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Top Holidays

The wonders of Japan

  • Inspiration
  • By Jadeene Burrage
  • Published 18 December 2023
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Prepare to be captivated by the splendour of Japan's urban wonders. We take you on a journey to uncover six prime city hotspots. From Kyoto's tranquil temples to Tokyo's dynamic neighbourhoods, discover a realm where tradition fuses seamlessly with modernity. This exclusive guide promises bespoke experiences, sumptuous accommodations, and indulgent escapades for the connoisseur of luxury travel.

TOKYO

Tokyo is a vibrant metropolis offering an array of captivating experiences. From spectacular temples and street food markets to robot cafes and digital art museums, Japan is a juxtaposition of the old and new. For an evening to remember, indulge your taste buds at Sukiyabashi Jiro, a three Michelin-starred sushi restaurant on every foodie’s bucket list, before heading to Shibuya Scramble Square Tower for a view over the famous Shibuya Crossing. We recommend visiting in late March through to April where you'll see the city bloom with beautiful pink cherry blossom trees. 

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing

Where to stay:

Elegantly poised amidst Tokyo's electric pulse, Aman Tokyo emerges as a haven of refined opulence and serenity. This architectural masterpiece, with its minimalist design and panoramic city views, offers an unparalleled retreat in the heart of Tokyo. Guests are welcomed into spacious rooms adorned with traditional Japanese motifs and modern comforts. The impeccable service and attention to detail elevate the experience, complemented by a holistic spa offering rejuvenating treatments. Dining at the hotel's restaurants is an exquisite journey through Japanese cuisine, blending local flavours with international finesse. Aman Tokyo embodies a sanctuary of luxury, redefining the essence of urban indulgence in Japan.

Aman Tokyo

Aman Tokyo
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KYOTO

Kyoto is a tapestry of timeless beauty and tradition. With more than 2,000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, it’s hard to choose which ones to visit. Begin your journey of discovery at Kinkaku-ji, the resplendent Golden Pavilion, before exploring the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Another must see is Fushimi Inari Taisha, where thousands of vermilion torii gates create a mesmerising tunnel-like path. Immerse yourself in Kyoto’s traditions by experiencing a fascinating tea ceremony in one of the teahouses or witness the elegance of geisha culture in the historic Gion district. 

Geisha

Geisha

Where to stay:

In the heart of one of 2024's most sought-after destinations, Six Senses Kyoto stands as a luxurious haven for discerning travellers. Nestled near the vibrant Gion district, renowned for its captivating geisha culture, this sanctuary harmonises timeless allure with contemporary extravagance. Discover 50 impeccably designed suites exuding elegance, complemented by a culinary journey celebrating the region's diverse flavors. Indulge in immersive wellness rituals rooted in Japanese traditions. 

Six Senses Kyoto

Six Senses Kyoto

OSAKA

Osaka is known as ‘Japan’s Kitchen’... and for good reason. The district of Dotonbori is renowned for its vibrant street food, lively nightlife, arcades and illuminating billboards, making it the perfect hub for an evening out. Foodies, be sure to try takoyaki, a deep-fried ball filled with octopus. Historians should explore Osaka Castle which tells the story of the city's rich past and boasts panoramic views from its observation deck. Thrill seekers can visit Japan’s Universal Studios for exhilarating fun suited to all ages, while shopaholics can get their fix in the Shinsaibashi district. 

Dotonbori district

Dotonbori district

Where to stay:

Conrad Osaka crowns the cityscape with its modern allure and panoramic vistas. Rising majestically above the bustling streets, this architectural gem boasts sleek, contemporary design in its spacious rooms and suites, each a haven of comfort and style. The hotel's culinary prowess shines through its diverse dining venues, offering exquisite flavours and impeccable service. Plus you can't get enough of the views at the hotel's Sky Bar set on the 40th floor, boasting a collection of fine Japanese whiskies, gin and cocktails. Guests can also indulge in unparalleled relaxation at the tranquil spa, a haven for rejuvenation.

Sky Bar

Sky Bar

HIROSHIMA

Despite its traumatic past, Hiroshima now stands as a city of resilience and hope, offering a profound blend of history, culture and natural beauty. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum for a moving yet educational experience about the atomic bombing and its aftermath. The park is home to the Atomic Bomb Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that symbolises Hiroshima’s enduring spirit. Another must do is to visit the spectacular Itsukushima Shinto Shrine on Miyajima Island, known for its ‘floating’ torii gate and views of the sacred peaks of Mount Misen. 

Atomic Bomb Dome

Atomic Bomb Dome

Where to stay:

Miyajima Kinsuikan is a luxurious onsen ryokan located on the serene island of Miyajima. Traditional charm runs throughout the meticulously designed rooms, some boasting views of the iconic Itsukushima Shrine's torii gate. Immerse in authentic Japanese hospitality, relishing kaiseki cuisine showcasing local flavours, prepared by skilled chefs. The ryokan's private onsen baths offer a tranquil escape, complemented by breathtaking views of the Seto Inland Sea.

Views of the Itsukushima Shrine

Views of the Itsukushima Shrine

NAGANO

Perfect for nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts, Nagano is a picturesque prefecture in the heart of Japan’s Alps. A highlight is Zenkōji Temple, one of Japan’s most important Buddhist temples where you can explore its ancient underground passage. For outdoor adventures, use Nagano as a base to the Togakushi region where forests and hiking trails lead to hidden shrines that, in winter, transform into a snowy wonderland. Speaking of snow, take a day trip to the snow-capped Jigokudani Monkey Park where wild Japanese macaque bathe in the steamy natural hot springs. 

Japanese macaque

Japanese macaque

Where to stay:

Found in the 'Japanese Alps' at more than 1,050 metres altitude, Tobira Onsen Myojinkan is a tranquil hot spring resort, boasting calming views of protected forests and mountains belonging to Yatsugatake National Park. The hotel offers a traditional onsen experience, ideal for wellness warriors, as well as showcasing a French restaurant with locally sourced ingredients and a traditional Shinshu dining experience. For those looking for extra indulgence, be sure to book a room with your own private hot spring bath. 

Private onsen suite

Private onsen suite

SAPPORO

Sapporo is the capital of Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido. Visit in February where the Sapporo Snow Festival runs annually over seven days, revolving mainly around showstopping ice sculptures. And if you need warming up, hit Ramen Alley for a steaming bowl of Hokkaido’s noodle speciality. Alcohol enthusiasts will love visiting the Sapporo Beer Museum where you can learn about Hokkaido’s brewing heritage and get to sample some for yourself. Those looking for an adrenaline rush should use Sapporo as a gateway to some of Japan’s best ski resorts and slopes. 

Sapporo miso ramen

Sapporo miso ramen

Where to stay:

Perched majestically in the heart of Hokkaido's snow-covered landscapes, Ki Niseko is a luxurious ski-in-ski out resort. Boasting unparalleled access to Niseko's renowned powder snow with its very own ski chalet, this boutique hotel offers chic and spacious accommodation with stunning vistas of Mount Yotei or the captivating slopes. Immerse yourself in the après-ski scene, savouring exquisite, seasonally-inspired Japanese cuisine and international flavours at the hotel's acclaimed restaurants. The onsen baths, infused with mineral-rich waters, provide a rejuvenating escape after a day on the slopes. 

Ki Niseko Penthouse Suite

Ki Niseko Penthouse Suite

Japan is a country that requires a lengthy duration for you to explore its incomparable cities and beyond. However, for those that are short on time, we have curated a 10-night whistle stop tour of Tokyo and Kyoto to tickle your Japanese tastebuds. But fear not, our expert Personal Travel Managers are ready and waiting to tailor your perfect trip; call them today on 0203 816 0985 or enquire here.  

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