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Since 2013, our award-winning team has been designing unique, original Japan itineraries for discerning travelers from around the world.

Let us create your trip completely from scratch, but find inspiration in our sample trips below. And if you’re in the early planning stages, go down the research rabbit hole in our information-filled blog.

Sample Japan Itineraries

When it comes to your itinerary, the possibilities are endless. The sample itineraries below include some but far from all of our favorite destinations in Japan.

For more inspiration, see our 9-day sample itinerary, our 6-day Tokyo and the Japanese Countryside trip, and our favorite off-the-beaten-path places in Japan.

Meaningful Japan Experiences

Japan offers an incredible array of cultural and culinary experiences, from the sublime to the exhilarating. Look forward to the following on a trip with us:

Unique accommodations.

Enjoy boutique and luxury hotels and ryokans with character, chosen to match your taste and priorities.

Cuisine.

Enjoy the best of Japanese food with local experts, from casual ramen shops and izakayas, to exquisite kaiseki and sushi.

Drinks.

Sample beverages — from tea and coffee, to sake, whisky, and shochu — and marvel at Japan’s refined culture of cocktails.

Arts.

Gallery hop in Tokyo, visit the art island Naoshima, and meet master artisans and traditional craftspeople in Kyoto and rural Japan.

Contemporary culture.

Find inspiration in Japan’s spectacular architecture, renowned culture of design, and pioneering fashion — not to mention some of the world’s best shopping.

Tradition.

Stroll through impeccable gardens, visit remarkable temples and shrines, and experience the high energy of sumo or a traditional matsuri (festival).

Nature.

Get outdoors and off-the-beaten-path with vigorous hikes, historic village-to-village walks, and the chance to soak in remote rural onsen (hot springs) deep in the Japanese countryside.

What’s Included in Your Trip?

Each Japan trip we design is unique, but our trips typically include all of the following:

Bespoke design.

We take personalization seriously. Not only do we really listen to you, our profound expertise and extensive connections mean your trip will be both completely unique and authentically special.

Beautiful accommodations.

A trip to Japan offers the chance to stay in stunning boutique and luxury hotels and ryokans. We’ll make thoughtful recommendations based on our personal expertise and your taste and priorities.

Fun and insightful private tours and experiences.

When it comes to private guides and local experts, we have unusually high standards (see why in the FAQ below). Your trip will include unique private tours and experiences, curated around your interests — and as much free time as you’d like.

In-country transport and seamless logistics.

We meticulously arrange your in-country travels around your preferences and priorities. Getting around Japan is an absolute pleasure thanks to the comfort and efficiency of its various modes of transport, from impeccable trains and the shinkansen to courteous white-gloved drivers.

Selected meals.

Your trip includes meals at your accommodations — breakfast at hotels, plus amazing meals at ryokans — and additional culinary experiences based on your priorities. This can include private izakaya outings, intimate sushi dinners, ramen crawls, whisky tastings, and more.

Pre-departure information.

Essential advice as you prepare for your trip, including key tips on Japanese etiquette, packing, money, language, Wi-Fi, and more.

Extraordinary support.

We are here to answer any questions that may come up at every stage of the process, and provide thoughtful service to our travelers from start to finish, including 24/7 assistance during your trip.

Pricing for a Trip with Boutique Japan

The price of your trip ultimately comes down to your priorities. For example, some travelers love small and stylish boutique hotels, others prefer top-end luxury properties — and many like a mix of both.

Your trip’s price is based on the itinerary itself — the accommodations and room types, and transport and experiences included — along with factors such as your travel dates (i.e., pricing is higher during peak seasons) and the number of travelers in your party.

The pricing guidelines outlined below are designed to give you an accurate way to estimate, but they’re not hard-and-fast categories and many travelers seek elements of more than one.

Classic

US $700-$900 per person per day (based on double occupancy)

A trip that falls within the Classic range of pricing (see a sample) generally includes a considered mix of mid-range/boutique accommodations, all of your in-country transport (via rail), and wonderful private guides (plus plenty of time to explore independently).

Boutique

US $900-$1,200 per person per day (based on double occupancy)

A trip that falls within the Boutique range of pricing (see a sample) generally includes a lovely mix of boutique/luxury accommodations, all of your in-country transport (via rail and private vehicle where appropriate), and wonderful private guides (plus as much free time as you’d like).

Luxury

US $1,200-$1,800 per person per day and up (based on double occupancy)

A trip that falls within the Luxury range of pricing (see a sample) generally includes top-end accommodations, all of your in-country transport (via first-class rail and private vehicle where appropriate), and wonderful private guides (plus as much free time as you’d like).

Chozuya purification shrine Kyoto Japan

We typically require a small preliminary itinerary design fee.

This helps enable us to dedicate truly personalized attention to each of our travelers. The amount varies depending on factors including trip length and the nature of your request, and is fully applicable to the final cost of your trip.

Your personalized itinerary is offered as a completely bespoke “package,” and we don’t include itemized pricing. Some travelers don’t have a specific budget in mind, but if you have a preferred range or limit please just let us know and we’ll be happy to work with you.

FAQ

These are some of the most common questions we get from travelers. If you have any other questions, we’ll be happy to help so please contact us.

Who are your trips for?

Our travelers are based around the world, in the Americas, Australia, and beyond.

The majority of our travelers are couples, families, small groups of friends, and solo travelers.

Are these group tours?

No, these are completely private itineraries.

How does your service work?

We begin by listening and learning about your interests, priorities, and travel style. Then we provide expert input to make sure you’re aware of special places and experiences you may not have considered.

Next, we design a completely customized Japan trip just for you, taking your feedback into account along the way. Throughout the process, we make things as easy and enjoyable as possible for you. Additionally, with 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, you can simply relax and enjoy your adventure.

See more details in Planning Your Trip with Boutique Japan.

What about Covid-19?

See Planning a Japan Trip in the Time of Covid to find out what to expect on the ground, and learn about our flexible planning policy.

Where in Japan do you go?

We offer private itineraries throughout all of Japan. Our sample trips above are here to provide inspiration, and there are also many other places in Japan we absolutely love.

When it comes to your itinerary, we’ll provide personalized suggestions in the course of planning your trip.

How do you select your guides?

We hear a lot from travelers who have had lackluster, unsatisfying tours in the past.

While some of our clients enjoy having a guide from start to finish, most commonly our travelers enjoy a mix of guided time along with free time for independent exploration and relaxation (in our experience, the optimal balance is quite different for everyone).

When it comes to private guides and local experts, we have unusually high standards (few things in travel are more disappointing than a mediocre guide), and through constant travel and exploration we’ve personally developed a network of wonderful guides and insightful experts throughout Japan.

In Japan, even more so than most elsewhere, trust is established only over long periods of time. Our tours are based on valuable relationships carefully cultivated over many years, and we’re extremely fortunate to work with remarkable people around the country.

For us, it’s about far more than just having knowledge: we seek out the truly engaging individuals who are not only bright and knowledgeable, but also flexible and quick-thinking. Perhaps above all, they must be fun, interesting people you’ll actually want to spend your valuable time with.

Why should I travel with Boutique Japan?

We are accredited Japan Travel Specialists, and maintain active memberships with respected organizations including IATAN and ATTA. Our California Seller of Travel registration number is CST 2114860-40.

Perhaps more interestingly, unlike most travel companies we intentionally work with fewer travelers. This lets us take an extraordinarily personalized approach when it comes to your trip. Along with our expertise and creativity, our low-volume approach is one reason Condé Nast Traveler magazine named Boutique Japan founder Andres Zuleta a Top Travel Specialist for Japan:

“Zuleta’s Boutique Japan is a small company that eschews volume and spends more time customizing each trip to offer travelers a fresh, creative approach to Japan – something that discerning travelers seek out after learning of Zuleta’s deep immersion into the Japanese language and culture from years of living in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.”

If you’re as obsessed with the details as we are, chances are we’ll be a good fit — see what our travelers say here and on Google Reviews.