateway for seeing Kyoto’s fabulous sights. The large meeting facilities and services also make the hotel ideal for business. Respecting the ancient traditions and culture of Kyoto, the extravagant space is inspired from the natural surroundings and traditional architecture. Famous for Zen Temples, palaces and gardens, the Kyoto atmosphere is incorporated in the Ritz-Carlton’s design. Built in the style of a traditional Meiji House and courtyard, this is truly a cultural experience. A four-story waterfall is featured in the hotel entrance amidst patterned motifs. Guests are always guaranteed world-famous luxury at Ritz-Carlton, and Kyoto is no exception: guests enjoy high-thread count linens, plush Japanese “IMABARI” robes and towels, complimentary WiFi, Kyoto soap and seasonal bath salts, LED TVs and touch-panel environmental controls for automatic drape closure.  Accommodation amenities include a concierge service, swimming pool, banquet room, babysitting service, four delicious dining options and a spa for any pampering needs. 

 
 
Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
A frequent visitor to Japan, our General Manager Victoria Hilley loves the local food as well as petting the cute deer in Nara.
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