If you’re looking for the Japan trip of a lifetime, you’re in the right place.

Japan is one of the most fascinating countries in the world, but getting beneath the surface can be a challenge for even the most experienced travelers. Our specialty is curating unique, memorable experiences — not just sightseeing or checking items off a list.

The truth is, whether you usually plan your own trips or normally work with a destination expert, planning a trip to Japan can seem overwhelming at times. At Boutique Japan we make the process as fun and effortless as possible, so you can simply relax and savor every moment of your experience.

Not ready to plan? Find insightful Japan travel information and inspiration in the Boutique Japan blog.

Sample Japan Itineraries

The sample trips below are here to inspire you. These are not fixed itineraries, and can be customized or altered in almost any way. We can use them as a foundation for your bespoke Japan trip, or design your itinerary completely from scratch.

Unique Japan Experiences

Japan offers an incredible array of cultural and culinary experiences, from the sublime to the exhilarating. We don’t believe one size fits all, and design your trip just for you whether your interests lie in:

  • Modern design, art, fashion, and architecture in Tokyo (and the art island Naoshima)
  • Traditional culture, unique shrines and temples, and impeccable gardens
  • Historic village-to-village hikes, and the chance to soak in remote rural onsen (hot springs) deep in the Japanese countryside
  • Centuries-old crafts shops, and private artisan studios, in the backstreets of Kyoto

We meticulously arrange your trip around your interests, ideal travel pace, accommodation preferences, and personal travel style.

What’s Included in a Trip with Boutique Japan?

A Japan itinerary with us typically includes all of the following. As we design your bespoke trip completely from the ground up, the exact details will be reflected in your personalized itinerary.

  • A tailor-made itinerary crafted just for you, based on our in-depth Japan expertise, relationships, and firsthand experience
  • All of your accommodations, in boutique and luxury hotels and ryokans thoughtfully selected based on your taste and priorities
  • Unique private tours and experiences with engaging experts, and as much or little free time as you’d like
  • In-country transport and expertly-planned logistics for peace of mind and convenience
  • Meals at accommodations and during culinary outings
  • Recommendations for authentic, memorable experiences, including essential highlights and hidden gems
  • Extensive pre-departure information, including expert advice on Japanese etiquette, food, packing, Wi-Fi, language, tipping, and more
  • A Japan specialist to answer your questions, and extraordinary customer service (including 24/7 assistance during your trip)

Pricing for a Trip with Boutique Japan

Trips with us typically fall into the price ranges outlined below. These are guidelines meant to give you an approximate sense of pricing (rather than hard-and-fast categories), and many travelers seek elements of more than one.

For example, some travelers prioritize unique experiences above all, others love splurging on luxury accommodations, and many simply want the best of everything.

A Japanese woman purifies herself before entering Fushimi Inari Taisha

Based on our years of experience planning bespoke Japan trips for travelers from around the world, we’ve found the above guidelines to be very helpful in predicting expected pricing, but how is the price of your trip determined?

We begin with the goal of putting together the best possible itinerary, taking both your priorities and our firsthand expertise into account (as outlined in our process). This includes painstakingly selecting accommodations (down to thinking about which room type or suite you’d personally appreciate most), organizing your itinerary to include immersive private tours and experiences around your interests (balanced with as much or little free time as you would like), arranging seamless transport logistics in line with your preferences, and all the other small but essential details involved in expertly coordinating a seamless trip.

The price of your trip is based on the itinerary itself, and all that is included, along with factors such as your travel dates (for example, during peak seasons pricing may be higher) and the number of travelers in your party.

We typically require a small preliminary itinerary design fee, which allows us to dedicate our time and efforts to each of our clients, and give each trip the personal love and attention it deserves. The amount varies depending on various factors (such as trip length, itinerary intricacy, etc.) and is fully applied to the final cost of your trip.

Please note that each of our tailor-made trips is offered as a completely customized package, just for you, and itemized price breakdowns are not provided. While some travelers don’t have a particular budget in mind, if you are working around a specific range or desired limit, just let us know and will be more than happy to discuss the possibilities.

Because we design trips exclusively for travelers directly (we don’t work with travel agents or other intermediaries, who charge extra markups), the price of our service ends up being remarkably reasonable in relation to the premium, personalized nature of our trips. Our fresh, customer-centric approach is a key reason Condé Nast Traveler selected us as a Top Travel Specialist for Japan in 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions we get, but if you don’t see the information you’re seeking please contact us here and we’ll be happy to help.

I’m worried about coronavirus (Covid-19).

We hear you.

For more on what to expect — and our flexibility guarantee — please see Planning a Trip to Japan in the Time of Covid.

There are so many companies. Why should I travel with Boutique Japan?

We believe in fewer clients and richer experiences, as described in more detail on our About page.

As Condé Nast Traveler puts it, “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.”

If our approach resonates with you, we’d be honored to help.

How does your service work?

It’s simple. 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. Finally, we design a completely customized Japan trip just for you, taking your feedback into account along the way.

Read more about our process.

I don’t often enjoy tours. 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.

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.

Who are your trips for?

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

The majority of our clients are small groups of friends, couples (including honeymooners), and families.

When is the best time of year to visit Japan?

Japan is a year-round destination and we normally suggest taking advantage of any chance to visit. Each season is great in its own way.

If your dates are very flexible we recommend our in-depth article, When is the best time of year to visit Japan?

Please bear in mind that, especially for peak seasons, advance planning is essential.

What about places not mentioned in the sample trips?

Our sample trips above are simply meant to inspire you. There are many other places in Japan we absolutely love, and we’ll provide personalized suggestions in the course of planning your custom trip.

Who are you?

A small and passionate team of Japan travel experts. Please say hello here, or on Instagram or Facebook!