These tours are great for first time visitors to Japan looking for comfortable accommodation with all entrance fees and most meals included. Our Japan Deluxe Tours are accomodated with professional tour guides, fluent in both Japanese and English, to ensure an educational and valuable visit. Air-conditoned, private coaches are also included, so you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free time in Japan. Our tours range from 7 to 21 days, to various regions of Japan.
These tours combine enrichment, enjoyment, and education with time to truly absorb and appreciate your surroundings. Our Deluxe-Plus small group tours are created to cater to those who are interested in having a deeper understanding of Japan's culture. You will have the opportunity to participate in culturally rich activities and visit destinations only locals may know. Experience luxurious hotels and travel at a leisurely pace when you book a Deluxe-Plus small group tour.
Explore the must-see sights and enjoy the hassle-free trip to Japan at an affordable price. Our most cost-effective way to see the highlights of Japan while staying in budget-friendly accommodations. If you would like to have a quick stop to sample the must-see sights of Japan, or plan to explore Japan on your own but would like to take a short trip to learn about Japan before your self-guided journeys. These are the tours for you.
Explore Japan off the beaten path via Japanese public transportation, walking, hiking, cycling and more. Take more time to enjoy local experiences and picturesque landscape. Our Active Small Group Tours combine the best of cultural destinations with off-the-beaten-path via Japanese public transportation, Discover the country of Japan the way the locals do and see Japan from a different angle. A focus on getting away from the crowds and into the real Japan, see the diversity of Japan’s countryside unfold before your eyes.
The price is per person, based on twin or triple room occupancy
For single travelers, this tour has a single supplement. This guarantees a single room throughout the tour
Prices are excluding international flights
Single room types are rooms for
single room occupants.
One person will be occupying the hotel room throughout the tour.
Twin room types are rooms set for two people who will occupy one room, but will have two separate beds.
A double room is a room that has one bed for two people to share.
A triple room is one room where three people may share the same room. It has three separate beds.
Japanese Style Room
A Japanese-style room traditionally does not have a western-style bed, it is a tatami floor room with futon bedding. However, if you prefer a western-style bed, you may request one though we cannot guarantee it.
Please note: If you would like to request neighboring rooms next to your traveling companions, you and your traveling companions must have the same room types in order to be next to each other. For example, if you have requested a double room, but your traveling companions have requested a twin, or triple room, then neighboring rooms cannot be accommodated. However, if both you and your traveling companions match in room type, then neighboring rooms will likely be arranged for your convenience.
Japanese Gardens are known across the world for their peaceful elegance and charm, and walking through one is like taking step into a landscape painting. They're unique in that they're essentially designed to represent nature and have been developed and well-maintained by Japanese gardeners who know trees well. There are many different kinds, including large strolling gardens with water, zen rock gardens, and moss gardens, each with features that set them apart. These landscapes are metic... View More
Japanese Gardens are known across the world for their
peaceful elegance and charm, and walking through one
is like taking step into a landscape painting. They're
unique in that they're essentially designed to represent
nature and have been developed and well-maintained by
Japanese gardeners who know trees well. There are
many different kinds, including large strolling gardens
with water, zen rock gardens, and moss gardens, each
with features that set them apart. These landscapes are
meticulously designed, not only for a quiet place to sip
green tea in the shade, but also for a moment of
thoughtful contemplation on recurring themes of
harmony, purity, tranquility, and beauty. Each year, the
autumn leaves provide an especially lovely atmosphere
that is not to be missed. This is also an art and
architecture tour, and Japanese Art and Architecture is
known for their distinctive design in both traditional and
modern styles, with a creative genius that can be seen in
their museums, preserved heritage districts, and city
skylines. This tour of Japan features the best garden, art,
and architecture experiences in the country in a
comprehensive 14-day itinerary.
Your journey through Japan's best garden, art, and architecture hotspots will be facilitated by an English- speaking, government certified guide with over 10 years of experience. Having studied under the NHK Kyoto garden program, your knowledgeable and friendly guide will bring a specialized expertise to your tour. Your expert guide also brings a passion for Japanese art and architecture that they can't wait to share with you. Additionally, the tour includes meeting an insightful tour with a Japanese garden expert and former gardener, as well as an exclusive visit to a private garden in Kyoto.
Discover the best gardens of Japan, as well as other gorgeous locations as you travel through Himeji, Matsue, Naoshima, Takamatsu, Kyoto, Nara, and Tokyo. Tour the Adachi Museum of Art, which features an award-winning garden and outstanding exhibits. You will also see the most famous rock garden in Japan at Ryoanji Temple. The tour includes such breathtaking locations as Himeji, Matsue, Hakone, and Lake Kawaguchi near Mount Fuji, covered in their autumn colors. A Japan Art Tour means museums, and this itinerary has hand-picked some of the most fascinating museums in the country, including the Adachi Art Museum, the Hakone Open Air Museum, the Nezu Museum, and the Kawaguchiko Muse Museum. By far the most inspirational is Naoshima Art Island, with museums and galleries built by famed Japanese architect Tadao Ando. We include a night at the Benesse House - a combination hotel and art gallery that immerses you in modern artwork in every room. As for architecture, we feature a set of Architecture Walking Tours through Osaka, plus Tokyo's Omotesando, and Ginza neighborhoods. We also provide a Geisha District Walking Tour in Kyoto. With the additional tours of historic Japanese castles and temples, our itineraries offer the perfect blend of ancient and modern Japanese architecture.
Travelers on this itinerary can also experience some of Japan's traditional culture, including green tea ceremony (sado), zen meditation, and ikebana flower arranging (ikebana). Other experiences include trying on a Japanese kimono, eating Kyoto cuisine in the company of an apprentice geisha (maiko), and drinking tea in a garden teahouse. Explore the colorful city of Tokyo, where you will visit its bustling shopping streets and historical landmarks. Enjoy your Japanese garden- focused tour accompanied with an original castle, top shrines and temples, shopping areas, a scenic cruise, autumn leaves, and much more.
Browse our itinerary below to explore in greater detail the beautiful Japanese gardens, thought-provoking Japanese artworks, fascinating Japanese architecture, and many other wonders you can discover on our Japan Garden, Art, and Architecture Tour.
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All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.
We require US$200 deposit per person to hold the space at time of booking and the final payment is due 2 month prior to departure.
Travel by air conditioned, luxury private coach, baggage handling free.
For arrivals at Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX) or Itami Airport (ITM), this tour starts in Osaka and ends in Tokyo, with departures at Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND).
Vegetarian or special meals can be arranged.
Please note that the meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, please contact us for the transfer if needed.
Welcome to Osaka! We will pick you up from the airport and take to the hotel by private car.
NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, please contact us for the transfer if needed.
NOTE 2: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
Travel to Himeji Castle nicknamed "white heron castle" for its noble gentility. It's one of Japan’s few remaining original castles and one of the 2 first World Cultural Heritage Sites. Following a long winding road, you’ll view its magnificent castle tower. Elegant from the outside, the interior quickly changes to a more masculine, simple aesthetic highlighting its beautifully preserved wooden features. Next to the castle is Koko-en Garden, featuring a large pond with a dynamic waterfall, full of colorful carp, and some other gardens. Then, you will make your way to Adachi Art Museum and Garden. This garden has been rated as the finest Japanese-styled garden by JOJG for many years in a row. It's unique in that you enjoy it by seeing it through the windows like "living pictures" before seeing the exhibits of real paintings on the second floor of the museum. It stands one of the most sophisticated gardens and museums in Japan. Tonight, you will experience staying at a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) facing Lake Shinji in Matsue City in Japan.
Today, you will visit landmarks around Matsue, a small and cozy city admired for an abundance of lovely water features including two large lakes and castle moats, with a long northern coastline bordering the Sea of Japan. First, tour Matsue Castle, another of Japan's remaining original castles, bordered by the preserved remains of an Edo- era castle town. Enjoy the area's feudal atmosphere, taking a small boat tour along the castle moat and walking around the former residential area of samurai warriors. Next, visit the Yushi-en Garden, a lovely garden on an island in the middle of Lake Nakaumi, featuring trees bursting with red and yellow leaves, where you will also have today’s lunch.
Today, we travel to Naoshima Art Island for a day of inspiration, with buildings designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. We start with the Art House Project, where artists renovate old houses, turning the house and the space inside into a new work of art. Then we move to the Benesse House, a combination of modern museum and deluxe hotel, with myriad works of artists from all over the world. These include a series of outdoor sculptures set up on the park and shoreline. Next, we will visit the Chichu Art Museum. Built into a hill on the southern coast, Chichu Art Museum’s underground display rooms use natural light to showcase works from a limited selection of artists including Claude Monet and James Turrell. Finally,Tonight, you will stay in the Benesse House, which is equal parts hotel and art gallery, for a relaxing evening of artistic immersion.
In the morning, we make our way into Takamatsu, stopping first at a local bonsai farm. This private farm offers an exclusive look into the world of bonsai - miniature bonsai pine trees shaped into elegant and thought-provoking works of art. Continue to Ritsurin Garden, a traditional Japanese garden regarded as one of the top gardens of Japan. The garden features peaceful walking paths beneath well-maintained trees and 400-year-old Kikugetsu-tei teahouse with an excellent view, sitting next to a large pond . The garden is so tactlfully designed that each step will make you enjoy a different view. From there, we head across the Akashi- Kaikyo Bridge - the longest suspension bridge in the world - to Osaka, arriving just in time for a dinner of Wagyu Beef. Wagyu has become world-famous as a richly-textured, high-quality beef that is so tender it practically melts in your mouth, and tonight you will be able to savor for yourself the mouthwatering taste of this prized meat.
Today we travel to Nara, the ancient capital of Japan back in the 8th century. Our first stop is the city's most iconic historical landmark - Todaiji Temple, famous for the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha. The thousand adorable Shika deer wandering freely around the grounds of the temple make Todaiji especially charming. From Todaiji's Nandaimon Gate, its a short walk to Isui- en Garden, a name meaning “garden founded on water” in reference to its picturesque ponds dotting the green landscape, fed by the small river nearby. We go from there to the Higashimuki shopping area, where you will have lunch on your own. Then we take a short trip to see the five-storied pagoda of Kofukuji Temple - family temple of the noble and powerful Fujiwara clan and an iconic city landmark. We also visit its private museum full of Japan's most precious treasures from the 8th Century. On the southern edge of the temple grounds is a local contemplation spot - Sarusawa-ike Pond, lined with a row of willow trees. Nearby is Naramachi - an Edo-era heritage quarter, where you will find the nearly 100 year- old Nigiwai-No-Ie House. This former merchant's dwelling was simply built with old- fashioned tatami rooms, a traditional kitchen, and a pretty backyard garden. Then we return to Osaka for a relaxing evening at the hotel.
In the morning, sightseeing in Osaka continues with a visit to Hasshu-an, a charming establishment that intruduces visitors to Japanese traditions. Here we will enjoy a Green Tea Ceremony, an Ikebana (flower- arranging) Experience, and a lesson in Zen Meditation. Next, we enjoy a view from Harukas 300 Observatory - Japan's tallest skyscraper. We also go to Shitennoji Temple, an old temple established in the 7th Century. Then explore the diverse collection of structures in the city with an Osaka Architecture Walking Tour. We will see the Louis Vuitton Maison Osaka Midosuji, designed by architect Jun Aoki with architecture that looks like billowing sails. Then we travel to the Galleria Akka which was designed by Tadao Ando. We will also visit the Daimaru Shinsaibashi, which features a blend of art-deco and neo-gothic designed by architect William Merrel Vories, an American architect favored by many Japanese. We will visit other iconic buildings around the city as well before going back to the hotel for the evening.
In the morning, a short drive takes you to Kyoto, where our first attraction of the day is Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site from Japan’s feudal era, and palatial temporary residence of the Tokugawa shogun while he was in Kyoto.The gorgeous buildings and elegant interior are well preserved – the foremost example of Edo-era castle architecture. Next, we visit the Nishiki Market. This narrow shopping street, commonly referred to as 'Kyoto's Kitchen,' is filled with shops selling fish, pickles, sushi and Japanese sweets, and also small eating places. Then, visit the Silver Pavilion, where you can feel what Zen culture is like. This was a former retirement villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, who was a great connoiseur and patron of art and culture but a poor politician. The memory of that historical period can still be seen while strolling by rare dry sand gardens and old structures. After, you will take a walk down the famous Kyoto Philosopher's Path - a charming path along the river lined with cherry trees. Then meet with a Japanese garden expert and former gardener, and go together to visit Murin-an - a charming Japanese strolling garden built after Japan started rapid Westenization in the late 19th Century, designed by Ogawa Jihei, a famous garden designer at that time. While here, you can talk with the Japanese garden expert and ask questions about the time-honored art of Japanese landscape gardening. Then, we enjoy a dinner of Kyoto cuisine in the company of a Maiko, or Geisha apprentice, who shows you an elegant traditional dance in gorgeous kimono. After dinner, we continue with a mini walking tour of the Gion Geisha Entertainment District and Ponto-cho. Ponto-cho is an alley packed with various restaurants that serve everything from traditional and modern Kyoto cuisine to foreign dishes. The nearby Kamogawa River lends a charming atmosphere to the whole alley as you walk past the various storefronts.
Begin the day with a visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. This was the former palace of Japan’s Imperial Family for 500 years until 1868, during which the capital moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. It means the Emperor moved to Tokyo at that time.Then we will tour the Arashiyama district. First is a visit to see Tenryuji Temple where you can catch a glimpse of a gorgeous landscape garden with a big pond and borrowed scenery. Then we walk through a dense grove of towering bamboo trees before our visit to Ryoanji Temple. Ryoanji is home to a world- famous rock garden, or "karesansui". While the exact meaning of the garden is a mystery, one can't help but feel a sense of peace and tranquility from its simple, elegant design. Next, we visit the Golden Pavilion, which is perhaps Kyoto's most renowned landmark. The three- story temple is covered in shining gold-leaf and topped with a representation of a phoenix. Enjoy exclusive access to a local private garden in Kyoto by visiting the Namikawa Yasuyuki Sippo Memorial Museum. Namikawa Yasuyuki was a Japanese cloisonne artist known for his naturalistic style and transparent black enamel, and this museum houses some of his most famous works. Finally, enjoy a Kimono Wearing experience where you will be able to try on a colorful kimono, and take pictures while in the traditional Japanese attire.
Before traveling to Mt. Fuji, you will first board one of Japan’s high-speed bullet trains to experience the thrill of this high-speed local transportation. Disembark at Shin- Fuji Station near Lake Kawaguchi to visit the Kawaguchiko Muse Museum, featuring charming dolls made by renowned artist Yuki Atae. Continue around the lake to the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, located on the other side. This art museum is devoted to the works of silk-dyeing artist Kubota Itchiku, who devoted his life to recreating elaborate kimonos using the lost art of silk- dyeing. Then take a stroll around Oishi Park, which sits on the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko and offers spectacular views of Mount Fuji when it's sunny.
This morning, enjoy a scenic cruise along Lake Ashinoko, which borrows scenery from Mt. Fuji to create a stunning landscape. The next attraction will be the Hakone Open- Air Museum, which displays abstract sculptures and exhibitions from various artists. It is recognized for successfully balancing its outdoor exhibits with the surrounding mountains and valley. Then make your way into the heart of Tokyo to Rikugi-en Garden, one of Tokyo's most beautiful landscape gardens, Built in 1700, the garden is an excellent example of Edo Periond strolling gardens with parthways around a central pond.
After breakfast, we will make our way to the garden of the hotel we are currently staying at. This beautiful garden with a dynamic waterfall is steeped in 400 years of samurai lord history and possesses a peaceful ambience while nestled in the heart of Tokyo. Next, we will go to enjoy the natural atmosphere of the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Take a Walking Architecture Tour of Omotesando, a fashionable street in the center of Tokyo, which showcases contemporary architecture designed by renowned architects. Then, at the Nezu Museum, you can enjoy a collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art that Nezu Kaichiro put together. After bombing in World War II destroyed some of the collection, Nezu Kaichiro’s son continued to add to it to ensure that his father’s collection remained impressive. After, we tour Roppongi Hills, a modern urban development project that has become a sort of "city inside a city" with residential apartments, offices, shops, restaurants, an observation deck...all centered around Mori Tower, which is one of Tokyo's tallest skyscrapers. Finally, we tour the Mori Art Museum – displaying modern art from new artists around the world. Though modern art can sometimes be complex, the Mori Art Museum aims to have exhibitions which are accessible to the everyday viewing public.
The second day of Tokyo sightseeing begins with a visit to Asakusa Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple with Kaminarimon gate - a gate hung with an enormous paper lantern in the midst of old areas of Tokyo. Next, board a Sumida River Cruise, where you can enjoy urban scenery of the city on your way to Hama Rikyu Garden, a huge traditional landscape garden next to the sea surrounded by Tokyo's skyscrapers. Visit the famous Tsukiji Outer Market, home to tasty and fresh sushi, and have lunch on your own. Finally, discover the unique urban designs of Ginza architecture on a local walking tour with your friendly guide. This is the last night of the tour, and we have farewell dinner.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends.
Checkout time is 11 am.
Transfer to Tokyo Narita Airport or Haneda Airport by private car.
NOTE 3: The departure airport transfer is ONLY available on the last day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights after the tour, please contact us for the transfer if needed.
NOTE 4: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
They city of Himeji is located in western Kansai and is known for one of Japan’s most beautiful and finest castles. This is a popular destination or side-trip for tourist visiting Kyoto or Osaka. Himeji is famously known for the beautiful Himeji castle, which is both a national treasure castle and listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are plenty of shops, food, and sight-seeing spots available for tourist visiting Himeji.
Japan's best preserved feudal castle (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Himeji Castle is located in the city of Himeji and is only a five minute bus ride away from Himeji Station. Himeji Castle the most popular and visited castle in Japan, it is also listed both as one of Japan’s national treasure castles and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This castle is also one of Japan’s twelve original castles, which means it was never destroyed in its history and has been standing since it was originally completed in the year 1609. The surrounding area is also one of Japan’s most popular cherry blossom destinations during the spring.
Beautiful Japanese Garden next to the famous Himeji Castle.
Located right next to the famous Himeji Castle is the beautiful Kokoen Garden. This garden was constructed and completed in the year 1992 where noble residences once stood in the past. The landscape features various trees, flowers, bamboos, ponds, and waterfalls. Visitors can explore and enjoy the tea at the tea house or at the restaurant located on the garden grounds.
Yasugi is a city at the eastern end of Shimane Prefecture. Directly to the west is the town of Higashi Izumo and then Matsue city. Directly to the east is the city of Yonago (Tottori Prefecture). On October 1, 2004, the towns of Hakuta and Hirose merged with the city of Yasugi. It used to be important for its steel production. It is best known for the comedic yasugibushi dance and as the home to the Adachi Museum of Art.
Art museum with a spectacular garden.
The Adachi Museum of Art is another one of Matsue’s most popular museums and destination. This museum is best known for its award winning garden and art exhibits. Guests are able to enjoy one of the best gardens in Japan and view over more than one thousand pieces of art. One of the most popular exhibits is the museum’s ceramics exhibit.
The city of Matsue is the capital city of the Shimane Prefecture. This city has many fun attractions for tourist visiting the area. The most popular attraction is the Matsue Castle, which is one of the 12 original castles of Japan. Another attraction is the Adachi Museum of Art, which holds various pieces of art and holds one of the most beautiful garden in Japan. Other attractions include the former samurai district of Matsue, museums, food, and flower gardens.
One of Japan’s twelve original castles.
Located in the city of Matsue is one of Japan’s twelve original castles, which means it has never been destroyed in its history since completion. Inside the castle there are various original artifacts and items that date back from the 1600s. The top of the castle offers a fantastic view of the surrounding area for guests that wish to reach the top.
Castle Town Landscape Cruise.
One of the most enjoyable activities for guests visiting the Matsue Castle area is taking one of the Horikawa boat tours. There are many boat tours available for guests that would take them around Matsue Castle and the surrounding canals. There are several stops along most of the boat tours and there are often recordings in other languages which teach about the local history of the area.
Former samurai district of Matsue.
The city of Matsue hosts many tourist attractions, and one of the most popular attractions is the former samurai district of Matsue. Many of the buildings and homes in this district once belonged to samurai families and have been preserved. Now many of the buildings and homes in this area is open for the public to explore. One of the most popular buildings in this district is the Matsue Buke Yashiki, which is the former residence of a high ranking samurai family. This former residence is a great example of how a high ranking samurai family once lived and features many weapons and other artifacts.
Vibrant and fashionable Japanese garden with 120 different types of peony.
One of the most vibrant and fashionable Japanese gardens around, Yushien Garden, on Daikonshima Island near in Shimane Prefecture, is a landscape manicured to perfection. The garden, is renowned for cultivating over a hundred and fifty different types of peony. Although the garden carries a splendid elegance throughout the year, the best time to go to Yushien is, arguably, in late April, when hundreds of peonies are set afloat in the garden pond creating a fantastic sea of brilliant pink peony blossoms.
Located in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan is the Naoshima Island. This island is best known for its modern art, museums, architecture, and sculptures. The most popular attraction in Naoshima Island is the Benesse House, which is a modern art museum and hotel. There are plenty of museums to visit for guests at this destination. The most popular museums include the Chichu Museum, Lee Ufan Museum, Ando Museum, and other various attractions with unique artwork.
Art scattered around a small port town.
A collection of abandoned structures renovated into special venues dedicated towards contemporary art in Naoshima Island, Japan
A traditional residence with an unusual interior.
The Ando Museum is a work of modern architectural beauty designed by and dedicated towards Tadao Ando, also known as one of the most famous modern architects of Japan. Located by the Honmura Port as one of the featured buildings of the Art House Projects on Naoshima Island, visitors are greeted by the perfect fusion of traditional and modern traits featured at this museum. The Ando Museum infuses new life in the century year old traditional wooden house of Honmura by adding the signature use of concrete to the overall design. The contrasts between the elements of past and the present with traditional aspects of wood intertwined by the harmony of concrete fused together to form the atmosphere created by Tadao Ando, attracting thousands of visitors to travel to Naoshima Island every year. Travelers can learn the history of art on Naoshima through varies photographs and models, along with Ando’s architectural work which consists of most venues on the island. The gift shop in the museum has gained popularity for selling items related to Ando including post cards with the Chichu Art Museum and personally autographed by Tadao Ando himself, a perfect souvenir for friends of all ages.
One of the most popular museums located on Naoshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea.
The Chichu Art Museum is one of the most popular museums located on Naoshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea. The museum itself is a combination of art and architecture, even though most of the building is underground, it uses natural light to brighten up the artwork. Only a few people are allowed in at a time for the museum because appreciating the artwork in the museum is best viewed with as few people around as possible. There is a small café and waiting area, and it is also advised for guests to arrive early because the crowds will get rather large.
Combination of art museum and hotel.
The Benesse House is the most popular destination for guests visiting Naoshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea. This building is both a modern art museum and a resort hotel. The main attraction is building is the modern art museum, where different works of art are displayed from both Japan and all over the world. Visitors staying at the hotel have twenty-four hour access to the museum and there is also restaurants, cafes, shops, and a spa. Visitor do not have to stay at the hotel to have access to all the amazing facilities at the Benesse House.
The city of Takamatsu is the capital of the small Kagawa Prefecture. It is the home of one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens and is famous for its udon. There is plenty for visitors to explore and experience in this city. One of the most popular attractions is the Ritsurin Koen Park, which is one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens. There are also many museums available, like the popular Shikoku Mura Village and the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum. Other attractions and activities include tasting the famous Sanuki Udon, hiking, bike riding, shopping arcades, and many more.
Farm specializing in the cultivation of various bonsai trees.
Bonsai is an ancient form of tree cultivation which uses special techniques in pruning and training to produce minature trees in small planters. The final result is an artful representation of a full-grown tree. Private nurseries and farms across Japan have specialized in this form of cultivation, displaying numerous species of trees, trimmed and shaped to a broad variety of interesting and though provoking shapes. And at one of these farms, you'll be able to observe the expert cultivation of these decorative trees up close.
Outstanding Japanese style landscape garden (Place of Scenic Beauty).
Ritsurin Koen Park is one of Japan’s most beautiful landscape garden located in the city of Takamastu. Many consider this garden to belong on the list of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens. This spacious and beautiful park features many ponds, hills, trees, bridges, and pavilions. There are a number of walking routes throughout the park and provides views that would leave any guest satisfied.
The centerpiece of Ritsurin Garden, Kikugetsu-tei Teahouse is an ancient pavilion still serving fresh matcha tea to visitors near a peaceful pond.
Kikugetsu-tei, or "Moon-scooping Pavilion" was placed in the garden by one of the Takamatsu lords who ruled the area in the mid-1600s, and it has been serving tea to the park's visitors ever since. This ancient teahouse is constructed of plain wood darkened with age, and is sparsely adorned. But it maintains an air of elegant charm with nothing more than the refreshing sight of verdant surroundings, the playful splash of koi fish in the nearby pond, and the taste of freshly whisked matcha tea served in an exquisite, though plain-patterned, ceramic teacup. While on the veranda overlooking Ritsurin Park, sitting in the same spot once occupied by noble samurai, visitors to Kikugetsu-tei Teahouse truly feel transported back to feudal Japan.
Osaka is the second largest city in Japan in terms of size located not too far from Kyoto. This city is one of the top three destinations for tourist visiting Japan after Tokyo and Kyoto. Osaka is the location of the popular Universal Studios Japan, Osaka castle, and Namba. There is plenty to experience in Osaka, from shopping to visiting temples and shrines, Osaka has plenty of destinations to experience Japan.
There are many restaurants located within Kobe that serve Japanese or international cuisine, but there are many places that offer Kobe beef. Kobe is known around the world for its famous Kobe beef, which is beautifully marbled, delicious, and very expensive beef. The most popular way to enjoy Kobe beef is in a restaurant where the chef grills the meat in front of the guests. Eating Kobe beef is a popular activity for tourist visiting Kobe and can provide a delicious and unforgettable experience.
Hasshu-an is a charming establishment that offers demonstration lessons introducing visitors to Japan's time-honored traditions.
Hasshu is a word referencing Japan's ancient past, and Hasshu-an is a relaxing retreat that immerses visitors in traditional Japanese culture. Based in Osaka, Hasshu-an shares with visitors an inside look at the national heritages of green tea ceremony, ikebana flower arranging, and zen meditation, as demonstrated by professional, friendly instructors. The head of the establishment is a Buddhist monk and master of both tea ceremony and flower arranging, eagerly sharing with travelers his love for these time-honored customs. The whole atmosphere of this charming hermitage is tranquility itself, steeped with the simple elegance and reflective wabi-sabi of traditional Japan.
Traditional way of preparing and drinking tea.
Green tea has a rich history in Japan and has been the most popular non-alcoholic beverage for years. A green tea ceremony is the ceremonial way of preparing and drinking green tea that has been practiced for hundreds of years. The ceremony is full of many rituals and has a strong Zen Buddhism influence. The tea is prepared by the host for the guests and is usually green tea made from powdered tea leaves.
A form of expressing Japanese discipline and beauty using flower arranegments.
Ikebana is one of Japan’s oldest crafts, which is the art of flower arrangement. The history of Ikebana (also known as Kado in Japanese) is rich and has different techniques and styles just like any other form of art. There are classes and lessons available for visitors to attend that teaches the art of Ikebana. Guests can learn about the different techniques, styles, and history of Ikebana while taking these lessons.
Zazen is a type of meditation unique to Zen Buddhism that functions at the heart of the practice.
Zen meditation is unique and is central in Zen Buddhism. This form of meditation calms both the body, mind, and to also gain enlightenment by seeking insight into the nature of existence. There are lessons and classes available for visitors where a Zen priest guides guests to practice Zen meditation and teaches the significance of Zen as part of the Japanese culture.
Harukas 300 Observatory is the top three floors of the Abeno Harukas skyscraper - the tallest building in Japan.
Abeno Harukas is a skyscraper in the city of Osaka, and the tallest building in Japan (not counting the towers). Standing at 300 meters tall, the building contains 60 stories, with a department store, art museum, hotel, and observation deck housed inside. The top three floors comprise the observation deck, and are called "Harukas 300". This observation deck is accessed via an exciting elevator ride from the 16th floor. Every wall Harukas 300 consists of large glass panels offering a spectacular view of the city of Osaka. Floor 60 is especially popular for its 360-degree panoramas of the impressive cityscape. Looking down on the city, you can see a mix of both traditional and contemporary buildings, painting a picture of Osaka in the past and present. On clear days, you can see as far as Kyoto, Kobe, and the Rokko mountains. The view is especially thrilling at night when the city below becomes a dazzling scene with millions of lights. The 58th floor of the observation deck offers a cafe and beautiful inner court area, and many seasonal events are celebrated in the skyscraper.
Shitennoji Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the country, with buildings constructed in a style from the 6th century.
Shitennoji Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple located in the city of Osaka. The temple was originally built in the 6th century, making it one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan, and the first to be officially founded by a member of the imperial family. Although some of the temple buildings were destroyed by fire over the centuries, they were always rebuilt to match the original architectural style. The temple is named for the "shitenno" - four heavenly kings in Buddhism who protect the world from evil. Walking through the Gokurakumon (the Paradise Gate), the temple has several noteworthy buildings including the Chushin Garan, or "inner temple complex", which has a main hall, lecture hall, five-story pagoda, and three gates. The Gokuraku-Jodo Garden is a gorgeous Japanese garden based on the Buddhist concept of paradise and is a tranquil place to relax and meditate. The temple also has a Treasure House that houses important items connected to the temple. Within the Treasure house, displayed in reverent style, are various scriptures, paintings, and other important temple items.
The Osaka Architecture Walking Tour explores the modern landscape of Osaka with buildings designed by some of the country's foremost architects.
Take an Osaka Architecture Walking Tour for an informed look at some of the most fascinating modern buildings you can see in Osaka. View the Louis Vuitton Maison Osaka Midosuji, a flagship store for the famous fashion chain designed by architect Jun Aoki to create the impression of billowing sails. It's an appropriate expression of Osaka, which is a city of rivers and canals. Discover the symmetrical stone design of the Galleria Akka, a trendy local fashion shop which was designed by famed Japaense architect Tadao Ando. This architect is known for his shapely stone designs and has designed many significant buildings in Japan and throughout the world. You can also view the Daimaru Shinsaibashi, which in one of the most significant buildings in the Shinsaibashi area. Daimaru is a prominent Japanese shopping district, and the original Daimaru Shinsaibashi was built in 1933 by American-born architect William Merrell Vories, and preserved by the city of Osaka as an example of Taisho-era architecture. In addition, the Osaka Architecture Walking Tour includes other priminent buildings in the city.
The city of Nara was once known as the first capital established in Japan. Nara is located only less than an hour away from both Kyoto and Osaka. Nara is home to some of Japan’s oldest, largest, and historic temples. The landmark and symbol of Nara is the Todaiji Temple, which was built in the 7th century. One the most popular attractions is Nara Park where visitors come every day to see the wild deer that roam free throughout the park.
One of Japan’s most historic and famous temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Located north of Nara Park is one of Japan’s most historic and famous temple called the Todai-Ji Temple. This temple is listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The temple’s main hall named Daibutsuden, is the largest wooden building in the world. It is home to one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha siting at fifteen meters tall.
Japanese walking garden featuring a large reflective pond and scenic borrowed landscape.
Isuien Garden is a charming Japanese-style walking garden near Todaiji-Temple in Nara. Originally two separate parks, the land was merged to make room for the Neiraku Ceramics Museum. With a meaning of "park relying on water", Isuien's most prominent feature is a large reflective pond fed by the local river. Using a technique of "borrowed landscape", other elements, such as the trees of other nearby gardens and the gate of Todaiji temple, blend into or frame the garden elements, creating an attractive visual continuity.
Popular Nara Shopping arcade with a myriad of family-owned shops.
Perhaps the most popular shopping arcade in Nara, Higashimuki Shopping Street is a long shopping center lane in the middle of Nara. This shopping street sells everything from local arts and crafts, to traditional clothes and items, to high-quality green tea and rice crackers, to Nara-specific souvenirs. Many of the shops are well- established family-run buisnesses that have been there for years, and the arcade roof makes going there a pleasure even on a rainy day.
Kyoto temple known for distinctive five-tiered wooden pagoda.
Kofukuji Temple is a Buddhist temple marked by a distinctive five-tiered pagoda - the second tallest in Japan, rising over 50 meters high. Also on the temple grounds is the National Treasure Museum, housing famous Buddhist statues distinctly cherished as Cultural Properties. The two distinctive octagonal pagodas lend an original interest, and the surrounding trees and gardens add a splash of seasonal color throughout the year. Constructed by the influential Fujiwara family during the Heian period, Kofukuji was once part of powerful and exclusive set of Buddhist sites known as the Seven Great Temples of Nara.
Sarusawa-ike is an attractive pond near Kyoto's Kofukuji Temple which features a shrine based on a local legend.
Sarusawa-ike is a small pond near Kofukuji Temple. It offers a picturesque view of the temple's five-story pagoda and accompanying beautiful landscape. It looks especially lovely when the pagoda is illuminated at night. Some local wildlife lives in the pond, including a small flock of ducks and adorable turtles coming out of the pond to bask in the sun. Sarusawa-ike Pond is also home to the local legend of a court maid named Uneme, who fell in love with an emperor. After a sudden loss of imperial favor, the maid supposedly drowned herself in the pond in grief. A single shrine on the shore of the pond commemorates her sad tale, with the entry of the shrine facing away from the pond so the spirit of Uneme doesn't have to see its waters.
Naramachi is Nara city's heritage district, featuring Nigiwai-no-Ie, and merchant's townhouse over 100 years old.
The heritage area of Naramachi is the city of Nara's vintage commercial district, where streets are lined with Edo-era merchants' residences and preserved warehouses. Many of these old buildings are now converted into antique stores, cafes, restaurants, and museums that maintain the ancient history of old Nara. Among these is Nigiwai-no-Ie, a classic merchants' townhouse over 100 years old. The house interior is decorated according to a traditional Japanese idea that the year had 24 seasons. The classical architecture is perfectly preserved, drawing countless visitors to admire the old-fashioned charm of feudal Nara.
Kyoto was once the old capital of Japan and is filled with historic temples, shrines, buildings, and other structures. Kyoto is filled with many temples and shrines such as the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Golden Pavilion. It is also home of the Gion Festival, which is the most famous festival in Japan. Kyoto is the number two destination for tourist bound for Japan, and is the number one destination for tourist looking for a full Japanese cultural experience.
Former Kyoto residence of the shogun (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
In the northern part of central Kyoto is Nijo Castle, where it was once the former Kyoto residence of the shogun. This area is also listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This area was once home to the shogun when he would visit Kyoto. This place serves as the best examples of castle palace architecture from Japan’s feudal era because most of the buildings here survived since they were originally built.
Longstanding food market of old Kyoto - often referred to as "Kyoto's Pantry".
Nishiki Market is the longest traditional food market in Kyoto. It specializes in locally grown and prepared foods of superior quality. Displayed so as to tempt the senses and make passing mouths water, such savory delights as chicken skewers, dried fish, pickled vegetables, tofu, tea, and many others are found in stall after stall. Additionally, specialty kitchen utensils from high-quality makers, including hand-crafted kitchen knives and engraved chopsticks, make Nishiki Market worthy to be called "Kyoto's Pantry".
Beautiful temple not actually covered in silver.
Ginkakuji Temple, also known as the Silver Pavilion, is a Zen temple that was built to be a retirement villa for Ashikaga Yoshimasa.
Walking trail famous for cherry blossoms.
The Philosopher’s Path is a stone walkway in the northern part of Higashiyama District that follows a canal lined with hundreds of cherry blossoms.
Garden near a Buddhist temple, known for Japanese landscaping with European design elements.
Formerly the villa of Japanese military leader and politician Yamagata Aritomo, this Meiji-era strolling garden was arranged on land near Nanzen-ji temple. Murinan is a registered cultural property of Kyoto for the beauty of its garden elements and a unique villa following a Western design. Additionally, one can enjoy how the garden "borrows" the nearby mountain scenery in a Japanese landscaping technique with makes the mountain appear to be included as a part of the garden.
Enjoy a traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner in the company of a Maiko.
Kyoto is known for its Gion district which is famous for its geisha (geiko in Kyoto dialect) and apprentice geisha called maiko. There are many locations within Kyoto and the Gion district where visitors can have a maiko experience. Enjoy a traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner in the company of a Maiko.
The Pontocho and Gion Geisha District Walking Tour offers a close look at the rustic old-fashioned wooden buildings at two entertainment districts.
Take a walking tour through the Ponto-cho and Gion Geisha Districts in Kyoto. The Ponto-cho district is a charming dining area near the Kamogawa River. It is actually a portmanteau word of the Portuguese "ponte" (bridge) and Japanese "cho" (neighborhood, block) It is an alley stuffed with restaurants of various cuisines, including classical Kyoto cuisine. The district truly comes alive at night with brightly lit wooden buildings. While walking through the Ponto-cho area, enjoy the shop-fronts hung with lanterns and the refreshing atmosphere next to the river. The Gion Geisha District is a traditional entertainment district full of various restaurants, shops, and ochaya (teahouses). Walking through, visitors will undoubtedly notice the tightly packed nature of these "machiya" wooden townhouses, hearkening back to a time with property taxes were calculated based on street frontage. In this atmospheric locale, geisha and maiko (geisha apprentices) entertain guests with classical Japanese arts and dance.
Large Kyoto park complex, and the Imperial Seat of Japan's former capital.
The Kyoto Imperial Palace was the former residence of the Emperor until the capital city was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo in 1868. Located in the Imperial Park complex behind a broad earthen wall with a slanted roof, the Palace itself is surrounded by gravel paths, some excellent gardens, and groves of tall trees. Many of the buildings had been destroyed by fire over the years, but each time the Palace was scrupulously rebuilt. In the same Park enclosure is Sento Palace, a former imperial retirement home.
Pleasant district at the outskirts of Kyoto.
Arashiyama is located on the western outskirts of Kyoto and is a well-known destination for both the cherry blossoms and fall colors seasons. North of the famous Togetsukyo Bridge is Sagano, and together they make this place a nice little getaway from temples and shrines to enjoy nature. Popular destinations include the Togetsukyo Bridge and the Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama.
Zen Temple in the Arashiyama district (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Located in the Arashiyama district in Kyoto, the Tenryu- Ji Temple is Arashiyama’s most popular temple. The temple is listed as one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The original buildings of Tenryu-Ji Temple was lost many times throughout its history, except for Tenryu-Ji’s garden. The Tenryu-Ji Temple Zen Garden that visitors see today is the original garden and landscape.
One of the most popular and well-known spots for visitors in Arashiyama.
One of the most popular and well-known spots for visitors is the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. A nice walking path takes visitors through the groves of bamboos. The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is also one of the most famous and photographed places in all of Kyoto and brings many visitors every year during the autumn color season.
Zen Temple with famous rock garden.
The Ryoan-Ji Rock Garden is located only one mile down the road from the famous Kinkaku-Ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) in northern Kyoto. It is the location of Japan’s most famous rock garden and attracts hundreds of visitors every day throughout the year. The surrounding area features a beautiful pond with a nice walking trail that circles the area.
Temple building covered in gold (National Special Historic Site).
The famous Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) Temple is located in northern Kyoto and is most known for the building covered in gold leaf. This famous building is the number one most popular destination for tourist visiting Kyoto. The Golden Pavilion sits overlooking a large pond and various small attractions and shops are available for visitors.
Tour the Namikawa Yasuyuki Sippo Memorial Museum to see the artist's famous cloissone artworks, and view the museum's private garden.
While in the city of Kyoto, tour the Namikawa Yasuyuki Sippo Memorial Museum, including the museum's Private Garden. Namikawa Yasuyuki was a famous master artist of cloisonne - which is the art of adorning metal objects with enamel, or melted, colored glass. Namikawa Yasuyuki, along with other artists of the time, began a golden age of Japanese enamel art, with his work winning prizes at national exhibitions and world's fairs. Famed for a naturalistic kind of decoration featuring smooth, transparent black glaze, his works are often known for intricately detailed designs featuring nature motifs, involving such elements as plants and birds. The museum itself is housed in Namikawa's old house and workshop. Outside the museum is a private garden maintained in a traditional style, with bushes and trees bordering a small pond. This intimate garden is decorated with stone lanterns and offers a spot of tranquil reflection while you view Yasuyuki's cloisonne artworks.
Continue exploring Japan, but wearing a kimono for a more traditional flavor.
Japan is a very unique cultural experience because much of Japan’s history is still preserved, protected, and celebrated. One of the best ways to experience a visit to Japan would be to explore it while wearing a kimono. The kimono is one of Japan’s most oldest and traditional pieces of clothing. There are many places available in Japan to rent a kimono to wear and explore this beautiful country.
Japan's main islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido are served by a network of high speed train lines that connect Tokyo with most of the country's major cities. Japan's high speed trains (bullet trains) are called shinkansen and are operated by Japan Railways (JR). The shinkansen network consists of multiple lines, among which the Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka) is the oldest and most popular. All shinkansen lines (except the Akita and Yamagata Shinkansen) run on tracks that are exclusively built for and used by shinkansen trains. Most lines are served by multiple train categories, ranging from the fastest category that stops only at major stations to the slowest category that stops at every station along the way.
High-speed railway at speeds up to 300 km/hr.
The shinkansen (or Japan’s bullet train) is a high speed train that travel between most of the major cities in Japan. Travelers can reserve seats on either ordinary or green car seats for an added cost. The shinkansen can run up to 320 kilometers per hour (close to 200 miles per hour), and are known to always be on time, comfortable and safe.
The highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji is 3,776 meters above sea level, and is located more or less in the center of Japan, stretching over Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures. Its elegant conical form has frequently been depicted in many paintings and literary works since ancient times. Many artists have been captivated by the diverse expressions shown by this mountain depending on the season, or depending on the time of the day, whether in the morning or early evening. It is widely believed that Mt. Fuji is unparalleled worldwide as a mountain that has so frequently been narrated, sung in verse, and drawn.
The Kawaguchiko Muse Museum displays the cute cloth dolls of Yuki Atae, as well as a charming flower garden.
The Kawaguchiko Muse Museum is a museum located on the edge of Lake Kawaguchi near the iconic Mount Fuji, and is considered a branch of the Kawaguchiko Museum of Art. Named after the Greek goddesses of the Arts, the Muse museum features a rotating series of exhibits displaying the cute and expressive dolls designed by renowned Japanese dollmaker Yuki Atae. These dolls are made of simple cotton cloth, yet have delicate and life-like features. The museum also has a outdoor garden that adds to the atmosphere of whimsical fantasy, which includes lavender blooms, roses, and other flowers in all colors.
Excellent museum about the kimono artist.
The Kubota Itchiku Art Museum is located on the north coast of Lake Kawaguchiko near Mount Fuji. This museum showcases the works of the late Kubota Itchiku, a famous Japanese kimono artist. This museum showcases several of Kubota Itchiku’s kimono art, which are based on themes of nature, the seasons, and the cosmos.
Lake Kawaguchi is the most famous of the Fuji Five Lakes, with breathtaking landscape scenery in the spring and autumn seasons.
Lake Kawaguchi is one of Mount Fuji's Five Lakes, and is by far the most famous, attracting visitors to the hotels that dot its shoreline throughout the year. It is arguably the most picturesque, being displayed prominently below the iconic mountain on postcards for the region. The landscape around the long lake is dramatic and stunning in every season, especially during spring cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. Despite the lake's proximity to Mount Fuji, the mountain is not always visible from the lake due to the cloud cover, with the early morning and late afternoon being the best time to get a good glimpse. A number of other attractions sit around the lake, including the Kubota Itchiku Museum, Kawaguchiko Muse Museum, FujiQ Highland amusement park, and a number of hot spring bath resorts.
Hakone is located in Kanagawa Prefecture and is only about two hours away from Tokyo. Hakone is park of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and is a popular destination for tourist. Hakone is famous in Japan for its hot springs and beautiful natural views. Visitors can go to the many hot spring resorts to relax and unwind or visit the many museums and shrines available. Guests that would appreciate nature more could go to the parks and trails to experience the natural beauty.
Famous for having Mount Fuji in the background and the lake as its inspirational canvas.
Lake Ashinoko along with Mount Fuji in the background is the proud symbol of Hakone. One of the best views with the lake and Mount Fuji could be seen from one of the many sightseeing boats. There are a few boat cruises available, but the main two are ran by Hakone Sightseeing Boats and Izuhakone Sightseeing Boats. The best time to come is during the cherry blossom season and when the autumn colors are at its peak.
Exhibiting sculptures and paintings.
The Hakone Open Air Museum is located near Chokoku No Mori Station in Hakone. There are over than one thousand pieces of art featured at this museum that will keep visitors busy besides the breathtaking views. The museum features various sculptures with beautiful views of the surrounding area of Hakone. The museum also features indoor galleries of paintings, sculptures, ceramic art, and other artistic creations.
Tokyo is the number one destination for tourist bound for Japan. It is the number one most populated, the biggest city, and is the capital of Japan. From shopping to sightseeing, this city offers everything that tourist want to see. There are a number of places to see the entire city, tourist can visit the Tokyo Skytree or Tokyo Tower to get a breathtaking view of the city. For shopping, visitors can head to the most popular areas such as Ginza, Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City, or Shinjuku. There are also many museums available such as the Edo Tokyo Museum or the Tokyo National Museum. This modern city still has many parks, temples, and shines for anyone interested in a cultural experience.
Idyllic garden landscape depicting scenes from famous poems.
Easily one of Tokyo's best gardens, Rikugien is a spacious and idyllic, with a name that means "Garden of Six Principles of Poetry". Over three centuries old, the garden's design created 88 scenes from traditional Japanese and Chinese poetry, with the poems in indicated in stone around the park. Though only a few of these stones survive, all the poetic beauty of the landscape may still be admired in any season, with the overall potential of the composition flaring to crimson capacity every autumn.
Luxurious Tokyo Hotel with 400-year old samurai garden.
The New Otani Hotel has been around since the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 1964, but the Japanese garden near it is far older, having been the former private garden of various samurai officials for the past 400 years. This tranquil little garden is characterized by narrow strolling walks bordered by dense hedges and other foliage, a broad variety of flowers, charming little scarlet bridges, and small ponds with bright koi swimming through their shallows.
A shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort.
The Meiji Shrine is located next to Harajuku Station and next to Yoyogi Park. The shrine is located within a small forest with large trees and the entrance is designated by a large torii gate. This is also one of Tokyo’s most popular shrines, with more than a million visitors after New Year’s Day.
The Omotesando Architecture Walking Tour shows off some of the trendy buildings in one of Tokyo's most fashionable shopping districts.
Some of Tokyo's most incredible modern buildings can be seen during the Omotesando Architecture Walking Tour. Omotesando is a fashionable boulevard in Tokyo's Aoyama District, and include stores from top-teir fashion chians like Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Tod's, Prada, Emporio Armani, and Ralph Lauren, housed in glamorous buildings built by some of the most noted architects of the day. Tod's building was designed by Toyo Ito and constructed in such as way so that concrete wraps around exterior, covering the glass windows like ribbon. The Prada Building was designed by Herzog and de Meuron, designed by two Pritzker Prize-winning architects who built it to look like a series of connected lenses. The Dior Building was built by SANAA (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa), and looks like a multilayered sandwich or square layer cake. There are numerous other fascinating buildigns while walking through Omotesando, which includes a professional guide who has a passion for architecture in Japan.
Old-fashioned museum with impressive display of traditional and Buddhist artwork.
This modern museum was built to house the collection of traditional and Asian artworks amassed by businessman and avid collector Kaichiro Nezu, being founded and opened to the public by Nezu's sonafter his father's passing. The museum includes a permanent collection of traditional paintings, sculptures, ceramics, handicrafts, and more, with an especial focus on Buddhist artworks, and a more prominent exhibit that rotates every month or so.
Roppongi Hills is an enormous urban development project - a
Roppongi Hills is an urban development project located in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, and is centered around Mori Tower. The work of various architects and designers from all over the world, this "city within a city" includes space for residences, restaurants, business offices, the Mori Arts Center which includes an art museum, arts center gallery, observation deck, membership club, and academy, plus a hotel, cinema, TV station, and even a Japanese landscape garden. The goal of the developers was to make Roppongi Hills a new cultural center of Tokyo, so the facility gives prominence to arts and design. One of the biggest features of Roppongi HIlls is the Mori Art Museum - a celebration of modern art and artists. Also worth mentioning is the Mori Arts Center Gallery which offers myriad special exhibitions including famous art collections from around the world, fashion, design - even anime and manga! The observation deck is definitely worth a visit as well, offering guests a dynamic 360-degree view of Tokyo's impressive urban sprawl.
The Mori Art Museum is a contemorary art museum located in Roppongi Hills in Tokyo offering impressive views of the city.
The Mori Art Museum is a contemporary art museum founded by Minoru Mori in the Roppongi Hills development project in Tokyo. Artists from all over Asia and around the world are featured in special exhibitions, including new artworks from promising young artists. The focus of the museum is on being both modern and international, exploring a highly diverse range of contemporary art genres, although the art itself often explores what the museum considers universal themes. The museum has exhibitions and learning programs that can engage with and be accessed by audiences of all ages, from senior citizens to small children. The art exhibitions sometimes showcase a specific talented artist, or sometimes they focus on an artistic movement. Since the museum is located on the 52nd and 53rd floors of Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills, the museum also features a breathtaking panorama of Tokyo, so its almost worth going just for the scenic view. Display information for each exhibition is usually in Japanese and English, making the artwork even more accessible.
Buddhist temple with souvenir shopping street, an atmosphere of old Tokyo.
The Sensoji Temple located in Asakusa is one of the most popular Buddhist temples to visit. The temple was built and completed in the year 645 and is Tokyo’s oldest temple. The surrounding area offers shopping for souvenirs and food. The Sanja Festival is one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals and is held every May at Asakusa Temple.
Leisurely cruise down Tokyo's Sumida River with picturesque city and nature views.
The Sumida suijo-bus (or "water bus"), while not as quick as the trains, is the best way to see Sumida River and Tokyo Bay up close, as well as scenic views of Tokyo. The leisurely boat travels between 12 locations on its voyage, including Asakusa, Hamarikyu Garden, Odaiba Seaside Park, and Tokyo Big Sight. It offers travelers a perfect opportunity to relax, breath in fresh sea air, and enjoy Tokyo from a different perspective.
Former Imperial detached palace and landscape garden near Tokyo Bay.
Hama Rikyu Garden is a landscape garden just beside Tokyo Bay along the Sumida River. The garden includes flower gardens and trees that can be enjoyed year-round. In addition are numerous traditional buildings, including a teahouse, that hearken back to the days when this garden was part of a detached palace for the Imperial family. One of the most impressive features of Hama Rikyu are the garden saltwater ponds, which change level along with the tides. The peaceful atmosphere found in the garden is a refreshing break from the bustling cityscape visible just across the bay.
Visit a famous Japanese market filled with fresh fish and agricultural products, plus delicious dishes.
The outer Tsukiji Fish Market offers a variety of freshly prepared food products and ingredients. Travel in between the different stores and taste a few of their dishes, freshly prepared with some of the best ingredients.
Explore the unique art-deco buildings in the high-class Ginza district during the Ginza Architecture Walking Tour.
Tour the bold and unique architectural designs of the upscale Ginza district during our Ginza Architecture Walking Tour. Ginza was once the site of a silver mint (Ginza means "silver mint"), but after much of the area was destroyed in 1872, Ginza was remodeled into a trendy upscale shopping district. Now the name Ginza is synonymous with ritzy Western shops, and many of the buildings have an art deco design. Many fashion shops have their corporate flagship store there, including the Louis Vuitton, which has their Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza Facade designed by Jun Aoki. Other prominent buildings in Ginza include the Ginza Six Shopping Mall, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, Maison Hermes Ginza by Renzo Piano, Armani Ginza Tower by Studio Fuksas, Ginza Place by Klein Dytham architecture, and the Mikimoto Ginza 2 by Toyo Ito. The tour is guided by an expert with a passion for the architecture of Ginza as well as the history and culture attached to them.
Kobe (Day 1)
Western Style Accommodation
Hotel Okura Kobe is a luxury and elegant city resort hotel located at Meriken Park overlooking Kobe harbor front. It is the comfortable space which harmonized the traditional beauty and functionality of Japan, and rooms are designed by globally prominent British interior design designer Mr. David Hicks. Hotel Okura Kobe offers the ultimate in elegance and hospitality as the land mark of Kobe.
Matsue Shinjiko Onsen (Day 2)
Japanese Style Accommodation
Located in Matsue Shinjiko Onsen, 2.6 km from Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum. The property is situated 4.4 km from Lake Shinji, 1.9 km from Matsue Castle and 1.9 km from Shimane Art Museum. The accommodation features a hot spring bath, free WiFi throughout the property and family rooms. The ryokan offers certain rooms with lake views, and every room is equipped with a kettle. All units will provide guests with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV.
Kurashiki (Day 3)
Western Style Accommodation
The Kurashiki Royal Art Hotel is located just a short walk from many of the attractions of the historic and cultural city of Kurashiki. Kurashiki is most famous for its Bikan historical quarter, a preserved town on the canal from the Edo period, which is just a five-minute walk away from the Royal Art Hotel. Close by you’ll also find other attractions such as Osashi House (a five-minute walk) and the Ohara Museum of Art (a ten-minute walk). Slightly further afield, but still within walking distance, are the City Art Museum, the Observatory and the Museum of Natural History.
Naoshima Island (Day 4)
Western Style Accommodation
The Benesse House is a place on Naoshima Island that is part art gallery / part hotel. Guests who stay there for the night can immerse themselves completely in nature and art. The hotel has four different accommodation types available. The first is the Museum accommodation, where guests can stay within a modern art museum setting. Spacious rooms are tastefully decorated with various artworks, and offering gorgeous views of the surrounding woods and sea. Then we have the "Oval" accommodation, which sits on a hill and features a sweeping view of the Seto Inland Sea and walls decorated by tasteful drawings. Then we have the "Park" accommodation, which features nearby open-air artwork agains the beautiful backdrop of Setouchi. And Finally, there is the "Beach" accommodation, which sits right on the shore and makes the guest feel like they are floating over the sea. The gentle sound of the waves lapping against the shore. Each accommodation was designed by famed Japanese architect Tadao Ando, giving each building a unique character. The hotel is also near other museums and galleries on Naoshima Island, providing the excellent opportunity to view all the island has to offer.
Osaka (Day 5, Day 6 & Day 7)
Western Style Accommodation
Hotel Nikko Osaka is a deluxe hotel located in a prime area of central Osaka. The hotel faces the famous tree- lined Mido-suji Avenue, the city’s main boulevard and home to the headquarters of major corporations and the city’s main shopping and leisure district.. The hotel offers numerous room accommodations to choose from and an array of international cuisine.
Kyoto (Day 8 & Day 9)
Western Style Accommodation
Cross Hotel Kyoto offers a great location, putting you within just a 10-minute walk of Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market. For a bite to eat, guests can check out KIHARU Brasserie, which serves Mediterranean cuisine and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nice touches like deep soaking tubs, premium bedding, and slippers are offered up in all rooms. The helpful staff and central location get great marks from fellow travelers. Public transportation is just a short walk: Sanjo Keihan Station is 5 minutes and Shiyakusho-mae Station is 5 minutes.
Hakone (Day 10)
Japanese/Western Style Accommodation
Remodeled in April, 2014, Laforest Hakone Gora Onsen Yunosumi is a sophisticated modern Japanese inn, located in a secluded area. The inn is ideal for business and leisure travelers and features meeting rooms, banquet halls, and a restaurant. Guests can enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot spring bath while gazing at the surrounding nature. Creative cuisine where Japanese cuisine meets Western cuisine is made with fresh ingredients. Guest rooms are modern Japanese- Western-style rooms.
Tokyo (Day 11, Day 12 & Day 13)
Western Style Accommodation
Surrounded by a gorgeous ten-acre Japanese garden, with the bright lights of Tokyo glimmering nearby, the Hotel New Otani Tokyo has achieved a zen-like balance between traditional beauty and stylish modernity. Each room is appointed with plush linens, the most modern technological accessories, and floor-to-ceiling windows which provide you with breathtaking views of the lush grounds.
PLEASE NOTE: These are the hotels All Japan Tours generally uses on the touring styles and regions shown. There is no guarantee that you will stay in the lodgings listed on the website. We encourage you to check your travel documentation for confirmation of the exact accommodation you will be staying in.