Private Japan Tours

Discover the Land of the Rising Sun!

Tumbling back into a land before time, you can delve into the many treasures of Japan during your tailor-made, private Japan tours with Enchanting Travels. Best known for its iconic cherry blossom trees, this is a world of gentle and natural beauty, made more so by a polite and hospitable traditional culture.

Steeped with ancient temples and castles, vernacular farmhouses in mountain villages, and tea houses hosted by geishas in the old quarters of modern cities, as a cultural explorer you will be blown away. Venture into nature where onsen (natural hot springs), snowy mountains, stern-looking snow monkeys and stunning autumnal landscaped gardens promise to delight you.

Japan embraces its artistic soul across many dimensions and invites you to do the same during your unique and authentic vacation. Feast on arguably the finest and freshest gourmet food in the world, experience cooking classes, traditional calligraphy and paper-making classes, and so much more.

Your private Japan tours, tailored by passionate travel experts, await.

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Best Time for Travel to Japan

Stretching over a vast distance from North to South, the Japanese archipelago is known for mild variations in weather as well as amazing flora and fauna.

  • Main season: Spring – the cherry trees of Japan are in full bloom in late April; Autumn – cool, mild weather with some possibility of typhoons.
  • Low season: Summer – expect a lot of rain, with hot and humid weather in July and August; Winter – cool and chilly, with snowfall in the mountainous regions and sometimes, also in the cities.

What to Pack for Japan:

  • Summer: Light clothing is recommended however warm jackets are necessary if you are planning to visit the Alpine regions.
  • Spring: Please bring some warm clothes with you as the temperature may drop considerably at night.

Our destination experts are happy to help you plan your custom Asia vacations. Contact us for your obligation-free itinerary.

Top 10 Attractions, Activities and Highlights of Japan

Uncover our list of top ten things to do in Japan. From warm soaks in natural springs to leisurely walks in an enchanted forest, here are the personal favorite experiences from Enchanting Travels destination experts!

1. Embark on a river cruise to Asakusa from Tokyo to visit Sensoji Temple and soak in the old-world charm of this heritage town.

2. In Kyoto, enjoy a Japanese Bento-style cooking class at a traditional machiya house, or indulge in a calligraphy lesson at a Master’s House. You can also opt for a private dinner with a geisha or a maiko – Japanese entertainers who are well-versed in the traditional arts.

Private Japan Tours

3. Set out on an enchanting walk through the verdant bamboo forest of Kamakura to reach the Great Buddha. One of Japan’s most iconic sites, several verses from Rudyard Kipling’s Kim are dedicated to this statue.

4. Soak in panoramic views of the iconic volcano, Mt. Fujiyama in Hakone. After a long day spent on your city tour of Hakone, it’s time for your personal outdoor bathtub filled with hot water from a natural spring!

Private Japan Tours

5. Stroll through Kenrokuen in Kanazawa, ranked as one of Japan’s top 3 most beautiful gardens. After discovering the secrets of the Shogun in the Samurai district, you can experience a Gold Leaf activity in Kanazawa.

6. A private tea ceremony in a Kyoto temple spells magic like no other. Enjoy your moment of perfect peace in relative isolation, amid beautiful surroundings that are generally closed to the public.

7. Visit the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto – nestled by the base of a majestic mountain. This is the single-most impressive sight in the city!

8. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and the museum set within its premises, is dedicated to victims of the world’s first nuclear bomb. In August every year, the park plays host to the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony. Nearby on Miyajima Island stands the floating torii gate – one of Japan’s best-loved UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Private Japan Tours

9. Visit the legendary Osaka Castle in the season of cherry blossoms, when food carts and drummers descend on the castle grounds to lend it a festive air. Also in Osaka, the Floating Garden Observatory Bridge between the towers of Umeda Sky Building, offers panoramic views of the city.

10. Travel to the historic mountain village of Shirakawa-gō – this UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for charming thatched roof houses spread over a vast, beautiful and often wintry wonderland.

Private Japan Tours

Our destination experts are happy to help you plan your private Japan tours. Get in touch with us to receive inspiration about authentic experiences in Japan.

History of Japan

The history of Japan is as delightfully diverse as its landscape, dating back to the time of fierce hunter gatherers from the prehistoric era. 

The first nationalized government of Japan came to power as far back as 710 AD, with present-day Nara in Honshu becoming the first-ever capital city. During this Classical period, Japan also produced its first literary works – the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki. History aficionados will particularly enjoy a day trip to Nara from Kyoto, where eight UNESCO World Heritage sites await you!

Private Japan Tours

In the Heian era, the capital city was moved to picturesque Kyoto. Medieval Japan was torn by regional battles and attempts to conquer the Imperial throne, including invasions from the famed conqueror Kublai Khan. At the same time, Zen Buddhism, which is the core of Bushido, or the samurai spirit, became an intrinsic part of Japanese culture. Your tour of Nijō Castle in Kyoto will offer interesting insights into the samurai way of life.

Enchanting Travels - Japan Tours - Nijō Castle in Kyoto

In the early modern period, Japan restricted travel and trade with other countries. Trade was reestablished only after several years of isolation, when the ‘Black Ships’ of the US Navy landed in Japan. In the Meiji period, Japan welcomed all foreign technology and knowledge, thus fueling its rise as a powerful industrial economy. A unique trip to Nikko National Park provides the perfect introduction to traditional Meiji architecture from this time.

Although World War II brought severe misery to the nation, in modern times, the Japanese economy has grown by near-miraculous leaps and bounds. Manufacturing and export has led to positive relations with the rest of the world and Japan today, occupies center stage in the global economy.

Private Japan tours

As you travel past towering skyscrapers flanked by ancient tree-lined avenues and picturesque cherry blossoms, your private Tokyo city tour offers a perfect introduction into this fascinating blend of the ancient and the modern that is quintessential Japan.

Discover the history and heritage of a country like no other! Our destination experts are happy to help you plan your custom Japan tour.

Culture of Japan

Japan is a magical land where ancient traditions and architecture exists harmoniously alongside gigantic skyscrapers, and lightning-fast bullet trains connect futuristic cities to classical temples and conventional tea houses. With liberally drawn in influences from Asia and the rest of the world, this is your chance to delve into a unique culture unlike any other, with delightful new surprises around every corner!

At first glance, Japan may seem like a uniform society to you, with the ubiquitous cherry blossom serving as a symbol of national identity. However, set out on a walking tour of old Tokyo and you will discover significant cultural differences between communities that call it home, expressed mainly through their food. Japanese is the official language of Japan, while English is commonly spoken in most urban centers and some rural areas. Apart from Shintoism, Buddhism is Japan’s main religion.

Private Japan Tours

As you travel past quaint villages and settlements during your Japan vacation, you will find that nearly every village boasts something unique – be it an art form, craft work or cuisine! You may just stumble upon beautiful artwork sold amid the lesser-known alleyways of Tokyo, or learn the art of calligraphy from a Master in Kyoto. You can also choose to see Noh and Kabuki style Japanese theater in Tokyo both incredible in their own way. Witness woodblock printing and the art of washi papermaking, or learn Ikebana – the ever-popular Japanese flower arrangement art.

Private Japan Tours

Musically, Japan ranks as the second largest market in the world for music after the USA! The nation’s fervor for world music is perhaps best experienced at a bustling karaoke bar in Tokyo. From the old to the young, the throng of humming crowds and the sheer energy in a city bar will inspire you to sway the night away!

To the Western world, the geisha and maiko (a geisha-in-training) are synonymous with Japanese culture. The striking face and elaborate coiffure of a geisha, ever immortalized in the book and movie, Memoirs of a Geisha, tell tales of mysterious and charming entertainers who grew in number especially in the 1900s. Today, trained in hospitality and art, you will see geishas in Kyoto when you visit conventional tea houses.

Private Japan Tours

Everywhere in Japan, you will feel the influence of the fearless samurai warriors of yore! Famous for their unquestionable loyalty and moral code, they have served as role models for centuries. The samurai may be gone but their gardens and residences still exist – take a Samurai district tour in Kanazawa to learn more about these fascinating warriors.

Uncover the unique culture and heritage of this country on your private Japan tours with help from our destination experts!

Japanese Cuisine

Did you know that Tokyo city boasts the largest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world?

Traditional and innovative at the same time, Japanese cuisine is characterized by its seasonality, exquisite ingredients and presentation. Having indulged their love for unique flavors and the best culinary encounters, our destination experts share their favorite food experiences in Japan. Delve into the delicious flavors of Tokyo, discover the fluffiest pancakes in Osaka or the best street food of Kyoto – Japanese cuisine is yours to discover!

Private Japan Tours

Food in Japan is usually a combination of rice or noodles with a soup, and okazu made from meat, fish or vegetables. Add some miso, dashi or soy to the dish and your meal is complete! The Japanese are fervent believers of five basic tastes that appease the palate – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory, or umami. Considered a distinct flavor in itself by scientists the world over, you can taste umami flavors in meaty broths served by ubiquitous street food trucks in Tokyo.

Private Japan tours

Discover the best sushi in Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, especially a special variety called chirashi or ‘Scattered Sushi’, which includes the freshest cut-offs served on a donburi (rice bowl dish). Walk into Ebisu Yokocho food arcade in Tokyo – a congregation of small street side shops selling delicious street food, from yakitori to sashimi. It is literally one of the tastiest neighborhood in Tokyo, where aromas of fried meat and sake entice your senses.

Private Japan Tours

Japanese matcha is a finely ground green tea powder and just one cup is believed to be as good as ten cups of regular green tea. Sample the deliciousness when you visit tea plantations of Uji from Kyoto. Listed as UNESCO Intangible World Heritage, the intricacies of Japanese cuisine and the beloved bento box, is best discovered with an Enchanting Travels private Japanese cooking class in Kyoto.

Private Japan Tours

 

Osaka’s famous restaurant street of Dotonbori is a food lover’s paradise. Stop by colorful eateries, ramen bars and upscale restaurants on your gourmet food tour.

Sample some of Japan’s best dishes:

  1. Sushi: Cooked vinegar rice with other ingredients such as raw fish and seafood.
  2. Sashimi: Fresh raw fish sliced into thin pieces.
  3. Tempura: A Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been covered in a light batter and deep fried.
  4. Nabemono: A variety of one-pot dishes, usually chicken, fish, tofu, or vegetables, simmered in a light, fish-based broth.
  5. Shabu-shabu: A dish prepared at the table with a combination of vegetables, but cooked in boiling broth.
  6. Teppanyaki: A style that uses an iron griddle to cook dishes such as steak, seafood, and vegetables.
  7. Yakitori: Small pieces of chicken meat skewered on a bamboo stick and cooked over hot coals.

Our destination experts are happy to help you discover the best Japanese cuisine on your private Japan vacation.

Top Japan Travel Tips

Despite being one of the most populated nations in the world, Japan boasts lush green spaces, vast open landscapes and charming rural villages. The country is also considered to be one of the safest destinations in the world!

  • Japanese people are some of the politest in the world! You’ll love the warm hospitality in the country so be sure to reciprocate the politeness. Returning the bow with an equally polite one of your own, will take you a long way.
  • Learning a few words of Japanese will help you navigate through the country easily. The easiest to pick up are ‘konnichiwa’, meaning ‘Good Day’, or ‘arigato’, meaning ‘thank you very much’. In rural areas, where English is not as prevalent, it is advisable to carry a phrasebook to help you communicate with locals.
  • Do carry names and directions of your hotel, restaurants, and attractions you wish to visit, written in Japanese so that this can be shown to people on the street while asking for the way.
  • The Japanese are arguably some of the best-dressed people in the world. In Japan, people are often judged according to their attire so make sure you are smartly turned out!
  • Although Japan is less strict than other Asian countries about a dress code while visiting temples and religious shrines, it is still polite to dress conservatively and cover your shoulders.
  • It is a good idea to wear slip-ons for temple visits so you can easily take them off if you are required to be barefoot within the temple premises.
Private Japan Tours

 

Incredible journeys of a lifetime await you in the Land of the Rising Sun. Plan your private Japan tours with help from our experts. Contact us today for your obligation-free itinerary!

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