Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.