Classic Japan Explorer: A Luxury Introduction to Japan

9-Day Example Trip
From
$8,800pp
Discover a fusion of modern and ancient with this luxury introduction to Japan, complete with stays in three cities, private tours and luxury accommodation

We create fully personalised trips from start to finish. From locations to accommodation and guides, everything is selected to suit you.

From expert private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your time off.

We give back to two regional charities in Asia from the profits of each one of our trips.

Use our trip ideas to inspire your bespoke experience

Discover the Land of the Rising Sun with a luxury eight-day trip. Your introduction to this fascinating volcanic archipelago takes you to the main island of Honshu with visits to three of Japan’s most important cultural centres. You’ll stay at luxury accommodation at every step of the way with expert guides on hand and our insider recommendations to ensure that you get the most out of each destination.

We begin in Tokyo, Japan’s bright, exciting capital, to explore one of the most modern cities in the world with an exclusive private tour and a stay in an exceptional hotel.

Next we travel to the historical centre of Kanazawa by high-speed bullet train. Kanazawa survives as a beautifully preserved example of medieval Japan and you’ll explore it with private tours to ancient samurai and geisha districts and the spectacular Kenroku-en Garden. You’ll stay in a traditional hot spring ryokan, relaxing in mineral-rich waters before feasting on delicious kaiseki dinners of up to 13 elaborate dishes.

It’s then on to our final stop, Kyoto, the City of Ten Thousand Shrines. Here we discover imperial Japan, catching sight of kimono-clad geisha on their way to engagements and visiting ancient palaces and temples on private, in-depth tours.

  • Completely private tours of Tokyo, Kanazawa and Kyoto
  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Bullet Train journeys
  • Stay in a traditional hot spring ryokan
  • Meet and greet airport service
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip

Trip Itinerary

 
Days 1-4: Tokyo
Meet and greet at Tokyo airport

Upon arrival into Tokyo's Narita airport, you will be met by an english speaking Jacada representative and assisted through immigration. You'll then be transferred in a private vehicle to your chosen hotel in Tokyo.


Accommodation in Tokyo
3 days in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s bustling capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to cherry trees and temples. Enjoy the stunning views of Mount Fuji and the city's infectious energy with our recommendations for the best things to see and do.


Full-day Tokyo cultural tour

This morning, your private guide will meet at your hotel at 9 a.m. and drive you in a spacious private vehicle to Tsukiji morning market. Tsukiji is one of the largest wholesale fish markets in the world, importing a diversity of seafood from 60 countries on six continents. Stroll around the outer-market before entering the actual wholesale market, where you will see fish and seafood being prepared and sold. Sample some fresh sushi at a nearby restaurant.

Next, we'll take a pleasant and peaceful stroll in Hamarikyu Garden, a vast landscaped park in the middle of Tokyo characterised by its tranquility. When we reach the reach the pier we'll board a cruise boat and sail down the Sumida River to Asakusa, discovering Tokyo’s skyline and bridges from a different perspective. Asakusa is one of Tokyo oldest and best-preserved districts and on arrival we'll walk along the Nakamise Dori merchant street to reach the Sensoji Temple, marked by its huge lantern. The Nakamise Dori merchant street dates back to the Edo period when the temple’s neighbours were given special permission to open their shops in the approach to the temple. Your guide will lead you to small streets where you can still feel the presence of Ancient Japan.

You then have the choice of participating in one of two private traditional ceremonies, a Japanese tea ceremony or a calligraphy class. We finish the day with a visit to the Ginza district, known for having the most expensive real estate on earth and home to some of the country’s most prestigious companies, numerous brand shops, department stores, boutiques, bars and restaurants. Here, architects rival in imagination with fashion designers from all over the world, including the Swatch and the Hermes buildings. Also take some time to visit some of Ginza’s famous department stores, especially their basement floors and high-end food courts, where Tokyoites buy their delicacies.


Day at leisure in Tokyo

Today is free to explore Tokyo at your own pace. Top attractions include the Harajuku area where you'll see some of Japan's most extreme fashion styles, the important Meiji Jingu Shrine and the Mari Art Museum. Your travel designer can help you to experience the city at its best with private guided tours and excursions.


Flights & Transfers

Private transfer from your hotel to Tokyo Station

 
Shinkansen "Bullet Train" from Tokyo to Kanazawa

Take Japan's unbelievably fast "Bullet Train" from Tokyo Station, reaching Kanazawa in under two hours and 30 minutes.


 
Days 4-6: Kanazawa
Accommodation in Kanazawa
2 days in Kanazawa

Spend your time in the historical centre of Kanazawa discovering the Nagamachi samurai district and the Chaya geisha entertainment quarter. There's also the 17th century castle to explore alongside a horde of other cultural attractions such as the Ishikawa Gate and the Sanjikken Longhouse. At night, you'll be driven to a ryokan in neighbouring Yamashiro and Yamanaka, just outside of Kanazawa. Your travel designer can help you to experience the city at its best with private guided tours and excursions.


Half-day tour of Kanazawa

Visit Omchi Market, regarded as the "Kitchen of Kanazwa" the vibrant market showcases a diversity of fresh fish and shellfish caught in the Sea of Japan afterwards enjoy a sushi lunch. Explore the Nagamachi Samurai District, lined with beautiful wooden homes hidden behind gold-coloured mud walls, the streets are bordered by canals, used as defence in the Edo period. Visit the fascinating Nomura-ke, a restored samurai residence displaying the artefacts from this ancient era. Next spend time in the Kenroku-en Garden. Reputedly the most beautiful of the three important landscape gardens in Japan, Kenroku-en Garden was originally built as the outer garden on the city's castle as a private garden of the powerful Maeda family during the Edo period. It stands for the six attributes of the perfect garden: extensiveness, quiet seclusion, artifice, antique elegance, abundant waterways and spaciousness. You private driver will then transfer you your chosen ryokan just outside of Kanazawa in Yamashiro and Yamanaka.


Relax in the onsen before dinner

Spend the remainder of the day relaxing in your ryokan's onsen, soaking up the benefits of the mineral-rich waters. Once you've built up an appetite, you'll be served a traditional kaiseki dinner consisting of between 12 and 15 dishes made with fresh seasonal ingredients and carefully presented on beautiful plates.


Full-day Kanazawa excursion

Your guide and driver will pick you up from your ryokan in the morning. The day will start with a visit to the Higashiyama Geisha District and its craft shops. Established in 1820 by the Maeda government, the district features stunning wooden lattice fronts of old geisha houses preserving an ambience of feudal times and transporting visitors to the Japan of antiquity. Next visit the D.T. Suzuki Museum which is dedicate to the ideas and achievements of Suzuki, a prominent Buddhist philosopher. In the afternoon explore the Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art before finally learning the art of sake brewing at one of the city's sake breweries.


Relax in the onsen before dinner

After a busy day sightseeing, you can look forward to a relaxing soak in your hotel's onsen before an indulgent kaiseki dinner.


Flights & Transfers

Private transfer to Kaga Onsen Station

 
Shinkansen "Bullet Train" from Kanazawa to Kyoto

 
Days 6-9: Kyoto
Accommodation in Kyoto
Half-day cultural tour of Kyoto

This afternoon, your English speaking guide will meet you at Kyoto station where you will firstly visit Nijo Castle. Built around 16000 for the warrior Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period. Nijo Castle is particularly famed for its "nightingale floors" which squeak when walked upon as to warn residents on intruders. Next visit Kinkaku-Ji, widely known as the Golden Pavillion. It was built by the third Ashikaya shogun Yoshimitsu in 1397 as his retirement villa. Finally visit Ryoan-Ji Temple, prominent for its zen garden's simplicity, displaying a stark difference from the opulence of Kinkau-Ji. Your driver will now transfer you to your Kyoto based hotel.


3 days in Kyoto

Spend your time in Kyoto admiring the impressive imperial beauty of the city, evident in the abundance of prewar buildings such as grand palaces, traditional "machiya" townhouses and ornate shrines. See kimono-clad geisha and make sure to visit the magnificent Silver Pavilion. Your travel designer can help you to experience the city at its best with private guided tours and excursions.


Full-day excursion in Kyoto

Start off your day by going to the Kiyomizu-dera temple which is popular for its cliff top main hall with a magnificent panoramic view of Kyoto. Stroll downhill to the Sannenzaka Neighbourhood, which has been perfectly restored with small shops and traditional restaurants. Next visit the Kodaji Temple built in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of Japan's greatest historical figures, following this visit Yasakajinja, a shrine founded over 1350 years ago before heading to Sanjusangendo Hall famed for its repository of more than 1000 Buddhist statues. During your excursion you will have lunch in the Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district. Find yourself mesmerised by the ancient culture that is still so strongly embedded within Kyoto.


Day of leisure in Kyoto

Today is yours to spend at your leisure. Relax at your hotel or venture out to the western outskirts of Kyoto to see the natural beauty of the Arashiyama district and its famous bamboo groves. Stroll in the gardens of the Ginkakuji Silver Pavilion temple or visit the Nanzenji Temple. Your travel designer can help you to experience the city at its best with private guided tours and excursions.


Flights & Transfers

Private transfer from your hotel to Osaka Kansai Airport