Explore the magic of Tokyo’s oldest Geisha district
Enjoy a romantic early morning helicopter ride above the city
Dip into hot spring baths while staying in a traditional ryokan
Take in beautiful views of the sakura from Mt. Otowa in Kyoto
Visit Ago Bay to watch the Ama female freedivers and dine together
Curated by Luke
Day 1 Arrival Tokyo
Upon arrival you’ll be met by a representative and privately transferred to your hotel.
The rest of the day will be spent at your leisure. You’ll be armed with our list of recommendations, and your Lightfoot Travel Designer can advise on activities prior to departure.
Day 2 Tokyo City Tour
Start your trip with a tour of Tokyo alongside an expert guide.
Head to Asakusa, the city’s oldest Geisha district and home to Sensoji Temple, visit Meiji Shrine, and see the Ginza area, Imperial Palace and Shibuya’s ‘scramble’ crossing.
In the evening, take to the streets to seek out the capital's best bites. From tiny pubs to street side stalls, rub elbows with the locals while sampling Japan's favourite dishes and drinks.
Day 3 Helicopter Tour
Board a helicopter for a private flight. Soak up the landmark buildings, catch a beautiful sunrise, and see Mt. Fuji in the distance on a very clear day.
In the afternoon, embark on a private sake brewery tour at a local factory. Witness how this traditional Japanese spirit is produced, and learn about the different qualities and types available, and indulge in a little tasting, too!
Day 4 Tokyo - Nagoya - Nagiso - Tsumago
This morning you’ll take the shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagoya, followed by an express train Nagiso. From here you’ll ride a local bus to Tsumago.
Your accommodation this evening will be a traditional ryokan - a classic Japanese-style inn furnished with futon beds, tatami flooring, paper sliding doors, and hot spring baths.
Day 5 Tsumago - Nakasendo
Embark on the walking trail from Tsumago to Magome, one of the post towns that flourished in the Edo Period.
This scenic, ancient trail, in the Japanese Alps, takes about three hours, with snack stops along the way.
At the end of the trail you’ll take the train to Kiso-Fukushima.
Day 6 Kiso-Fukushima - Hakone - Kyoto
Start the day with a gentle stroll before catching the local train to Hakone, followed by the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto.
In the evening you’ll head to the atmospheric streets of Gion, the city's Geisha district, with your guide. After exploring the streets you’ll dine in the company of a Maiko, an apprentice, while enjoying graceful traditional dances and local drinking games.
Day 7 Kyoto Tour
Head out on a sightseeing around the cultural capital which is home to around 2,000 shrines and temples, 17 of which are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
You’ll visit Heian Shrine, home to one of Japan’s largest torii gates, and Kiyomizu-dera, a temple on Mt. Otowa with a veranda that stands at 13 metres tall and boasts beautiful views of the sakura (cherry blossoms) when in full bloom.
Afterward, you’ll enjoy an afternoon private tea ceremony.
Day 8 Arashiyama Tour
Enjoy a cultural tour around Arashiyama in a traditional rickshaw.
Relax as you wind through scenic neighbourhoods and see famous landmarks such as Togetsukyo bridge and Nonomiya Shrine.
You’ll stay outside of the city tonight where you can properly unwind.
Day 9 Mie Prefecture
Today you’ll go off-the-beaten-track in a private car towards rural Mie Prefecture, famous for its forested landscapes and Mediterranean-looking coastlines.
On the way you’ll stop at Ise Shrine, one of the favourite pilgrimage destinations for Japanese people.
Nearby, the picturesque district of Okage-Yokocho offers quaint shops selling local arts and crafts and food.
Day 10 Ago Bay
Today you’ll visit Ago Bay, for centuries the home of the Ama female freedivers who collect shellfish, seaweed and sea urchin.
Watch the women at work and then dine on a special Amanemu menu with an Ama in her hut while learning about her way of life.
Day 11 Mie - Osaka
Take the local train to Osaka where you’ll be met and privately transferred to your hotel.
After some time at leisure you’ll embark on a street food tour through Osaka. Wander through laneways filled with pubs, popping in for snacks and beer, and sample local delicacies at mobile street stalls. The more bizarre, the better!
Day 12 Nara Day Trip
Head on a full day escorted tour of Nara, Japan’s old capital city.
Hear tales of the city's past while wandering by ancient shrines and traditional houses. Explore landmarks such as the 8th-century Todai-ji Temple and quiet back roads brimming with atmosphere.
Day 13 Departure
You’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward journey.