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Our Japan

Must stay...

At a traditional inn (ryokan) to experience Japanese hospitality, cuisine and aesthetics. Our favorites include the Hiiragiya and Tawaraya ryokans in Kyoto and the Gora Kadan in Hakone.

Don't miss...

The food halls in department stores such as Mitsukoshi, Takashimaya and Isetan. Our excellent guides can lead you on delicious tasting tours.

For garden lovers...

Enjoy private access to some of Japan's most exclusive imperial gardens (including Katsura Rikyu), Zen temple gardens, and other private gardens in Kyoto, Kanazawa, and many other locations throughout Japan.

Iconic image...

The enormous vermilion torii, Shinto gate, which appears to float atop the Seto Inland Sea at Miyajima's Itsukushima Shrine (near Hiroshima).

The seasons...

A highlight of eating in Japan—whether at a gourmet restaurant or a bento box while on the train—is seeing how the cuisine incorporates seasonal ingredients.

Favorite contemporary art destination...

Naoshima Island, with its hotels designed by Tadao Ando, its art installations throughout the island, and the beautiful scenery.

Consider...

A private Zen meditation at a temple or an exclusive, private kaiseki dinner with entertainment by authentic geisha.

Favorite vegetarian cuisine...

We love temple cuisine in Kyoto. Our travelers in Kyoto experience a Zen vegetarian meal at a temple overlooking a beautiful garden.

When in Japan...

Experience the decadence of an outdoor onsen (natural hot spring) bath.

Best time to visit...

Japan is a great year-round destination. Favorite times include autumn for fall foliage, late winter for plum blossoms, spring for cherry blossoms, and July for summer festivals.

Japan with kids...

Castles, anime lessons, pop-culture districts, gadget shops, theme parks, baseball games and more.

Cultural immersion...

Consider having us arrange a behind-the-scenes tour of a sumo stable, private martial arts lessons, flower arranging lessons, and exclusive tea ceremonies.

The art of cuisine...

We can arrange all kinds of culinary experiences in this foodie paradise, from reservations at Sukiyabashi Jiro, to private cooking classes, to tours of the Tsukiji Fish Market and street food tours.

Best of Tokyo's pop culture...

Teen fashion and pop culture are born in Tokyo’s Shibuya and Harajuku neighborhoods. Fans of anime should not miss Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli Museum, and we can arrange tickets in advance.

Favorite shopping...

Japanese ceramics, refined lacquerware serving pieces, cute and kitsch pop-culture items, textiles, antiques, tea accessories, and fashion.

 

Experience Our Japan.

Contact Artisans of Leisure to start planning a private, customized tour.