14 Days – Departs Daily on a Private Basis
Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa & Shirakawago, Yamanouchi & Jigokudani
Ideal for winter, this private Japan tour includes must-see cultural highlights in Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa, walking through a beautiful rural village, visiting the workshops of traditional crafts people and an excursion to Jigokudani, where snow monkeys soak in hot springs.
Begin in Tokyo, the capital of contemporary culture and style in Japan. During touring with your private guide and driver, visit Tokyo’s most interesting neighborhoods, such as Ginza, Aoyama, Shibuya and Harajuku. Experience Japanese pop culture and also tour important historical sites such as Meiji Jingu Shrine and Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa. See striking contemporary architecture and the latest Japanese gadgets. Visit some of Tokyo’s best museums according to your interests, such as the Mori Art Museum, Edo-Tokyo Museum or Tokyo National Museum. Also experience Tokyo’s exciting culinary scene by visiting Tsukiji Fish Market, the Kappabashi kitchenware district, and our favorite specialty shops and department store food halls. Upon request, additional experiences can be arranged such as watching sumo wrestlers practice at a sumo stable, meetings with culinary and sake experts, private martial arts lessons, visiting favorite family attractions such as the Ghibli Museum, and attending local festivals. Artisans of Leisure can also make reservations at our favorite restaurants in Tokyo, which range from local noodle shops to some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world.
Next, travel by first-class shinkansen (bullet train) to enchanting Kyoto, the heart of Japanese culture and tradition. During touring with your private guide and driver, experience the best of this elegant city. Visit important temples and shrines. Gain access to imperial villas and private gardens such as Katsura Rikyu and Saihoji (the Moss Temple). Enjoy an exclusive private tea ceremony. Stroll through a bamboo forest. Enjoy a Buddhist vegetarian lunch at a local temple. Tour traditional geisha districts such as Gion. Visit markets and food purveyors to sample Kyoto’s culinary specialties, considered the most refined in Japan. Explore antiques districts, and browse our favorite shops for exquisite ceramics, lacquerware and other crafts. One day, enjoy an excursion to the I.M. Pei-designed Miho Museum; to ancient Nara, the birthplace of Buddhism in Japan; or to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Park and Museum and nearby Miyajima with its iconic torii(Shinto gate) that seems to float on the water. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can also arrange a wide range of other unique activities in and around Kyoto, such as an exclusive private dinner accompanied by geisha and maiko entertainment, private Zen meditation in a local Buddhist temple, meetings with local craftspeople, ikebana (flower arranging) lessons, visiting a master swordsmith, meeting with ceramics experts, tea tastings and tea plantation visits, attending a sumo tournament, manga drawing lessons, a visit to a private machiya (traditional merchant house), hiking to temples in the hills surrounding the city and private Japanese cooking classes.
Continue to Kanazawa, a cultural gem. One of Japan’s wealthiest cities during the feudal era, Kanazawa is known for beautiful gardens, traditional architecture, acclaimed contemporary art and folk art museums, and fresh seafood from the nearby Sea of Japan. With your expert local guide, tour former samurai and geisha neighborhoods. Explore renowned Kenrokuen Garden, one of the most famous gardens in Japan. Tour fascinating Myoryuji (the Ninja Temple), and visit museums such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and Ishikawa Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts. Visit a pottery kiln and shops specializing in Kanazawa’s celebrated silk, lacquer and gold leaf products. Also tour the city’s central food market, and experience Kanazawa’s excellent, refined cuisine at our favorite restaurants. One day, enjoy a private excursion to Shirakawago, a rural village and UNESCO World Heritage Site of thatched-roof farmhouses. Explore the traditional structures in the town, and also go for a guided snowshoe tour through the snow-covered forest, a winter wonderland.
Continue into the mountains of Nagano to the Yamanouchi region and Yudanaka Onsen. During private touring, visit the renowned Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park, where wild macaques popularly known as snow monkeys like to soak in hot springs during cold weather. Also explore the highlights of Obuse – a nearby town known for chestnuts and associated with renowned artist Hokusai – including interesting museums, temples, specialty food shops and sake breweries. Return to Tokyo for last-minute shopping, and enjoy the city.
This Is Just A Teaser Of The Many Possibilities Awaiting You. Japan Goes Well With: South Korea, China, Philippines, Hong Kong MEET AN EXPERT We love Japan’s beautiful gardens, especially when covered in winter snow. My favourite? Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa. CONTACT US