Journey to Japan - this summer's exciting escapes

20 June 2016
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Japan is a massive and fascinating country and few travelers realize that there is so much more beyond the most famous must-see destinations of Tokyo, Kyoto, HakoneKanazawa and Hiroshima.  Like the USA and Europe, many visits to Japan are required to begin to scratch the surface of authentic Japan, starting with our Classic Japan itinerary and moving on to more remote destinations. 

Choose from adventures exploring the wonders of Kyushu and Shikoku and the dramatic landscapes of Mount Aso and Takachiho Gorge, or the watery depths and beautiful beaches of tranquil Okinawa. Discover temples, shrines and castles, and cruise rivers and hike through the forests of the oldest trees in the world. Pick a getaway to suit you and your loved ones, best friends or the whole family, and stay in some of the finest, most stylish hotels in the world, from luxuriously appointed traditional ryokans to five-star resorts.

Let us design the perfect personalized Japanese holiday for you. Contact us at [email protected] or call +1.646.415.8092 (US) or +66.2260.7584 (Asia), and we'll help you plan your ultimate adventure.

Authentic Japanese Culture on the Islands of Kyushu and Shikoku

Get off the beaten path and discover Japan’s rarely-explored gems. Visit the coastal town of Ibusuki, where you will stay at the beachfront Ibusuki Hakusuikan hotel and explore its fantastic private museum of fine Japanese porcelain and other antiquities. Learn about the history of the Kagoshima area which was the beginning of Japan’s industrial revolution. Soak in soothing natural onsens and be buried up to your neck in black volcanic sand as part of your overall wellness regime.  Emulate the Japanese pilgrims on Yakushima Island to see the sacred 7,200 year old Jōmon Sugi cedar tree and stay at the elegant Sankara Resort & Spa. Learn the ancient creation mythology of Japan as you hike through the otherworldly landscapes of Kirishima and compare the terrain with that of once-submerged Moto, now carpeted with lush tropical flora. Sail off the volcanic coast to spot whales and dolphins and rejuvenate in the health-giving waters of Miyoshi’s hot springs.

Spend 16 days on this unforgettable adventure, guided by experts and staying at the zen-like Wasurenosato Gajoen, a Relais & Chateaux ryokan, and its modern sister property, the exclusive Tenku No Mori, with just three all-glass villas. Go hiking and enjoy nature, try your hand at local crafts and sample the finest local delicacies, from seafood at Uwajima to handmade udon noodles at Kotohiro.

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Japan with Kids

Take your children or grandchildren on a whirlwind tour of this amazing country, sure to open minds and broaden horizons. Family-friendly fun is to be found in Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka, in eight days packed with magic and wonder. Amid the bustle of the cities, immerse yourselves in hands-on learning experiences in calligraphy, paper-folding, Taiko drumming and using Samurai Swords. In Tokyo, you can visit the birthplace of Pokemon, a sumo stable to watch the gigantic wrestlers practice and go to a Japanese baseball game, which is just like its American counterpart yet completely different. Let yourselves be swept away by the scenery as you take the "ropeway" gondola up the mountain, gazing at Mount Fuji as your backdrop. Pet tame deer in Nara Park and feed rice crackers to these sacred creatures who are symbols of the deities. Experience the deep-seated culture of Japan at a classical tea ceremony, learn how to make delicious Japanese desserts and soak in traditional onsen hot springs at Gora Kadan Ryokan in Hakone, once a country retreat of the royal family. Travelling by high-speed bullet train and staying in world-class hotels fully equipped for kids, you will find plenty of action and adventure in addition to learning about Japanese history and culture.
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Classic Japan

Capture the very essence of Japan with our Classic Japan itinerary. Explore quintessential must-see Japan focusing on Old Japan in Kyoto and New Japan in Tokyo. Visit Tsukiji fish market and take a sushi-making lesson.  Go to a cat cafe or bunny cafe in Harajuku where the girls dress up in outlandish baby-doll costumes every afternoon, and explore anime culture in the pachinko parlors and electronics shops of Akihabara. Stay in a soaring suite at the fabulous Aman Tokyo, Peninsula or Mandarin Oriental. Travel by bullet train through the countryside to historic Kyoto and discover why this city, steeped in tradition, is known as the cultural capital. Stroll among immaculately manicured Japanese gardens and marvel at the ancient temples while staying in the Ritz Carlton or new Four Seasons in Kyoto. Spend time contemplating among the temples and shrines of Ryoan-ji and Fushimi and revel in the fresh air as you take a leisurely hike through the primeval forests of Nara, staying at the exclusive Tsukihi-tei ryokan or Nara Hotel.  
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A Japanese Adventure: Volcanos, Valleys, Shrines & Spas

From ancient forests and rolling valleys to bubbling volcanoes and dramatic gorges, this two-week adventure has it all. Immerse yourself in breathtaking nature as you wander from beautiful waterfalls to some of the oldest trees in the world at Kirishima-Yaku National Park. The adventure heats up with volcanic wonders to be discovered: from sweeping views of plunging Takachiho Gorge, gaze into into the seething depths of Mount Aso and explore the multicolored boiling mud pits of Beppu’s Eight Hells before soaking up the benefits of a sulphurous hot spring. Dramatic backdrops of a different kind await you as you venture into Mikurodo Cave, where revered Buddhist monk Kukai achieved enlightenment. Hike through the lush Iya Valley and over vine bridges, all in the shadows of soaring moutain peak, staying at the Iya Onsen Hotel. Bookend your adventure with a stay at the luxurious Ritz Carlton in Osaka. Find out more...

Uncovering the unique beauty of Okinawa

Spend seven days amid the sands and seas surrounding one of Japan’s most southerly islands - incomparable Okinawa. From capital city Naha, where delicious cuisine, bright lights and micro brews are underscored with traditional music, to the tropical beaches and seaside villages of Yonaguni, this week-long getaway has it all. Dive deep beneath the crystal waters of the East China Sea to uncover treasures including the mysterious underwater statues of Yonaguni, the stepping stones at Iseki Point and the Hammerhead Sharks at Hammer Point, or cruise above it all with a spot of sailing, fishing or kayaking in the sunshine. Get a taste of true, laid-back island life as you sample the local liquor - awamori - right from the source. Relax amid the natural beauty with picturesque vistas of the ocean and rolling fields roamed by wild ponies and experience true Japanese hospitality at the Ritz Carlton or Hoshinoya or Intercontinental Hotel Okinawa.
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Art & Culture in Chugoku

Embark on a journey of historic, natural and cultural discovery through the mountainous west of Honshu. Get a shift in perspectives as you visit the poignant and sacred treasures of Hiroshima, from Itsukushima Shrine to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Sample sake fresh from the brewer and dine on mouthwatering Izumo soba noodles made from buckwheat. Sail around the moat at Matsue castle and stroll in the peaceful garden havens of Okayama and Yasugi. Lose yourself amid world-class art and architecture in Kurashiki where the narrow windy streets of the Bikan Historical Quarter looks like a postcard and explore the contemporary art museums and outdoor installations on Tadao Ando's astonishing Naoshima Island while staying in the magnificent Bennesse House which is both a world-renowned museum and a fine hotel.
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