Our guide to Japan
Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Ise Peninsula
- 12 nights
- from $19700
At a Glance
Awaken your mind to all that Japan has to offer on this 13-day trip
The Japanese bullet train makes traveling around Japan a simple and pleasant experience
Enjoy a stay at not one but two Aman hotels
From sake to samurai, this itinerary is perfect for those inquisitive travelers
No trip to Japan is complete without a stay in a traditional ryokan
Your 13-day itinerary will begin in Japan's capital city of Tokyo and where better to start your trip? This dazzling city is full of life and unlike anything you will have ever experienced. From the rooftop bars above peer over the cutting-edge architecture and glittering skyline. Head down to street level and you'll see that life never seems to stop moving in this energetic metropolis. But that's not all Tokyo has to offer, it has charm too. Enjoy out of this world sushi and more types of noodle than you could ever imagine. Delve further and visit tea master Sen no Rikyu to learn about one of Japan's most traditional practices, the tea ceremony. Three days spent in Tokyo at the Palace Hotel make for a fantastic start to your trip.
From Tokyo you will then head west coast on Japan's famous bullet train. Araya Totoan, a traditional onsen dating back to the 1600s, will be your home for two nights, just an hour outside Kanazawa. Here immerse yourself into Japanese culture at this family run inn. Bathe in the onsen, wear a comfortable yukata and feast on a customary kaiseki dinner, a truly authentic experience. Outside of the ryokan, you will encounter the peaceful town of Yamashiro Onsen, unspoiled by tourism. Take a stroll through the narrow streets of this quaint and sleepy village or walk to the local shrines at the top of the hill. Araya Totoan is a great base for guests wanting to explore Kanazawa too. Visit Nomura-Ke, the only samurai house open to the public or spend time visiting some of the local art museums and soaking up the tranquil atmosphere in the beautiful Kaikaro gardens. A highlight not to be missed is a visit to the local sake brewery which will teach you about the origins of Japanese whiskey. Sample some for yourself before heading back for your last night at Araya Totoan.
The next leg of your journey will lead you to Japan's most refined city, Kyoto. Kyoto instantly evokes the image of tranquil temples set within beautifully kept gardens. In fact there are over a staggering 1,000 Buddhist temples in the city, each taking on different forms with the changing of the seasons. Staying at the Ritz Carlton, the city's most luxurious hotel, you are located right in the hub of Kyoto. Over three days visit some of the area's most sacred temples, explore the famous shopping district and uncover the fascinating world of the Geishas. Opt for a private dinner and encounter with a Geisha where you can experience the long-standing tradition of the geiko who dedicate their lives to preserving the ancient traditions of Japan.
From Kyoto you will be taken to the Mie Prefacture and to Amanemu. As the latest addition to Aman's portfolio, Amanemu overlooks the Bay of Pearls on the tip of the Osaki Peninsula. It's concept is based on Aman's philosophy of welcoming you home, instilling peace and tranquillity to any stay. The design of Amanemu was based on a traditional ryokan and its style is in keeping with its beautiful natural surroundings. Unwind here for three nights, visiting the sacred Ise Shrines, walking part of the Kumodo Trail or even learning about Ama diving. From here, return to Tokyo for your final night at the outstanding Aman Tokyo, a fantastic end to this Japanese awakening.
Location & Directions
Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Ise Peninsula
Your journey will begin in Tokyo where you will stay at the Palace Hotel for three nights. From there head west to Ishikawa Prefacture on the famous bullet train. You will stay at Araya Totoan for a total of two nights, just a hour's drive away from Kanazawa. Next onto Kyoto and to the Ritz Carlton Kyoto. Here you will spend three nights to explore the wonders of this rich and vibrant city. Further south still you will go onto Amanemu for three nights. End with a night at Aman Tokyo before flying home.
When to go
Japan has four seasons, similar to the UK and is best visited in spring from March to May and autumn from 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 colors.