As the trip progressed strangers became friends. Particularly special was the effortlessness: perfect logistics, never having to worry about anything, and, of course, the charming and thoughtful way you organised everything.
A trip to the ultra-modern city of Tokyo is unforgettable - from your hotel suite you can gaze upon the multi-colored glow of the city leading straight to the horizon, an awe-inspiring sight. Tokyo has been the nation's capital since the start of the Meiji Restoration in 1868 when, among other major changes to the nation's political and social structure, Japan came out of its self-imposed isolation. After suffering extensive damage during World War II, Tokyo has since rebuilt itself into one of the world's most energetic, vibrant cities.
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A frequent visitor to Japan, our General Manager Victoria Hilley loves the local food as well as petting the cute deer in Nara.
Visit the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, the foremost Shinto shrine in Tokyo. Originally built in 1920, it was destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in 1958. The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, who ruled from 1868 to 1912, presiding over Japan’s transition from centuries of shogun rule to imperial power. On weekends, Japanese couples getting married, often in traditional attire, are a common sight.
Tsukiji Fish Market
Visit the bustling riverside Tsukiji Wholesale Market, where daily auctions are held featuring over 450 types of seafood, a unique experience that offers insight into a country obsessed with the freshest possible ingredients for its seafood-centric cuisine. Please note that visiting the popular early-morning tuna auction is now highly regulated due to workers’ complaints of overcrowding and tourists interfering with the day’s business. As guests visit around 09:00, they will not see the auction; however, the market is not crowded and you can still experience a quieter side of Tsukiji.
Spend half a day in Ryogoku, an area of Tokyo that serves as the center of the sumo world; here, visitors can find the sumo stadium, many sumo "stables" (live-in schools), chanko restaurants and other sumo-related sights. Remote Lands has unique access to the most venerable sumo stables, offering visitors the chance to meet wrestlers and see firsthand how they live, train and eat!
Visit the perimeter of the Imperial Palace and its surrounding gardens. (Tours of the actual palace interiors are limited to highly regulated group tours at set times, so we don't recommend this.) Instead, view the palace from popular points like the Nijubashi bridge (or “double bridge”) over the southern moat and the East Gardens. During cherry blossom season, this is a popular spot for both locals and visitors alike to take in the blooms.
Harajuku & Omotesando
The Harajuku neighborhood and its main artery, Omotesando Boulevard, are a haven for shoppers. Here, tidy alleyways filled with cafes and boutiques lend a European feel. Sunday afternoons are when the famed Harajuku girls (and boys) come here to strut their stuff, exchanging the strictures of weekday conformity (the ubiquitous navy-blue school uniforms) for outrageously dressed alter egos. Their bold attire are badges of individuality, and you can’t help but admire what Gwen Stefani dubbed their "wicked style."
Discover the famous “Akihabara scene,” a mind-boggling alternative universe that includes Japan’s unique “maid cafés,” “cosplay” (costume-play), electronics emporiums, high-tech video game parlors, pachinko parlors, and the vibrant world of the Japanese anime (cartoons) and manga (comic books). Akihabara is a fascinating window into the parallel universe of Japan’s geek-youth culture called otaku, a catch-all for young people (most often men) with obsessions for the above diversions.
The Nezu Museum, tucked off the bustling commercial boulevard Omotesando, was established in 1941 by the will of Japanese industrialist Nezu Kaichiro to exhibit his personal collection for posterity. A number of pieces are designated as National Treasures, including 87 Important Cultural Properties and 97 Important Art Objects. In addition to the museum, the Nezu offers a traditional Japanese garden and pond with several tea houses, a legacy of Kaichiro’s fascination with “the way of the tea.”
Go to a Japanese professional baseball game – quite a different experience than a game in the U.S. The Japanese are true fanatics for the sport – a fervor fueled all the more by the country’s victory over South Korea in the 2009 World Baseball Classic – to the point that it has essentially overtaken sumo as the national sport. Games are full of team flag waving, drum beating, and the whole stadium chanting and clapping songs for individual players in unison.
National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (also known as Miraikan, or "Future Museum"). With exhibitions including 3-D large-scale images of World Heritage Sites viewed from outer space, and interactive displays that feature the technology behind the Human Genome analysis, this state-of-the-art facility is both educational and entertaining.
If your visit to Japan aligns, attend an afternoon of a Grand Sumo Tournament for a quintessential Japanese experience. Sumo is a serious sport that combines weight, speed, intellect, technique, and guile, with matches preceded by such ritual elements as purifying the ring with salt. Matches can last from a few seconds to a couple minutes, and bigger isn't always better; smaller wrestlers often defeat larger opponents. In recent years, the top-ranked yokozuna have actually been Mongolian, while wrestlers from South Korea, Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, and Estonia have also joined the league, using adopted Japanese names.
Roppongi Art Triangle
Visit the Mori Museum, located in Roppongi on the top two floors of the 54-story Mori Tower, and Tokyo's foremost contemporary art mecca; afterwards, explore the National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT), which opened in 2007. It is also the Japanese government’s fifth national museum of art, joining the national museums in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Lastly, visit the Suntory, founded in 1961, which aims to bring the experience of “art in everyday life,” from paintings and sculpture, to tools, furniture and the natural world, to a broad public audience.
Tokyo National Museum
Visit the Tokyo National Museum (TNM), which is both the oldest and largest museum in the country. Situated on the northern grounds of Ueno Park, TNM is home to the largest number of designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Items in in all of Japan, including Japanese Buddhist antiquities from as far back as 7th century.
Explore the striking 21_21 Design Sight museum. Located in Akasaka, 21_21 is a collaboration between two of Japan’s leading contemporary figures in the arts, fashion designer Issey Miyake and architect Tadao Ando. The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, housed in a 1938 Bauhaus-style building, was one of the first contemporary art institutions in the country and certainly a trailblazer on the scene.
Take in the best of Japan’s must-see sights on this intriguing 7-day journey. You’ll take in the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market, board a bullet-train for Kyoto, and spend time at the cultural capital’s ancient temples, shrines, and palaces, spending your nights in some of Japan’s best hotels.
This seven-day itinerary is an ideal mix of the old and new, combined with brains and brawn. Travel from futuristic Tokyo into the forest and mountains of rural Japan, before hitting the striking backdrop of Nozawa Onsen and three days on the ski slopes against the backdrop of the 1998 Winter Olympics site.
Embark upon an unforgettable 14-day journey of discovery across Asia’s finest art-hubs; meet the pioneering artists, collectors and scene’s stalwarts in five fabulous cities, and explore their galleries and art spaces. Experience the hot spots and sights by day, and relax in luxury by night in Peninsula’s world-class hotels.
Discover Japan’s exciting history on this exciting 11-day luxury journey through Japan’s most fascinating age-old cities. Explore the colossal Todaiji Temple, visit ancient shrines, take an emotional tour of Hiroshima, and embrace Japan’s old world charm, while staying at some of Japan’s most luxurious hotels.
Hit the trails and paths of Kyoto’s enthralling mountains and bamboo forests to uncover the mysteries of esoteric Japan, which can be found within the 88 Buddhist temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. From city nights to mountain treks, you’ll experience the cultural charm and natural beauty of the countryside of Japan without compromising on luxury.
Aman and Remote Lands have combined to offer an extraordinary private jet journey across Asia on March 6-20, 2017 including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, The Philippines and Japan. Sixteen guests will fly on two Gulfstream private jets and stay in five Aman in Vinh Hy Bay, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang, Palawan and Tokyo. All touring is private and each couple has their own private car, driver and guide for touring, and we will all come together at night for highly convivial cocktail parties and special dinners.
Experience fun for the whole family on this 8-day luxury Japan tour through Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and more. Your kids will love rides on bullet trains, walks through mystical forests full of deer, a visit to the home of Pokemon, chewing delicious mochi, and watching the scenery go by aboard a river cruise.
Immerse yourself deep into Japan’s art and culture scene on this fascinating and fun 13-day luxury tour. You’ll tour historic landmarks in hotspots like Tokyo and Kyoto, dine on traditional kaiseki cuisine, and learn the ancient art of Japanese flower arranging, tea ceremony, or calligraphy.
Spend 14 luxurious days traveling between Japan’s most sacred sites, taking in the incredible natural beauty en route. You’ll walk along Kyoto’s famed Philosopher’s Path, hike one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and visit famed castles and shrines, while staying in some of Japan’s most luxury hotels.
See Japan’s ancient traditions and state-of-the-art technology juxtaposed before your eyes on this fascinating 10-day luxury journey. You’ll get an insider perspective on the country with visits to everything from ancient shrines and palaces to contemporary design museums and Akihabara electronic market.
Since its opening at the end of 2014, Aman Tokyo has been one of the most talked-about luxury hotels in the city. The most striking thing about it is its location; spread across the top six floors of a 40-storey tower in the Otemachi business district, the panoramic views are simply incredible. What’s more, all of the 84 rooms and suites take full advantage of the lofty position with floor-to-ceiling windows letting light in during the daytime, while also framing the breathtaking lit-up cityscape at night. Aman Tokyo has also received praise for its impressive interiors, which have been inspired by minimalistic design, including the use of camphor wood, washi paper and stone surfaces throughout the rooms as well as traditional Japanese facilities such as large ‘furo’ baths. Situated on the 33rd floor, both guests and non-guests can enjoy the fine Mediterranean food at the hotel’s signature restaurant, not forgetting more of those incredible views across Tokyo stretching as far as the Imperial Palace Gardens and Mount Fuji in the distance. Elsewhere, there is a spa, enclosed garden area, swimming pool, wine cellar, cigar lounge and a whole host of other facilities to keep guests entertained.
The Conrad Tokyo is situated in the high-rise Shidome area. The hotel boasts some of the city’s most spacious rooms featuring awesome vistas of the Hamarikyu Gardens and Tokyo Bay. The well-appointed rooms come with many added luxuries and modern-conveniences such as flat screen TVs, DVD players and sound systems. The hotel’s world-class facilities range from a large indoor pool with far reaching city views and a modern fitness center with yoga classes to a spa on the 29th floor offering authentic Japanese inspired treatments. All food and drink tastes are covered in the Conrad’s five onsite dining options serving sushi, teppanyaki, kaiseki, Chinese and western cuisine.
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi
Housed in the skyscraper Pacific Century Place, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi has just 48 rooms and nine suites. Fitting the needs of the leisure and business traveler, all accommodations have plasma televisions, WiFi, twice-daily housekeeping services, down or hypoallergenic bedding and a private bar as standard amenities. The spa has two private treatment rooms with a variety of treatments available, and guests are also welcome to relax in the spacious lounge, steam sauna, jet showers, Japanese scrub showers and a traditional onsen bath. There is one restaurant, Ekki Bar & Grill, which offers continental cuisine paired with a mostly New World wine list. Other hotel facilities include a 24-hour fitness center, 24-hour business center and a lobby lounge and bar with dramatic views of the city lights below.
Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
Located 38 floors above street level, the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is a world away from the hustle and bustle below. The rooms and suites here are some of the largest in Japan and each offers soaring views across the city through floor-to-ceiling windows, amplifying a sense of serenity and detachment. The bathrooms are divided from the rooms by a pane of glass covered by a wooden blind; with the flick of a switch, privacy is achieved or the room is washed in daylight. All accommodations have an in-room entertainment system with iPod docking station, high definition LCD televisions in the bedroom and bathroom, wired and wireless high speed Internet access (for a fee) and your choice of preferred pillow type from the property’s extensive pillow menu. The restaurants in the hotel are some of the most highly regarded in the world; Signature (contemporary French), Sense (Chinese) and the Tapas Molecular Bar have each been awarded Michelin stars. Other restaurant options include Ventaglio (Italian), Oriental Lounge (continental bakery), Gourmet Shop, K’shiki (breakfast is served here and Japanese and continental food is served throughout the day) and the Mandarin Bar. The excellent spa has four treatment rooms and five private spa suites, and encompasses a 1,500-square-foot fitness center with the latest cardiovascular and weight training equipment.
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.