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Our ‘Japan in Luxury’ itinerary is a truly special, independent 11 night experience which includes visits to Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Hakone.
Enjoy independent travel but not the hassle of planning? One of our Independent Tours could be just the ticket. Carefully put together by our team of specialists, our excellent collection of sample itineraries are designed to inform and inspire your next Japan adventure. Every one of our Independent Tours is fully tailor-made for you, ensuring your trip is everything you want it to be.
It’s quite straightforward to travel independently in Japan. We will provide just the right amount of support and logistical planning to make you feel comfortable in a very foreign land. These itineraries are available for any departure date (with a few exclusions which coinciding with Japanese National Holidays and some weekends). We’ll do all the work for you and provide you with an information pack to make your trip run smoothly. You can also add guided tours as indicated and if you do want your own personal guide we can arrange this too.
Day 1: Arrival in Japan, Meet & Greet at Narita Airport (Tokyo)
Welcome to Japan! Our friendly Meet & Greet service representative will be waiting in the Arrivals lobby and holding a sign with your name on. The Meet & Greet will direct you to the Narita Express train or limousine bus bound for Tokyo. Check in to a Deluxe room at the stunning 5* Peninsula Tokyo Hotel for 3 nights.
Day 2: Tokyo
Your options are unlimited in this incredible city. Explore Tokyo’s past in the bustling, traditional Asakusa district, visit the world’s largest fish market at Tsukiji, shop in the fashionable districts of Shibuya and Harajuku and dine on Japan’s finest cuisine.
Optional Guided Excursion: Tokyo 1 Day Tour
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing by taxi in Tokyo. Your private English speaking Guide will show you the highlights of this vast metropolis, from the Imperial Palace and serene Meiji Shrine to the ‘Electric City’ of Akihabara.
Day 3: Tokyo
Enjoy a further day of exploring in Tokyo.
Day 4: Tokyo to Kanazawa
Depart Tokyo and make your way to Kanazawa located on the Sea of Japan coast. After arriving early afternoon, you can start enjoying the sights of this wonderful city, from the well-preserved Nagamachi samurai district to Kenroku-en, one of Japan’s top three gardens. Check in to a Deluxe room at the superb Nikko Kanazawa Hotel for 2 nights.
Day 5: Kanazawa
Spend further time exploring Kanazawa which is home to some of Japan’s finest pottery and lacquerware, or venture up the lovely Noto Peninsula today.
Optional guided excursion
Full Day Tour of Kanazawa with Private English-speaking Guide by taxi.
Day 6: Kanazawa to Kyoto
Board the Bullet Train again and head to Kyoto which is blessed with many temples and shrines. The journey takes less than 3 hours, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the afternoon in Kyoto, where we recommend a strolling around the lovely side streets. You will stay in a Deluxe room in the wonderful 5* Kyoto Okura Hotel in the heart of Kyoto for 3 nights.
Day 7: Kyoto
A rich history of religion, art and craft have combined to make this glorious city a spiritual home for the Japanese. For temples we recommend Kiyomizu-dera and Ginkaku-ji in the hills to the east of the city. Nijo Castle is also well worth a visit, and make sure you allow yourself plenty of time for the wonderful craft shops and delightful streets of Gion, the old geisha quarter.
Optional guided excursion
Full Day Tour of Kyoto with Private English-speaking Guide by taxi.
Day 8: Nara at leisure
Whilst smaller than Kyoto, Nara is no less rich in attractions, with 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sights. The most outstanding of these is Todai-ji temple, the largest wooden building in the world and home to the Great Buddha statue – Japan’s biggest. Other essential sights include Yakushi-ji and Horyu-ji temple, whose buildings include some of the world’s oldest wooden structures.
Day 9: Kyoto to Hakone
It’s time to say goodbye to Kyoto as you speed on the Bullet Train to Hakone, a beautiful resort set in the foothills of Mt Fuji. For the next two nights you will stay in either the superb 5* Gora Tensui ryokan or the 5* Hakone Ginyu ryokan with its own private hot spring baths where a delicious dinner is included each night.
Day 10: Hakone
Hakone is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Today you can enjoy wandering in the peaceful, beautiful surroundings of this resort town. You might like to visit some of the surrounding attractions such as the Open Air Sculpture Park, Lake Ashi and Owakudani (literally ‘Great Boiling Valley’).
Day 11: Tokyo
After breakfast take the train back to Tokyo and stay at the Peninsula Tokyo again for your final night in Japan.
Day 12: Depart Japan
Transfer from your hotel to Narita International Airport (Tokyo).
Home to over 12 million people, the vast metropolis of Japan’s capital must be seen to be believed. Tokyo embraces the modern and ancient like no other city on earth and offers something for everyone who wants to delve into the Japanese phenomenon: the towering skyscrapers and frenzied neon of Shinjuku, the pop culture and gadget paradise of Akihabara, the sophisticated chic of Ginza, the biggest and liveliest fish market in the world, the old downtown area of Asakusa, and the tranquil, understated beauty of Meiji Shrine. Not to mention superb restaurants and great bars as well as fabulous shopping and museums befitting the capital of the world’s second-largest economy.
Kanazawa, meaning “Golden Marsh”, was originally built around Kanazawa castle and the beautiful garden Kenrokuen. Today, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture continues to cultivate the arts and contains attractive areas of well-preserved samurai and geisha teahouses. Is modern face is ably represented by the impressive 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. This is the one place you should not miss on the Sea of Japan coast.
Kyoto is where you will find the Japan of silent temples nestling in bamboo groves, gardens of finely raked sand and bewitching geisha. The city is home to over 2,000 temples and shrines, exquisite crafts and some of the best cuisine in the country. In short, Kyoto is the heartbeat of traditional Japan.
Not to be missed are Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji and Kiyomizu temples, although be aware that these do become crowded. For a more peaceful, intimate temple experience we recommend the temple complex of Daitoku-ji, in particular Daisen-in sub-temple, and the Arashiyama area to the west of the city.
The beautiful resort of Hakone is set in the foothills of Mt Fuji. The proximity to Tokyo means that this is a popular spot for weekenders to visit to enjoy the majestic scenery and to luxuriate in the natural hot springs in this volcanic region. Whilst here you can wander the peaceful surroundings and visit such attractions such as the Open Air Sculpture Park, Lake Ashi and Owakudani (literally ‘Great Boiling Valley’).
This truly exceptional luxury property is right by the moat of the imperial palace and its verdant gardens. The interior is elegantly styled throughout, with an understated modern beauty that is truly stunning in parts.
Rooms are of course very spacious, comfortable and tastefully furnished, replete with luxury amenities.
The Palace sports 10 restaurants and bars, each one uniquely stylish, serving the best food and drink from around the world.
Commanding superb city views, set by the imperial palace, this hotel is among the best in the country. A stay here entails luxurious comfort and sophisticated facilities, and of course immaculate service.
Rooms are very spacious, starting at 54 square meters. They are stylishly decorated in a simple, modern style, with judicious use of natural materials giving a bright, natural feel to every one. They have the latest in luxury facilities and amenities, including among others, high speed wireless internet, a compact multifunction control panel and tea and coffee making facilities.
The Peninsula has numerous world class dining options, from the sophisticated Cantonese cuisine of Hei Fung Terrace to the luxury grilled fare of Peter high on the 24th floor. Peter: The Bar (adjacent to the restaurant) serves cocktails of the highest quality and has an exemplary range of international wines, whiskies and other beverages.
Located in the upper class Roppongi district of Tokyo, this spectacular hotel is the apex of class and luxury. The 45th floor boats an impressive observation deck that offer awe inspiring 360 degree panorama views of Tokyo, including Mount Fuji and the Tokyo Tower. As well as this, a tranquil spa facility is also available, creating the perfect environment for rest and relaxation. In addition, Wellendorf, a fashionable German jeweller, has a boutique on the ground floor.
Rooms in the Ritz Carlton are impeccably furnished with a décor that espouses elegance. All rooms offer wonderful views of Tokyo, so you can always view the majesty of the world’s largest metropolis.
The hotel is home to a truly impressive selection of dining options. From Michelin starred French restaurants to the Lobby Lounge offering live piano and jazz music throughout the day.
This first-rate Superior hotel stands in front of Kanazawa station, the gateway to one of Japan’s most culturally prestigious city. Excellent transport links to all the city’s major sites are easily accessed nearby. The city of Kanazawa has long had a strongly individual streak when it comes to its arts, crafts and design, which is evident in the aesthetic that runs through this whole hotel.
This property features lovely, modern rooms, comfortably furnished and amply provided for by way of amenities.
A strong point of this hotel is its impressive range of restaurants. Of particular note is the teppanyaki restaurant, Icho, which has excellent views over the city and serves fresh local seafood and high-quality wagyu Japanese beef, carefully cooked in front of you by one of the expert chefs. An impressive Western style breakfast is served in The Garden House restaurant from 7:00.
Upon arrival at Hoshinoya Kyoto, guests are picked up by boat from a landing located near Togetsukyo bridge. The journey is a leisurely ten minutes up the Oi River, allowing guests to enjoy the beautiful scenery all the way to the serene hills of Arashiyama.
The guest rooms are located in a renovated ryokan inn that was built 100 years ago on the former premises of Kyoto business tycoon Suminokura Ryoi’s private residence. It was modernized just enough to ensure a pleasant stay without sacrificing the heart of traditional Japanese architecture.
Every guest room features paper furnishings known as karakami decorated by skilled Kyoto artisans using historical woodblock print patterns. Sliding doors and other traditional furnishings feature modern embellishments that enhance their functional and aesthetic elegance.
Hoshinoya offers Head Chef Ichiro Kubota’s unique brand of Kyoto banquet cuisine that pays respect to Kyoto’s traditions yet defies classification. It is playful, yet precise and artistic–always abundant with flavour, and has earned him fame in France and London. Guests can dine at their leisure surrounded by the deep serenity of the hills at night, either at an open counter or in private rooms under the hotel’s soft, warm lighting.
Hyatt Regency Kyoto, located in the beautifully verdant Higashiyama Shichijo, is an example of how Japan’s ancient history and tradition can be combined with the present. Contemporary Japanese style based on traditional Japanese beauty comes together to form a cosmopolitan and modern look, offering you Kyoto’s warm and signature hospitality. Each day at 6:15 pm, a Maiko (an apprenticed geisha), from Kyoto’s Miyagawa-cho district, will offer a magical and elegant traditional dance.
Rooms in this hotel blend traditional Japanese taste with modern practicality using ample plain wood to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The rooms are arranged with a beautiful kimono tapestry (from the Edo to Taisho period), a gorgeous lantern and more, to make for a traditional Japanese environment while also implementing the latest technology such as flat-screen TVs and a Blu-ray player, as well as a work desk for practicality. The restroom has granite flooring and a large bath for better relaxation.
Dining at this Hyatt Regency is world class, and proudly offers a wide variety of restaurants for you to choose from. From prime cuts of meat cooked in a wood burning oven at “The Grill”, to the timeless tradition at “Touzan”, with the restaurant’s interior resembling an old Japanese-style house, complemented by views of the hotel’s rock garden.
A wonderful, deluxe modern hotel, superbly located in the heart of Japan’s cultural capital. On one side lie the Kamo river and the Higashi mountains, and on the other, the ordered streets of this ancient metropolis – all of which provide stunning views from the hotel’s excellent high-floor restaurants. With the geisha district of Pontocho just a few minutes’ walk away, and eating and shopping opportunities abound, you will want for nothing at this exceptional property.
The rooms here are generously proportioned, with large en-suite bathrooms and comfortable furnishings. Of course, all luxury amenities are provided as standard.
Among the 6 restaurants in the hotel, possibly Pittoresque Sky Restaurant stands out the most, offering delicious French cuisine and an excellent wine selection, complete with stunning views. Relax in one of the hotel’s tasteful bars or cafes, or go for a swim in its indoor pool.
Set along the shores of the Kamogawa River and featuring panoramic views of the Higashiyama Mountain, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto redefines luxury in a city that transcends expectations. The hotel offers beautifully refined rooms and suites, as well as four restaurants and a peaceful spa.
The immaculately designed hotel rooms and suites at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto feature spacious layouts and gorgeously realized details, tempting guests to forgo exploration in favor of relaxed seclusion. Suite amenities include handmade soaps, 600-count linens and complimentary Internet access.
Showcasing both Japanese and Western cuisine, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto transports the art of fine dining to unprecedented new heights. Sample four classic styles of Japanese cooking, including sushi, teppanyaki and multi-course kaiseki dinners, at Mizuki. La Locanda, the enchanting Italian restaurant, offers classic yet contemporary dining in a historic setting.
Located on the grounds of the former summer villa of a member of the Imperial family, the building and facilities have earned high praise for its design, being in harmony with the nearby mountains, blending Japanese tradition along with modern design elements.
Gora Kadan offers a fantastic choice of rooms appropriate for the most discerning traveller. Being a traditional ryokan, some of these are actually in their own separate buildings, and thus represent the ultimate in comfortable, secluded relaxation.
There are two natural hot springs on site, whose mineral compositions have numerous purported health and relaxation benefits. The locally sourced ingredients and fantastic attention to detail make the kaiseki cuisine served at the ryokan truly exquisite.
Gora Tensui is a deluxe Japanese ryokan inn situated in the heart of Hakone, Japan’s most prestigious hot spring region. The rooms here are of superb quality, with various Western and Japanese options, some of which feature their own indoor and outdoor natural stone hot spring bath tubs.
Don’t miss out the delicious Japanese kaiseki cuisine here – the best ingredients of the season are picked to form a wonderous display of Japanese delicacy. To help you start a fresh morning, a delicious traditional Japanese breakfast is provided.
The hot spring onsen is a must. Enjoy the panoramic view of the Hakone mountains with its changing colour every season. At the public onsen, you will experience the true natural hot spring water from Owakudani, an active volcanic mountain which is a landmark of Hakone.
This very special luxury hotel is the smallest Hyatt in the world, and thus offers a uniquely intimate stay experience. This is complimented by its interior design – it has a distinctly country house feel, with an open hearth and relaxed layout in the lounge, seamlessly combined with stylish, modern aesthetic features.
Guests will enjoy free champagne in the lounge from 4 – 7 pm before moving to one of the hotel’s lovely restaurants – the sushi restaurant, offering the freshest seasonal cuts, and the superb French restaurant are top class.
Sleek modern interiors with dark wood furnishings make a stay in this hotel’s spacious rooms here a true pleasure. The luxurious amenities and furnished balcony/terrace area will make you feel relaxed and comfortable.
There is much here that reflects the culture and nature of Hakone, from parquet furnishings to hot spring baths that open out onto vibrant natural scenery, as well as exclusive activities that give a taste of this traditional hot spring town’s history.
Nature spreads all around KAI Hakone, allowing guests to enjoy the seasonal scenery and the sounds of the nearby Sukumo River from the comfort of their rooms. Low sofas and beds give each room a spacious feel, while our signature rooms feature parquet furniture.
Guests are served kaiseki course meals that use plenty of seasonal land and sea ingredients. Some dishes feature Japanese ingredients prepared with Western culinary techniques—a style that developed from the West’s long love affair with Hakone’s hot springs.
Not included in Price
Price: from £4,975 per person on a sharing basis
Single Room Supplement: Please ask us about this
Optional Private Guided Tours:
1 Day Private tour of Tokyo with Guide (8 hours): £500.00 (in total for 2 persons)
1 Day Private tour of Kanazawa with Guide (8 hours): £625.00 (in total for 2 persons)
1 Day Private tour of Kyoto with Guide (8 hours): £500.00 (in total for 2 persons)
To make a booking, a deposit of £498 per person is required.
The balance of the price of the trip must be made 12 weeks prior to departure.
All price estimates are based on current rates of exchange and are subject to availability.
Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens.
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