Japan has recently made #5 on Conde Nast’s list of top 10 countries in the world this year, with Kyoto ranked 12 out of 50 in its list of the world’s most beautiful cities. And it’s not hard to see why.
A study in contrasts, Japan is steeped in time-honoured traditions, yet home to an economy at the forefront of hi-tech industry. The snow-clad peaks of iconic Mt Fuji and the mountains of Hokkaido, the Shinto shrines and geishas of Kyoto and the fast-moving neon-lit metropolis of Tokyo combine to make it a country of extraordinary beauty, while its historic and cultural attractions make it a unique and exciting travel destination.
With two departures in April and September next year, luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent’s hosted Festival and Culture of Japan journey offers up a perfect opportunity for guests to immerse themselves in this extraordinary and intriguing destination.
In spring, the landscape is awash with colour from the pink and red cherry blossoms, while the autumnal orange and red foliage is equally breath taking. Both journeys include visits to stunning gardens, ancient samurai villas and charming mountain villages, and there are two days of celebration at the Takayama Festival, one of the largest and most popular in Japan.
An expert local host will accompany guests throughout and introduce them to the country’s history and heritage from the modern era back through the feudal period of warlords and shogun to the early Nara village culture of the 8th century. It’s also a rare chance to experience some of the country’s most fascinating customs from a traditional tea ceremony to a kaiseki ryori dinner with a traditional maiko (apprentice geisha).
Other highlights include the scenic Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, a visit to the atelier of Tokyo’s most famous swordsmith family and some of the country’s most important Shinto shrines.
Date: 5 – 17 April 2018, 30 September – 12 October 2018
Twin share per person: $14,495.
Single supplement: $3,295
Maximum 18 guests
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