Japan art tours are interactive, fully immersing you in a remarkable dedication to style and form. Learning traditional crafts in cobblestoned neighborhoods, with master craftsmen talking you through textiles and pottery, the classic and contemporary. Exploring contemporary galleries with the curators and meeting the artists in their studios. Canvasing the sublime designs of Kyoto, delving into the edgy originality of Tokyo, and finding the ancient customs and crafts that continue to dominate old-world towns and villages.
The country is made unique through a self-possession and obsession with quality. Presentation and aesthetics are fundamental to everything. Through art tours in Japan you enjoy an immersive and insiders perspective on both art and wider Japanese culture. You'll find similar qualities in both the ancient crafts and the contemporary expressions. And you'll meet with those that continue to push the boundaries of perfection, those that add their own interpretations to the rituals passed down over the centuries: there are few other countries that can offer such an in-depth and interactive journey through an art world.
The Japanese capital is the heartbeat of a throbbing and thrilling contemporary Asian arts scene. Art may be found in famous national museums, but the experience is more alive in art spaces that inhabit a wonderful diversity of buildings. You'll find galleries tucked away down back alleys, exhibitions in converted warehouses, canvases filling an abandoned floor in an office building, and famous artists displaying works down side streets that are nearly impossible to find. The most inspiring spaces include a renovated bathhouse from the 1950s, an anime-inspired castle in the forest, and the surrealist wonders of the city's postmodern architecture.
Exploring this changing art scene could take a lifetime. While a handful of contemporary museums and galleries are well known, most of the scene has an air of exclusivity. We can recommended one or two places so you can get a feel for the arts, or design two or three days that compare the contrasts. Be guided through Mori Museum by the director, visit artists' studios, explore vast private collections that transcend styles, and take a journey through the architecture that has redefined certain areas of the city. Like any luxury Japan tour, it's impossible to ignore the lure of Tokyo on an art-focused trip.
Kyoto is Japan's masterpiece, perhaps even the world's most masterful showcase of heritage. More than 1600 temples reveal the audacity and intimacy of design, the aesthetics bounded by old-world customs. Every visit to Kyoto enables you to explore many temples, noting how the architectural and artistic styles changed through the centuries. Villas provide further insight and we can arrange tours of private imperial residences. Mazy streets provide further insight, the wooden architecture casting shadows across narrow lanes populated by brightly colored Geishas. Surrounding the city you'll find expressions of contemporary art, like the mind-boggling Miho Museum and the changing exhibitions at MoMAK, which show how young artists are discovering links to the past
But this historical capital has more, home to one of the great abundances of traditional craftsmen. Find creators of woven bamboo, explore metal weaving in a small studio, then discover many heritage examples of pottery, like those crafted by Asahiyaki. Spend an afternoon at a hands-on pottery experience or time your visit for one of the country's important pottery festivals. Art extends to fashion here as well, Kyoto the nationwide center of komono design. You can visit companies like Chiso, founded in 1555, proud of taking many years just to perfect the dyeing technique of just one color. Even today, it takes between three to 18 months for them to create one of their hand-designed products.
When exploring the country, you'll find that two elements of Japanese culture are bound together, creating this inspiring artistic world. There is the pursuit of perfection, found in all aspects of society, celebrated through cuisine and culture as well as art. This is complemented by an unerring commitment to tradition, with ancestral crafts evolving into the 21st century while continuing to honor all their historical fundamentals. Placed together, these elements create intriguing questions. Is Japanese art an expression of innovation or an idealized form of past ideas? Are the works you explore stepping stones on the endless journey to perfection? How can an artist's originality distinguish itself so absolutely when practicing crafts so well known?
Over the last 25 years we have pioneered art tours across Asia, including the first such tours in Vietnam and Myanmar. At the heart of the tours is an intimacy that allows these questions to be considered. Private Japan art tours take you beyond the notable museums and famous attractions, providing connections with the artists that enable you to understand the artistic world. They can be an authentic perspective on the immense varieties of art, or a detailed focus on a contemporary or classic craft.
Every tour is individually designed, pulling from a network of exclusive experiences to build the complete picture. And Japan art tours don't always have to be multi-day itineraries. We also incorporate art encounters and activities into broader luxury Japan vacations, another angle onto a country that always surprises.
"We were pleased that Indochina Travel was small enough to provide the things larger companies cannot, yet with all the benefits of using a larger one. In Saigon, we were honored to visit our guide's family. The BEST parts of our trip were the PEOPLE we met, especially the real, local people, not just the famous ones (though they were fascinating as well). Cuong made this possible throughout our time with him."
—Ric Haas, Menlo Park
"Chris and I had a wonderful journey. Thanks to you, everything was flawless. All of the guides were superb (especially Thiha in Burma). The accommodations were top-rate in most cases, the special activities and personal service much appreciated!"
—Ann & Chris McMurray, Alexandria, VA
"Overall, we had an excellent trip! Don and I both loved Bhutan and Myanmar. Both countries are beautiful, each in their own way. Our main comment would be to say how wonderful our guides were. As we've discussed in the past, it's really the difference between a good trip and great one. It was really nice to have the same guide for the entire itinerary, you really get to establish a rapport and they get to know us. We thought both guides were very professional, knowledgeable and personable, and we learned a lot from both."
—Irene Ing and Don Ershig, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Boating - "Thank you for an amazing adventure, we were delighted at every turn and the activities and people we met were thoroughly fascinating. We really the appreciated the authentic experiences we shared. Our girls are still talking about the trip, please give Linh and Duc our best!"
—The Anderson Family
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Tokyo and Kyoto, such remarkable contrasts between the ancient capital and the futuristic icon. This custom Japan tour explores both, handpicking the destinations and experiences that best symbolize the contrasts. In Kyoto you wander through Zen gardens, hear monks chanting in World Heritage temples, discover the ancient tradition of tea ceremonies, and learn the secrets of Kaiseki cuisine. Beneath Tokyo's forest of neon you uncover vibrant subcultures, mesmeric modern design, the art of sushi and the contemporary allure of a rapidly changing art scene. These experiences are just the start as this one-week tour journeys through all the hidden sites that make these two capitals so special.
Start with four nights in Kyoto, then take the bullet train towards three nights in Tokyo. But that's just our suggestion for this tour. All our luxury Japan tours are completely tailored to your interests and can also include other ancient and modern attractions. Contact us to receive a full and personalized itinerary.
Japan doesn't hibernate through the winter. Falling snow accentuates the country's dramatic natural beauty, while plummeting temperatures lead to some extraordinary experiences. Huddle with the monks on Mount Koya, admire hundreds of astonishing ice sculptures at the Sapporo Snow Festival, then find Japanese snow monkeys bathing in natural thermal baths. Nights are spent beneath the stars, your muscles warmed by the soothing, steaming waters of outdoor onsen spas. You take a journey through the glaciers on an ice breaker cruise, travel into tradition in Japan's World Heritage villages, and follow the wintery footsteps of the Geishas.
Away from the unique winter wonderland, this Japan luxury tour also enables you to explore the world-famous sites without the crowds. You'll have temples all to yourself and find a country in its most relaxed state. All our Japan tours are fully tailored to your interests and specifications, with unique experiences dependent on when you travel. Contact us to receive a full and personalized itinerary.
Japan has always done things a little differently. But it's sometimes a challenge to see this uniqueness, as famous names like Geisha and Samurai have become major tourist attractions. This exclusive private tour explores the most unique of Japan's customs and cultures, immersing you in a world that's as strange as it is sublime. Explore Islands of Art, get lost with cats, try the forest bathing practice of shinrin-yoku, forage for ingredients then help prepare a traditional kaiseki multi-course dinner. Meet the locals as you get guided around an art gallery by the creative director, spend an afternoon with an award-winning chef, and drink tea with a master of calligraphy. Taking you completely off the beaten track, this iconic tour unravels the pure authenticity of Japan.
All our Japan tours are fully tailored to your interests and specifications. We know hundreds of unique experiences that can help you uncover the depths of the country. Contact us to receive a full and personalized itinerary.
A Zen garden hidden from the world, an ancient sanctuary that's blossomed without pause for many centuries. A lost temple in Kyoto, where the red robes of monks contrasts the elegant sloping roof of history. A castle from the time of the Samurai, imbued with legendary tales. Few countries have a heritage that can rival Japan's, where there's something wonderfully evocative about every piece of culture. This handcrafted two-week tour celebrates this heritage, exploring a wide range of national treasures. Kyoto is the centerpiece and we know some outstanding guides, narrators on 17 World Heritage Sites and more than 2000 temples and shrines. But this famous city is just the start as this unique Japan luxury tour explores the breadth of Japan's tradition.
Walks guided by monks and nuns, nights spent in historic temples, drinking tea with Geishas...our private Japan tours do more than just reveal the sights: they immerse you in tradition. All our Japan tours are fully tailored to your interests and specifications. Contact us to receive a full and personalized itinerary.
Spring ushers in Japan's most enchanting colors, a thousand red and pink nuances filling the avenues and parks. Cherry Blossom season is the most popular time to visit Japan and the phenomenon stretches from bustling cities to remote villages. Visit from late March to early May to witness the transformation, when adorable landscapes emanate delicate beauty and alluring serenity. We've intimately followed the bloom for over two decades and this tour connects a huge array of sites, from world-famous spaces to parks tucked away in forgotten villages. Cherry blossom provides the focus on this handcrafted tour, something to sit and admire each afternoon. You'll also discover Japan's iconic and unknown destinations, each day of exploration taking you deeper into a country that always surprises.
The cherry blossom doesn't bloom in a single city or region of Japan. This is a country-wide sensation and this cherry blossom tour can be intimately customized to your wishes and preferences. We like to keep you away from the major crowds that can impact on the enchantment of the colors. Like all our luxury Japan tours, we'll handcraft an itinerary just for you. Contact us to receive your full and personalized itinerary.
Oh how Japan loves to inspire, the exoticism of its culture exciting those of every age. This two-week tour provides something for everyone, along with shared adventures into the idiosyncrasy of Japan. Visit Manga cartoon stores and meet those who paint the comics. A master artisan shows you how to make a Japanese sword while a Samurai and Geisha reveal all about their culture. Spend a day at signature theme parks and relaxed evenings in traditional ryokans, sleeping on tatami mats and resting in onsen spas. Including cycling tours, bullet trains, meetings with monks and Japan's anime mecca, this private tour creates lasting memories from the most unique of countries.
Of all our Japan tours, it's trips with families that offer the greatest room for customization. There's so much that can be individualized; just let us know what you and the rest of your family are interested in. Contact us to receive a full and personalized itinerary.
Japan is defined by an unshakable self-possession and obsession with quality. It's pursuit for perfection is found in presentation, nature, aesthetics and the subtleties of all things. This unique tour explores the highest forms of traditional and contemporary crafts, along with the art and architecture that has defined a nation over the centuries. You'll meet artists and craftsman working in a variety of mediums, gain an insider's perspective on Japanese culture, and be immersed in the immense varieties and rituals of cuisine, from the serenity of a tea ceremony to famous sushi bars.
This tour takes you far off the beaten track, incorporating pottery festivals, ceramic and porcelain towns, art islands and a UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art. It's completely customizable and can explore any of your niche interests. Contact us to receive a full and personalized itinerary that responds to your preferences.
The giant Torii Gate seems to float on the sea, standing majestic besides Itsukushima Shrine on World Heritage Miyajima Island. It's a remarkable insight into tradition, complemented by a tea ceremony and an elaborate cha-kaiseki dinner at your ryokan. This unusual island is the starting point for this tour through Japanese highlights that cover al corners of the spectrum: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Heian Jingu Shinto Shrine, Tentyuji Temple, Nishiki Market, Asakusa and Akihabara. Spread over nine days, this luxury Japan tour goes in search of the different icons that define Japan.
It's not quite a best of tour, more a celebration of the country's most unique treasures, connecting everything from cuisine to culture to colorful neighborhoods. All our Japan tours are fully tailored to your interests and specifications, so the highlights on this tour are just a suggestion. Contact us to receive a full and personalized itinerary.
Japan doesn't have a single defining image. The icons come from across the centuries and this exclusive tour go in search of them. Sleeping on tatami mats in charming ryokans, deep in the mountains. Meeting Buddhist monks and finding temples hidden amongst bamboo forest. Getting lost in the flashing lights of the futuristic cities and the wooden lanes of heritage towns. During 12 days of luxury Japan travel you're yxploring the legacy of the Edo Period, speeding around on the Shinkansen, and uncovering regional gastronomy.
All the experiences on this tour feel completely different from the last. But they are not completely distinct. Over these 12 days you explore how the Japan of today is intrinsically energized by historical traditions and customs. And like all our Japan tours, the itinerary can be fully tailored to your interests, incorporating all the icons you want to explore. Contact us to receive a full and personalized itinerary.
Japan family vacations can travel in so many directions. Everything is unique here and every day provides something different to explore. How about the legacies of the feudal system and the samurai warriors, colorful Harajuku girls, futuristic robots then world-famous animation? Or maybe make a visit to a private sumo stable where children can learn the ancient art, a Kyoto studio where children can train to be a ninja, or family cycling along the beautiful, remote northern coast where few travelers ever venture? Every moment is tailored to make the most from the country's originality.
With few exceptions, Japan is the most fascinating of all Asia's destinations for children. Japan with kids doesn't involve a standard itinerary with a few tailored activities thrown in. Instead, a Japan family vacation truly immerses you and your children in the cultures that most fascinate.
Japan has been redefining luxury for some time now. The classic definition is still cogent, experienced in a range of eye-catching five-star hotels and decadent restaurants. Japan can definitely be a state of extravagance, whenever you wish it to be.
Yet luxury is also in the experience here. Fine dining may be in a lavish city restaurant. It could easily mean sitting on the floor of a kaiseki restaurant, a waitress in kimono dress setting down 12 intricately designed dishes. Fabulous city hotels can be combined with small guesthouses hidden in the mountains, with onsen spas relieving the muscles after a day exploring. Luxury comes from the immersion in culture and the unending opportunity to go off the beaten track.
Make a stopover in Naoshima, the world's only Art Island staying at the exclusive Benesse House. Revive at the Gora Kadan in Kyoto, Japan's most sumptuous ryokan. Learn the art of calligraphy, spend a morning with monks, wander through thick bamboo forests, and experience the serene beauty of a Kyoto temple that prefers to forgo fame. Luxury can come from expertly guided tours of Tokyo's designer fashion scene, exploring a conceptual mash-up of styles and shows that follow a beat of their own. Or it can come from a day spent with Japan's animation directors, a beautiful Kabuki theater performance, or a tranquil moment of a monk hitting the gong in a Shinto shrine.
We like to explore the complete spectrum of Japan's definitions of luxury, from the classic Western ideals to the unique experiences that showcase a hidden side to the country. In this way, our luxury Japan vacations are all about going off the beaten track and finding the real Japan.
Nowhere is the mantra “food is culture” better celebrated than in Japan. But while ubiquitous Japanese cuisine has crossed the world – sushi, tempura, ramen – regional specialities can only be discovered when you're in the country. So journey into Japan's complex culinary tradition, opening all your senses to the gastronomic search for perfection. Food is an integral part of all our luxury Japan tours. Each day presents an opportunity to explore, an invite into a destination's particular cuisine. We provide you with personalized dining recommendations, book tables for Japan's ultimate culinary experiences, and take you further into a complex world of subtle tastes and dreamy aesthetics.
Tokyo brings sushi, tempura and soba, along with more Michelin stars than Paris and New York combined. Try nazezushi, a traditional form of fermented sushi. Encounter kyo-kaiseki, 11 seasonal courses in old-world Kyoto. Dine on hot pot-style sukiyaki and shabu shabu, sample Buddhist shojin ryori, then finish it off with a savory egg custard (chawanmushi). Guides show you where and chefs show you how as the best of culinary Japan is revealed.
The Japanese experience is found in the details. This is a country that rewards the explorer, a country that takes you far beyond notions of point and shoot the camera. There's a story behind each of the legends and luxury Japan travel centers on the experiential experience.
You can stroll past geishas in Gion; or you can spend an hour chatting with them, learning about their history and culture. Samurai warriors have such an eye-catching name; at old castles you can explore the dignity and design behind what it means to be samurai. Japanese tea ceremonies aren't just a one-off; they can become part of the daily rhythm and a chance to uncover regional specialities. The country's art scene has always innovated and on our luxury Japan tours you can tour galleries with creative directors, meet groundbreaking artists, and discuss architecture with those that plan it. That's similar with local crafts, our insider tours helping you go beyond the pretty facades.
Whether it's classic or contemporary Japan, this insider's perspective emphasizes the unique treasures and cultural traditions of each destination. With our escorted Japan tours we help you uncover all the special details, finding the stories that are found behind the iconic names.