How did this family of two adults and two (very different) teenagers find common ground so all four of them had the trip of a lifetime? Read on to learn how their itinerary was custom curated so everyone felt like emperor (or empress) for the day.
The Adventure Begins: Welcome to Japan!
Welcome to Tokyo! Your private airport concierge will welcome you with your welcome packet, answer any questions you have, and deliver you to your private chauffeur for your private black car transfer to the luxurious Conrad Tokyo. Once settled into your two Bay View Rooms, spend the rest of the day to catch your breath or unwind at the Conrad’s award-winning spa before the real adventures begin tomorrow.
Welcome to Honolulu!
Take a quick intermission from your voyage to Japan and get ready for the next leg of your journey at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. During your short stay, you may decide to make a wish in front of the Duke Kahanamoku statue on historic Waikiki’s Kūhiō beach.
Get a Lay of the Land
Spend today discovering Tokyo's fascinating sites that juxtapose traditional temples and gardens with futuristic skyscrapers. With the help of your expert private guide, you will make use of Tokyo's comprehensive and user-friendly and super-efficient public transportation system.
After lunch, get ready for an art experience unlike any other. teamLab Planets is a highly tactile experience, with four exhibition spaces that host seven different, large-scale artworks—which teamLab calls “body-immersive” works. By “body-immersive”, they really do mean immersive: you’ll explore the museum barefoot, and at times while submerged up to the knees in water. Guests are expected to engage with the works far differently than they would at a regular exhibition; more like how you may engage with the natural world.
This morning you will join your personal Japanese sushi chef at Tsukiji Market, one of the world’s largest fish markets, exploring both the vegetable and fruit areas plus the impressive seafood section. You will stroll around the market and will be able to try some tasty samples before heading to his kitchen where he will help you create a selection of delicious fresh sushi, that you will enjoy for lunch.
After lunch, continue on with your private local guide to explore three of Tokyo’s vibrant centers of youth fashion and pop culture, including the famous Shibuya Crossing – rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world. The last stop today is a special treat for animal lovers as you will visit one of Japan’s popular pet cafes to enjoy a beverage and dessert while befriending a few of Tokyo’s cuddly creatures.
Explore with an Expert
Spend today learning about all things Anime and manga, which are loved throughout the world and are just as important a piece of Japanese culture as more traditional Japanese art. Your private anime expert will introduce you to various locations and shrines throughout the city that play deeply into anime storylines, and of course you’ll visit Tokyo Station’s “Character Street” with scores of shops dedicated to hundreds of recognizable anime characters.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, you will meet up with a local Ramen expert for an evening of discovery and discernment for this seemingly humble meal. You'll soon find that no two ramen shops are the same - they all have a specialty whether it's the deep flavor of their broth or texture of the noodles. After tonight, you as Ramen students will become the teacher!
Stretch your Legs
This morning, your chauffeur will meet you at your hotel for your 1.5-hour scenic drive from Tokyo to the magnificent Gora Kadan Ryokan in Hakone, where you will be greeted like royalty in your two Tsubaki suites. In fact, this establishment was once the summer villa of the Kan’in-No-Miya Imperial family.
Then set out to nearby Mount Kintoki for a beautiful hike of the Hakone area with your private guide, stopping for tea and a light lunch along the way. Upon return to Gora Kadan, unwind in the soothing onsen hot springs or stop in for a treatment at the exotic Kadan spa.
For dinner, slip into your best Japanese robes (provided) and enjoy a traditional dinner at Kaiseki Restaurant Kadan (included). Here you will enjoy kaiseki cuisine made with ingredients at the peak of their freshness and cherish the nature of Hakone to your heart's content.
A Sight to Behold
Today set out with your private chauffeur and guide for a picturesque full-day tour of the Fuji Five Lakes region, a true paradise for nature lovers, hikers and photographers. Take a cable car ride to Mount Tenjo’s peak and explore the area before continuing to Mt. Fuji’s Fifth Station before heading back for dinner at your ryokan.
Like a Speeding Bullet
Say goodbye to the beautiful Gora Kadan as your chauffeur meets you for your private transfer to Hakone’s Odawara station where you’ll board a scenic train bound for the historic city of Kyoto. Travel time is approximately two hours.
Your private guide and chauffeur will meet you at the train station in Kyoto for an exploratory introduction to this dichotomous city, with its 1000 year-old cobblestone streets mixed with modern monks, artisans, baristas and college students.
After your tour, your guide will escort you to The Thousand Kyoto hotel, where your two Superior rooms will be waiting for your arrival.
Nurtured by Nature
Today with your private guide, explore Arashiyama and the world-renowned Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the Nonomiya Shrine, two of Japan’s most picturesque sites. Continue exploring the aewa before enjoying a traditional Buddhist vegetarian “shojin-ryori” lunch made with yuba, tofu and seasonal vegetables while overlooking beautifully landscaped gardens.
After lunch, spend the afternoon exploring Kyoto’s famous Geisha district. See women walking around in traditional kimonos and perhaps buy or rent one of your own at one of the local shops around Higashiyama.
It’s All Ancient History
Leave behind the bustling city of Kyoto for Nara, previously Japan's capital for 74 years in the 8th century. With your private local guide and expert, visit the world's largest wooden building and famous for its Great Buddha. Also visit Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns, and stroll through Nara Park, nicknamed Deer Park known for being home to 1,000 tame deer living there. On the way back from Nara, visit Fushimi lnari Shrine, one of the iconic sites in Japan known for its 10,000 red tori gates that form a path up the mountain behind the temple.
Start Your Journey Home
Your private chauffeur will meet you at your hotel for your black car transfer to Osaka International Airport where you’ll board your Honolulu bound flight, where you’ll spend the next two nights at leisure at the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa before continuing your journey home.