Experience - Culture

The Best of Ancient and Modern Japan

  • Recommended Couple / Family
  • Includes 5 stops
  • Price
  • Length 14 nights
  • Best time All year round

Few places blend ancient tradition and cutting-edge contemporary culture as well, or as interestingly, as Japan. Here, you’ll find the height of modernity alongside some of the world’s most beautiful ancient temples and gardens, all woven together by incredible cuisine and one of the most interesting cultural perspectives in Asia. Japan is home to true luxury that thrives in an aesthetically delightful surrounding – after all, this is the home of cherry blossoms and one of the world’s most affluent cities. And travelling with Black Tomato means that we’ll open our little black book and show you some of the most iconic and hidden treasures that Japan has to offer.

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Suggested itinerary


Tokyo - Cutting Edge Culture

Accommodation: Aman Tokyo


Touch down in Tokyo, the cutting edge capital of fashion, food and design and be met by our guide who will school you in everything you need to know to hit the bustling streets. From maps, phrase sheets, to good advice and insider tips, your dedicated Black Tomato guide will ensure you set off on the right foot. Start the day with a private tour of the fascinating Tsukji Fish Market and snack on the freshest and, in our opinion, best sushi in the world. The nearby Hamarikyu Gardens are ideal for an afternoon stroll before taking a waterbus along the Sumida River to Asakusa to view the Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest and most significant temple. Tech lovers will enjoy a stop off at Akihabara, a major electronic, anime, games and otaku shopping district, before retiring to the gorgeous Aman Tokyo hotel. After a morning of manicures at your own dressing room nail station, spend the day on a private tour that combines the traditions of ancient Tokyo with the contemporary culture the city is now famous for. We’ll take you on a visit to Meiji-jingu, the most important shrine in Tokyo, and the Imperial Palace Gardens, all before an afternoon stroll through the trendy districts of Harajuku.

Japan luxury holiday
The ultimate in luxurious city breaks, Aman Tokyo is an urban retreat found in the heart of Japan’s thriving capital. The dizzying heights that come with a hotel located at the top of a skyscraper are definitely worth the spectacular views of the city’s futuristic skyline. Each of the 84 spacious rooms and suites provides respite [...] Read more...
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Hakone - Hillside Tranquility

Accommodation: Gora Kadan, Hakone


Wind through the hills of Mount Fuji and delight in the stunning scenery before arriving at Hakone for peaceful views, spectacular kaiseki cuisine and onsen baths; a traditional experience said to have tremendous healing qualities, which will leave you rejuvenated, relaxed and refreshed. Check into your Ryokan (read: traditional Japanese inn that originated in 1603) at Gora Kadan and enjoy the large rooms, private garden and open-air stone bath and steam sauna. After refreshments in the garden, spend the afternoon visiting the impressive Open Air Museum which houses 300 works by Picasso alone. In Japan you can truly expect the unexpected. The following day, take a tour of the Hakone area and discover great views of Mount Fuji from a cable car or boat, but for those wishing to keep their feet firmly on the ground – hiking enthusiasts can walk the ancient route from Tokaido Road to Hakone-Yumoto, a truly magical trek.

A stay in Gôra Kadan, the former retreat of the imperial family in Hakone National Park, is an invitation to bring your senses to life as you become immersed in the ancient Japanese way of life. You’ll be able to easily embrace the stunning surroundings of Hakone since this retreat is designed to blend into [...] Read more...
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Kyoto - The Art of Zen

Accommodation: The Hyatt Regency, Kyoto


Like the name suggests, the bullet trains in Japan are known for their speed and it will be this rapid transportation that will deliver you into the heart of Kyoto. Waste no time with your guide and discover the iconic Golden Pavilion or Ryoanji Zen Garden before ending the day with a moment of zen at the Ninnaji Temple, which is home to one of Kyoto’s loveliest gardens. A night at the renowned Hyatt Regency will get you ready for a full day private tour of Gion, where you will catch sight of some of Kyoto’s apprentice geisha on their way to lessons. With the help of your guide, you can carve your own pathway through Japan but we’d always recommend stopping off at Nijo Castle, the former home of the Shogun (one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192), Yasaka-jinja Shrine and Maruyama Park, which boasts spectacular temples and even grander views.

The sheer volume of magnificent temples and shrines in Kyoto will keep your camera clicking away for days, each seeming more inspiring and beautiful than the last. And, still, the city’s traditions run deeper than ‘just’religious monuments, producing world class restaurants and generations of innovative artisans skilled in traditional Japanese arts like kimonos, pottery and [...] Read more...
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Tip: design every part of this itinerary and its activities

If you like what you see but want to tailor any aspect of this trip, our Travel Experts are on hand to plan your perfect experience.

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Tailor make your holiday

  • International flights Include
    or exclude
  • Accommodation Options to suit
    all tastes
  • Private transfers Boat, car, train
    or plane
  • Experiences Discover the
    hidden gems

What is tailor made?

We always look to create the most inspiring itineraries from every location that we work with; we are also aware however that one size doesn't fit all, and neither should it when it comes to travelling. Whilst we hope you are inspired by this itinerary, we are also on hand to redesign any aspect of the above to make sure that you have the very best time on your travels.


One of our travel experts


From my very first trip to Japan to my latest, I’ve always felt feel amazed by the stunning contrast of old and new. The culture is so captivating how it balances ancient traditions and the newest technology crazes. Every trip to Japan I always walk away mesmerised and inspired by this beautifully different world.

Local experts

Our private network are on
hand come rain or shine

Experience experts

Help you access each area's
best kept secrets

Award winning service

Travel + Leisure

Listed on the Travel+Leisure 2017 A List of Top Travel Agents

British Travel Awards 2016

Best Small Luxury Holiday Company 2016

The globe Travel Awards

Winners of the Innovation in Travel Award 2017

Condé Nast Traveller

Voted as one of the World’s top 15 Best Tour Operators 2016 by readers


Our Travel Experts have lived and breathed these places. Add that to a private network of local experts on the ground.


We can do it all. We really can. We're flexible and we know how to make planning easy for you.


Luxury service begins the moment you enquire, continues throughout the design and booking process and well after you return.


Planning a perfect trip takes more than knowledge and experience. It takes time. That's what we offer you.


We love discovering new places, new experiences and making them accessible to you; always in a way that suits your needs though.


There's no such thing as a package tour with us; no two experiences are the same because no two requests are ever identical.


We pride ourselves in going a step further than the rest to make sure your trip is memorable for all the right reasons.


Many of the flights and flight inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme.

Good to know

    Are there any personal touches that can be added for the location?
    Absolutely. There are lots of personal touches to add – either things you've always wanted to do or perhaps things that only we'll know about and will recommend because we think you'll really like them. It's our job to find out all about your likes (and dislikes) so everything can be entirely personal and bespoke.
    How does it work and how long does it take to plan an itinerary?
    Depending on where in the world you're thinking of travelling we'll assign you a Travel Expert for that destination - although if you're not sure where to go, that's absolutely fine too. This is someone you'll deal with from the very beginning all the way to the point of returning from your time away. They are destination experts and will offer lots of advice and original insight to craft a completely bespoke itinerary including all your accommodation, experiences and private tours, guides and transfers. It's why we really like to get to know you, so we can make it entirely personal and get it right first around. But if we don't get it right, that's fine too as we'll speak or email as many times until it's perfect. We try to be as quick as we possibly can but on average we try to get you a first draft of your itinerary within 24 hours of speaking to one of our Travel Experts but it does depend on where you're travelling to and therefore the complexity of the itinerary too.
    What is due for a deposit and when do I need to pay it?
    Once ready to book we require a deposit straight away and then the full balance is required 12 weeks prior to departure. A deposit can range anywhere between 25-50% of the full cost of the itinerary. It varies depending on which country you're travelling to and therefore which suppliers we work with as they all have different deposit terms. If booking flights with us your deposit will include the cost of these flights too as we need to book those right away.
    Once I make a payment are all of the arrangements confirmed? And is it all protected?
    Yes. Once your deposit payment is made we make all the necessary reservations and confirm all arrangements with hotels and our suppliers and will send you a full receipt and confirmation document via email. For your peace of mind and to protect your money, we have Tour Operator liability insurance with ATOL and are members of ABTA, IATA and Virtuoso.
    Can you help with flights? Can I book them myself?
    Absolutely. We have access to live airline fares for nearly all the major airline so can help book flights for you. However, should you wish to book your own then that's fine too – just let us know which so we can seamlessly organise everything from the moment you land.

What a bespoke travel experience means for you



Experience - Adventure / Honeymoon

The Best of Ancient and Modern Japan

  • Recommended Single / Couple
  • Includes 5 stops
  • Length 14 nights
  • Best time All year round

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