This two-week tour combines luxurious stays at 5-star hotels with a relaxed exploration of Japan's cultural and natural highlights. Start in the capital with Michelin dining and a Wagyu beef cooking class, then head to the slopes of Mount Fuji for iconic views and whisky tasting. Experience Kyoto's temples and tea ceremonies before soaking up the sights in Osaka and finishing on the white-sand beaches of Okinawa.


  • Discover Japan's cuisine with a cooking class and visit to Tsukiji Outer Fish Market
  • Experience the intimate world of Japanese performance with a geisha show 
  • Admire the beauty of Mount Fuji on a full-day private tour of the area
  • Relax on the pristine white sand beaches of the Okinawa Islands
  • Experience the ultimate in luxury with stays at the country's best 5-star hotels

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tokyo, Michelin Fine Dining Experience Tokyo
Day 2 Full-Day Tokyo City Tour, Afternoon Tea with a View Tokyo
Day 3 Japanese Cooking Class, Mandarin Spa Visit Tokyo
Day 4 Full-Day Mount Fuji & Lake Kawaguchi Tour with Whisky Tasting Tokyo
Day 5 Yokohama City Tour & Nissan Engine Museum Visit Tokyo
Day 6 Transfer to Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Geisha Dinner Show Kyoto
Day 7 Tour Kyoto's Temples, Kimono Tea Ceremony, Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto
Day 8 Day Trip to Nara & Uji Kyoto
Day 9 Transfer to Osaka, Osaka Castle & Shinsaibashi Tour Osaka
Day 10 Full-Day Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Itsukushima Shrine Tour Osaka
Day 11 Transfer to Okinawa, Explore Naha City Okinawa
Day 12 Full-Day Zamami Island Tour by Private Speedboat Okinawa
Day 13 Relax on the Okinawa Islands Okinawa
Day 14 Fly to Tokyo, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo, Michelin Fine Dining Experience

Settle into 5-star luxury with views over Tokyo (photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental)

Welcome to Japan! With over 2,000 years of history and a mesmerizing blend of ancient tradition and cutting-edge innovation, the country is home to some of East Asia's most beautiful scenery and natural landmarks. Upon arrival at the airport, you'll take a private transfer into Tokyo, where ancient temples stand in the shadows of gleaming skyscrapers. Your destination is the Mandarin Oriental, a sumptuous and stylish 5-star hotel in the capital's Nihonbashi financial district, within easy reach of Ginza, Tokyo's glamorous shopping and dining neighborhood.

Check into your stylish room or suite, whose decor has been overseen by internationally acclaimed interior designer Ryu Kosaka. Expect bespoke furnishings and locally sourced fabrics in muted warm shades of gold and caramel, accented with purple and a cozy neutral palette. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms and throughout the hotel give captivating views of the Tokyo city skyline, while the en suite bathrooms come equipped with luxurious Bottega Veneta toiletries.

Ease into your stay with a drink at the Mandarin Bar, led by award-winning head bartender Kengo Oda. Then, when you're ready, your driver will transfer you to one of the city's Michelin-starred restaurants. Acclaimed globally for its fine dining scene, Tokyo has more Michelin eateries than any other city. Whether you choose authentic Japanese and kaiseki cuisine or opt for delicious French or Italian fare, you'll spend the evening sampling the city's gastronomy. 

Day 2: Full-Day Tokyo City Tour, Afternoon Tea with a View

Afternoon tea
Enjoy afternoon tea with a view at one of the city's premier locations

Spend today discovering Tokyo's myriad sights and foodie scene with a full-day private city tour. You'll start with a visit to the Tsukiji Outer Fish Market. Dating back to the Edo period, the market comprises around 400 shops and restaurants jostling for attention in the area's historic lanes. Roam the counters with your guide and try an array of delicacies, including fresh and dried seafood, traditional snacks, and cooking ingredients. Meanwhile, hear tales of Japan's culinary culture, how washoku (traditional Japanese food) is prepared, and feast on fresh seafood sushi for breakfast.

Next, you'll visit the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, the only public part of the palatial complex. Admire the seasonal flowers, fountains, and teahouses, and take in the views of the double-arched Nijubashi Bridge. Continue to the colorful Senso-ji in Asakusa, one of the city's most significant Buddhist temples. Slip past the giant lanterns on the Kaminarimon (the temple's outer gate) and stroll the lively Nakamise-dori, a street lined with traditional souvenirs, snacks, and sweets.

You'll end your immersion into Tokyo city life with afternoon tea at one of the city's premier locations. Choose between the Lobby Bar at The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon, for sweeping views of the capital and the infamous Tokyo Tower, or visit The Lounge at Four Seasons Tokyo. Here, you'll enjoy an assortment of sweets and savories in the modern, elegant setting while soaking up the city skyline. Later on, the nearby roof bar at Shibuya Sky, a 360-degree open-air observation deck, is the perfect spot to unwind with a glass of fizz and take in the panoramic views.

Day 3: Japanese Cooking Class, Mandarin Spa Visit

Relax at one of Tokyo's premier spas
Unwind for a few hours with a luxury spa treatment at your hotel

This morning, you'll embark on a private culinary journey and learn how to prepare Japan's renowned Wagyu beef for a delicious hot pot of thinly sliced beef, tofu, and vegetables, as well as a selection of classic dishes including dashimaki tamago (rolled, pan-fried eggs), and kuzu manju, a sweet served with a delicious matcha syrup. Cooking alongside an experienced chef, you'll be shown the basics of Japanese cuisine and learn about the origins of Japan's food culture before sitting down to enjoy your creations. 

Afterward, head back to the Mandarin Oriental and spend a luxurious few hours in the hotel's award-winning spa, where the sweeping vistas provide the perfect backdrop to an array of tailored treatments. Opt for the 3.5-hour bathing ritual, complete with your own private bathing suite and lounge area, sky-high infinity bathtub, and a full-body massage and exfoliation using bespoke essential oils.

Day 4: Full-Day Mount Fuji & Lake Kawaguchi Tour with Whisky Tasting

best time to visit Japan - Chureito pagoda during Spring time, with Mount Fuji in background
Today's visit to the Chureito Pagoda gives an iconic shot of Mount Fuji

Today, leave behind Tokyo's bustling city streets in favor of one of Japan's most revered natural attractions, Mount Fuji. The country's highest peak and an active volcano (known as Fuji-san to locals) towers more than 12,000 feet (3,776 m) into the sky and is considered one of Japan's three sacred mountains, attracting pilgrims from all over the world. Your private tour starts with a 2.5-hour scenic drive to Arakurayama Sengen Park, the perfect spot to see Mount Fuji framed against the beautiful Chureito Pagoda

Continue to Oshino Hakkai, a set of eight pools fed by melted snow from Fuji's slopes and connected by a series of bridges and pathways, surrounded by thatched buildings. Explore the nearby Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan, a small museum next to the largest pond, where a series of displays include samurai armor and weaponry as well as antique farming tools and household items. 

Your tour of Mount Fuji concludes in the afternoon with a cruise on Lake Kawaguchi—nestled within the mountain's foothills and banked by forests and grasslands, it's a serene location to glimpse the famous peak from a distance. On the drive back to Tokyo, your driver will make one final stop at the Fuji Gotemba Whisky Distillery. It's a rare opportunity to tour one of the world's few distilleries where malt and grain whiskeys are produced. After learning about the whisky-making process, you'll enjoy a tasting of the different spirits before your driver drops you back at the hotel. 

Day 5: Yokohama City Tour & Nissan Engine Museum Visit

Sakura Street in the Minato Mirai district of Yokohama
Arrive in spring to see cherry blossoms filling Sakura Street in the Minato Mirai district of Yokohama

This morning, you'll take a private car to Japan's second-largest city, Yokohama, just southwest of Tokyo. Your first stop is Sankei-en garden, a spacious landscaped park filled with tranquil rivers and ponds, lush bamboo groves, and an array of historic buildings of national cultural significance. Don't miss the three-storied pagoda built in Kyoto in the mid-1400s and transferred to Sankei-en in 1914. Arrive in late March or early April, and you'll be greeted by the cherry blossoms in full bloom. 

In the afternoon, you'll head to the Nissan Engine Museum, a must for car and engineering enthusiasts. Designed as a heritage building by Yokohama City, the museum spans Nissan's production over the last 90 years and houses a wide collection of new engines, miniature cars, and robot prototypes used across its factories. Your trip concludes with a visit to the Nissan Heritage Collection, a treasure trove of vintage vehicles ranging from historic race cars to street motorcycles and off-road vehicles. 

Day 6: Transfer to Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Geisha Dinner Show

Immerse yourself in Kyoto's history at a 100-year-old Japanese inn (photo courtesy of Ryokan Genhouin)
Plan your trip to Japan
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Experience a chance of pace today as you swap the neon skyscrapers of Tokyo for the serene temples, shrines, and traditional tea houses in Kyoto. Japan's cultural and ancient heartland lies 283 miles (445 km) west of Tokyo—a 2.5-hour journey on the country's legendary high-speed Shinkansen bullet train. Settle into your first-class seat and arrive refreshed, ready for a private tour of the eighth-century Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine.

Stroll the walkway composed of thousands of vermillion-colored torii gates (all donated by individuals and businesses as a sign of appreciation to the god Inari), and after a gentle hike up the mountain, you'll reach the shrine. Take in the sweeping views of the countryside before returning to your driver. Your accommodation for the next three nights is Ryokan Genhouin, a 100-year-old traditional Japanese inn, once the aristocratic mansion of Count Yamashina. Luxury rooms feature terraces leading directly onto the inn's highlight— a beautiful Japanese garden.

The decor throughout the ryokan is traditionally Japanese and minimalist, with earthy, neutral tones and beautiful wooden furnishings and screens. After a soak in the hot tub, it's time to get ready for this evening's visit to a traditional machiya, where you'll experience a private geisha dance performance and dine on an authentic Japanese kaiseki meal of fish, meat, vegetables, rice, soup, and pickles. At the end of the show, you'll have the opportunity to take photos with the performers.

Day 7: Tour Kyoto's Temples, Kimono Tea Ceremony, Samurai & Ninja Museum

Experience traditional sado, or tea ceremony
Experience a traditional kimono sado, or tea ceremony, with a visit to a tea house in Kyoto's Higashiyama ward

Today starts with a private tour of one of Kyoto's most famous temples—Kinkaku-ji, known as the Golden Pavilion. Set within a beautifully landscaped garden overlooking a serene pool, the temple is considered one of the world's 100 most holy sites. With a history dating back to 1397, your guide will reveal how the temple exchanged hands over the years. Don't miss a visit to the temple's top two floors, entirely covered in gold leaf. 

Your next destination is the Ryoan-ji temple. A UNESCO World Heritage site with a history dating back to the 11th century, Ryoan-ji gained international fame primarily for its rock garden—one of the finest surviving examples of kare-sansui, a style of Japanese gardening founded on Zen ideology. Pause on the veranda of the adjacent Hojo Hall and immerse yourself in the peaceful vibe.

In the afternoon, you'll experience one of Japanese culture's most unique traditions—the highly ritualized art of taking tea, a ritual known as sado or chanoyu, born in late 16th century Kyoto. Meet your driver and head to a tea house in Kyoto's Higashiyama ward. Here, you'll be invited to change into a kimono and learn the importance of Zen and meditation before sampling traditional Japanese sweets and drinking traditional matcha green tea. Afterward, stop in at the Samurai and Ninja Museum, a fascinating opportunity to glimpse the ninja's secret items, weapons, and tools.

Day 8: Day Trip to Nara & Uji

You'll meet some of Japan's friendliest deer at Nara Park

The city of Nara, famous for its UNESCO-listed temples and eighth-century artwork, is your destination today. Your private guide will pick you up from your hotel and drive 30 miles (50 km) south of Kyoto, stopping first at Todai-ji, once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples. Explore the manicured temple grounds, tea houses, and museum, and see the famous 49-foot (15 m) bronze Buddha. Take a stroll in nearby Nara Park (famous for its friendly deer), where one of the trails leads you through Mount Kasuga Primeval Forest and features more than 175 species of trees.

Your next stop on the way back from Nara is Uji. In this national green tea production center, you'll have plenty of time to browse the traditional stores offering quality green tree products, including noodles, sweets, and wonderful green tea ice cream. Visit the Byodo-in temple, a Buddhist structure depicted on the 10 yen coin, and finish your visit in the Byodo-in Omotesando neighborhood, a great spot for dinner. When you're ready, your driver will drop you back at your hotel in Kyoto.

Day 9: Transfer to Osaka, Osaka Castle & Shinsaibashi Tour

Osaka castle
The elegant 16th-century Osaka Castle is one of the city's most prominent landmarks

This morning, you'll pack your case and take a private car to Osaka, a city known for its incredible food scene and blend of historical charm and neon city life. You'll stay at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton Osaka in the upmarket Unmeda business and shopping district. Combining the grace and elegance of a traditional English manor house with the subtle Japanese details, deluxe rooms, and suites are spacious and sumptuous with opulent deep, rich blues, warm creams, and dark wood furnishings. Unwind, and when you're ready, meet your driver for today's private tour.

You'll start with a visit to Osaka Castle. Initially built in the 16th century, it's one of the city's most prominent landmarks and a testament to Japan's rich history. In a peaceful setting amid lush gardens, admire the five-story main tower, accented with gold and surrounded by imposing stone walls. Hear from your guide about the castle's role in Japan's Edo period while dioramas around the complex depict various battle scenes from the era. 

Afterward, head to the Shinsaibashi shopping district, a consumer mecca with almost 400 years of history and a 1,968-foot-long (600 m) arcade filled with myriad shops, including traditional kimono tailors, jewelers, boutiques, and plenty of restaurants. Your best bet for food, however, is the famous Dotonbori district. Jam-packed with eateries and street food vendors, it's a dazzling immersion into Japanese cuisine. Be sure to try the local delicacies, including takoyaki (delicious fried balls filled with octopus, pickled ginger, and green onion) and okonomiyaki (a delicious stuffed savory pancake).

Day 10: Full-Day Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Itsukushima Shrine Tour

Miyajima Island's Great Torii
Miyajima's Grand Torii Gate seems to float above the water's surface

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a remarkable space dedicated to honoring the lives lost when the World War II atomic bomb devastated the city. Accompanied by a local guide, you'll transfer to the town and take a private tour of what was once ground zero and has now been transformed into a peaceful sanctuary that serves as a vivid reminder of the horrors of war. Your guide will share stories of the memorials you encounter, and you'll have the opportunity to visit the Peace Memorial Museum, which features artifacts recovered from the site.

Afterward, head to the pier and catch the ferry to the island of Miyajima. Famous for its floating Itsukushima-jinja Otorii (Grand Torii Gate), the UNESCO-listed shrine is built over water with boardwalks connecting its main hall, prayer hall, and other buildings. At high tide, you can witness the gigantic torii gate seemingly floating in the emerald waters, while at low tide, it's possible to walk directly to the gate and see it up close. You'll return to Osaka in the late afternoon, where your last evening in the city is yours to dine at one of the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurants or sample the city's nightlife.

Day 11: Transfer to Okinawa, Explore Naha City

Shuri Castle Okinawa
Admire the bold design and reconstruction of Shuri Castle, one of Okinawa's leading landmarks

Today, you'll transfer to the airport with your driver and board a two-hour flight to the island of Okinawa, known for its calm blue waters and gentle sandy beaches. You'll touch down in the southern hub of Naha and start your discovery of the prefecture's capital with a private tour of the painstakingly reconstructed Shuri Castle. With a history dating back to the 14th century, the historical sight is one of Okinawa's leading landmarks, comprising a harmonious blend of Japanese and Ryukyuan architectural styles and decorative elements.

Later, head to the covered halls of Makishi Public Market, a foodie paradise where you'll brush shoulders with the locals shopping for freshly caught fish, local produce, and all manner of dried and preserved delicacies. Head up to the top-floor food court to dine at one of a dozen or so tiny restaurants serving udon noodles, sushi, grilled seafood, and other specialties. 

Your accommodation for the next three nights is the sumptuous 5-star Ritz-Carlton. The spacious deluxe rooms, dressed in warm, elegant neutrals, feature a private balcony, large marble bathrooms filled with Diptyque Paris toiletries, and indoor bathtubs overlooking the beach. Suites are wonderfully spacious, with wraparound terraces and ocean views. Impeccable furnishings with dark wood dining tables, gorgeous living spaces, and access to the private fourth-floor Club Lounge, with a dedicated concierge, complete the experience. 

Day 12: Full-Day Zamami Island Tour by Private Speedboat

Full Day Zamami Island Tour
Relax on the white sands of Zanami, one of the Kerama archipelago's loveliest islands

Lying just southwest of Naha, the subtropical Kerama archipelago and its islands of Zanami, Aka, Tokashiki, and Geruma make up the Keramashoto National Park. A haven for wildlife and known for its beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, the archipelago is renowned for its impressive coral reefs. After breakfast, you'll head out with your guide to Naha's Tomari Port and take a private speedboat to Zanami, one of the archipelago's loveliest islands.

The day is yours to relax or explore the island as you wish. Hire an electric bike, take in the dramatic clifftop views and rugged scenery, unwind on the tranquil beaches, or opt for a private diving and snorkeling excursion to admire the coral reefs and swim alongside the resident sea turtles. As the sun starts to dip, you'll head back to Naha by speedboat, where the evening is yours to relax with a cold drink at one of the local bars or make the most of the facilities at your hotel. 

Day 13: Relax on the Okinawa Islands

Spend today at the beach or in the hotel spa (photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton)

It's your last full day on the Okinawa Islands and yours to explore or relax however you choose. Head west to Mibaru Beach, where you can take a glass-bottomed boat tour of the shallow offshore reef, soak up some sun, or enjoy a laid-back picnic on the idyllic white sands. Snorkeling enthusiasts should head to Onna village, an hour outside Nara, and home to the Blue Cave. Featuring a pool of shimmering blue created by sunlight reflecting off the calcareous white sea floor, it's the perfect spot to spend an afternoon spotting the colorful marine life with a private snorkeling tour.

In the evening, head to Kokusai-dori, the city's main street, where you'll find souvenir shops, boutiques, high-end restaurants, and several venues where you can experience traditional Okinawan music and dance performances. Spend your last night dining on fresh seafood and raise a toast to your Japan vacation before a relaxed nightcap back at your hotel

Day 14: Fly to Tokyo, Depart

Depart Japan
Until the next time, Japan

Your tour of Japan comes to a close today. After breakfast, your driver will take you to the airport in time for the 2.5-hour flight to Tokyo, where you'll connect with your flight home or continue your onward journey. Safe travels!

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Written by Fei He, updated Mar 25, 2024