Japan

The word “Japan” conjures diverse and colorful images: the serene, iconic Mount Fuji; Kyoto temples fringed by cherry blossoms; the outrageous couture of Harajuku girls on a Tokyo Sunday; futuristic bullet trains; a geisha in kimono and painted face. It is the land of anime and pachinko, of exquisite cuisine, and of electronics and robotics innovation that transforms the way we live and work. Visiting Japan, it is easy to recognize what science-fiction writer William Gibson called “the global imagination’s default setting for the future.”

The foundation of this prosperous modern Japan was its post-war constitution, which along with an unstinting work ethic kindled unbridled economic growth. Even with the recessions of past decades, Japan is still home to the world’s third-highest GDP; it is a beacon of modernity to a continent that is racing to catch up with this once hermitic nation.

Japan’s insular past may be long gone but many of the old ways remain. One can still see elegant women in meticulous kimonos gingerly navigating massive crosswalks; kabuki opera performances; and sushi masters using techniques from the 17th-century Edo Period. This is what makes Japan so appealing: the harmonious confluence of the ancient and hyper-modern into one fascinating whole, firmly rooted in tradition but ever hurtling into the future.

Japan Regions

Explore in-depth information, experiences and highlights by navigating to specific regions using the links below.

Japan Itineraries

Classic Japan

Duration
14 days / 13 nights
Price Per Person
From $39,100
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A Japanese Journey - Tokyo to the Noto Peninsula

Duration
13 days / 12 nights
Price Per Person
From $17,900
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A Tohoku Summer: Hiking and Festivals

Duration
12 days / 11 nights
Price Per Person
From $24,300
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Across 18 Centuries: Historic Japan

Duration
11 days / 10 nights
Price Per Person
From $34,300
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Aman Japan Culinary Journey 2024 | Aman Jet Expeditions | May 14–23, 2024

Date
May 14–23, 2024
Price Per Person
$58,888
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Authentic Japanese Culture on the Islands of Kyushu and Shikoku

Duration
17 days / 16 nights
Price Per Person
From $47,900
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Castles and Coastline: From Kyoto to Osaka

Duration
11 days / 10 nights
Price Per Person
From $19,500
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Colors of Autumn in Tohoku

Duration
14 days / 13 nights
Price Per Person
From $25,200
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Contemporary Art Wonders of Japan: Touring the Seto Inland Sea

Duration
8 days / 7 nights
Price Per Person
From $26,000
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Culture, Food, and White Sand Beaches: A Honeymoon to South Korea and Okinawa

Duration
12 days / 11 nights
Price Per Person
From $15,900
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Preferred Hotel

Aman Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan

The highly anticipated Aman Kyoto brings an even higher level of luxury to the historic and cultural ancient capital. A blend of authentic, traditional ryokan hospitality and contemporary spaces, the Aman Kyoto offers travelers a respite in the heart of one of Japan's most visited cities. The secluded 80-acre property is situated in a hidden garden close to the Golden Pavilion at the foot of the Mountain of Hidari Daimonji, within easy reach of Kyoto's impressive collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Scattered among the grounds is a series of standalone pavilions. The four guest pavilions house 24 guest rooms (choose between garden or stream views) and a pair of two-bedroom villas overlooking the forest canopy. Each room captures a contemporary, minimalistic style with nod to the quintessential ryokan feel; walls of windows bringing the outside in to spacious, light-filled interiors. Facilities include separate Arrival, Living and Spa pavilions. The signature restaurant, Taka-An, showcases Japanese haute cuisine in the form of the kaiseki banquet - a multi-course dining experience made using the season’s finest local produce. The Living Pavilion offers an inviting spaces with a central fireplace for guests to enjoy home-cooked Kyoto obanzai-style cuisine and afternoon tea. The Spa Pavilion’s onsen bathing facilities use water from a local spring and the range of treatments highlight local, natural ingredients such as green tea, black beans, sake and cold-pressed camellia oil.

Preferred Hotel

Aman Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

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.

Preferred Hotel

Amanemu

Mie, Japan

On the island of Honshu, the Kii Peninsula in the southwest is home to Ise-Shima National Park, with its rolling hills covered in lush green forests. Amanemu perches atop a hill overlooking the crystal blue waters of Ago Bay, also known as the Bay of Pearls with its islets and diving boats. Dotted throughout the park and within easy reach of the resort are sacred sites including shrines to deities of clothing, food, shelter and the sun. A hot spring sanctuary, the healing waters upon which Amanemu is built feed the private onsens in each suite and villa. Guests can relax in their own personal sanctuary or undertake further therapies, including a traditional watsu treatment, in the wellness center. Additionally, guests’ health is further augmented with the fresh, seasonal produce, expertly prepared in the hotel restaurant. 

Preferred Hotel

Ao no Za

Lake Shikotsu, Japan

Hokkaido is Japan’s least-developed, northernmost island and the historic home to the indigenous people of the Jomon period, whose practices of living in harmony with the land defined their culture that prevailed in this region thousands of years ago. This spirited ethos, combined with inspiration drawn from the crystalline waters of the adjacent Lake Shikotsu, defines the simple elegance of Ao no Za, the Japanese-style Ryokan hotel that bears the full name of “Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Bessou Ao no Za.” Ryokans have long been present in Japanese culture – generally with shared aspects like reed floor matting, sliding paper doors, and stately, hand-carved furniture and low wooden tables – and Ao no Za is a modern continuation of this tradition that still offers all the comforts and amenities of Japan’s best five-star hotels and resorts. The hotel’s name itself pays homage to the deep-blue waters of Lake Shikotsu, as “Ao” can mean blue or green in Japanese, while “Za” refers to a “gathering,” or a peaceful place for people to interact and enjoy life. Accommodations are furnished with natural wood-tone pieces styled with crisp, modern lines and accents of navy blue, cobalt grey, and other natural hues. What’s more, all rooms at Ao no Za come with a private indoor jet path and outdoor Onsen bath with enough space to accommodate up to three or four people at once. These baths are fed by natural hot spring water that promotes healing and a soothing sense of tranquility, and all onsens feature views looking out across the waters of Lake Shikotsu. Inspired by the cultural values and water-dependent lifestyle of Hokkaido’s ancient inhabitants, Ao no Za melds lakeside luxury with a focus on staying true to the rugged northern island and its rich heritage.
Preferred Hotel

Asaba Ryokan

Izu Peninsula, Japan

Surrounded by lush gardens and bamboo forest, this first-rate ryokan inn is anchored around a pristine lake and offers indulgent hot spring baths. Founded in the 15th Century, this family-run business remains one of the premiere ryokan inns in Japan. All of its 17 guest rooms feature unique designs while staying true to their timeless, minimalist aesthetics. Meticulously crafted meals are served in accommodations, and the staff unrolls fresh futons every night. There is a stage atop the central pond, a gift to the Asaba Ryokan during the Meiji restoration, that holds performances and an intimate spa. Indoor, outdoor, and private baths give guests the opportunity to bathe in flowing onsen waters, and many rooms are fitted with their own private baths. Service is impeccable and the surroundings are serene.

Preferred Hotel

Azumi Setoda

Naoshima & Seto Inland Sea Islands, Japan

Azumi Setoda is a contemporary Japanese ryokan located on the tranquil island of Ikuchijima. The property occupies a 19th-century former home of a shipping and salt-farming family, now restored and converted to offer18 suites and four duplexes in a two-story pavilion. Suites and duplexes blend contemporary amenities with traditional ryokan aesthetic, dressed in raw materials such as cedar, cypress, traditional Japanese paper, and granite. Each room is equipped with a cypress wood bathtub, and offers a private garden or generous balcony overlooking the landscaped cedar-framed courtyard. At the hotel’s restaurant, food and drink is a simple yet refined affair featuring seasonal ingredients from the local area to embody the spirit of a family-run ryokan. Both a la carte and the house specialty omakase course is available. Other facilities include a multi-purpose garden room for meditation and a restored public bathhouse located across the road where locals and guests are invited to relax in lemon baths. Ikuchijima is a part of the archipelago of islands in Japan’s central Seto Inland Sea. It is linked by bridges on north and south ends to the Shimanami Kaido, a route that connects Onomichi and Imabari and all the islands in between. 
Preferred Hotel

Bellustar Tokyo, A Pan Pacific Hotel

Tokyo, Japan

Located in the heart of Shinjuku, overlooking the panorama of the city from the Toku Kabukicho Tower, the Bellustar Tokyo, A Pan Pacific Hotel is situated on the uppermost 39th to 47th floors. Designed by award-winning Norm Architects and renowned interior designer Keiji Ashizawa, the hotel offers 97 guest rooms and suites, where Japanese culture is woven into the interiors of guest rooms and the seven meter wide windows afford amazing panoramic views of the city. Guests can enjoy 3 in-house restaurants for dining that offer modern French cuisine, savory Japanese Teppan grills, and expertly crafted sushi, as well as a swanky bar with amazing views of Tokyo’s skyline. For fitness, guests can work out in the well-equipped gym, and on the top floor, relaxation can be found at their Spa Sunya which offers relaxing seasonal and personalized treatments.
Preferred Hotel

Benesse House

Naoshima & Seto Inland Sea Islands, Japan

Comprised of five elements - sculpture park and museum, hotel, boutique, restaurants and a spa - Benesse House is one of the most unique properties in Japan. Every room has its own individual design and artwork, with 65 guest rooms and suites across four buildings: Museum, Oval, Park and Beach, all designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. In addition to housing the property's modern art museum, Museum has a lecture room that guest speakers are often invited to. Oval is set on a hill and connected to Museum by monorail; Park is where the bulk of Benesse House's facilities, such as its French restaurant, Terrace, its spa and shop are housed; and Beach is one of Ando's few buildings constructed chiefly of wood and is generally reserved for long-term guests. Inside Museum, there are two restaurants, Issen for Japanese and a separate cafe where guests and patrons can relax between viewings. The spa has a wide array of treatment options and is open from 11:00-22:00 with last appointments taken at 20:00.

Preferred Hotel

Beniya Mukayu

Kaga Onsen, Japan

Quaint Yamashiro Onsen in Kaga, about an hour from Kanazawa, is a place famed for hot springs dating back 1,300 years, and nowhere is this history better experienced than at Beniya Mukayu, a haven of peace with a Zen-like atmosphere. This ryokan, traditional Japanese inn, has 16 rooms facing the unique forest garden, all featuring minimalistic contemporary interior design and private outdoor hot spring baths. A stay at Beniya Mukayu is a holistic experience; starting with a tea ceremony by the ryokan’s owner Mr. Nakamichi your stay can be a cultivated lesson in Japan’s many methods of relaxation. Other highlights include: signature Yakushiyama treatments and amenities based on hot spring water and medicinal herbs at the Entei spa; Japanese kaiseki meals served at the Horin restaurant, all made with the finest ingredients from a wide range of locally sourced products. From Kanazawa, Beniya Mukayu is a one-hour drive or a 30-minute express train ride followed by a 15-minute car ride.
Preferred Hotel

Conrad Osaka

Osaka, Japan

Conrad Osaka is a 5-star hotel that boasts stunning views and a central location. Situated in Osaka's Kita district, guests are a 15 minutes' walk from Nakanoshima Park, and a castle, museum, and church are all accessible by foot. There is an abundance of artwork in the lobby and scattered throughout the hotel. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, inviting beds, and indulgent bathrooms, and upgraded accommodations feature access to the Executive Lounge that offers complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails. There are a number of gourmet restaurants on the 40th floor, such as a sushi and teppanyaki restaurant and a noteworthy crustacean bar. In particular, Atmos Dining boasts an extensive breakfast buffet in the morning and a mixture of Western and Asian dishes throughout the day. The spa is a highlight, and there is also an indoor heated pool, 24-hour gym, and a fitness center.

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Seasonality & Festivals

Browse a month-by-month breakdown of suggested itineraries, seasonal activities, climate considerations and festivals.

When to Go
When to Go
Festivals
Festivals

Weather in Japan

Japan is a year-round destination with skiing in the winter and festivals in the summer. However, the best temperatures are between March and May (spring) and September to November (fall).

  • Due to its latitude, Japan is one of the relatively few countries in Asia that has four distinct seasons.
  • Spring (March through May) and autumn (October to early December) are generally the most favorable seasons for weather, but they are also the most crowded with tourists.
  • Cherry blossom season in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, and other main destinations for foreign visitors is usually late March to mid-April. Peak fall foliage is generally from early to late November.
  • Winter in these main areas is not prohibitively cold; snow in Tokyo is rare, for example. The weather is generally sunny and dry, although Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is one of the world’s great ski destinations and is especially popular with Australians.
  • Early summer is also a good time to travel. Although June begins to get hotter and more humid, it is not yet the “rainy season” that arrives in full force in July and August, when temperatures and humidity can be unpleasant. High temperatures and humidity often continue into mid-September.

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