Day 3: Old-Fashioned Tokyo Backstreets, Ramen Lunch, and High-End Sushi Reservations
After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will meet you and you’ll head to the historic Asakusa district, best known as home to Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senso-ji. After paying a visit to the impressive temple, leave the crowds to explore the area’s vibrant backstreets, filled with old-school kissaten (coffee shops) and retro Tokyo charm.
Continue to Yanaka. Largely spared during World War II, Yanaka is a beautiful and well-preserved old neighborhood. Today it is home to quaint streets, small temples and shrines, traditional mom-and-pop shops selling Japanese sweets and rice crackers, and up-and-coming galleries and cafes run by young creatives.
Finally, walk into nearby Ueno, a bustling yet old-fashioned district best known for Ueno Park and its various museums. End your stroll at Ameyoko-cho, a boisterous open-air marketplace where you can find everything from fresh fruit and seafood, to clothing shops and yakitori stalls.
From here you’ll head with your guide to a spectacular little ramen shop for lunch. Afterwards, your guide will direct you back to your hotel for some downtime, or elsewhere in the city if you’d prefer to keep exploring. After an afternoon at leisure — with ideas on how to spend your time from our pre-departure materials and your guide — this evening prepare for a splendid sushi dinner.
A quintessential Tokyo experience, for tonight we’ll be making special reservations for you at a fantastic sushi-ya (sushi shop), where you can enjoy spectacular cuisine in unpretentious (and non-touristy) surroundings, dining at the intimate counter of an unsung sushi master. For this sublime experience, you will simply need to pay on the day (we will select a sushi shop that matches your preferred budget range for this evening).
Following dinner, make your way back to your hotel, or head out on your own to enjoy more of Tokyo’s legendary nightlife!
Day 4: Off-the-Beaten-Path Cycling Tour, and Final Evening in Tokyo
With your final full day in Tokyo, you’ll have the chance to explore yet another fascinating side of this rich and layered city.
In the late morning, you’ll meet your private cycling guide (urban cycling experience not required!). After being fitted for your bicycle and helmet, you’ll embark on a leisurely cycling tour, winding your way slowly through the quiet backstreets of delightful, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods where tourists are rarely seen.
Prefer not to cycle? This cycling experience can be swapped out instead for a private walking tour taking in an irresistible mix of backstreets featuring marvelous vintage or antiques shops.
End at a local favorite lunch spot specializing in tonkatsu. Afterwards, you’ll have the remainder of your final day in Tokyo at leisure.
You may choose to visit any remaining neighborhoods, places, or museums of interest; sample any other culinary specialties on your personal must-eat list; or while away a few memorable hours checking out only-in-Tokyo shops and boutiques (don’t forget to leave some space in your luggage!).
Day 5: Tradition and Luxury in the Japanese Countryside
After a few thrilling days exploring the many charms of Tokyo, today you’ll get away from it all with a luxurious stay in rural Japan. But first, enjoy one last lovely breakfast at your hotel.
In the late morning, your private driver will meet you to take you to the station. At the massive station your private escort will lead the way, dropping you off right at your impeccably clean train, where you’ll take your comfortable seats for the journey.
(As you know if you’ve been to Japan, riding the trains is an experience in and of itself. The cleanliness, the speed and efficiency, the etiquette — and the pleasure of watching the landscape speed by.)
Before you know it, you’ve arrived. Right as you step off the train, you’ll be greeted by your driver and escorted to your private vehicle. Shortly thereafter you’ll arrive at your destination: a stunning traditional property with gorgeous Japanese aesthetics.
Step inside, where you’ll exchange your shoes for slippers and be led into your beautiful Japanese room. After making sure you’re comfortable and serving you tea, staff will leave you to settle into your serene surroundings.
Shed your street clothes and put on your traditional yukata. Savor a healing soak in the aromatic wooden bath, kick back with a book, or head for a leisurely stroll around the property and surrounding area.
Following an afternoon of pure relaxation, prepare for a magnificent multi-course dinner, another essential ingredient of the countryside experience.
After dinner, enjoy a drink, or simply unwind and breathe in your rejuvenating surroundings before a restful evening.
Your Lovely Traditional Accommodations
For your rural stay, choose one of these traditional yet forward-thinking Japanese-style properties within easy reach of Tokyo, where you can savor tranquil surroundings and quintessential Japanese hospitality:
- Asaba (Japanese-Style Room with Hot Springs), located in the lush Izu Peninsula (~2 hours from Tokyo)
- Kishi-ke (Luxury Private Villa), located in the coastal town of Kamakura (~1 hour from Tokyo). Please note that this property specializes in elegant plant-based cuisine.
Day 6: Relaxing Morning at Leisure, and Departure
Today marks the conclusion of your travels with us. You’ll be free until departure to luxuriate in your idyllic surroundings and enjoy a beautiful breakfast.
When it’s time to depart, you’ll be transferred back to the station for your journey by rail back to Tokyo. Back in Tokyo you’ll be met on arrival for your private transfer to your departure airport.
Please Note: If you plan to spend additional time exploring Japan independently, we will adjust today’s transport accordingly.