Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
- Matsuo Basho -
When thinking of Japan’s history, for many the first image that comes to mind is that of the samurai, impassive and fearless warriors who lived by the strict moral code called bushido. But what lies beneath that image is a deep well of spiritual strength and a long tradition as patrons of high culture, practitioners of the tea ceremony, accomplished artists and poets, true Japan. Explore and unveil these diverse and unique landscapes on an unforgettable journey through Japan, boasting tropical islands, volcanic and breathtaking landscapes, and a deeply rooted culture that merges tradition with hyper-modernity.
Explore Tokyo, both formal and casual, traditional, and hi-tech, Tokyo’s contrasts are what make it so endlessly fascinating. The city’s faithfulness to ancient customs and futuristic thinking makes it unique. Visit the workplace of the world-renowned swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshihara for a rare opportunity to witness him engaging in his craft. Yoshindo Yoshihara is among the most celebrated swordsmiths in the world. The Japanese culture of respect and grit is embedded in the culinary world, with apprentices often spending years of extensive shugyou - learning the ropes from their Masters - as a right of passage. Venture to the Tohoku region and experience the origins of the iconic Samurai warriors and their lifestyle and etiquette. Learn about the notorious samurai and supreme military commander, Minamoto Yoritomo, that emerged victorious in 1192, the samurai would rule over Japan for most of the next 700 years. More north you will find the extraordinary quality of Hokkaido and Niseko are known as Asia’s most awarded ski region and one of the snowiest regions in the world with sublime champagne powder, world-class tree runs, and some of the most flavourful après-ski eats anywhere (read more here). While it is known to be ski haven in the winter months, this region also offers a plethora of treats throughout the year. The cuisine is world renowned; chefs dedicate their lives to mastering their techniques, taking great pride in their shokunin spirit - the virtue of seeking perfection in their craft. You will experience one of the finest cuisines not only in Japan but also in the world, Niseko is well perfectly located to provide you access other gourmet destinations as well the famous Nikka Distillery in Yoichi, the seafood mecca of Otaru and the local vineyards. This region holds a wealth of choice for activities from beautiful hikes and walkthrough the woods and mountains to white-water rafting, canyoning and kayaking. Golfers will be thrilled by the world class courses available.
If you are in search to experience Japan’s ancient highway and one of the oldest and most traditional trails in Japan it is, “The Nakasendo Way”, which literally means “the road through the mountains”. Which starts in Kyoto, one of Japan’s ancient capitals and is close to Honshu a village located at the foot of Mount Tennozan, home to the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery, founded in 1923 by the godfather of Japanese whiskey, Shinjiro Toriito - this is the oldest distillery in Japan. To this day Kyoto is the cultural epicentre of the nation, follow this old road to some of the best kept rural countryside’s rooted deeply into the mountains of Japan’s Central Alps. You will finalize the walk in Tokyo, the glistening modern capital. In its heyday in the 17th century, the Nakasendo was crowded with travellers, including feudal lords, samurai, itinerant merchants and pilgrims. Now largely forgotten and quiet, the road provides a pleasant trail through scenic countryside and the history of Japan.
Discover the Seto Inland Sea, the passageway between Honshu and Shikoku, dotted with hundreds of islands to explore. Guntû is the perfect complement to this beautiful backdrop. This 19-room floating Ryokan was designed by the famous architect Yasushi Horibe, renowned for his use of natural materials and clean lines to create intimate, tranquil spaces. The sea will be visible from every nook of the boat and referenced in every experience, from the incredible sushi bar to the nightly champagne toasts held as the sun sets into the water, to the communal baths in the spa treatment room. Journeys of various lengths depart Hiroshima and sail to ports where you can discover deep hidden away villages and enjoy the peace of a morning walk through these magical coastlines, this is truly an experience you cannot miss. More South lies Kyushu, the southwestern most island of Japan, it has the most subtropical climate of Japan. This island is a dynamic landscape of active volcanoes, hot springs and fertile farmlands. Kyushu is epitomized by the words Energy, Fertility and Gateway, representing its natural energy and dynamic people, the rich soil that blesses the island with delicious food, and its history as a link between Japan and the world. The best way to experience this island to the fullest is with the Seven stars where the local craftsmanship and heart of the artisans of Kyushu are brought together. The Seven Stars is about the living soul of the island of Kyushu Japan, with close connections to communities along the way and represents what train travel should be: a journey remarkable not just for the distance covered, but for the travel experience itself. This extraordinary train is comparable to such fabled trains as the Orient Express and the Blue Train in terms of service and sheer splendour. Kyushu has an abundance of radiant sunshine, towering mountains and, of course, bountiful oceans. Besides experiencing the renowned restaurants along the route. Kyushu’s climate also reflects in the cuisine on the train. That offers exceptional dining experiences with seasonal ingredients from the countryside and seas of Kyushu.
If you are looking to experience Japan to the fullest with every and each detail mentioned above and more, that is absolutely possible, we do urge to contact us at least 6 months ahead.