Classic Japan Explorer: A Luxury Introduction

Duration 9 days
Ideal time to visit March–April
Price guide
Discover the Land of the Rising Sun with this luxury Japan itinerary. Your introduction to this fascinating country takes you to the main island of Honshu with visits to three of Japan’s most important cultural centres. You’ll stay at luxury hotels throughout, with expert guides on hand and our insider recommendations to ensure that you get the most out of each destination.

Trip highlights

  • See Tokyo's cultural wonders with a personal guide
  • Admire the incredible views of Mount Fuji
  • Visit Kanazawa's samurai district and geisha quarter
  • Explore a 17th-century castle on a private guided tour
  • Immerse yourself in the captivating onsen culture of Japan
  • Stay in a traditional hot spring ryokan
  • Enjoy a Japanese kaiseki dinner experience
  • Travel in style to Kyoto aboard a bullet train

Bespoke trips with Jacada

We design one-of-a-kind journeys incorporating luxury in all its forms. Our bespoke trips include:

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Privately guided tours
  • Private transfers
  • Meticulously selected experiences
  • Expertise and support from your Jacada Concierge
Sketch of woman in art gallery
  • Days 1–4 Tokyo
  • Days 4–6 Kanazawa
  • Days 6–9 Kyoto
Classic Japan Explorer: A Luxury Introduction to Japan
Price guide
  • Days 1–4 Tokyo
  • Days 4–6 Kanazawa
  • Days 6–9 Kyoto

Itinerary in detail

Every Jacada trip is tailored to your personal preferences and interests. Below you’ll find a sample luxury Japan itinerary to inspire your own custom-designed journey.

Days 1-4

Experience Tokyo's modern marvels and timeless traditions

Enjoy three nights in Tokyo, Japan’s bustling capital, as you begin your adventure absorbing the city’s infectious energy. The ultramodern transitions seamlessly into the traditional here, from neon-lit skyscrapers to cherry trees and temples.

Upon arrival into Tokyo’s Narita airport, you’ll be met by an English-speaking representative and assisted through immigration to your private transfer, where you can start to marvel at the towering giants of the city’s skyline.

A private guided tour will then take you beyond the city’s contemporary highlights to ancient temples and shrines nestled amid the cityscape. In the tranquility of spiritual sanctuaries such as Meiji Shrine and Asakusa’s Senso-ji, history and tradition unfold in delicate detail. You can also choose to venture into the eclectic Harajuku district, where Japan’s street fashion takes centre stage.

Night scenery of Historical landmark The Senso-Ji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. Japanese wordings on the architecture means

A private tour of the city

Shodo japanese caligraphy

The day might begin at Tsukiji, one of the largest wholesale fish markets in the world, before fresh sushi at a nearby restaurant. Next a peaceful stroll in the vast and tranquil Hamarikyu Garden. A cruise can take you onwards down the Sumida River to Asakusa, one of Tokyo‘s oldest and best-preserved districts. Your guide will lead you to small streets near the Sensoji Temple where you can still feel the presence of ancient Japan. Perhaps participate in a private Japanese tea ceremony or a calligraphy class before finishing the day with a visit to Ginza, known for its expensive real estate and prestigious department stores, boutiques, bars and restaurants.

The bullet train to Kanazawa

Bullet train in the station in Tokyo

Leaving Tokyo, you’ll take Japan’s unbelievably fast Shinkansen “Bullet Train” onwards from Tokyo Station to your next stop, Kanazawa. The journey on this remarkable rail service takes just under two hours and 30 minutes.

Days 4–6

Two nights in Kanazawa

Walking through the narrow streets of Kanazawa feels like stepping back in time. The city survives as a beautifully preserved example of medieval Japan, renowned for its meticulously preserved Edo-era districts adorned with quaint tea houses, traditional merchant houses and samurai residences. Beyond its historical charm, Kanazawa has an impressive array of museums showcasing both contemporary and classical works, as well as a thriving arts and crafts scene. Local artisans produce some beautiful handicrafts, from intricate Kutani ceramics to delicate silks dyed through a process known as Kaga Yuzen.

You’ll explore the city with private tours to ancient samurai and geisha districts, stay in a traditional hot-spring ryokan and feast on a kaiseki dinner.

Stone Lantern in Japanese Garden Kenrokuen in Kanazawa, Japan

Highlights of Kanazawa




A cobbled street in Samurai District, Kanazawa, Japan

Take a guided tour

Set off to explore with a private driver. You could visit Omchi Market, the “Kitchen of Kanazwa”, to see fresh fish caught in the Sea of Japan before a sushi lunch. In the Nagamachi Samurai District, beautiful wooden homes are bordered by canals used as defence in the Edo period. You can visit the fascinating Nomura-ke, a restored samurai residence. Next, the Kenroku-en Garden brings together the six attributes of the perfect garden: extensiveness, quiet seclusion, artifice, antique elegance, abundant waterways and spaciousness.

Take a plunge into one of Japan's best onsens

Relax in the onsen

There’s no better way to end a busy morning of sightseeing than relaxing in your ryokan’s onsen, soaking up the benefits of the mineral-rich waters. The ritual begins with a thorough cleansing of the body before entering the communal baths. This centuries-old practice not only rejuvenates but also serves as a reminder of the harmony between nature and the human spirit. Onsen culture is an integral part of Japanese identity.

Enjoy a traditional kaiseki dinner, as shown being prepared

Enjoy a traditional kaiseki dinner

Experience Japan’s artful culinary tradition with a traditional kaiseki dinner experience, a multi-course feast that epitomises the art of Japanese fine dining. Courses thoughtfully progress from light and refreshing to rich and complex. One of the key elements of kaiseki is the use of seasonal ingredients.

The bullet train to Kyoto

Tsuzumimon gate in front of JR Kanazawa

Set off from Kanazawa Station to reach your final destination. It’s a seamless journey as you transfer to Kyoto, taking your second trip aboard the ultra-fast Japanese Shinkansen.

Days 6–9

Three days in Kyoto

With its hundreds of castles and shrines, Kyoto stands out as Japan’s cultural capital. You’ll find yourself immersed in the rich tapestry of Japan’s storied past as the city’s historic districts such as Gion and Higashiyama unfold like living museums, traditional wooden machiya houses lining narrow cobblestone streets. The city’s gardens and parks are a canvas of ever-changing colours, adorned with cherry blossoms in spring and vibrant foliage in autumn. A visit to the iconic Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, offers a reflective moment by its glistening waters, while the bamboo groves of Arashiyama whisper tales of tranquility. Kyoto’s culinary scene is equally captivating, with Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurants, bustling stalls at Nishiki Market and hidden izakayas serving up an array of flavours.

Beautiful morning at Yasaka Pagoda and Sannen Zaka Street in summer, Kyoto, Japan. Yasaka Pagoda is the famous landmark and travel attraction of Kyoto.

Highlights of Kyoto




Visit Nijo Castle, built around 1600 for the warrior Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period.

Personalise a half-day tour

Visit Nijo Castle, built around 1600 for the warrior Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period. It’s is particularly famed for its “nightingale floors” which squeak to warn residents on intruders. Next explore Kinkaku-Ji, the Golden Pavillion, built by the third Ashikaya shogun Yoshimitsu in 1397. Finally, enjoy the simplicity of Ryoan-Ji Temple’s zen garden or visit the Kodaji Temple.

Gion is Kyoto's most famous geisha district. Pictured kere are two geisha's walking down a beautiful cobbled street during sunset.

Soak up the atmosphere in Gion

Gion is Kyoto’s most famous geisha district. Pause for lunch here and you’ll find yourself mesmerised by the ancient culture that is still so strongly embedded within Kyoto, perhaps seeing kimono-clad geisha on their way to engagements.

Sannenzaka street in Kyoto, Japan

Start the day at Kiyomizu-dera

The Kiyomizu-dera temple is popular for its cliff-top main hall with a magnificent panoramic view of Kyoto. From here, you can stroll downhill to the Sannenzaka neighbourhood, which has been perfectly restored with small shops and traditional restaurants.

“Dream come true trip to Japan‌”

We had our dream trip to Japan thanks to Jacada. They worked with us using our ideas and adding their own to plan and implement a wonderful trip. The planning was fun and everything went smoothly. Their knowledge and professionalism is the highest. We will recommend them to our friends.

Published 08th June 2023 on Trustpilot
Joan Greathouse

Why book with Jacada

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Personalised design

We’ll plan your trip around your personal interests, tastes and preferences, providing honest advice based on first-hand knowledge.

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Authentic experiences

Our expert guides and brilliant Concierges are hand-picked for their ability to bring your destination to life with care and passion.

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Positive Impact

We seek out unforgettable experiences that benefit both local communities and the environment.