Experience the best of this fascinating, beautiful, and unique country with our Classic Japan itinerary. Enjoy seven thrilling days of luxury travel, taking in Tokyo’s most famous districts, Kyoto’s cultural sites, and enjoying time in Fushimi, Uji, and Nara. Spend your nights at some of Japan’s most luxurious hotels, and experience truly warm and authentic Japanese hospitality.
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Arrive today in Japan’s thriving, exciting capital, Tokyo. Transfer to your luxury hotel - we recommend either the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo or The Peninsula Tokyo, and get acquainted with your new surroundings. Relax at your hotel, getting rested up for the day ahead.
After a gourmet breakfast, head to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, and its outer areas, Jogai Shijo. Enjoy its mixture of wholesale and retail shops, which celebrate traditional and innovative Japanese dishes. The Edo Tokyo Museum is your next stop, where you can learn all about Tokyo’s history and culture. Pop over to Ginza, Tokyo’s upscale fashion district, before taking a course in the ancient art of calligraphy.
Continue your exploration of Tokyo today with a visit to the well-known and revered Meiji Jingu Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji, who died in 1912, and his wife. Next, head to funky, trendy Harajuku, and take a stroll along Japan’s version of the Champs-Elysees, known as Omotesando. Spend your afternoon museum-hopping, from Nezu Museum to Mori Art Museum, and finish off your day in the nightlife haven of Roppongi.
Today you’re heading to what many say is the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto. You’ll head there by bullet train, or shinkansen as the Japanese call it, upon which you’ll see the countryside fly by in a thrilling blur. Once arrived, check in to your luxury room at one of our two recommended hotels: either Hoshinoya Kyoto or the Hyatt Regency Kyoto. Settle in and get to know Kyoto by visiting a few key spots, including Sanjusangendo Temple, Kiyomizudera, Yasaka, and the Gion area.
After breakfast today, you’ll take a day trip to Fushimi, Uji, and Nara. These nearby stops are home to such culturally-important sites as Fushimi Inari Taisha Grand Shrine, Byodoin Temple, Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine, as well as Nara’s Deer Park. Don’t forget to take your camera so that you can capture it all! Return from your trip to your luxury Kyoto hotel.
For your final day in Kyoto, you’ll start off with a trip to Kinkaku-ji Temple, known for its delicately-manicured gardens and floors covered in gold leaf. Next, check out the Zen temple, Ryoan-ji, one of the finest Japanese rock gardens in the world. Spend the second half of your day visiting the Miho Museum, which houses the private collection of Asian and Western antiques of Japan’s wealthiest woman. The structure itself is impressive, having been designed by I. M. Pei, known worldwide as the master of modern architecture.
For your final day of your luxury Japan itinerary, take the bullet train back to Tokyo, and check in for your onward flight to your next destination.
Since its opening at the end of 2014, Aman Tokyo has been one of the most talked-about luxury hotels in the city. The most striking thing about it is its location; spread across the top six floors of a 40-storey tower in the Otemachi business district, the panoramic views are simply incredible. What’s more, all of the 84 rooms and suites take full advantage of the lofty position with floor-to-ceiling windows letting light in during the daytime, while also framing the breathtaking lit-up cityscape at night. Aman Tokyo has also received praise for its impressive interiors, which have been inspired by minimalistic design, including the use of camphor wood, washi paper and stone surfaces throughout the rooms as well as traditional Japanese facilities such as large ‘furo’ baths. Situated on the 33rd floor, both guests and non-guests can enjoy the fine Mediterranean food at the hotel’s signature restaurant, not forgetting more of those incredible views across Tokyo stretching as far as the Imperial Palace Gardens and Mount Fuji in the distance. Elsewhere, there is a spa, enclosed garden area, swimming pool, wine cellar, cigar lounge and a whole host of other facilities to keep guests entertained.
Located 38 floors above street level, the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is a world away from the hustle and bustle below. The rooms and suites here are some of the largest in Japan and each offers soaring views across the city through floor-to-ceiling windows, amplifying a sense of serenity and detachment. The bathrooms are divided from the rooms by a pane of glass covered by a wooden blind; with the flick of a switch, privacy is achieved or the room is washed in daylight. All accommodations have an in-room entertainment system with iPod docking station, high definition LCD televisions in the bedroom and bathroom, wired and wireless high speed Internet access (for a fee) and your choice of preferred pillow type from the property’s extensive pillow menu. The restaurants in the hotel are some of the most highly regarded in the world; Signature (contemporary French), Sense (Chinese) and the Tapas Molecular Bar have each been awarded Michelin stars. Other restaurant options include Ventaglio (Italian), Oriental Lounge (continental bakery), Gourmet Shop, K’shiki (breakfast is served here and Japanese and continental food is served throughout the day) and the Mandarin Bar. The excellent spa has four treatment rooms and five private spa suites, and encompasses a 1,500-square-foot fitness center with the latest cardiovascular and weight training equipment.
Mere steps from the Imperial Palace sits Tokyo’s newest luxury hotel, The Peninsula Tokyo. Located in Marunouchi district just a short walk from the shopping paradise of Ginza, the hotel is perfectly located for business or pleasure. With a total of 314 elegantly decorated rooms and 47 suites, the Peninsula Tokyo’s accommodations are among the most spacious in all of Tokyo, and offer plenty of amenities including espresso machines, complimentary Internet access, multifunction fax machines, nail polish drying machines, and shoe shining service. The hotel’s culinary options include Cantonese cuisine at the Hei Fung Terrace, regional Japanese fare at Kyoto Tsuruya, and International food and beverages at Cirque Culinaire and Peter. For relaxation, enjoy the hotel’s state of the art health club with pool complex, undergo a “spa journey” at the Peninsula Spa by ESPA, or try a leisurely jog around the Imperial Palace. Other amenities include a business center and a boutique store that offers food, gifts and souvenir items.
Opened in December 2009, HOSHINOYA Kyoto is a brand-new private retreat located on the banks of the Oigawa River in the city’s Arashiyama neighborhood. The property’s 25 rooms, all with river views, reflect the heritage and modernity of Kyoto itself, combining traditional ryokan dwelling with contemporary western comfort. The Arashiyama area is a designated scenery protection area, regarded equally for its cherry blossoms in the spring and brilliant foliage in the autumn. With its famous Togetsukyo Bridge, Arashiyama evokes “old Kyoto” at its best, as no new buildings are permitted. The property itself was the private vacation home and library of Suminokura Ryoui, a wealthy Kyoto merchant, until its conversion to an inn about 100 years ago. HOSHINOYA’s Library Lounge and bar, whose shelves hold many books on Kyoto’s history, looks out on the contemplative water garden, while its traditional landscape garden incorporates a view of Arashiyama Mountain using the ancient technique of shakkei, or "borrowed scenery." HOSHINOYA Kyoto has a sister property in Karuizawa.
Kyoto’s newest luxury hotel, the Hyatt Regency is centrally located in the city’s historic Higashiyama neighborhood, and blends Western luxury with Japanese decor, while displaying works by Hiroshi Sugimoto and other modern artists in its reception lobby. The Hyatt is located near some of the city’s iconic sights, including Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Kyoto’s “Notre Dame”), Sansujangendo, and the narrow streets of machiya (traditional townhouses) and ochaya (tea houses) within the historic geisha district of Gion. Rooms include flat-screen TVs, DVD and high-speed Internet access, while the property’s Riraku Spa offers a variety of treatments incorporating Shiatsu, acupuncture, moxibustion, aromatherapy, and reflexology. The Hyatt’s restaurants are Touzan, serving a variety of traditional Japanese cuisine; The Grill, specializing in meat and seafood dishes, prepared in an open kitchen with woodburning stoves; and Italian fare from Trattoria Sette, while Touzan Bar includes an extensive menu of boutique sakes.
Just steps away from the popular streets of Gion, Kawaramachi and Pontocho, the hotel is the perfect gateway for seeing Kyoto’s fabulous sights. The large meeting facilities and services also make the hotel ideal for business. Respecting the ancient traditions and culture of Kyoto, the extravagant space is inspired from the natural surroundings and traditional architecture. Famous for Zen Temples, palaces and gardens, the Kyoto atmosphere is incorporated in the Ritz-Carlton’s design. Built in the style of a traditional Meiji House and courtyard, this is truly a cultural experience. A four-story waterfall is featured in the hotel entrance amidst patterned motifs. Guests are always guaranteed world-famous luxury at Ritz-Carlton, and Kyoto is no exception: guests enjoy high-thread count linens, plush Japanese “IMABARI” robes and towels, complimentary WiFi, Kyoto soap and seasonal bath salts, LED TVs and touch-panel environmental controls for automatic drape closure. Accommodation amenities include a concierge service, swimming pool, banquet room, babysitting service, four delicious dining options and a spa for any pampering needs.