Timeless Japan

​Experience Japan at its finest and most refined on a journey through the ancient and the ultra-modern in this most sophisticated of destinations.

Journey Overview

Experience Japan at its finest and most refined on a journey through the ancient and the ultra-modern in this most sophisticated of destinations. Indulge in unrivalled Japanese hospitality in superb, hand-picked accommodation, and experience a world where exquisite tea ceremonies, contemplative Zen gardens and the elegant geisha tradition blend with high-speed bullet trains, exquisitely pared-back eateries, and glittering skyscrapers. Combine all this with the country’s timeless natural beauty, exalted art and craft traditions, and heavenly cuisine, and you’ll understand why Japan ranks among the world’s greatest travel destinations. 

Journey Highlights

  • Stay in some of Japan’s – and hence the world’s – finest hotels and resorts
  • Explore Tokyo’s enthralling world of temples and haute cuisine
  • Watch sumo giants practice their ancient skills in a traditional sumo heya
  • Meet the ama, incredible women free-divers who keep alive the 3,000-year-old art of pearl fishing
  • Travel at phenomenal speeds on the world-famous Shinkansen train
  • Unveil the secrets of Japan’s exquisite Geisha during an evening dining experience in Kyoto
  • Learn from a teishu master in a traditional tea ceremony

Twin Share Per Person: From $24,870
Solo Traveller: From $44,600


Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo.

Arrive in the Japanese capital and transfer privately to your hotel. 
Palace Hotel Tokyo (Deluxe Room)

Day 2: Tokyo.

Be entranced by this dizzying city with a tour through the diverse patchwork of neighbourhoods. Start in Hamarikyu, a perfect example of a Japanese garden that traces its origins back to the Edo period (1603–1868). Enjoy freshly-made green tea at the Nakajima-no-Ochaya teahouse set amongst gardens with seasonal blooms. Your next stop is Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town and the place to fulfil your sushi dreams. Continue to the elegant Meiji Shrine, a sanctuary for Shinto followers. Stroll through the parkland oasis and witness one of the many traditional Japanese weddings that take place here most days. Finally, head to the famous Omotesando and Harajuku districts to discover shopping nirvana amongst upmarket shops and design boutiques.
Palace Hotel Tokyo (Deluxe Room)| Meals: BL

Day 3: Tokyo.

Journey to the centre of the sumo world for a sought-after glimpse behind the scenes of Japan’s national sport. The Ryogoku district is home to the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium and many heya (sumo stables). Step into a heya to see the rikishi (wrestlers) training and preparing for their next match, while lower-ranked rikishi take care of the household chores, as is customary in the sumo world. Witness a highlight of the training session, the "king of the castle" session where the winner stays on in the dohyo (ring) to meet the next challenger. On the occasion when the sumo visit is not available an afternoon introduction to Kabuki is a highlight. Meet with a local expert for tea and sweets whilst you learn about the storyline and characters found in a traditional performance. With your new-found knowledge it’s time to enjoy an authentic kabuki performance in the Ginza district.
Palace Hotel Tokyo (Deluxe Room)| Meals: B

Day 4: Tokyo – Kamakura – Tokyo.

Escape the neon bustle of the city for a taste of Japan-by-the-sea in Kamakura. Peel back the layers of the ancient capital of Japan with your walking tour. See Engaku-ji Temple, one of five great Zen temples in Kamakura, and Kotoku-in Temple, home to Daibutsu, the country’s second-largest bronze statue of Buddha, standing 13 metres high. Hear the fascinating story of the statue’s survival through a number of natural disasters. Continue to Hase-dera temple and uncover its many wonders, from the guardian statues of the temple gates to the small cave believed to have been built by the legendary Japanese Buddhist monk, Kukai. Then, board the century-old Enoden railway and get a glimpse into local life while riding back to the city centre. Meander through the busy streets of Komachi-dori, stopping to browse craft shops and food stalls, before arriving to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. Return to Tokyo.
Palace Hotel Tokyo (Deluxe Room)| Meals: BL

Day 5: Tokyo – Shima.

Ride the world-famous Shinkansen bullet train to Nagoya. Then, journey by road to Japan’s southerly Mie Prefecture, famous for its wild hills, dense forests and citrus trees.Pause at the famous Ise Shrine, considered one of the most sacred areas for the Shinto religion and a popular pilgrimage destination. Take a short walk to the Okage-Yokocho and browse the traditional shops selling local arts and foods. After lunch, indulge in dessert at a local food stall or café. Then, continue to the wedded rocks of Meoto-Iwa: two rocks connected by an impressive rope called a ‘shimenawa’, used in Shinto to ward off evil. Continue to Amanemu and find sanctuary in your uber-luxe hotel, set amongst the forested hills. 
Amanemu (Sora Suite) | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Shima.

Discover the real jewels of the Ise-Shima peninsula: pearls. Head to a fishing village and meet the local Ama – the female free-divers at the heart of the region’s thriving pearl industry. Step inside an amagoya (diver’s hut) and join your hosts for freshly prepared seafood and tea, as they share stories about their lives. Later, venture to the Yokoyama Viewpoint to soak in Mie’s unique landscapes and its coastline filled with pearl cultivations. Finally, pay a visit to Tenpaku, a picturesque artisan laboratory that produces katsuobushi (dried, fermented smoked tuna flakes, essential in the making of Japan’s signature dashi stock). Witness the production of this much-loved delicacy, which is offered each day to the gods of Ise Shrine, and taste some expertly prepared katsuobushi rice. Return to Amanemu for an evening at leisure. 
Amanemu (Sora Suite) | Meals: BL

Day 7: Shima – Kyoto.

Travel to Kyoto and enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Japan’s cultural capital. This evening, you’re invited to uncover the secrets of Japan's elegant geishas during an evening dining experience. Start with a walking tour of Kyoto's Gion district and learn the intriguing history of the geisha. See the theatre where geisha and their apprentices, ‘maiko’, perform traditional dances. Cross the famous Tatsumi Bashi Bridge and arrive at Shirakawa Canal to meander along the streets lined with cherry trees and brimming with charm. Take your seat in a Kyoto restaurant for an unforgettable meal in the company of a maiko. Treat your tastebuds to a kaiseki ryori (multi-course) dinner and sip sake as you learn more about your host’s world. Then, enjoy the traditional dance and musical entertainment performed by your maiko.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto (Deluxe Room) | Meals: BD

Day 8: Kyoto.

Wander around the ornamental Nijo Castle, famous for its Momoyama-style architecture, decorated sliding doors and “chirping nightingale” floors. Continue to the Golden Pavilion and discover one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. Find serenity at the Ryoan-ji Temple with Japan’s most recognisable Zen rock garden. Just a short distance from Ryoan-ji, find the stunning Kinkaku-ji Temple, where the pavilion is completely covered in handmade gold-leaf. After lunch, head to the Nishiki food market and onwards to the Sanjusangen-do Temple, famous for its 1,001 golden statues of the Goddess of Compassion Kannon.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto (Deluxe Room) | Meals: BL

Day 9: Kyoto.

A morning at leisure. This afternoon delve deep into Japanese culture with an exclusive half day tour of Kyoto. Begin with a visit to Kodai-ji, one of Kyoto’s most famous Zen Buddhist temples. Enjoy VIP access to the 400-year-old temple for your private tea ceremony. Meet your teishu (tea master) who will explain the fascinating culture around Japanese tea before beginning the ceremony. Join the master in making and drinking the tea, mirroring his choreographed movements.

Next, lose yourself in the charming Higashiyama district. Follow the picture-perfect lanes filled with tea houses and artisan shops to the Kiyomizu Temple. Enjoy a short tour of this architectural masterpiece and climb to its 13-metre high veranda for a rewarding view of Kyoto. 
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto (Deluxe Room) | Meals: B

Day 10: Kyoto – Osaka.

Leave Kyoto’s traditional streets and temples behind as you journey onwards to vibrant Osaka. On the way, stop at Fushimi Inari in the southern area of Kyoto to glimpse its thousands of red torii gates. Continue to Nara, Japan's former imperial capital. Venture to Nara Park to meet the friendly bowing deer. Take in the Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden structure and home to Japan’s largest Buddha, or Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine. Arrive in Osaka in the afternoon.
The St. Regis Osaka (Deluxe Room) | Meals: BL

Day 11: Osaka.

Step back in time at Osaka Castle. Dating back to 1583, this castle is set amongst an elegant 106-hectare park replete with myriad cherry trees. The surrounding garden and moats make the castle one of the must-see places in the city. Marvel at a floating garden observatory before returning to the hotel.  Later this afternoon, meet a local food expert to delve into Osaka’s world-famous food scene. Head to the bright neon lights of one of the main entertainment areas in town before diving into some narrow, hidden alleyways to discover the many local delicacies Osaka has to offer. Don’t miss the soul food, such as fresh okonomiyaki (savoury cabbage pancake with pork) and takoyaki (savoury ball-shaped pancakes with octopus). Finish your roving degustation with fresh sushi and a taste of the local brew, plus the opportunity to meet the sushi chef.
The St. Regis Osaka (Deluxe Room) | Meals: BD

Day 12: Depart Osaka.

Bid sayonara to Osaka as you transfer to the airport.
Meals: B

Show Full Itinerary


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Journey Dates & Prices

As this Private Journey can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey


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