A FAMILY DISCOVERY


TOKYO | HAKONE | KYOTO

DAY 1 Outbound international flight to Tokyo.

Stay: Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo (3 nights)
​​DAYS 2-3 ​Tokyo

One of the world’s largest cities and the capital of Japan, Tokyo is an intriguing metropolis of interconnected towns, leaping fast forward into the future yet still deeply rooted in the past. For this particular journey, we have selected a few city landmarks known for their connection to Tokyo’s past. Explore ancient shrines, temples and gardens, remnants of former glory of Edo, as Tokyo was once called. Daytrips to Kamakura and Nikko will also complement your discovery of a bygone era, when Shoguns ruled the country.
​DAY 4 ​Tokyo to Hakone
Journey Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Hakone, a volcanic national park near Mt. Fuji, the tallest and most famous mountain in Japan attracting more than 200,000 climbers every year. 

Visit the unique Hakone Open Air Museum and appreciate the balance of nature and art: a variety of sculptures on its spacious grounds in perfect harmony with picturesque views of the surrounding valley and mountains. The various indoor galleries, include a sizable Picasso Collection, consisting of paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramic creations. The Museum is interesting both for children & adults alike, with “artworks” which children can freely touch and even climb on!

Stay: Gora Kadan Ryokan (1 night)
​DAY 5 ​Hakone to Kyoto 
Journey Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes

Kyoto became the capital of Japan in the 8th century. It flourished as the centre for Japanese politics, economy and culture for some 1,100 years, until the capital functions were transferred to Tokyo in the mid-19th century. There remain many temples and shrines in Kyoto that were built during this long period. Seventeen historic sites including, Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle, are inscribed as World Cultural Heritage Sites.

Stay: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto (3 nights)
​DAYS 6-7  ​Kyoto

Exploring Kyoto, you may meet some 'maiko,' young dancing entertainers, who walk in long hanging-sleeved kimono in the Gion district, see the townscape characterised with popular 19th-century-style latticework, and visit the Nishijin where they weave traditional 'Nishijin-ori' textiles with vividly coloured threads. The festivals in Kyoto are famous not only in Japan, but are also known worldwide. The three major festivals of Kyoto are the Aoi-matsuri Festival in early summer, the Gion-matsuri Festival in mid-summer and the Jidai-matsuri Festival in fall. There is also the Gozan-no-Okuribi, more commonly known as Daimonji-yaki, held on the night of Urabon (August 16th). During this festival numerous torches are ignited on the five mountains surrounding Kyoto, with the flames laid out to form a letter or figure. It is a summer event known both at home and abroad.
​DAY 8 Kyoto to Tokyo
Journey time: 2 hours

Stay: Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo (1 night)
​DAY 9 Depart Tokyo on your international flight back to London Heathrow.
​PRICES ​​8 nights from £6,490 per person (based on a family of four)

SETO INLAND ISLAND ADVENTURE


TOKYO | KURASHIKI | NAOSHIMA | TAKAMATSU
MATSUYAMA | HIROSHIMA | MIYAJIMA

DAY 1 Outbound international flight to Tokyo.

Stay: Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo (1 night)
​DAY 2 ​Tokyo to Kurashiki
Journey Time: 6 hours

From the old town of Kurashiki and its traditional Ryokan to the remote and spectacular Iya Valley with its gorge and mountain sceneries, where village encounters and hiking await, embark on an exhilarating discovery of Seto & Shikoku.

Stay: Ryokan Kurashiki (1 night)
​DAYS 3-4 ​Kurashiki to Naoshima
Journey Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Naoshima is an island in the Seto Inland Sea that is known for its modern art museums, architecture and sculptures. Part of Kagawa Prefecture, the island with its Mediterranean atmosphere, sandy beaches and sunny weather, combined with a laid back, rural feel is a relaxing getaway from Japan's large urban areas such as Tokyo and Osaka.

Much of Naoshima's art was installed by the Benesse Corporation, which oversees art museums, installations and sculptures both on Naoshima and on neighbouring islands. Benesse's museums were designed by the well-known Japanese architect Ando Tadao and include the Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum and all the buildings of the Benesse House. 

Stay: Benesse House (2 nights)
​DAY 5 ​Naoshima to Takamatsu
Journey Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Takamatsu, Shikoku's second largest city and the prefectural capital of Kagawa, here you will see Ritsurin Koen Park. Designed in 1625 by Ikoma Takatoshi, the feudal lord of the Province, it contains some 160 types of trees and flowers that change with the seasons; camellias, plum trees, etc.

Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, designed by internationally renowned, Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) for the display of what he considered to be representative examples of his life's work. Open to the public as a museum, both his workshop and traditional Japanese residence have been carefully preserved just as they were when the artist was alive. Numerous completed and unfinished sculptures are on display.

A must visit a Bonsai nursery in the Town of Kinashi, one of the main centres for the cultivation of BONSAI trees in Japan, particularly pines: Kinashi supplies 80 percent of Japan's pine bonsai.

Stay: JR Clement (1 night)
​DAYS 6-7 ​​Takamatsu to Matsuyama
Journey Time: 2 hours

Shikoku's biggest city, trendy Matsuyama has arguably more attractions than any other prefectural capital on the island. There's excellent shopping and a wide selection of restaurants, but the real jewels in its crown are much older.

A visit Matsuyama-jo, located on Mount Katsuyama, a steep hill in the city centre that provides visitors with a bird's eye view of Matsuyama and the Seto Inland Sea. Constructed between 1602 and 1628, Matsuyama-jo is one of Japan's twelve "original castles", i.e. castles which have survived the post-feudal era since 1868 intact. It is also one of the most complex and interesting castles in the country. The current three storied castle tower was constructed in 1820 after the original five storied one had been destroyed by lightning. In spite of the castle's steep hilltop location, a ropeway and a chairlift make it easily accessible. Riding the single-chair chairlift is a pleasant and popular way to ascend Mount Katsuyama. 

Stay: Setouchi Retreat AONAGI (2 nights)
​DAY 8 Matsuyama to Hiroshima
Journey Time: 2 hours

Visit the Peace Memorial Park & Museum and the A-Bomb Dome. The Peace Memorial Park and the museum are moving, yet educative and humbling moments, with sculptures and memorials from all over the world. The A-bomb Dome is the skeletal remains of Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall, situated just below the explosion point of the atomic bomb. It has become known to the world as a symbol of “No More Hiroshimas”.

Stay: Sekitei (2 nights)
​DAY 9 ​Miyajima Island

A small & charming island on foot to the Itsukushima Shrine, with its Torii (shrine gate, symbol of Miyajima) which appears to be floating on the water during high-tide. The first Torii built in the bay dates back to the 12th century.

If you feel fit, you can climb up the “Daishoin Route” to the top of Mt. Misen, 530m-high, where you will see the superb view of the Inland Sea. The path strolls its way up, around the island, offering quiet moments and beautiful natural settings. (Hiking is intermediate level and takes around 2-3 hours depending on your pace). Come down using the Ropeway. Alternatively, you can take the ropeway both ways and enjoy a short hike to the top.
​DAY 10 ​Hiroshima to Tokyo
Journey Time: 4 hours

Stay: Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo (1 night)
​DAY 11 Depart Tokyo on your international flight back to London Heathrow.
​PRICES 10 nights from £7,995 per person

A DIFFERENT SIDE TO JAPAN


TOKYO | TAKAYAMA | KANAZAWA
KURASHIKI | TAKAMATSU | IYA VALLEY

DAY 1
Outbound international flight to Tokyo.

Stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo (3 nights)
​DAYS 2-3 Tokyo

One of the world’s largest cities and the capital of Japan, Tokyo is an intriguing metropolis of interconnected towns, leaping fast forward into the future yet still deeply rooted in the past. For this particular journey, we have selected a few city landmarks known for their connection to Tokyo’s past. Explore ancient shrines, temples and gardens, remnants of former glory of Edo, as Tokyo was once called. Daytrips to Kamakura and Nikko will also complement your discovery of a bygone era, when Shoguns ruled the country.
​DAYS 4-5 ​Tokyo to Takayama
Journey Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Sometimes dubbed “little Kyoto”, Takayama is actually very different, due to its modest size and remote location in mountainous settings. Famous for the quality of its beef (Hida-gyu), sake and rice, ancient traditions and methods seems to prevail, as you will experience during your stay at a traditional yet luxurious Japanese Inn. The secluded mountain village of Shirakawago is home to the Gassho-zukuri farmhouses, traditional buildings with steeply sloped roofs in the form of two hands in prayer and a World Heritage site since 1995.

Stay: Wanosato Ryokan (2 nights) 
​DAYS 6-7 ​​Takayama to Kanazawa 
Journey Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

One of the overlooked jewels of Japan, Kanazawa prospered for more than 300 years since Toshiie Maeda, a powerful feudal lord in the region, built a castle in the city. The feudal ambience can be felt vividly everywhere: in the heart of the city where lies the magnificent Kenroku-en Garden, one of the Three Most Famous Gardens in Japan, as well as in the Nagamachi Samurai District, in the Higashi Geisha District and the Kanazawa Castle.​

Stay: ANA Crown Plaza (2 nights)
​DAY 8 ​Kanazawa to Kurashiki 
Journey Time: 5 hours

From the old town of Kurashiki and its traditional Ryokan to the remote and spectacular Iya valley with its gorge and mountain sceneries, where village encounters and hiking await, embark on an exhilarating discovery of Seto & Shikoku.

Stay: Ryokan Kurashiki (1 night)
​DAY 9 ​Kurashiki to Takamatsu 
Journey Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Takamatsu, Shikoku's second largest city and the prefectural capital of Kagawa, here you will see Ritsurin Koen Park. Designed in 1625 by Ikoma Takatoshi, the feudal lord of the Province, it contains some 160 types of trees and flowers that change with the seasons; camellias, plum trees, etc. 

Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, designed by internationally renowned, Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) for the display of what he considered to be representative examples of his life's work. Open to the public as a museum, both his workshop and traditional Japanese residence have been carefully preserved just as they were when the artist was alive. Numerous completed and unfinished sculptures are on display. 

A must visit a Bonsai nursery in the Town of Kinashi, one of the main centres for the cultivation of BONSAI trees in Japan, particularly pines: Kinashi supplies 80 percent of Japan's pine bonsai.

Stay: JR Clement (1 night)
​DAY 10 ​Takamatsu to Iya Valley
Journey Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Iya Valley is one of the most isolated regions of Japan. Dotted with cottages, its slopes covered with maple forests, its gorges trapped between steep mountainsides, its ancient vine bridges spanning emerald-green torrents, the effect is very picturesque. Due to its inaccessibility, the valley provided a refuge for the survivors of the Taira clan after their defeat by the Minamoto at the Battle of Yashima in 1185. Swapping the sword for the hoe and scythe, the warriors became farmers and today, many villagers can claim to be descended from ancestors who served at the court during the Heian era.

Stay: Nanoyado Ryokan (1 night)
​DAY 11 ​Iya Valley to Tokyo
Journey Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Stay: Aman Tokyo (1 night)
​DAY 13 Depart Tokyo on your international flight back to London Heathrow.
​​PRICES ​11 nights from £10,290 per person

​TOKYO


 


 




HAKONE


 


 




KYOTO


 


 




KURASHIKI


 


 




NAOSHIMA


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TAKAMATSU


 


 




MATSUYAMA


 


 




KANAZAWA


 




IYA VALLEY


 

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