International Garden Tours - Private luxury travel

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Luxury Garden Tours

Gardens & Crafts of Japan
(11 Days)
Tokyo, Kurashiki, Kyoto, Kanazawa

Garden Tour of Portugal
(9 Days)
Porto & Douro Valley, Sintra & Cascais, Lisbon

Garden Tour of Italy
(10 Days)
Lake Como, Florence & Tuscany, Rome & Tivoli

Garden Tour of England
(6 Days)
Cotswolds, London

Garden Tour of France
(8 Days)
Versailles, Loire Valley, Paris

Garden Tour of Sicily
(8 Days)
Palermo, Taormina & environs

Gardens of the Netherlands
(7 days)
Groningen, Amsterdam, Leiden, Delft, Gelderland

Gardens & Crafts of Japan

(11 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Tokyo, Kurashiki, Kyoto, Kanazawa

This private tour of Japan features some of the best destinations for experiencing Japanese gardens, traditional crafts and mingei (folk art). It includes private cultural touring with your own guide and driver, accommodation in Japan’s best luxury hotels and a local ryokan (traditional inn), private airport transfers, first-class travel by shinkansen (bullet train), luggage transfers, and access to a wide range of unique activities that engage you in real Japanese culture.

Begin in Tokyo, a dynamic city where tradition and modernity co-exist. During touring with your private guide and driver, explore the Mingeikan (Folk Art Museum), local galleries, and folk art shops. Browse flea markets for Japanese antiques, textiles, ceramics, lacquerware and more. Tour Tokyo’s most interesting neighborhoods, such as Shibuya, Harajuku, Aoyama and Ginza. See Meiji Shrine, the Imperial Palace and other important historical sites. Depending on timing and interests, perhaps also visit some of the city’s best museums, such as the Tokyo National Museum. If desired, also experience Japanese pop culture, and explore one of the world’s most exciting culinary scenes. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange additional touring according to your interests, such as watching sumo wrestlers practice at a sumo stable, meetings with culinary and sake experts, and visits to additional gardens throughout the city. Artisans of Leisure can also make Tokyo dining reservations at our favorite local restaurants and at some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world.

Continue to Kurashiki, an atmospheric town of willow tree-draped canals, traditional black-and-white architecture, and folk art museums and shops. One day, take an excursion to the mountainside village of Imbe, where rustic Bizen-yaki ceramics is made in small kilns. Also visit Okayama to see Korakuen Garden, one of Japan's most important gardens.

Next, travel to enchanting Kyoto, Japan’s heart of culture and tradition. During touring with your private guide and driver, experience the best of this elegant city. Visit important temples and shrines. Gain access to imperial villas and private gardens such as Katsura Rikyu, Shugakuin and Saihoji (the Moss Temple). Enjoy an exclusive private tea ceremony. Stroll through a bamboo forest. Enjoy a Buddhist vegetarian lunch at a local temple. Tour traditional geisha districts such as Gion. Visit markets and food purveyors to sample Kyoto’s culinary specialties, considered the most refined in Japan. Explore antiques districts, and browse our favorite shops for exquisite ceramics, lacquerware and other crafts. One day, enjoy a private excursion to the I. M. Pei-designed Miho Museum or to ancient Nara, the birthplace of Buddhism in Japan.

Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can also arrange a wide range of other unique activities in Kyoto, such as an exclusive private dinner accompanied by geisha and maiko, private Zen meditation in a local temple, meetings with local craftspeople, ikebana (flower arranging) lessons, manga drawing lessons, a visit to a private machiya (traditional merchant house), hiking to temples in the hills surrounding the city, and private Japanese cooking classes.

Continue to Kanazawa, a cultural gem. One of Japan’s wealthiest cities during the feudal era, Kanazawa is known for beautiful gardens, traditional architecture, acclaimed contemporary art and folk art museums, and fresh seafood from the nearby Sea of Japan. With your expert local guide, tour former samurai and geisha neighborhoods. Explore the renowned Kenrokuen Garden, one of the most famous gardens in Japan. Tour fascinating Myoryuji (the Ninja Temple), and visit museums such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and Ishikawa Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts. Visit a pottery kiln and shops specializing in Kanazawa’s celebrated silk, lacquer and gold-leaf products. Also tour the city’s enormous central food market, and experience Kanazawa’s excellent, refined cuisine at our favorite restaurants. 

Return to Tokyo for last-minute shopping, dining, and free time to enjoy the city.

Itinerary Overview
Day 1 Arrive Tokyo

Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights

Day 2 Tokyo

Full-day private tour

Day 3 Tokyo – Kurashiki

Private transfer to train station and first-class shinkansen (bullet train) to Kurashiki. Private arrival transfer to ryokan for 2 nights, including kaiseki dinner. Afternoon private tour

Day 4 Kurashiki

Half-day private excursion to Imbe pottery village and Okayama. Kaiseki dinner this evening

Day 5 Kurashiki - Kyoto

Private transfer to train station and first-class shinkansen to Kyoto. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights

Day 6 Kyoto

Full-day private tour, including private tea ceremony and lunch at a temple

Day 7 Kyoto

Full-day private tour, including access to private gardens and visits to craft studios

Day 8 Kyoto - Kanazawa

Private transfer to train station and first-class train to Kanazawa. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights. Afternoon private tour

Day 9 Kanazawa

Full-day private tour

Day 10 Kanazawa - Tokyo

Private transfer to train station and first-class train to Tokyo. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night

Day 11 Depart Tokyo

Private airport transfer

Tokyo: Aman Tokyo, Park Hyatt Tokyo or The Peninsula Tokyo
Kurashiki: Ryokan Kurashiki
Kyoto: Ritz Carlton Kyoto or Four Seasons Kyoto
Kanazawa: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

$20,600 Per person (double occupancy)