Private luxury tours in art, architecture & design travel

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Luxury Art & Design Tours

Contemporary Art of Japan
(14 Days)
Tokyo, Kanazawa, Naoshima, Kyoto, Hakone

Art Tour of France
(10 Days)
Paris & Versailles, Provence, Cote d’Azur

Culinary & Art Tour of Spain
(11 Days)
Madrid, San Sebastian, La Rioja, Bilbao, Barcelona

Art & Temples of India
(18 Days)
Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho & Panna National Park, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Mumbai

Art, Crafts & Design of Mexico
(9 Days)
Mexico City, Oaxaca

Ceramics Tour of Japan
(10 Days)
Fukuoka, Saga, Kyoto, Yamashiro Onsen, Kanazawa, Tokyo

Art Tour of Berlin, Prague & Vienna
(9 Days)
Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, Prague, Vienna

Italy for Art Lovers
(13 Days)
Rome, Florence & Assisi, Bologna & Ravenna, Venice & Padua, Milan

Art & Design of Portugal
(8 Days)
Lisbon & Sintra, Porto & Douro Valley

Aboriginal Art & Culture of Australia
(9 Days)
Sydney, Ayers Rock (Uluru), Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land

Art Tour of Switzerland
(6 Days)
Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Weil am Rhein, Zurich, St. Gallen, Winterthur

Arts & Crafts of Burma
(9 Days)
Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay

Arts & Crafts in England
(8 Days)
London, Cotswolds

Dutch & Flemish Art Tour
(10 days)
Bruges & Ghent, Brussels & Antwerp, Amsterdam with The Hague & Delft

Culture, Crafts & Cuisine of Ireland
(13 days)
Dublin, Ballyfin, Ballymaloe, Killarney, Adare, Ashford Castle

Arts & Crafts of Morocco
(13 Days)
Casablanca, Fez, Rabat, High Atlas Mountains, Essaouira, Marrakesh

Art & Architecture Tour of South Korea
(8 Days)
Seoul, Jeju Island

The Art of Japan
(13 Days)
Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Yamanaka Onsen, Naoshima, Kyoto

Contemporary Art of Japan

(14 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Tokyo, Kanazawa, Naoshima, Kyoto, Hakone

This exclusive Japan tour features private touring of top art museums and galleries, fascinating contemporary architecture, vibrant neighborhoods, the unforgettable art island of Naoshima, and the best in traditional Japanese culture. It also includes accommodation in Japan’s best luxury hotels and a luxury ryokan (traditional inn), private airport transfers, first-class train travel, luggage transfers and access to a wide range of unique, art-related activities.

Begin in dynamic Tokyo, Japan’s capital of style and innovation. During private touring, explore interesting neighborhoods such as Shibuya, Harajuku, Aoyama and Ginza. Visit noteworthy museums such as the Mori Art Museum, Watari-um, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, 21_21 Design Sight and Tokyo National Museum according to interests and current exhibitions. See outstanding contemporary architecture by top Japanese and international architects such as Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, Toyo Ito and Herzog & de Meuron. Experience Japan’s vibrant pop culture and street fashions. Visit the best specialty food and crafts markets. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange visits to top art galleries, meetings with gallery owners, meals with culinary and sake experts, and additional touring according to your interests. We can also make reservations for you to dine at our favorite local restaurants and at some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world.

Continue by first-class shinkansen (bullet train) 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 central food market, and experience Kanazawa’s excellent, refined cuisine at our favorite restaurants. One day, Artisans of Leisure will arrange an exclusive private visit and culinary experience at a traditional Japanese farm in the countryside.

Next, travel to Naoshima, a renowned contemporary art destination on an island in the Seto Inland Sea. Stay at Benesse House, a Tadao Ando-designed hotel and contemporary art museum. During private touring, explore Benesse Art Site Naoshima, a complex of museums, installations and art spaces scattered across the island. Visit Benesse House Museum to see work by artists such as Richard Long and Hiroshi Sugimoto, and see installations by Yayoi Kusama, Cai Guo-Qiang and others along the waterfront. Also see the Art House Projects, where installations by James Turrell, Rei Naito and other artists inhabit buildings in a local village. Depending on time and interests, also explore the Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum and I Love Yu Bathhouse. If desired, see additional art installations and architecture on the nearby islands of Teshima and Inujima (also part of Benesse Art Site). Another option is to visit the island of Shikoku, where permission can be arranged to tour the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum Japan and Ritsurin Garden.

Next, visit enchanting Kyoto, the heart of Japanese 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 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. Alternatively, visit additional contemporary art and architecture sites outside Kyoto, such as Tadao Ando’s Church of Light, Honpukuji (Water Temple) and Awaji Yumebutai. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can also arrange a wide range of other unique activities in and around Kyoto, such as an exclusive private dinner accompanied by geisha and maiko entertainment, private Zen meditation in a local Buddhist temple, meetings with local craftspeople, ikebana (flower arranging) lessons, visiting a master swordsmith, meeting with ceramics experts, tea tastings and tea plantation visits, attending a sumo tournament, 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.

Take the first-class shinkansen to Odawara to visit the fascinating Enoura Observatory by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Continue by private car to Hakone, a volcanic national park renowned for hot springs and views of nearby Mount Fuji. Stay at one of Japan’s most luxurious and renowned ryokan (traditional inns), where you can soak in your own private outdoor hot spring bath and enjoy a gourmet kaiseki ryori (seasonal tasting menu) dinner. During private touring, visit one of Hakone’s best art museums or perhaps explore Hakone’s geothermal areas, forested mountains and historical sites.

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 3 nights

Day 2 Tokyo

Full-day private city tour

Day 3 Tokyo

Full-day private city tour

Day 4 Tokyo - Kanazawa

Private transfer to train station for first-class shinkansen (bullet train). Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights. Afternoon private tour

Day 5 Kanazawa

Full-day private tour, including culinary experience at a farm in a rural village

Day 6 Kanazawa - Naoshima

Private transfer to train station for first-class train, private car and ferry to island in Seto Inland Sea. Touring en route to hotel for 3 nights

Day 7 Naoshima

Full-day private tour

Day 8 Naoshima & Seto Inland Sea

Full-day private tour, including option for excursion to Teshima and/or Inujima or Shikoku

Day 9 Naoshima - Kyoto

Transfer by ferry, private car and first-class train. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights. Afternoon private tour

Day 10 Kyoto

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

Day 11 Kyoto

Full-day private excursion to the Miho Museum or other contemporary art and architecture highlights in the region

Day 12 Kyoto – Hakone

Private transfer to train station and first-class shinkansen. Afternoon private tour of contemporary art observatory on arrival. Private transfer to luxury hot springs ryokan for 1 night, including kaiseki ryori dinner

Day 13 Kyoto - Tokyo

Private transfer to train station for bullet train to Tokyo. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night

Day 14 Depart Tokyo
Private airport transfer


Aman Tokyo

Kanazawa: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa
Naoshima: Benesse House
Kyoto: Ritz-Carlton Kyoto or Four Seasons Kyoto
Hakone: Gora Kadan

$27,600 Per person (double occupancy)