Seems overwhelming, huge, and thrilling? Come with us to Japan and we’ll cut through the language barrier, the options, and the indecision.
Over the years, many have turned their lens on Japan; seeking to unpick its mysteries, to make sense of it all. Whether Ruth Benedict’s Chrysanthemum and the Sword (way back in 1946) or Wim Wender’s 1985 Tokyo-Ga. But there’s not much to unpick when you have the country’s best guides, contacts and locals at your disposal; from a former sumo wrestler who’ll introduce you to Ryo-Goku (the home of the sumo), to a traditional geisha and our local experts on the ‘art island’ of Naoshima (the place with Yayoi Kusama’s gigantic pumpkin statues). Whatever you choose to experience on your bespoke Japan itinerary, we’ve got it sorted. Immersive, transformational. Really, the trip of a lifetime.
As ever, if you can’t see it here then we can still plan it for you.
Loud and quiet. Traditional and modern. Japan is all these things at once. You can feel at one with this charming country that has cherry-picked the best of Western culture and married it with its captivating ancient traditions. Likewise, we’re here to handcraft your ideal visit. Whether you want a photo under the famous cherry blossom trees in Tokyo, would prefer to weave through the bright lights of Akihabara, or like the idea of lodging at Hakone National Park with Mount Fuji as a backdrop, we’ve got it covered.
Tokyo is a city that ignites all of your senses. There is a never-ending stream of bright lights, quirky fashion, and dazzling architecture. All of the commotion can make us develop an appetite, so it’s a good thing Tokyo houses some of the best markets and restaurants on the planet. Make an early morning visit to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market and book into anyone of the over 200 Michelin-Starred eateries.
Every year between March and April, the gardens of Japan turn pink with an abundance of blooming Cherry Blossoms. A powerful and intoxicating sight, witnessing this sea of pink florets is an incredibly special and memorable experience. To marvel at this natural spectacle, we recommend visiting Nakaragi no Michi Path in Kyoto or Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo – both of which we offer intimate tours of.
A Japanese pastime since the 18th century, an Onsen is a natural hot spring containing a number of beneficial minerals, and there are over 2,500 of them in the country. A luxury vacation in Japan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of these magical baths, followed by a fantastic night’s rest at a traditional Ryokan. We know just the place…
Immerse yourself in the always-on buzz of Tokyo life: enjoy a private sake tasting afternoon with a local brewer, learn the spirituality of the ninja at the feet of a master sensei, and succumb to the top names of the Ginza shopping district, including Valentino and Shiseido. If you fancy something a little more Zen, you can seek serenity at the ancient Buddhist temple, Sensō-ji. We’ll know the right people to get you in before the crowds arrive, letting you roam the ancient temple at your leisure.
Boasting close to 2,000 temples and shrines across the region, Kyoto is the opposite of modern Tokyo. Awash with traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto was once Japan’s former capital and still lives on as the cultural hub of the country. Enjoy expert guidance on an exclusive tour of the dramatic dragon paintings of Tenryu-ji, live life through the eyes of a geisha with a personal tea experience in the Gion district, and embark on a tantalizing ramen cooking class with a private chef.
It’s all about eating in Osaka. The fun-loving city is renowned for its unique gastronomical wonders, such as deep-fried pork cutlets and world-class takoyaki octopus dumplings. Explore the local delights of the Shinsekai neighborhood on an exclusive foodie tour designed by us around your personal palate. After dining out on delicious delicacies, enjoy the uninterrupted night-time views over the vivid cityscape at the top of the iconic Umeda Sky Building. It’s well worth getting over vertigo for, we promise.
Sleep among the foothills of the sacred Mount Fuji then wander our favorite route along the winding trails that lead to the glistening Lake Kawaguchiko just in time for sunrise. Sound impossible? We can arrange for you to lay your head anywhere with Blink luxury camping.
Synonymous with sumo, Tokyo’s sumo stables are presented now as they were hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. We can arrange for access to a sumo wrestling expert ready to give you a hands-on experience. Ask about the culture of a sport that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years, learning its age-old traditions, as well as getting geared up and having a grapple yourself.
You’ll find few things more iconically Japanese than the kimono and chalk-white complexion of the geisha. Trained in various arts, meeting and interacting with these traditional female entertainers in Kyoto is a highlight for many on a luxury vacation to Japan. We know all the right people around the graceful Gion geisha district so you can open all the doors that average visitors can’t. We’ll arrange for you to share a private tea and dining experience with a traditional host, uncovering the origins of this ancient tradition first-hand.
Towering in stature and selfless in their actions, the samurai existed only to serve. Discover your sense of ‘Ko’ (‘no self’) as you spend one-on-one time with a local samurai professor who has studied the art his entire life. Draw strength from trying on the ancient karuta armor and get a handle on the impressive weaponry, unsheathing the iconic curved katana as those in feudal Japan did hundreds of years ago.
See the world’s busiest city through the eyes of its locals.
Tokyo is big, sleepless, and diverse. With something for everybody, our guides can introduce you to literally anything. A behind-the-scenes sumo tour in Ryo-Goku. A culinary adventure through the eateries of Ginza (more traditional, Michelin-ranked) or Shibuya (small, cozy, informal). Receiving a tour of closed temples and gardens. Or heading on a bar-crawl through Golden Gai. Just ask, and we’ll handle the details.
Tunnels of torii, the temples of Kinkaku-ji, seafood, geisha and monks.
Where Tokyo is heaving and modern, Kyoto is older, quieter and more traditional. We’ll arrange for you to see Japanese culture at its most authentic, whether attending a geisha-led tea ceremony, touring its temples, or watching a beautiful kabuki performance at the newly renovated theater of Minamiza.
Escape the crowds at the foot of Mt Fuji.
Framed by the magnificent mountain scenery of Mt Fuji, Hakone – nestled south of Tokyo on Sagami Bay – offers a calming escape from the bustle of Tokyo and the history of Kyoto. Centerd on the lake of Ashino-ko, from which the iconic gold-red torii rises, we’ll arrange for you to explore castles, sample incredible seafood, and kick back in some of the country’s most spectacular hotels.
“Many companies brag about offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences. But with Black Tomato it’s not hyperbole”
“Black Tomato are one of the coolest things in the world. Don’t even try and live without them”
“Black Tomato is a super innovative company where the sky is the limit for their clients”
“Black Tomato prides itself on meeting customers every minor need or desires”
“Black Tomato is the choice provider of mind-expanding vacations”