Konnichiwa…so here at Black Tomato we have been working hard to hone one of our favourite experiences, one that promises to get you under the skin of Japan’s most fascinating and mysterious ancient disciplines: the art of Ninja (or shinobi) . History tells us that a Ninja was a was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. As time drew on, the abilities of the ‘shinobi’ become twisted in legend and folklore as claims were made linking them to abilities in invisibility, walking on water, and control over the natural elements. On our trip from Kyoto to Tokyo we will take you through a beguiling clash of old and new, giving you the inside track on this ancient culture and fascinating traditions.

a lesson in zen

We like to mix the ying with the yang, so for a gentle introduction to the land of the rising sun, we will arrange for you to head to Kyoto to experience first hand a touch of Japanese archery (Kyudo) and learn to master the sword dance in a Kenbu experience. Explore the historical town of Kyoto with a private guide in tow and when you need some refreshment, take a break in a traditional Japanese tea room to witness the classic ceremony and relax with a spot of Zen meditation.

a master and his dojo

Moving on to Tokyo (at over 260 km an hour on the bullet train), we can arrange for the most incredible money-can’t-buy learning experience in which you will receive martial arts lessons from one of Japan’s most legendary sensei, famous for taking on 13 Yakuza at once and coming out on top (with only a couple of broken fingers). This master has a karate dojo in Tokyo’s ritziest neighbourhoods, and it’s here that Yoji Yamamoto and other martial arts legends also train.

tokyo, under the skin

With our help, we’re confident you’ll get the inside track on the very best that Tokyo has to offer. One of our all time favourite destinations, this city combines the thrilling vibe of the present with the beautiful traditions of the past. Aside from the blade-runner cityscapes, bright lights and bustling streets, Tokyo also has a wonderfully tranquil side – if you know where to look.

We suggest glimpsing into the world of Japan by visiting the futuristic heights of the Roppongi hills, exploring the magnificent Asukusa Kannon temple and rummaging through the bustling Ueno-Ameyokocho market. Tokyo surprises you at every turn and this is without question a highly original, once in a lifetime Oriental escape… just imagine the conversation at your next dinner party; “The bruise? It’s from training with a real life Japanese Ninja”.