Never has a destination so beautifully paired their ancient traditions and cultural wonders, with futuristic innovation and mega metropolis’s like Japan has.
You've arrived in Japan - where do you go first? That’s the question. Touch down in Tokyo and be amazed by soaring skyscrapers, mega shopping malls, unique fashion subcultures and a city where everything has a robotic voice; don’t be surprised if the person greeting you into a shop is actually animatronic! If it’s a cultural adventure you’re seeking, hop on the next Shinkansen (high-speed bullet train) at Tokyo Station and you can be out of the city in mere minutes. Spend your days discovering generation’s old shrines and catching a glimpse of geishas in Kyoto, visiting UNESCO sites and making friends with the bowing deers of Nara, or head to Osaka for some of Japan's best cuisine.
Head to Okinawa for golden beaches and a laid-back lifestyle that’ll feel world’s away from the concrete jungle of Tokyo, visit Hiroshima and Miyajima Island to see the world-famous floating tori gate, or even make a side step to Okunoshima to visit the world’s only rabbit island! With plenty of luxury hotels and ryokans (Japanese-style inns) to choose from, we’ll use our expertise to create the perfect Japan tour to suit you.
The best time to visit Japan is between March and May, as this is when the spring weather brings sunshine and warm temperatures as well as it being the right time to view the cherry blossoms. Outside of this, September through to November is also a great time to visit as the humid summer is easing off to leave behind much milder sunny days and beautiful autumn colours.
One of the first images that comes to mind when someone thinks of Japan, is often the pastel pink hues of the cherry blossoms that drift dreamily across the country during the Spring months.
With a fleeting blooming period of just two weeks in March or April, catching a good view of the cherry blossoms (or ‘Sakura’ in Japanese) can be a bit a difficult to plan but certainly not impossible when you know where to go. Meguro River is cleverly lined with beautiful sakura trees that drift along the river waters when they’ve fallen, while Ueno Park and Yoyogi Park in Tokyo are both home to many sakura trees. Why not do as the Japanese do and bring some food and drink for a picnic under the blossoms; an experience known as ‘Hanami’.
This incredible and important shrine sits in one of Tokyo’s surprisingly quiet parks just a stones throw from the bustling shopping Mecca of Harajuku.
If you only have the chance to visit one shrine while you’re in Tokyo, make it Meiji-jingu. The walk up to the shrine itself takes you through a beautiful park that looks it’s best during Spring and Autumn, and ends at the foot of the shrine. The shrine itself is all constructed from wood and offers travellers the chance to leave a prayer tablet and pick up good luck tokens and fortunes for the year ahead.
If you’re visiting Japan after falling in love with Sofia Coppola’s movie ‘Lost in Translation’, then your Japan holiday will be incomplete without a cocktail or two at the world-famous New York Bar.
This incredible bar soars over the Tokyo skyline and offers live entertainment and a curated selection of high-end whiskeys and cocktails to enjoy. Relive Bill Murray’s character’s experience with a Suntori whiskey, or opt for the L.I.T cocktail which was crafted to commemorate the film. The bar is set within the top floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel, which is also home to other fantastic bars and restaurants.
Arashiyama is a beautiful neighbourhood within the ancient capital city of Kyoto, which is home to an abundance of enchanting shrines, the famous Bamboo Forest and so much more.
Discover some of the country’s most incredible ancient shrines, UNESCO World Heritage Site’s full of natural beauty, and even a mountain that’s home to a few families of wild monkeys! If all of that isn’t enough, Arashiyama is also home to the world-famous Bamboo Forest and a wealth of beautiful luxury hotels and ryokans. Spend a day discovering the sights, and then wander beyond the beaten path and you’ll start seeing Japan’s authentic traditional houses, streets and parks that have evaded the tourist eye.
If you’ve ever seen ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ you’ll have seen the dreamlike vermillion-red torii gate tunnel that she runs through, which almost seems too beautiful to be true. However, it exists just a short train journey from the ancient capital of Kyoto.
This absolutely incredible tunnel is made up of 10 000 vermillion tore gates, with some dating back to 711 A.D.! The pilgrimage through the gates takes a few hours, but it’s worth every second as you’ll discover every gate was donated by a different person and company, and at the top of the mountain sits a shrine populated with tiny torii gate tokens. Be sure to visit either during the early morning or near the end of the day to avoid the crowds and get a good shot of the tunnel without any visitors.
You may think you’ve had Japanese food already, but we can guarantee you that you’ll never look back after trying real, authentic Japanese cuisine.
What’s makes Japanese cooking so special is the celebration of seasonality and how dedicated chef’s are about learning how to master the art of their speciality, and with more Michelin-awarded 3-starred restaurants than any other country in the world; they must be doing something right! Discover the freshest and finest sushi in the world at many of Tokyo’s minimalist restaurants, devour steaming bowls of mouth-watering ramen noodles along the bench of a tiny restaurant in Kyoto, or head up north to discover the comforting nabe (hot pot) dishes that’ll keep you warm in the winter.
In the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site-filled city of Nara sits an abundance of beautiful temples, historic museums and a few furry friends who politely bow every time you offer them a snack!
Just an hour or so away from Kyoto sits the capital city of Nara prefecture; Nara. This beautiful and idyllic city is home to huge UNESCO park that’s worth visiting for it’s incredible shrines, and one of Japan’s largest Buddha statues. The park is also home to many smaller, quieter shrines and temples, but the main event is the dozens of deers that come down to the town from the hills in search of friendly locals and travellers who will happily feed them! The deer’s have learned from the bowing etiquette of Japanese culture to bow before the person holding the food, which leads to some very beautiful photos and a truly unforgettable experience!
This remarkable city came into the world’s spotlight at the end of World War Two after the first atomic bomb that the world has ever seen was dropped into the city, causing a rippling wave of destruction that has taken decades to recover from.
The Hiroshima that exists today is a beautiful, flourishing city of peace and gratitude, that’s dedicated to educating their youth and travellers about their past and how they’re looking forward to a brighter and more connected future. The city itself is home to an incredible collection of cities, parks, a spectacular castle, many tranquil shrines and the A-bomb museum. Definitely stop by Okonomi-mura’s 4-floor establishment to try world-famous Hiroshima Okonomiyaki (a savoury-pancake type of dish!).
Discover Japan’s breathtakingly beautiful floating tori gate, on the gorgeous and idyllic island of Itsukushima.
Just a quick 15 minute ferry ride from Hiroshima sits a beautiful island that feels a world-away from the high-rises and wide-open boulevards of Hiroshima’s city. Itsukushima is home to tranquil parks, a picturesque market street and a wealth of beautiful shrines and temples including the world-famous floating torii; a huge bright vermillion gate that stands in the shallow waters 200 metres offshore since 1186! Wait for the tide to come in at sunset for the best shot of the gate seemingly floating on the waters.
Save this experience for your final night in Tokyo, and you’ll wish you had more time to spare in this incredible city.
The Tokyo Skytree is the 2nd tallest structure in the world (just behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa), with an impressive height of 634 metres! You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world as you take in the incredible sights of Tokyo and beyond if you visit during the day, but we recommend visiting after sundown so you can take in the millions of dazzling lights from the city’s buildings and skyscrapers against the blue night sky; it’s truly remarkable to witness.
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