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Majestic Japan

Expedition

Be captivated by the beauty and traditions of Japan during this 11-day guided tour.

Majestic Japan

EXPERIENCE OVERVIEW

Be captivated by the beauty and traditions of Japan during this 11-day guided tour. Travel to Kyoto, a cultural hub for the country, where you can bask in the serenity surrounding the iconic Golden Pavilion. See the Giouji Temple — a Buddhist place of worship set amidst a moss-covered forest — and feast on a traditional Kyo-Kaiseki lunch as you watch an apprentice geisha perform beside you. In Tokyo, choose to make decadent sushi rolls using the finest quality fish during a private cooking class or join a Local Expert and explore the fashionable Omotesando and Harajuku neighborhoods before sampling a local lunch. Then discover the river valley of the Oirase Gorge, walking along its crystal-clear waters while marveling at the amber leaves that surround you. Later, journey to a local brewery for a private sake tasting and behind-the-scenes tour, led by a sake brew master.

highlights

Choice Highlights
    Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Mt Fuji: Visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, where you’ll enjoy its unique architecture, wander the serene gardens and marvel at its collection of beautiful kimonos.
  • Mt Fuji: Ride the Kachi-Kachi Ropeway cable car to fully embrace the breathtaking views of the lake and the mountain.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Tokyo: Participate in a private sushi-making class in Tokyo and discover why it takes ten years to perfect this 2000-year-old Japanese art from a master sushi chef. Afterwards, enjoy a freshly prepared Highlight Lunch where you can marvel at his culinary brilliance.
  • Tokyo: Join a Local Expert and head to the Omotesando and Harajuku neighbourhoods known for their fashion, art and design before indulging in lunch.
Well-being
  • Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19. All Travelling Concierge's and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.
Journey Highlights
  • Osaka: Explore the fascinating Osaka Castle, a famous landmark that was pivotal in the reunification of Japan during the 16th century. Marvel at the variety of cultural artefacts showcasing the history of Osaka.
  • Osaka: Visit the top of the Floating Garden Observatory in the Umeda Sky Building for incredible city views.
  • Experience travelling like a local as you ride the high-speed bullet train. Catch views of snow capped mountains and quaint Japanese towns as you journey between each city. This feat of modern engineering brings new joy to train rides.
  • Hiroshima: Spend some quiet moments in the emotive Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and see the A-Bomb Dome, the only structure left standing.
  • Kyoto: Wander around the famous Giouji Temple, where the bamboo trees and green groves inspire relaxation. This tiny temple with the thatched roof entrance is a sanctuary and one of the most scenic temples you’ll see in the city.
  • Kyoto: Join your Travelling Concierge for an orientation of Gion neighbourhood, known as Kyoto's geisha district. See well-preserved wooden machiya houses and perhaps experience the electric ambiance of a local bar or restaurant?
  • Kyoto: Visit the stunning Zen Buddhist temple of Kinkaku-ji, with its glittering Golden Pavilion and hear about its intriguing history. Then, explore the vibrant Gion neighbourhood, where you may spot a Geisha or two.
  • Mt Fuji: Visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, where you’ll enjoy its unique architecture, wander the serene gardens and marvel at its collection of beautiful kimonos.
  • Mt Fuji: Ride the Kachi-Kachi Ropeway cable car to fully embrace the breathtaking views of the lake and the mountain.
  • Tokyo: Take a sightseeing tour of Tokyo with your Travelling Concierge to spot many places of interest in this bustling capital city.
  • Tokyo: Join a Local Expert and head to the Omotesando and Harajuku neighbourhoods known for their fashion, art and design before indulging in lunch.
  • Matsushima Bay: Take in views of the many pine clad islets in Matsushima Bay on a private cruise. Hear about the many haikus featuring the bay describing it as a place of love and wonder.
  • Matsushima Bay: Meet the owner of a traditional Japanese inn set in the dazzling Matsushima Bay, which has inspired poetry over the centuries. Hear more about her life and local traditions in the pine covered islands as you cruise between them.
  • Hirosaki: Learn about the meticulous care and nurturing of cherry blossom trees from a specialised cherry blossom doctor who ensures that each one, from sapling to mature tree, is healthy and thriving during the beautiful season each April.
  • Tsugaru han Neputa Village: See the colourful decorations, which take a year to create, being prepared for the summer Neputa Festival by local craftsmen. Witness a private musical performance of Tsugaru Shamisen and Taiko, a traditional style of Japanese guitar and drumming.
  • Oirase Gorge: Take a gentle walk along the Oirase Gorge in the Hachimantai National Park. Each season brings its own colour palette while unique rock formations and the burbling river is a pleasure to follow.
  • Tokyo: Pay a visit to the Sensō-ji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo and the site of a large late spring festival, which many international visitors attend. This significant place of worship is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion.
  • Tokyo: Wander down one of Japan's oldest shopping streets, Nakamise Street, which dates back to the 17th century. If you're feeling peckish, visit Kappabashi, the back street that is also known as the foodie hub of Tokyo.
Exceptional Dining
  • Osaka: Discover why Osaka is known as the kitchen of Japan on a stroll through Donburi street with a Local Expert. Taste local specialities such as rounds of ground octopus wrapped in batter, called Takoyaki.
  • Kyoto: Enjoy a performance by a Maiko, an apprentice Geisha, skilled in the art of classical dance and entertainment, as you savour a Highlight Lunch of traditional Kyo-Kaiseki cuisine. Admire the balance of taste, texture and colour in this Kyoto speciality.
  • Tokyo: During a Your Choice Evening, choose from two hand-picked restaurants, each specialising in local delicacies. Try Shabu-shabu, sizzling hotpots of meat and vegetables, or Teppan-yaki, where rice, meats and vegetables are freshly cooked on the grill in front of you.
  • Tokyo: Participate in a private sushi-making class in Tokyo and discover why it takes ten years to perfect this 2000-year-old Japanese art from a master sushi chef. Afterwards, enjoy a freshly prepared Highlight Lunch where you can marvel at his culinary brilliance.
  • Sendai: Experience a truly Japanese tradition when you enjoy a tea ceremony at a traditional tea house. Learn the art of making the perfect matcha green tea as you follow the custom.
  • Tokyo: Tradition meets innovation as you enjoy a fine dining experience with new friends at Hoshinonaruki. Using age-old Japanese culinary techniques and seasonal ingredients, this is a dining experience that truly brings the flavour of the country to life.
  • Dining Summary: 5 Dinner (D), 10 Breakfast (B), and 9 Lunch (L)
VIP Experiences
  • Hiroshima: Experience a truly poignant travel moment, as you meet a survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bomb, which destroyed most of the city during World War II and changed world history forever.
  • Oirase: Enjoy a rare opportunity to meet a brewmaster, Takumi Sato, and learn about the essence of sake in a special guided visit of his brewery. Share some of the sacred drink of Japan in the stunning surroundings of Oirase.

Highlights

Choice Highlights
    Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Mt Fuji: Visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, where you’ll enjoy its unique architecture, wander the serene gardens and marvel at its collection of beautiful kimonos.
  • Mt Fuji: Ride the Kachi-Kachi Ropeway cable car to fully embrace the breathtaking views of the lake and the mountain.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Tokyo: Participate in a private sushi-making class in Tokyo and discover why it takes ten years to perfect this 2000-year-old Japanese art from a master sushi chef. Afterwards, enjoy a freshly prepared Highlight Lunch where you can marvel at his culinary brilliance.
  • Tokyo: Join a Local Expert and head to the Omotesando and Harajuku neighbourhoods known for their fashion, art and design before indulging in lunch.
Well-being
  • Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19. All Travelling Concierge's and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.
Journey Highlights
  • Osaka: Explore the fascinating Osaka Castle, a famous landmark that was pivotal in the reunification of Japan during the 16th century. Marvel at the variety of cultural artefacts showcasing the history of Osaka.
  • Osaka: Visit the top of the Floating Garden Observatory in the Umeda Sky Building for incredible city views.
  • Experience travelling like a local as you ride the high-speed bullet train. Catch views of snow capped mountains and quaint Japanese towns as you journey between each city. This feat of modern engineering brings new joy to train rides.
  • Hiroshima: Spend some quiet moments in the emotive Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and see the A-Bomb Dome, the only structure left standing.
  • Kyoto: Wander around the famous Giouji Temple, where the bamboo trees and green groves inspire relaxation. This tiny temple with the thatched roof entrance is a sanctuary and one of the most scenic temples you’ll see in the city.
  • Kyoto: Join your Travelling Concierge for an orientation of Gion neighbourhood, known as Kyoto's geisha district. See well-preserved wooden machiya houses and perhaps experience the electric ambiance of a local bar or restaurant?
  • Kyoto: Visit the stunning Zen Buddhist temple of Kinkaku-ji, with its glittering Golden Pavilion and hear about its intriguing history. Then, explore the vibrant Gion neighbourhood, where you may spot a Geisha or two.
  • Mt Fuji: Visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, where you’ll enjoy its unique architecture, wander the serene gardens and marvel at its collection of beautiful kimonos.
  • Mt Fuji: Ride the Kachi-Kachi Ropeway cable car to fully embrace the breathtaking views of the lake and the mountain.
  • Tokyo: Take a sightseeing tour of Tokyo with your Travelling Concierge to spot many places of interest in this bustling capital city.
  • Tokyo: Join a Local Expert and head to the Omotesando and Harajuku neighbourhoods known for their fashion, art and design before indulging in lunch.
  • Matsushima Bay: Take in views of the many pine clad islets in Matsushima Bay on a private cruise. Hear about the many haikus featuring the bay describing it as a place of love and wonder.
  • Matsushima Bay: Meet the owner of a traditional Japanese inn set in the dazzling Matsushima Bay, which has inspired poetry over the centuries. Hear more about her life and local traditions in the pine covered islands as you cruise between them.
  • Hirosaki: Learn about the meticulous care and nurturing of cherry blossom trees from a specialised cherry blossom doctor who ensures that each one, from sapling to mature tree, is healthy and thriving during the beautiful season each April.
  • Tsugaru han Neputa Village: See the colourful decorations, which take a year to create, being prepared for the summer Neputa Festival by local craftsmen. Witness a private musical performance of Tsugaru Shamisen and Taiko, a traditional style of Japanese guitar and drumming.
  • Oirase Gorge: Take a gentle walk along the Oirase Gorge in the Hachimantai National Park. Each season brings its own colour palette while unique rock formations and the burbling river is a pleasure to follow.
  • Tokyo: Pay a visit to the Sensō-ji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo and the site of a large late spring festival, which many international visitors attend. This significant place of worship is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion.
  • Tokyo: Wander down one of Japan's oldest shopping streets, Nakamise Street, which dates back to the 17th century. If you're feeling peckish, visit Kappabashi, the back street that is also known as the foodie hub of Tokyo.
Exceptional Dining
  • Osaka: Discover why Osaka is known as the kitchen of Japan on a stroll through Donburi street with a Local Expert. Taste local specialities such as rounds of ground octopus wrapped in batter, called Takoyaki.
  • Kyoto: Enjoy a performance by a Maiko, an apprentice Geisha, skilled in the art of classical dance and entertainment, as you savour a Highlight Lunch of traditional Kyo-Kaiseki cuisine. Admire the balance of taste, texture and colour in this Kyoto speciality.
  • Tokyo: During a Your Choice Evening, choose from two hand-picked restaurants, each specialising in local delicacies. Try Shabu-shabu, sizzling hotpots of meat and vegetables, or Teppan-yaki, where rice, meats and vegetables are freshly cooked on the grill in front of you.
  • Tokyo: Participate in a private sushi-making class in Tokyo and discover why it takes ten years to perfect this 2000-year-old Japanese art from a master sushi chef. Afterwards, enjoy a freshly prepared Highlight Lunch where you can marvel at his culinary brilliance.
  • Sendai: Experience a truly Japanese tradition when you enjoy a tea ceremony at a traditional tea house. Learn the art of making the perfect matcha green tea as you follow the custom.
  • Tokyo: Tradition meets innovation as you enjoy a fine dining experience with new friends at Hoshinonaruki. Using age-old Japanese culinary techniques and seasonal ingredients, this is a dining experience that truly brings the flavour of the country to life.
  • Dining Summary: 5 Dinner (D), 10 Breakfast (B), and 9 Lunch (L)
VIP Experiences
  • Hiroshima: Experience a truly poignant travel moment, as you meet a survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bomb, which destroyed most of the city during World War II and changed world history forever.
  • Oirase: Enjoy a rare opportunity to meet a brewmaster, Takumi Sato, and learn about the essence of sake in a special guided visit of his brewery. Share some of the sacred drink of Japan in the stunning surroundings of Oirase.
Be captivated by the beauty and traditions of Japan during this 11-day guided tour. Travel to Kyoto, a cultural hub for the country, where you can bask in the serenity surrounding the iconic Golden Pavilion. See the Giouji Temple — a Buddhist place of worship set amidst a moss-covered forest — and feast on a traditional Kyo-Kaiseki lunch as you watch an apprentice geisha perform beside you. In Tokyo, choose to make decadent sushi rolls using the finest quality fish during a private cooking class or join a Local Expert and explore the fashionable Omotesando and Harajuku neighborhoods before sampling a local lunch. Then discover the river valley of the Oirase Gorge, walking along its crystal-clear waters while marveling at the amber leaves that surround you. Later, journey to a local brewery for a private sake tasting and behind-the-scenes tour, led by a sake brew master.

Trip details

Trip Type: Group Tour

Comfort: Deluxe

Travel Styles: Family, 55+, Luxury

Starts: Osaka, Japan

Finishes: Tokyo, Japan

Duration: 11 days

Includes

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

Additional Included Highlights
  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold. Guests will be transferred with fellow Luxury Gold Travellers that arrive on the same flight. Complimentary train station transfers are included when train travel is included within the itinerary. Transfers to train stations or alternate hotels, in the same start or end city of the itinerary, may be requested but are not guaranteed.

ITINERARY

1Day 1: Welcome to Osaka, Japan!

On arrival at Kansai or Itami airport, you will be welcomed and taken to your five-star hotel situated in the heart of the city. Your Travelling Concierge can be found at a welcome desk on the ground floor between 16:00 and 18:00 for any questions or concerns you may have. At 19:00, meet your Travelling Concierge and travel companions at the hotel's Rainbow Lounge for your Welcome Dinner. Enjoy stunning views over Osaka while you enjoy delicious Japanese cuisine including tempura and sushi.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Osaka.
Meals: Dinner

2Day 2: Highlights of Osaka Relaxed Start

Situated in the heart of Japan where rivers and sea routes converge, Osaka is a hub of cutting-edge architecture, exotic flavours and laid-back locals. Today you will discover the city's highlights, starting with a visit to the top of the Floating Garden Observatory in the Umeda Sky Building for incredible city views. Then, together with your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers, discover why Osaka is known as the kitchen of Japan as you stroll along Dotonbori Street with a Local Expert and try local specialities such as Takoyaki, a local favourite made of wheat flour based batter and filled with minced or diced octopus. In the afternoon, enjoy a visit to Osaka Castle, one of Japan's most famous landmarks, before enjoying a two-course lunch near the castle. With the evening at leisure, ask your Travelling Concierge for local recommendations to explore this wondrous city further.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Osaka.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

3Day 3: A Local Perspective on Hiroshima

Experience Japanese technology at its best as you journey to Hiroshima station on the Shinkansen bullet train. On arrival, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Peace Memorial Park and Museum, the only structure left standing after the first atomic bomb was dropped during World War II. The bomb was the single-most destructive force ever created by humankind and changed the course of history forever. During your visit, meet a survivor who will share insights into this dark chapter of world history. For lunch, you will be treated to traditional Japanese savoury pancakes known as Okonomiyaki, a dish typical of the region. Your journey continues by bullet train to Kyoto, known for thousands of years as the Imperial capital of Japan. After you check in to your centrally located hotel the rest of the evening is yours.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia, Kyoto.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

4Day 4: The Temples and Geisha of Kyoto Relaxed Start

Kyoto is Japan's geisha capital, and during your city tour with your Travelling Concierge you will discover why this is the hub of ancient tradition and culture. Marvel at the Zen Buddhist temple of Kinkakuji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see its famed Golden Pavilion to appreciate its classic architecture, intricate history and expansive gardens. Visit the famous Giouji Temple, situated on a majestic grove of bamboos and maple trees, where you'll learn about local folklore and explore the temple's thatched hut and walk through the indigenous bamboo forest. Savour a Highlight Lunch of traditional Kyo-Kaiseki cuisine made of seasonal ingredients, whilst you enjoy a performance by a Maiko, an apprentice geisha. Central to Kyoto culture, geisha are highly-skilled entertainers, specializing in classical music, dance, conversation and games. This fine art has evolved over many centuries and today attracts visitors from around the world. Embark on a walk around the vibrant Gion neighbourhood, known as Kyoto's primary geisha district. With free time to explore for the rest of the evening, perhaps enjoy the local teahouses, lantern-lit restaurants and bars or simply absorb the electric atmosphere, as you shop for souvenirs.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia, Kyoto.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

5Day 5: Mt Fuji and on to Tokyo

Board the bullet train to Mishima and continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mount Fuji. On arrival, enjoy spectacular views of one of the most recognisable landmarks of Japan as you enjoy lunch made of fresh, seasonal ingredients at a local restaurant. See Lake Kawaguchi where you will be captivated by the flawless reflections of the mountain. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, where you’ll enjoy its unique architecture, wander the serene gardens and marvel at its collection of beautiful kimonos. Alternatively, ride the Kachi-Kachi Ropeway cable car to fully embrace the breathtaking views of the lake and the mountain. Travel to Tokyo and check into your hotel for the evening at leisure.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

6Day 6: Explore Traditional Tokyo Relaxed Start

Tokyo is an economic powerhouse and home to national museums, festivals, theatres and sacred temples. This morning, visit the Tokyo National Museum housing a large collection of artwork and artefacts from Asia. Continue to the Meiji Jingu Shrine and enjoy walking through the serene gardens. Your Journey, Your Way.Choose to join a cooking class and learn about the art of making sushi as you are using the highest quality fish. Discover why it takes ten years to become a Master Sushi Chef, then sit down to savour a delightful Highlight Lunch. Continue to explore Ginza, known as the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo. Alternatively, join a Local Expert and head to the Omotesando and Harajuku neighbourhood, known for their fashion, art and design, before indulging in lunch.During a Your Choice Evening, you're in for a true local experience with the choice of two hand-picked restaurants, each specialising in local delicacies. You may try either Shabu-shabu which are hotpots of meat and vegetables or Teppanyaki where rice, meats and vegetables are freshly cooked on a grill.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

7Day 7: Journey to Sendai

Journey north by bullet train, your destination is the Sendai, known as the City of Trees. This is a true locals region, off-the-beaten path and away from the tourist crowds. For lunch meet the owner of a local inn on one of the many islands in the bay to enjoy local seafood and hear stories from a local with insights in to life on the island. Enjoy a private cruise along the dazzling Matsushima Bay, taking in views of countless pine-covered islands. The bay has often featured in Japanese poetry since ancient times. Seasonal tea ceremonies date back a thousand years and play an important part in Japanese culture, they are central to good hospitality. This afternoon, experience this for yourself when you visit a traditional teahouse and learn how to prepare the perfect cup of Matcha Green Tea. Continue to your five-star hotel where the evening is at your leisure. Perhaps sign up for a massage at the in-house spa or discover how Kokubuncho comes to life at night time?

Accommodation: The Westin, Sendai.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

8Day 8: Tsugaru and Hirosaki Castle

Journey to Shin-Aomori Station via bullet train. On arrival, enjoy lunch at Neputa Village. Visit Hirosaki Castle, famous for its bright cherry blossom trees that bloom between April and May. Meet a cherry blossom doctor, who will explain how his team nurture these beautiful trees from sapling to maturity and ensure all the cherry blossoms of the region are strong, healthy and able to thrive during the cherry blossom season. As you explore the Tsugaru-han Neputa Village you will see the colourful decorations used during the summer Neputa Festival and watch skilled craftsman at work, they spend month lacquering to create the perfect chopsticks. You then enjoy a special experience, a private musical performance of Tsugaru Shamisen and Taiko, traditional Japanese guitar and drumming. Your journey continues to Oirase Gorge, one of Japan’s most-revered nature havens.

Accommodation: Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel, Oirase Gorge.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

9Day 9: Exploring Oirase Relaxed Start

Explore the spectacular Oirase Gorge, a place of special scenic beauty. Wander along the crystal-clear Oirase Keiryu stream, admire the cascading waterfalls and marvel at the seasonal colours of the indigenous forest. Return to the hotel for lunch made with local and seasonal ingredients. After a day of exploring, perhaps experience a soul-soothing Onsen, a traditional Japanese hot bath, in the nearby forest. For those wanting something more flavoursome, journey to a local brewery to taste Japan's national drink, sake, an alcoholic beverage made from fermenting rice. You will meet Takumi Sato, a sake brewmaster and have an insider tour of his brewery.

Accommodation: Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel, Oirase Gorge.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

10Day 10: The Highlights of Tokyo

Return to Tokyo via bullet train for your last night in this intriguing city. Visit the Senso-ji Buddhist Temple, the oldest and most-visited temple in Japan. Wander along the famous Nakamise Street and explore Kappabashi, a local back-street known as Tokyo’s foodie hub. This evening you will celebrate with your new found friends at Hoshinonaruki, a fine dining experience where tradition meets innovation. Using old Japanese culinary techniques and seasonal ingredients, this is a dining experience that brings Japanese cuisine to life.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

11Day 11: Farewell Japan.

Bid farewell to your travel companions and head to Narita or Haneda International Airport for your onward journey.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 1: Welcome to Osaka, Japan!
On arrival at Kansai or Itami airport, you will be welcomed and taken to your five-star hotel situated in the heart of the city. Your Travelling Concierge can be found at a welcome desk on the ground floor between 16:00 and 18:00 for any questions or concerns you may have. At 19:00, meet your Travelling Concierge and travel companions at the hotel's Rainbow Lounge for your Welcome Dinner. Enjoy stunning views over Osaka while you enjoy delicious Japanese cuisine including tempura and sushi.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Osaka.
Meals: Dinner
Day 2: Highlights of Osaka Relaxed Start
Situated in the heart of Japan where rivers and sea routes converge, Osaka is a hub of cutting-edge architecture, exotic flavours and laid-back locals. Today you will discover the city's highlights, starting with a visit to the top of the Floating Garden Observatory in the Umeda Sky Building for incredible city views. Then, together with your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers, discover why Osaka is known as the kitchen of Japan as you stroll along Dotonbori Street with a Local Expert and try local specialities such as Takoyaki, a local favourite made of wheat flour based batter and filled with minced or diced octopus. In the afternoon, enjoy a visit to Osaka Castle, one of Japan's most famous landmarks, before enjoying a two-course lunch near the castle. With the evening at leisure, ask your Travelling Concierge for local recommendations to explore this wondrous city further.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Osaka.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3: A Local Perspective on Hiroshima
Experience Japanese technology at its best as you journey to Hiroshima station on the Shinkansen bullet train. On arrival, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Peace Memorial Park and Museum, the only structure left standing after the first atomic bomb was dropped during World War II. The bomb was the single-most destructive force ever created by humankind and changed the course of history forever. During your visit, meet a survivor who will share insights into this dark chapter of world history. For lunch, you will be treated to traditional Japanese savoury pancakes known as Okonomiyaki, a dish typical of the region. Your journey continues by bullet train to Kyoto, known for thousands of years as the Imperial capital of Japan. After you check in to your centrally located hotel the rest of the evening is yours.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia, Kyoto.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4: The Temples and Geisha of Kyoto Relaxed Start
Kyoto is Japan's geisha capital, and during your city tour with your Travelling Concierge you will discover why this is the hub of ancient tradition and culture. Marvel at the Zen Buddhist temple of Kinkakuji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see its famed Golden Pavilion to appreciate its classic architecture, intricate history and expansive gardens. Visit the famous Giouji Temple, situated on a majestic grove of bamboos and maple trees, where you'll learn about local folklore and explore the temple's thatched hut and walk through the indigenous bamboo forest. Savour a Highlight Lunch of traditional Kyo-Kaiseki cuisine made of seasonal ingredients, whilst you enjoy a performance by a Maiko, an apprentice geisha. Central to Kyoto culture, geisha are highly-skilled entertainers, specializing in classical music, dance, conversation and games. This fine art has evolved over many centuries and today attracts visitors from around the world. Embark on a walk around the vibrant Gion neighbourhood, known as Kyoto's primary geisha district. With free time to explore for the rest of the evening, perhaps enjoy the local teahouses, lantern-lit restaurants and bars or simply absorb the electric atmosphere, as you shop for souvenirs.

Accommodation: Hotel Granvia, Kyoto.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5: Mt Fuji and on to Tokyo
Board the bullet train to Mishima and continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mount Fuji. On arrival, enjoy spectacular views of one of the most recognisable landmarks of Japan as you enjoy lunch made of fresh, seasonal ingredients at a local restaurant. See Lake Kawaguchi where you will be captivated by the flawless reflections of the mountain. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, where you’ll enjoy its unique architecture, wander the serene gardens and marvel at its collection of beautiful kimonos. Alternatively, ride the Kachi-Kachi Ropeway cable car to fully embrace the breathtaking views of the lake and the mountain. Travel to Tokyo and check into your hotel for the evening at leisure.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6: Explore Traditional Tokyo Relaxed Start
Tokyo is an economic powerhouse and home to national museums, festivals, theatres and sacred temples. This morning, visit the Tokyo National Museum housing a large collection of artwork and artefacts from Asia. Continue to the Meiji Jingu Shrine and enjoy walking through the serene gardens. Your Journey, Your Way.Choose to join a cooking class and learn about the art of making sushi as you are using the highest quality fish. Discover why it takes ten years to become a Master Sushi Chef, then sit down to savour a delightful Highlight Lunch. Continue to explore Ginza, known as the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo. Alternatively, join a Local Expert and head to the Omotesando and Harajuku neighbourhood, known for their fashion, art and design, before indulging in lunch.During a Your Choice Evening, you're in for a true local experience with the choice of two hand-picked restaurants, each specialising in local delicacies. You may try either Shabu-shabu which are hotpots of meat and vegetables or Teppanyaki where rice, meats and vegetables are freshly cooked on a grill.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Journey to Sendai
Journey north by bullet train, your destination is the Sendai, known as the City of Trees. This is a true locals region, off-the-beaten path and away from the tourist crowds. For lunch meet the owner of a local inn on one of the many islands in the bay to enjoy local seafood and hear stories from a local with insights in to life on the island. Enjoy a private cruise along the dazzling Matsushima Bay, taking in views of countless pine-covered islands. The bay has often featured in Japanese poetry since ancient times. Seasonal tea ceremonies date back a thousand years and play an important part in Japanese culture, they are central to good hospitality. This afternoon, experience this for yourself when you visit a traditional teahouse and learn how to prepare the perfect cup of Matcha Green Tea. Continue to your five-star hotel where the evening is at your leisure. Perhaps sign up for a massage at the in-house spa or discover how Kokubuncho comes to life at night time?

Accommodation: The Westin, Sendai.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8: Tsugaru and Hirosaki Castle
Journey to Shin-Aomori Station via bullet train. On arrival, enjoy lunch at Neputa Village. Visit Hirosaki Castle, famous for its bright cherry blossom trees that bloom between April and May. Meet a cherry blossom doctor, who will explain how his team nurture these beautiful trees from sapling to maturity and ensure all the cherry blossoms of the region are strong, healthy and able to thrive during the cherry blossom season. As you explore the Tsugaru-han Neputa Village you will see the colourful decorations used during the summer Neputa Festival and watch skilled craftsman at work, they spend month lacquering to create the perfect chopsticks. You then enjoy a special experience, a private musical performance of Tsugaru Shamisen and Taiko, traditional Japanese guitar and drumming. Your journey continues to Oirase Gorge, one of Japan’s most-revered nature havens.

Accommodation: Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel, Oirase Gorge.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: Exploring Oirase Relaxed Start
Explore the spectacular Oirase Gorge, a place of special scenic beauty. Wander along the crystal-clear Oirase Keiryu stream, admire the cascading waterfalls and marvel at the seasonal colours of the indigenous forest. Return to the hotel for lunch made with local and seasonal ingredients. After a day of exploring, perhaps experience a soul-soothing Onsen, a traditional Japanese hot bath, in the nearby forest. For those wanting something more flavoursome, journey to a local brewery to taste Japan's national drink, sake, an alcoholic beverage made from fermenting rice. You will meet Takumi Sato, a sake brewmaster and have an insider tour of his brewery.

Accommodation: Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel, Oirase Gorge.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: The Highlights of Tokyo
Return to Tokyo via bullet train for your last night in this intriguing city. Visit the Senso-ji Buddhist Temple, the oldest and most-visited temple in Japan. Wander along the famous Nakamise Street and explore Kappabashi, a local back-street known as Tokyo’s foodie hub. This evening you will celebrate with your new found friends at Hoshinonaruki, a fine dining experience where tradition meets innovation. Using old Japanese culinary techniques and seasonal ingredients, this is a dining experience that brings Japanese cuisine to life.

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Farewell Japan.
Bid farewell to your travel companions and head to Narita or Haneda International Airport for your onward journey.

Meals: Breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Additional Included Highlights
  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold. Guests will be transferred with fellow Luxury Gold Travellers that arrive on the same flight. Complimentary train station transfers are included when train travel is included within the itinerary. Transfers to train stations or alternate hotels, in the same start or end city of the itinerary, may be requested but are not guaranteed.

Partner Details

Luxury Gold

In Business Since 1978

A world of immersive journeys awaits you, each with VIP experiences, exceptional dining, magnificent hotels and a Travelling Concierge who’s there to tailor everything to your desires.

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Save 5%

From $7,785 pp

was $8,195 pp

Subject to availability Twin occupancy

May 24 - Jun 03,

2023

May 24 - Jun 03, 2023 (11 days)

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