November 9-20, 2022

With hosts Maya Kudo & Cheryl Sturm, see Tokyo through the eyes of one of Japan’s top guides during autumn. Take in the spectacular fall colors of Japanese gardens and sites surrounding Mt. Fuji before spending two overnights in a nearby traditional ryokan (inn). Learn firsthand about ancient arts—sumo, geisha, and taiko—and meet artists keeping these traditions alive. Meet a celebrated Japanese print artist at her home along with her husband, a well-known Noh mask artist. Ride Japan’s famous bullet trains and see contemporary architecture by Pritzker Prize-winning architects. In contrast, witness the exquisite natural beauty around Lake Ashi, overlooked by many visitors to Japan, and have a private Zen meditation lesson at a temple in old Kyoto.

Day 1: United States – Tokyo, Japan

Wednesday, 9 November 2022

  • Depart on your flight to Tokyo, Japan
  • Overnight: In flight

Day 2: Tokyo, Japan

Thursday, 10 November 2022

  • Arrive in Tokyo, Japan
  • Board the airport bus transfer to your luxury accommodations at The Peninsula Tokyo
  • Join for a warm welcome reception to begin the journey
  • Enjoy the remaining evening at leisure

Day 3: Tokyo

Friday, 11 November 2022

  • Begin the day with a Taiko drum class, a style of drumming predominantly used in the military arena
  • Head to Shibuya City to visit the Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine in Shibuya dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken
  • Afterwards, walk down Omotesandō, a unique zelkova tree-lined avenue with luxury shopping and unique “human-scale” architecture
  • Enjoy authentic Japanese food over lunch at a local restaurant
  • Admire the private collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art of Kaichirō Nezu at the Nezu Museum
  • Enjoy dinner and your remaining evening at leisure.

Day 4: Tokyo

Saturday, 12 November 2022

  • Enjoy the exciting chance to interact with rikishis (sumo wrestlers) during an Edo Noren Sumo
  • Experience, and learn the history of this wrestling style at the Sumo Museum
  • Visit teamLab Borderless, a popular and immersive museum known for its colorful, futuristic digital art installations and photo ops
  • Enjoy lunch and the remaining afternoon at leisure
  • Join for a group dinner at THE MOON, an artistic restaurant in the sky—located on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower
  • Enjoy your remaining evening at leisure

Day 5: Tokyo

Sunday, 13 November 2022

  • Visit the home and studio of Japanese print artist Ayomi Yoshida and her husband, Bidou Yamaguchi (a renown Noh mask artist)
  • For lunch, indulge in authentic Japanese food at a local restaurant
  • At the Imperial Palace East Gardens, view the large landscapes gardens and the former site of Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defense
  • Enjoy dinner and your remaining evening at leisure

Day 6: Tokyo, Shizuoka, Hakone

Monday, 14 November 2022

  • Check-out of The Peninsula Tokyo and depart via the incredible bullet train for Hakone, a mountainous town known for its hot springs and views of Mount Fuji
  • Visit the Mount Fuji World Heritage Center Shizuoka, a museum shaped like an inverted mountain dedicated to Mount Fuji
  • Stroll through The Hakone Open-Air Museum to admire world-class modern art in a relaxing setting
  • Check-in to Gôra Kadan a stunning boutique ryokan (Japanese inn)
  • Join for a Kaiseki dinner (among the world’s finest meals) at the hotel
  • Enjoy your remaining evening at leisure

Day 7: Hakone

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

  • Experience the iconic 30-minute Owakudani Station ropeway ride, with spectacular views of active, sulfuric hot springs and fields
  • Hop on a boat for a ride across Lake Ashi, made marvelous with its reflection of autumn colors
  • For today’s lunch and dinner, join for authentic Japanese cuisine at local restaurants
  • After dinner, head back to the ryokan to enjoy your remaining evening at leisure

Day 8: Hakone, Nara, Kyoto

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

  • Board the bullet train to Nara, known for significant temples and artwork dating back to the 8th century, when it was Japan’s capital
  • Enjoy group lunch at a local restaurant before heading to Tōdai-ji, a Buddhist temple complex opened in 75 CE that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples
  • Witness the Kasuga-taisha, a Shinto shrine established in 768 CE, famous for its many bronze and stone lanterns
  • Continue on to Kyoto and check in to The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, a luxurious and serene escape
  • Enjoy dinner and the remaining evening at leisure

Day 9: Kyoto

Thursday, 17 November 2022

  • Visit Ryōan-ji, a Zen temple in Northwest Kyoto, home to Japan’s most famous rock garden
  • Enjoy the beautiful scenery around Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) and its stroll garden
  • Spend time at Nijō Castle, a unique flatland castle built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period
  • Enjoy lunch and your afternoon at leisure
  • Have a private zen meditation experience at Ryosokuin sub-temple, and be sure to admire the new paintings on sliding doors by artist Hiroshi Sugimoto
  • Join for a group dinner at a local restaurant
  • Enjoy your remaining evening at leisure

Day 10: Kyoto

Friday, 18 November 2022

  • Experience the Miho Museum, nestled in the abundant natural beauty of the mountains of Shigaraki, followed by lunch
  • Watch local artisans at work crafting handmade pottery at Kyoto Unraku-gama
  • Enjoy dinner and your remaining evening at leisure

Day 11: Kyoto

Saturday, 19 November 2022

  • Visit the otherwordly Arashiyama bamboo grove, one of Kyoto’s top sights for good reason
  • Head to Sanjūsangen-dō, a Buddhist temple founded in 1164, famous for 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy
  • Enjoy your lunch and remaining afternoon at leisure
  • Join for a farewell dinner at Yoshikawa Inn, complete with a stunning geisha presentation

Day 12: Kyoto, Osaka, U.S.

Sunday 20 November 2022

  • Board the airport bus transfer from our hotel to your Osaka airport
  • Depart for your own flights home

As we confirm details for this November 2022 luxury group tour of Japan, please get in touch if you are interested in experiencing this captivating destination through the R. Crusoe & Son lens.