See Japan's highlights in grand style with this 10-day luxury tour. You'll start in Tokyo, dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, learning to make nigiri sushi with a private chef, and treating yourself to an elegant afternoon tea amid sky-high city views. Then, you're off to the natural beauty of Hakone for a cruise across Lake Ashi and a soothing hot springs retreat. Explore Shinto shrines and meditate in Zen temples in Kyoto, stop for a saké-tasting in Kobe, and end in Osaka with a visit to the city's Edo-era castle.


  • Tour Toyosu Fish Market for a glimpse of authentic Tokyo cuisine
  • Cruise Hakone's Lake Ashi for showstopping views of Japan's iconic Mount Fuji
  • Center yourself with a guided meditation and tea ceremony in a historic Zen temple
  • Go forest bathing in Osaka's peaceful Sagano Bamboo Forest by rickshaw 
  • Hop between 5-star luxury hotels, a hot springs retreat, and a historic ryokan (inn)

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tokyo, Fine Dining at a Michelin-Starred Restaurant Tokyo
Day 2 Tour Toyosu Fish Market, Afternoon Tea with City Views Tokyo
Day 3 Hands-On Sushi-Making Class, Free Afternoon to Explore  Tokyo
Day 4 Transfer to Hakone, Tour Mount Fuji & Lake Ashi  Hakone
Day 5 Discover the Art & Nature of Hakone, Self-Guided Spa Retreat Hakone
Day 6 Train to Kyoto, Torii Gates of Fushimi Inari, Geisha Dinner Show  Kyoto
Day 7 Zen Temples of Kyoto, Meditation Experience & Tea Ceremony Kyoto
Day 8 Arashiyama Bamboo Grove via Rickshaw, Tenryu-ji Temple Kyoto
Day 9 Transfer to Osaka via Kobe: Saké Museum, Harborland & Kobe Beef Osaka
Day 10 Tour Osaka Castle & Shinsaibashi District, Depart Osaka  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo, Fine Dining at a Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Welcome to the bright lights of bustling Tokyo!

Welcome to Japan! Your flight lands in Tokyo, Japan's capital city, where you'll find a decidedly urban vibe combined with a wealth of history and culture. Upon arrival, your private driver will collect you and transport you to your 5-star hotel, the Mandarin Oriental. Known for its innovative design and award-winning service, this hotel is the epitome of luxury, fusing contemporary style with time-honored architectural grandeur. Take in city skyline views from the soaring Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, and you'll be just around the corner from Edo Sakura-Dori and the Fukutoku Shrine.

Once you've had a chance to rest and regroup, don your smartest attire and celebrate the start of your trip with a fine dining experience. Tokyo has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world, and you'll have your pick of nearly any cuisine.

For kaiseki, a traditional Japanese multicourse meal that highlights fresh local produce, head to Ginza Kojyu, known for its elevated dishes and intimate setting. Or, venture into the lively Shinjuku district for a visit to Sobahouse Konjiki Hototogisu, one of a handful of ramen restaurants that hold a Michelin star. If you love omakase, you won't want to miss Sukiyabashi Jiro, a small sushi bar that was the first in the world to be awarded 3 Michelin stars. Your private driver will transport you to the restaurant of your choosing, and return you to your hotel afterward. 

Day 2: Tour Toyosu Fish Market, Afternoon Tea with City Views

Imbibe in a delicious afternoon tea with city views 

This morning, meet your guide for a private tour that offers an immersion into the heart of Japan's culture and cuisine at Toyosu Wholesale Fish Market, an indoor market located on the man-made island of Toyosu. Spanning nearly 100 acres (40 ha), there are different areas dedicated to fish and tuna auctions, as well as restaurants and shops for both retailers and wholesalers. The market is considered central to Tokyo's fish trade, offering the widest range of seafood in the whole country. If you're lucky, you may even get to see a live tuna auction taking place from one of the observation windows!

After the tour, you'll have some free time to explore on your own. You could stop in at the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, the only part of the palace open to the public, for seasonal flowers, fountains, and teahouses, as well as views of the double-arched Nijubashi Bridge. Continue to the seventh-century Senso-ji, which is considered one of Tokyo's most significant Buddhist temples. Visit the main hall, and pick up an omikuji (fortunes written on strips of paper). Finish with a walk along Nakamise-dori, a bustling street adjacent to the temple lined with shops and food stands.

Later, sit down for a lavish afternoon tea at one of Tokyo's premiere high tea options. Visit the Lobby Bar at The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon, for sweeping city views and an up-close look at the iconic Tokyo Tower, or head to the lounge at Four Seasons Tokyo for a modern, elegant setting and a delicious assortment of scones and sweets. You can also stop in at Shibuya Sky, a 360-degree open-air observation deck located on the roof of the tallest building in the Shibuya district, taking in the endless panoramas from its roof bar and sipping on Champagne or mocktails.

Day 3: Hands-On Sushi-Making Class, Free Afternoon to Explore 

Perfect the art of making nigiri sushi with the help of a private chef

Today you'll have an opportunity to learn the secrets behind one of Japan's most iconic dishes, nigiri sushi. Made from molding rice into a bite-size, oval shape and topping it with thin slices of raw or cooked fish or other ingredients, this dish is a delicate one and requires a certain amount of skill. Your private chef will guide you through the process, as you practice your rice molding and sushi slicing, and you can also try your hand at inari sushi and other dishes. Afterward, sit down with your instructor for your handcrafted meal as they share insight into the history of Japan's food culture.

The rest of your afternoon is free to see more of the city on your own. You can head to Shibuya, home to the famed "Shibuyu Scramble" pedestrian walkway and one of the largest shopping districts in the city, or spend some time strolling in the shaded greenery of Shinjuku Gyoen. Those interested in Japan's animé and manga culture also won't want to miss a visit to the lively Akihabara district, a neon playground packed with animé shops, cosplayers, and fun video games. Rest up in your luxury suite tonight before continuing your journey tomorrow. 

Day 4: Transfer to Hakone, Tour Mount Fuji & Lake Ashi 

Cruise the restful waters of Hakone's Lake Ashi

Trade the city for the countryside as your driver picks you up for the scenic two-hour transfer to Hakone, a mountainous resort town located in Japan's Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Upon arrival, you'll take a private tour of the region, starting with a cruise around Lake Ashinoko. Locally known as Lake Ashi, this crater lake lies along the southwest wall of Mount Hakone, with incredible mountain views and lush greenery. On a clear day, you may be able to capture a photo that shows an inverted reflection of Mount Fuji.

Continue to Hakone-jinja, a peaceful, tucked-away Shinto shrine with large lakefront torii gates, then head to Mount Komagatake Ropeway. Ascending to nearly 6,000 feet (1,800 m), the ropeway takes you from the shores of the lake up the side of Mount Komagatake. The upper station of the ropeway is one of the best places for panoramic views of Mount Fuji.

Afterward, your driver will escort you to your accommodations at Kowakien Ten-Yu. This luxury ryokan (inn) is surrounded by the natural beauty of Hakone, a peaceful sanctuary that takes you away from life's hustle and bustle. Each room includes an open-air bath, feeding all of the senses as you enjoy the fresh air. Other amenities include an infinity hot spring with views of the countryside, and a hot spring bath beside a lush forest and waterfall. This evening, relax in the healing waters of the hot springs or try original kaiseki dishes at the on-site restaurant. 

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Day 5: Discover the Art & Nature of Hakone, Self-Guided Spa Retreat

Relax amid the forest at one of Hakone's peaceful hot springs resorts

See more of the sights around Hakone via a privately guided tour. Based on your interests, you'll have options to ride the Hakone Ropeway for far-reaching views of the Owakudani Valley, or you can visit the local museums. The Hakone Open Air Museum has an expansive collection of works by artists from around the world, and the Hakone Museum of Art showcases Japanese ceramics from prehistoric times through the Edo period. The museum also has a pretty moss garden with stone paths that wind through shady maple trees—a perfect spot to contemplate the nature that surrounds you. 

Speaking of nature, outdoor lovers may want to venture deeper into the Owakudani Valley, which centers around a crater that was created by an eruption of Mount Hakone more than 3,000 years ago. Much of the area still shows volcanic activity, with sulfurous fumes, steamy hot springs, and bubbling mud. You can take a guided hike around the area, and on a clear day, you might even see views of Mount Fuji in the distance.

After your tour, you're free to relax at your hotel or explore on your own. For a fun twist on Hakone's famed hot springs, consider a visit to the Yunessun Spa Resort, a theme park with upward of 25 different spa experiences. Swim and soak in the various pools, which, alongside traditional spa baths, include options like green tea baths, wine, or ramen broth. Or, you can take a stroll along the shores of Lake Ashinoko, enjoying more of Hakone's incredible natural beauty. 

Day 6: Train to Kyoto, Torii Gates of Fushimi Inari, Geisha Dinner Show 

Walk the endless torii gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha

You're off to Kyoto today! This cultural powerhouse of a city is known for its historic traditions, such as kaiseki dining and geisha entertainers, as well as its numerous temples, gardens, and palaces. Your private transfer will take you to the train station and you'll board a Shinkansen bullet train for the 2.5-hour ride. Seating will be in the Green Car section, which is more spacious and offers a nice array of amenities. Upon arrival, you'll be met by your private driver and escorted to Ryokan Genhouin, a sumptuous 100-year-old Japanese inn that was once the residence of Count Yamashina.

The property features an exquisite garden and traditional wooden architecture, and its location offers an easy walk to local attractions. Relax for a bit in your traditional suite, then head out for a visit to the famed Fushimi Inari-taisha. Featured in the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha," this shrine has more than 10,000 picturesque red torii gates, all donated in appreciation to the god Inari. Hike up the mountain for views of the countryside, or venture into the surrounding forest, stopping at the various shrines along the way. 

This evening, delve into the mysterious world of the geisha at a private dinner show. Together with your guide, visit a traditional machiya (Cultural Heritage Property) and meet the geishas (female Japanese performing artists) and maikos (geishas in training). Watch a dance performance and learn more about the traditions of this age-old art, while dining on an authentic Japanese kaiseki meal of seasonal fish, meat, vegetables, rice, soup, and pickles. After the performance, you'll have an opportunity to take photos with the entertainers and participate in some traditional games if time permits. 

Day 7: Zen Temples of Kyoto, Meditation Experience & Tea Ceremony

Visit the UNESCO-listed Zen gardens and temple of Ryoan-ji

Visit the Zen temples of Kyoto on this morning's privately guided tour. You'll start at Kinkaku-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple with a large golden pavilion that shines above a glass-like pond. Walk the restful grounds, and be sure to visit the temple's top floors, which are covered in gold leaf. 

Next up is Ryoan-ji, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a history dating back to the 11th century. This temple gained international fame for its rock garden, one of the finest surviving examples of kare-sansui, a style of Japanese gardening founded on Zen ideology. Featuring 15 rocks of different sizes surrounded by white gravel, the garden's layout may seem simple, but it has a deeper meaning, with one interpretation claiming the rocks represent islets in a sea. You'll have time to sit on the veranda of the adjacent Hojo Hall and reflect on the garden's serene landscape. 

This afternoon, participate in an exclusive cultural experience that showcases the role of Zen Buddhism in Japan's history. Visit the temple of Reigen-in, which dates back to the late 14th century, and meet the juji (chief priest) for a tour of the grounds. See the main hall, where the monks once studied literature, and walk along the cobblestone paths of a kare-sansui garden, as well as other halls and tea houses. Finish with a guided Zen meditation practice, learning more about the wisdom in Buddhist teachings, and a traditional tea ceremony performed by the juji himself.

Day 8: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove via Rickshaw, Tenryu-ji Temple

Experience the soaring bamboo groves of Arashiyama

Today's privately-guided adventure takes you to the scenic district of Arashiyama, located on the outskirts of Kyoto. Start with a rickshaw tour through the Sagano Bamboo Grove, a natural bamboo forest that encompasses more than 3,800 acres (1,537 ha) and has paths that traverse serene greenery and towering stalks. Sit back and experience what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) as the peaceful sounds of nature surround you.

Next, you'll visit the gardens of Tenryu-ji, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned as one of Kyoto's finest Zen temples. Relax here for a bit, then make your final stop at the Togetsukyo Bridge, whose name translates to "Moon Crossing Bridge." Spanning the Katsura River, this nationally designated historic site is a place of scenic beauty and the perfect spot for a memorable photo op. At the end of the tour, your guide will take you back to your hotel, where you'll have the rest of the afternoon free.

Day 9: Transfer to Osaka via Kobe: Saké Museum, Harborland & Kobe Beef

Stroll around the lovely waterfront of Kobe Harborland en route to Osaka

Your last full day in Japan starts with a private transfer to Kobe, located approximately one hour from Kyoto. Upon arrival, refresh after the drive with a saké tasting at Hakutsuru Saké Brewery Museum. This brewhouse-turned-museum sits on the grounds of a modern factory, and you'll learn all about the brewing process while sampling delicious varietals of the fermented rice drink. 

Stroll around Kobe Harborland, a waterfront area with shopping malls, restaurants, cafés, and amusement facilities. Head to Mosaic, part of the Umie shopping complex, for a selection of eateries with views of the Kobe Port Tower and Maritime Museum, or roam around Renga Soko to see its 19th-century brick warehouses. Finish with a meal of Kobe beef at a local restaurant, considered one of the finest types of beef in the world. Kobe can be prepared as steak, grilled teppanyaki style, boiled in a hot pot, or served as sashimi. Your private guide will recommend the best dining options based on your preferences. 

After your tour of Kobe and a delectable lunch, continue to Osaka, the country's third-largest city and a top destination for travelers around the globe. Enjoy the comfortable 30-minute drive, then check in at your next luxury hotel, the opulent Ritz-Carlton Osaka. Located in the prestigious Umeda business and shopping district, this 5-star retreat combines city-inspired design with 18th-century British style, featuring gorgeously decorated rooms, a spa and fitness center, and Michelin-starred restaurants. 

Day 10: Tour Osaka Castle & Shinsaibashi District, Depart 

Take a private tour of Osaka Castle on your last morning in Japan

Make the most of your last morning in Japan with a private tour of Osaka. Start at Osaka Castle, easily one of the most prominent landmarks in the city and a testament to Japan's rich history. Roam around the complex to appreciate its intricate features, see dioramas that depict various battles, and learn more about the castle and the role it played in Japan's Edo period. From here, head to the Shinsaibashi shopping district, a consumer mecca that stretches to Mido-Suji Avenue and a great spot to pick up last-minute gifts or souvenirs.

Afterward, your luxury journey through Japan comes to a close as your private driver transfers you to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels! 

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