With a perfect blend of urban vibes and peaceful nature, this weeklong tour of Japan takes you from 5-star luxury in Tokyo to a secluded hot springs retreat in Hakone. After Michelin-starred dining and practicing the art of the tea ceremony in the capital, take day trips to coastal Kamakura and the impressive Kegon Falls in Nikko. End in the mountains around Hakone, soaking in thermal waters, cruising the waters of Lake Kawaguchi, and walking the sulfurous pathways of the Owaku-dani Valley.


  • See endless city skyline views from your opulent suite at Tokyo's Mandarin Oriental
  • Walk the lush green hills of Kamakura and visit the hidden temple of Hokoku-ji
  • Ascend the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway and sip saké at a local distillery
  • Stroll the shores of Lake Ashinoko and browse Hakone's elegant art galleries

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tokyo, Guided City Tour, Michelin Fine Dining Experience Tokyo
Day 2 Kimono Tea Ceremony in Tokyo, Luxury Spa Afternoon Tokyo
Day 3 Day Trip to Kamakura: Shrines, Surfing & Shopping Fun Tokyo
Day 4 Day Trip to Nikko Toshogu Shrine & Kegon Falls Tokyo
Day 5 Transfer to Hakone via Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi & Whisky Tasting Hakone
Day 6 Tour of Hakone's Art, Nature & Museums Hakone
Day 7 Transfer to Tokyo, Depart  
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tokyo, Guided City Tour, Michelin Fine Dining Experience

Start your Japan travels with a delicious meal in one of Tokyo's many Michelin-starred restaurants

Welcome to Japan! Your flight lands in Tokyo, Japan's capital, 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 accommodations at the Mandarin Oriental. This stylish retreat is in the city's Nihonbashi financial district, within easy reach of Ginza, a glamorous shopping and dining neighborhood. Check into your room, where you'll find decor overseen by internationally acclaimed interior designer Ryu Kosaka and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer views of the Tokyo skyline.

After taking a moment to regroup, discover Tokyo with a private city tour, starting at Tsukiji Outer Fish Market. Dating back to the Edo period, the market comprises nearly 400 shops and restaurants packed into narrow lanes. Roam the alleys with your guide and try an array of traditional delicacies. Then, visit the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace for views of the double-arched Nijubashi Bridge. End at Senso-ji, one of the city's most significant Buddhist temples. Take in the giant lanterns on the Kaminarimon (outer gate) and walk along Nakamise-dori, a street lined with vendors selling souvenirs and snacks.

Tonight, prepare for a fine dining experience like no other. Tokyo has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world, and this private excursion offers your pick of nearly any cuisine. If you'd like to try traditional kaiseki, a multicourse meal that highlights fresh local produce, opt for Ginza Kojyu, known for its elevated dishes. Or, visit the Shinjuku district's Sobahouse Konjiki Hototogisu, one of a handful of ramen restaurants that hold a Michelin star. And 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.

Day 2: Kimono Tea Ceremony in Tokyo, Luxury Spa Afternoon

Visit a local teahouse and learn the highly ritualized art of the tea ceremony

Experience one of Japanese culture's most ancient traditions—the art of the tea ceremony. Known as chanoyu or sado, this highly ritualized tradition was born and curated in Kyoto and is now a popular pastime for visitors across the country. Meet your private driver and head to Maikoya Tokyo, arriving at a local teahouse. Here, you'll be invited to change into a kimono and, alongside your expert instructor, learn the steps of preparing tea. Afterward, you'll have the chance to perform the ritual on your own, enjoying a cup of matcha green tea alongside delicious Japanese sweets.

Return to your hotel and spend a luxurious afternoon in the hotel's award-winning spa, where views of the sweeping skyline provide the perfect backdrop to an array of tailored treatments. Choose from several different treatment options, such as the 3.5-hour bathing ritual, which includes your own private bathing suite and lounge area, sky-high infinity bathtub, and a full-body massage and exfoliation using bespoke essential oils. 

This evening, you're free to see more of the city on your own. Consider a visit to Shibuya, one of Tokyo's largest shopping districts and home to the famed Shibuya Crossing, a pedestrian walkway that's packed with people and a sight to see! Or, for something more restive, roam around the peaceful greenery of Shinjuku Gyo-en, where you'll find quiet paths and shaded trees. And if manga or animé is your thing, head to Akihabara or Electric Town, a busy district where you'll find animé culture intertwined with cutting-edge technology. 

Day 3: Day Trip to Kamakura: Shrines, Surfing & Shopping Fun

See the torii gates at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in Kamakura

After breakfast, meet your driver for a privately guided day trip to the seaside city of Kamakura, one of Japan's ancient capitals. The scenic drive takes just over an hour, and upon arrival, you'll be charmed by this small coastal town, which, despite its small size, holds an important place in Japanese history.

Visit monuments such as a 43-foot-high (13 m) Buddha statue entirely made of bronze and the historic Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, the largest and most important Shinto shrine in the prefecture. Watch swimmers and surfers on the popular Yuigahama Beach, and stroll along the ocean for fresh air and sea views. Spend some time in downtown Kamakura for souvenir shopping, or visit the nearby island of Enoshima and have lunch at one of its waterfront restaurants.

Wrap up your tour at Hokoku-ji, a temple hidden in the eastern hills of Kamakura. Just behind the temple's main hall is a beautiful bamboo forest, with a traditional tea house tucked amid the greenery. Walk the narrow stone pathways that take you to the tea house, then have some matcha tea and traditional sweets, relishing the serenity and peacefulness before you return to Tokyo.

Day 4: Day Trip to Nikko Toshogu Shrine & Kegon Falls

Visit the serene greenery and impressive cascades of Kegon Falls

See more of the sights outside Tokyo on a private day trip to Nikko, a small city located in the Tochigi prefecture. Your guide will pick you up in the morning for the scenic 2.5-hour drive north, and upon arrival, you'll start with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nikko Toshogu. Situated in a lush forested area, this shrine is the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which once ruled Japan. See the incredible Yomeimon Gate, which has more than 500 detailed carvings, and walk the halls and pagodas. You can also take a short walk into the woods to see the mausoleum.

From here, continue into the mountains to Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Falls. Dropping 318 feet (97 m) from the cliffs, Kegon Falls is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. Take a walk on the shores of the lake, located inside Nikko National Park. At 4,163 feet (1,269 m), it's the highest-elevation natural lake in Japan, created nearly 20,000 years ago from an eruption of Mount Nantai. Enjoy the views of the mountains from the lake's shores, then return to Nikko and explore a bit more before the return drive to Tokyo.

Day 5: Transfer to Hakone via Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi & Whisky Tasting

Relax in pure luxury at a luxe hot springs retreat (photo courtesy of Kowakien Ten-Yu)

Trade city for countryside today as your driver collects you for the scenic two-hour transfer to Hakone, a mountainous resort town located within Japan's Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Upon arrival, you'll take a private tour of the region, starting at Arakurayama Sengen Park, where views of Mount Fuji frame a monumental pagoda. See Oshino Hakkai, a set of eight ponds fed by snow melt from Fuji's slopes, and stop in at Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan, a small museum at Oshino Hakkai's largest pond with a thatched-roof farmhouse and exhibits of farming tools, household items, samurai armor, and weapons.

Board a small boat for a cruise across Lake Kawaguchi or head for the sky on the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway, reaching an observation deck for panoramic lake and mountain views. The day's adventure closes with a stop at the Fuji Gotemba Distillery, where whisky and saké are produced using water sourced from Fuji's snow melt. Learn about their sake-making process, see the pot stills, distillation equipment, and wooden vat fermentation tanks that produce various types of saké, and enjoy a tasting of the different spirits.

Afterward, your driver will escort you to your accommodations at the incredible 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 features 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 with a waterfall. This evening, relax in the healing waters, then try original kaiseki dishes at the on-site restaurant. 

Day 6: Tour of Hakone's Art, Nature & Museums

Take in the glass-like waters of Lake Ashinoko and visit the Hakone shrine

Spend your last full day in Japan on a privately guided tour of Hakone. Start at the Hakone Open Air Museum, which has various outdoor exhibits and an expansive collection of works by artists from around the world. The museum blends the beauty of nature with art, showcasing various sculptures and other pieces against the backdrop of the surrounding valley and mountains. Next, visit the Hakone Museum of Art, where you'll find displays of Japanese ceramics from prehistoric times through the Edo Period, as well as a pretty moss garden with stone paths that wind through shady maple trees.

Head to the shores of Lake Ashinoko and spend some time at Hakone-jinja, a peaceful, tucked-away Shinto shrine with large lakefront torii gates, then end your tour in the Owaku-dani Valley, where you can see the hot springs and rivers this region is so known for, alongside excellent views of Mount Fuji. Tonight, relax at one of Hakone's famous hot spring resort areas, most of which have multiple pools, restaurants, and other amenities. 

Day 7: Transfer to Tokyo, Depart

Savor a final morning soak before departure (photo courtesy of Kowakien Ten-Yu)

Your luxury getaway in Japan has come to an end. At the scheduled time, your driver will collect you from your hotel and transfer you back to Tokyo and to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Japan Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Japan? Check out these other Japan itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in Japan in luxury, or discover the best time to visit Japan.


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Map of Luxury Japan Getaway: Lively Tokyo & Tranquil Hakone - 7 Days
Map of Luxury Japan Getaway: Lively Tokyo & Tranquil Hakone - 7 Days
Written by Fei He, updated Jul 9, 2024