based on 13 nights inc. flights & selected experiences
* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
International economy flights and taxes from the UK
Gora Kadan Included on a Half Board Basis
Bullet Train Transfers
Please note if travelling during Japan's popular Cherry Blossom season prices can increase considerably.
A perfect first time trip to Japan for art and culture enthusiasts
Stay in a traditional ryokan, a truly authentic experience
Stay in the beautiful island of Naoshima, famous for contemporary art galleries and architecture
Visit Tokyo and Kyoto to see everything these wonderful cities offer, exploring art galleries and exhibitions en route
Visit one of Japan's most beautiful and revered gardens, Kenroku-en, in beautiful Kanazawa
Explore the extraordinary samurai and geisha districts in Kanazawa
Japan has four seasons and is best visited in spring from March to May and autumn from late September to November. December to January can be cold with snow and the summer is hot and humid. The end of March and early April is a particularly good time to visit as this is the cherry blossom season as is October for the autumn colours.
Designed with art and culture in mind, this inspiring journey explores the spectacular cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Hakone National Park and also the island of Naoshima, home to some of Japan's most impressive contemporary art.
Starting off the adventure, you’ll have three nights in the super modern, super buzzing city of Tokyo. WE have included a full day with a private guide during your time in the city allowing you to visit some of Tokyo’s best art galleries, including Ota Ukiyoe Art Museum, The National Art Center, 21 21 Design Sight by Issey Miyake or Nezu Museum. Alongside there we can also include the more traditional sites such as historic Askausa, the beautiful East Gardens of The Imperial Palace, Meiji Shrine as well as fashionable Harijuku, where electric fashions are king and quirky teens call home.
From Tokyo you’ll jump on the super-efficient bullet train over to Kanazawa that will take just over three hours. Kanazawa is one of our favourite cities in Japan and like Tokyo we have included a full day with a private guide and car to take you around all of the highlights. Spend time exploring Higashi-chaya geisha district, a traditional geisha house, local handicraft stores and gold leaf workshops. Your guide will also take you through Kanazawa's samurai district, Omicho fish market and Kenrokuen, one of Japan's most beautiful gardens. We also highly recommend visiting the 21 Century Museum of Contemporary Art, which holds a fantastic collection of modern art.
Then it is back to the east coast of Japan to spend three nights on Naoshima Island. From Kanazawa you’ll take a bullet train to Kyoto which will take just over two hours and from here change trains for your onward journey to Okayama which is a journey of an hour. On arrival in Okayama you'll be whisked to Uno Port for your short ferry to the island of Naoshima, famed for its world class galleries, contemporary art and architecture. You'll stay at Benesse House, a museum with rooms that display contemporary works of art. You'll be here for 3 nights so enjoy exploring galleries such as Chichu Museum, Lee Ufan Museum and The Art House Project. You'll also have time to discover the nearby island of Teshima, home to Les Archieves du Coeur, Pipilotti Rist, Particles in the AIR by Noe Aoki and Teshima Art Museum. Naoshima and the surrounding islands are home some of Japan's finest works of art and is a must visit for any art lover, making it perfect for this itinerary.
Next it is on to Kyoto, which you will reach by the ferry back to Uno Port followed by a short car transfer to Okayama and a direct bullet train to Kyoto. Home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a history to rival any other, Kyoto needs little introduction. It is by far one of the most beautiful cities in Asia. Visit Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) temple, Ryoan-ji temple, Kodaiji Temple, Yasakajinja shrine along with the National Museum of Modern Art and Nishiki market. In Kyoto we have included a day with a private guide for you so that you can explore all the highlights. Kyoto is not only home to some of the most beautiful examples of ancient architecture in Japan, but it also plays home to the sacred art of Geisha and flower arranging, two of Japan’s most revered art forms.
From Kyoto you will head back up the island of Honshu, again by bullet train to Odawara. On arrival in Odawara you will be met by your private chauffeur and transferred to Hakone, a volcanic national park at the base of Mt Fuji. On arrival we suggest visiting the spectacular Hakone Open Air Museum that's home to outdoor sculptures and an indoor gallery, displaying some of Picasso's collections. After lunch visit Lake Ashi by cable car and ropeway and if you like board a lake cruise to soak up the views. Alternatively this afternoon can be spent at Hakone's Museum of Arts, the Lalique Museum (Art Deco Jewellery) or simply spend time at your glorious ryokan, enjoying the incredible and traditional Japanese hospitality.
For your final night in Japan you will be driven back to Odawara station, where you will board the bullet train for the final time on your Japan adventure and head back to Tokyo. Spend your time visiting one of the galleries you potentially missed on your first stop or revisit a favourite before finally saying goodbye to this beautiful country and heading home the following day.
Enjoy the height of sophistication in Japanese society, having a sublime Kaiseki dinner made up of many delicious courses, accompanied by entertainment from two Geishas whilst you enjoy your meal.
Since the late 1980s Naoshima has become increasingly well known for its fine contempoary art galleries and architecture. It now has a global presence and is fast becoming one of the world's premier destinations for art. Here are some suggestions:
Enjoy a shopping trip around Kyoto. Wander down the picturesque streets of Gian where you can visit local handicraft and pottery shops.
Take part in a traditional Tea Ceremony and gain an insight into this ancient art form and key part of Japanese culture.
Spend a day discovering the traditional Japanese experiences of Zen meditation as you learn about the history of Zen before trying your hand at this spiritual form of meditation.
Take a tour of one of Kanazawa's key industries, Sake brewing. Have the chance to watch the process from start to finish which uses the same unchanged techniques that have been utilised for centuries.
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Naoshima Island, Japan
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