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!).
For a Limited Time: Book by October 31, 2020, and for tonight we’ll include a complimentary Tokyo nightlife tour. The perfect way to celebrate your final evening in Tokyo, this private tour will be curated around your preference, whether you’re most interested in sake, the city’s legendary cocktail scene, whisky, natural wine, shochu, or the local craft beer!
Day 5: Tradition and Luxury in the Japanese Countryside
After your final evening in Tokyo, this morning you’ll depart the city bound for your relaxing rural retreat. For your Japanese countryside experience, choose between two gorgeous options, both within easy reach of Tokyo:
- Asaba, in the lush Izu Peninsula (approx. 2 hours from Tokyo), or
- Kishi-ke, in the coastal town of Kamakura (approx. 1 hour from Tokyo)
In the late morning, you’ll be picked up at your hotel and escorted to the station for the pleasant journey by rail to your destination. On arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to your lovely accommodations, where you can enjoy an afternoon and evening completely at leisure in your serene Japanese surroundings.
Relax in comfortable yukata robes over tea in your Japanese-style room, soak in soothing waters, or venture out to stroll nearby for a taste of the slow pace of life in more rural areas of Japan. An unforgettable day concludes with a magnificent multi-course dinner featuring local and seasonal specialties. (All of this is part of your experience whether you select Asaba or Kishi-ke; please note that the latter, Kishi-ke, specializes in elegant plant-based cuisine.)
Your accommodations: Asaba (Japanese-Style Room with Hot Springs) or Kishi-ke (Luxury Private Villa)
Asaba and Kishi-ke are two of the loveliest traditional, yet forward-thinking, Japanese-style properties within easy reach of Tokyo, where you can savor tranquil surroundings and quintessential Japanese hospitality.
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.