Luxury Travel Blog

Ideas to inspire your world: luxury, culture, food, travel, style

Destination: Japan

Our list of articles tagged with "Japan."

October 1, 2020

Enjoying Ceramics in Japan

Ceramics are one of our favorite entry points into Japanese culture. Artisans of Leisure arranges private Japan tours that introduce travelers to the best of Japanese craft traditions.

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May 9, 2019

Touring Toyosu and Tsukiji Markets in Tokyo

For anyone interested in sushi and Japanese food in general, touring markets in Japan is a must. We arrange early morning visits to the wholesale Toyosu Market in Tokyo to watch the tuna auction. We also arrange insider food tours of Tsukiji Outer Market. Artisans of Leisure customizes private Japan tours that provide an in-depth […]

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March 2, 2018

Magical Kyoto in Spring

Spring is a particularly magical time to visit Japan, one of our favorite destinations. Plum blossoms bring the first blush of spring to Japan in February, followed by the legendary sakura (cherry blossoms), which paint the country pink from the end of March through the beginning of April. Kyoto is wonderful in any season, but there’s […]

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May 4, 2017

An Interview with Ashley Isaacs Ganz on Japan

Artisans of Leisure founder and CEO Ashley Isaacs Ganz is recognized as one of the world’s leading Japan travel experts. Read more about some of her favorite places she visited and experiences she had on her most recent visit to Japan. Q: You used to live in Japan and have traveled extensively throughout the country. […]

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January 24, 2017

Ceramics in Japan: Robert Yellin’s Yakimono Gallery in Kyoto

If you’re interested in Japanese pottery, we highly recommend having Artisans of Leisure arrange a private meeting with Robert Yellin. Considered a foremost authority on Japanese yakimono (ceramics), Yellin has lived in Japan since 1984 and has written and lectured extensively both in Japan and abroad. Yellin runs Yakimono Gallery from an early 20th-century teahouse steeped […]

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March 30, 2016

Don’t Miss: Kou-an Glass Teahouse in Kyoto

If you’re visiting Japan, we recommend venturing high into the foothills of Kyoto to visit Kou-an, a glass teahouse by renowned Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka. The clear glass roof, floor and walls of Kou-an teahouse are held together by a thin metal frame, creating a fragile, transparent structure. The teahouse lacks any of the traditional […]

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January 22, 2016

Amanemu: Luxury Hot Springs Resort on the Scenic Coast of Rural Japan

Travelers interested in Japanese history, religion and culture—all surrounded by beautiful rural landscapes—should consider a stay at the new  Amanemu. A luxurious hot springs resort, Amanemu is set on hills above the forested islands and oyster farms of Ago Bay in central Honshu, Japan. The resort’s large spa focuses on the traditional Japanese onsen (hot […]

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October 1, 2015

Iconic Image: Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin” at Benesse Art Site Naoshima

The arrival of autumn has us thinking of Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama’s iconic sculpture on Naoshima, an island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea that’s one of our favorite destinations in Asia for contemporary art and architecture. The collection of museums and artworks set among the island landscapes and known as Benesse Art Site Naoshima provide many opportunities for […]

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June 30, 2015

Exclusive Access: Dinner with Geisha in Japan

Enjoying a private dinner with geisha is one of Japan’s most exclusive and most unforgettable experiences. Icons of traditional Japanese culture, geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha) are professional performers who wear extravagant kimono, makeup and hair decorations while entertaining their guests Geisha typically perform in private ochaya (tea houses) that are clustered in historic neighborhoods […]

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January 12, 2015

Must Stay: Aman Tokyo

We have just returned from Tokyo, where we visited the new Aman Tokyo. We’re confident the Aman will quickly become one of the best luxury hotels in Japan, and we’re excited to be offering it as an option in our private Japan tours. Conveniently located near Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace, the Aman Tokyo […]

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January 2, 2015

Exquisite Japanese Lacquerware

Lacquerware is one of our favorite crafts from Japan, where is it known as urushi (lacquer), shikki (lacquerware) or nurimono (coated things). Ishikawa Prefecture is among the most famous of the many regions in Japan where lacquerware is produced. Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa and historically one of the most powerful castle towns in Japan, […]

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March 14, 2014

Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

Cherry blossom season is a wonderful time to be in Japan. Starting around mid-March in most of the country, the pale pink sakura flowers burst open in a shock of color that signals the end of winter and the start of spring. It can be surprising how widespread cherry trees are in Japan until you […]

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October 15, 2013

Must Experience: Autumn in Japan

Japan is one of our favorite destinations for viewing spectacular fall foliage. Destinations like Kyoto are truly magical, with the brilliant colors of the momiji (maple) leaves against the backdrop of temples, shrines and Zen gardens. We work with travelers to plan one-of-a-kind private tours in November that coincide with the best of autumn foliage. […]

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April 24, 2013

Iconic Image: The Floating Torii at Miyajima, Japan

One of Japan’s most iconic images is the floating torii, a red Shinto gate that rises out of the water of the Seto Inland Sea just off Miyajima Island (near Hiroshima). The gate marks the entrance to beautiful Itsukushima Shrine, a centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage Site noted for its traditional Japanese religious architecture and scenic […]

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May 24, 2011

Private Shore Excursions the Artisans of Leisure Way

When taking a luxury cruise, a great way to make the most of your time in ports of call is with private shore excursions and private overland tours. Artisans of Leisure has a vast network of expert guides and drivers in cruise destinations around the world, and we work with sophisticated travelers to customize private […]

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June 18, 2009

The Way of Tea: Experiencing the Japanese Tea Ceremony

The tea ceremony is one of Japan’s most interesting and enduring artistic traditions. More than a ritual for preparing and drinking tea, the tea ceremony is a means to aesthetic appreciation and social interaction that has had a profound influence on Japanese art, architecture, gardens, cuisine and philosophy. What happens during a traditional Japanese tea […]

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April 17, 2009

A Visit to a Private Kyoto Machiya

Kyoto’s abundant traditional Japanese architecture is one of the most noticeable and impressive characteristics of the city. The opportunity to get inside these traditional buildings–including private homes and merchant’s houses, known as kyo-machiya–is a rare and fascinating experience in Japanese culture.

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April 10, 2009

A conversation with Asian food expert Corinne Trang

The founder of Artisans of Leisure, Ashley Isaacs Ganz, recently met up with cookbook writer and Asian food expert Corinne Trang. Ashley assisted Corinne with her extensive travels and culinary arrangements in Asia when Corinne was doing research for her acclaimed cookbook Essentials of Asian Cuisine. Q: You started your food career at Saveur Magazine […]

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March 24, 2009

Must Stay: Hyatt Regency in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is one of our favorite destinations in Japan, and the relatively new Hyatt Regency Kyoto is the hotel that best captures the city’s refined aesthetic, perfected hospitality and service, and incredible cuisine. The hotel is truly a work of art. Designed by Takashi Sugimoto of Asia’s renowned Super Potato design firm, the hotel features several Japanese […]

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March 19, 2009

Must Buy: Edo Chiyogami (traditional paper) in Tokyo

A highlight of Tokyo is experiencing the non-stop action, the neon, the pop-culture, cutting-edge design, and the crowds. But we also love taking our travelers to quiet sections of Tokyo that are filled with traditional Japanese shops, Edo-era wooden buildings, Buddhist temples, and other historic sites that escaped the WWII bombing One of our favorite places is […]

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February 27, 2009

Private Architecture Tours of Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the best places in the world to see modern and contemporary architecture. Aoyama, Harajuku, Roppongi, Ginza and other neighborhoods are filled with important buildings by some of the world’s leading architects, including SANAA, Herzog & de Meuron, Tadao Ando, Le Corbusier, Kenzo Tange, Rafael Vinoly, Renzo Piano, Toyo Ito, Fumihiko Maki, […]

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February 24, 2009

An interview with one of our art and architecture travel experts

John is one of the travel experts based in our New York City office. He’s passionate about art and architecture, and helps design our tours around the world. Q: What are your favorite travel destinations? A: I firmly believe that each destination is fascinating in its own way, and I love exploring new places and discovering […]

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February 11, 2009

Seafood on the Ise Peninsula

A seafood kaiseki meal is a must when visiting the Ise Peninsula in Japan—it is among the freshest available. Japan is known for seafood and its many preparations, ranging from such dishes as octopus tempura to the infamous blowfish sashimi. A multi-course kaiseki meal is one of the best ways to experience a variety of […]

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February 10, 2009

Takamatsu: Isamu Noguchi’s Studio & Ritsurin Garden

Many of our tours include Benesse Art Site on Naoshima Island, and one of the activities we arrange from there is a private excursion to nearby Takamatsu on the island of Shikoku. The excursion can be done in just half a day and is recommended for anyone interested in Japanese art and culture. We arrange […]

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