• Day 1

    Outbound international flight to Tokyo

    Stay: Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo (3 nights)​​

    Your Stay

    Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo

    With its coveted address in Nihonbashi at the very heart of the city; soaring views of the city and beyond; sky-high, cutting-edge style; a heavenly spa; and an enticing array of dramatic dining, can’t think of anywhere better to stay in the city.

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  • Days 2-3


    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) ​

    Your Stay


    There’s something magical about taking the train through the mountains of Hida-Takayama and catching your first glimpse of Wanosato’s fairytale-like cluster of quaint and majestic 160 year-old minka tucked away in the forest.

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  • 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)​​

    Your Stay

    ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa

    This crescent-shaped landmark building is a great base for exploring the big-city essentials, with a rooftop beer garden in summer months that’s super popular with the locals.​​ It’s situated just in front of JR Kanazawa station too.

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  • 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)​​

    Your Stay

    Ryokan Kurashiki

    This traditional ryokan – in the heart of Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter and once a sugar storehouse – is now one of the best (if not slightly unconventional) ryokans in town.

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  • 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 Hotel Clement (1 night)​

    Your Stay

    JR Hotel Clement

    Takamtasu’s tallest hotel, this is true Western-style luxury. The rooms are spacious and sound-proofed, with rousing views of the city or the Inland Sea (particularly from the upper floors’ corner rooms).

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  • 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)​​

    Your Stay

    Aman Tokyo

    Occupying the Otemachi Tower’s top six floors, steps from Tokyo Station and the Ginza shopping district, Aman Tokyo is brilliantly convenient; and a gasp-inducing experience from top to bottom.

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  • Day 12


    Depart Tokyo on your international flight back to London Heathrow.​​

Speak to someone who has been there

Nicky has been here. Find out more and begin to plan your trip by getting in touch directly. You can speak to Nicky by calling the number below or by sending a direct online enquiry.

01244 567 000

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