Luxury Garden Tours

Decorative Arts & Gardens of England
(9 Days)
London, Cotswolds

Garden Tour of France
(8 Days)
Versailles, Loire Valley, Paris & Giverny

Garden Tour of Italy
(10 Days)
Lake Como, Florence & Tuscany, Rome & Tivoli

Garden Tour of Japan
(13 Days)
Tokyo & Omiya, Kurashiki & Okayama, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Tokyo

Gardens of the Netherlands
(8 days)
Amsterdam with Keukenhof Gardens, Leiden, Delft & Gelderland

Garden Tour of Portugal
(9 Days)
Porto & Douro Valley, Sintra & Cascais, Lisbon

Design & Gardens Tour of Sicily
(8 Days)
Palermo with Monreale & Agrigento, Taormina with Mount Etna & Syracuse


Garden Tour of Japan

(13 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Tokyo & Omiya, Kurashiki & Okayama, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Tokyo

This private luxury tour includes some of Japan’s top cultural destinations and most renowned Japanese gardens, including Korakuen in Okayama and Kenrokuen in Kanazawa, as well as favorite gardens at temples, shrines, museums and imperial residences around Tokyo and Kyoto.

Begin in Tokyo, the capital of contemporary culture and style in Japan. Stay at one of the city’s best luxury hotels, and enjoy flexible city touring with your private guide and driver. Visit Tokyo’s best parks, gardens and shrines according to your interests, such as Meiji Jingu Shrine and its Inner Garden, Hama Rikyu, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Happo-en and the Imperial Palace East Gardens. Tour Tokyo’s best museums with traditional gardens, such as the Nezu Museum and the Tokyo National Museum. Visit interesting neighborhoods such as Ginza, Asakusa, Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Roppongi and Aoyama. See striking contemporary architecture, and tour important historical sites such as Sensoji Temple. If desired, experience the best of Japanese pop culture during visits to trendy districts, specialty shops, quirky cafes and popular sites such as Yoyogi Park. One day, take an excursion to Omiya Bonsai Village to visit highlights such as the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, private collections of bonsai trees and bonsai nurseries. Depending on interests, touring can also include experiencing Tokyo’s exciting culinary scene at the Tsukiji Outer Market or Toyosu Market, the Kappabashi kitchenware district, and our favorite specialty food shops and department store food halls. We also make reservations for our travelers at our favorite restaurants in Tokyo, which range from local noodle shops, sushi bars and izakaya (pubs) to some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world.

Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange additional experiences in Tokyo, such as watching sumo wrestlers practice at a sumo stable, a private sushi-making lesson, visiting a teamLab Borderless immersive video installation, shopping for the latest Japanese gadgets, meetings with culinary and sake experts, private martial arts lessons, seeing a Japanese baseball game, attending a kabuki performance and visiting the Ghibli Museum. We can also arrange touring to include Japanese seasonal events such as ohanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties in the spring, fireworks festivals in the summer and viewing koyo (fall foliage) in the autumn.

Next, travel by first-class shinkansen (bullet train) to Okayama, and walk among the ponds and teahouses of Korakuen Garden, one of Japan's three great gardens. Continue to nearby Kurashiki, an atmospheric former river port known for its traditional black-and-white architecture and folk art. Stay at a luxurious ryokan, and enjoy private touring of the town’s historical quarter to see willow-draped canals, interesting buildings, specialty shops, the renowned Ohara Museum of Art and other highlights.

Next, travel to enchanting Kyoto, the heart of Japanese culture and tradition. Stay at one of Kyoto’s best luxury hotels or ryokan (traditional inns), and enjoy flexible private touring of the best of this elegant city with your private guide and driver. Visit the city’s most important historic attractions, temples, shrines and gardens such as Kinkakuji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), Ryoanji and its famous Zen rock garden, Kiyomizudera Temple, Nijo Castle, Ginkakuji and Fushimi Inari, famous for its tunnel of red torii gates. Enjoy access to iconic Saihoji (Moss Temple) and influential Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa, a 17th-century residence and stroll garden still owned by Japan’s imperial family. Take a private excursion to Arashiyama, a beautiful mountainside district, to see its enormous bamboo forest, historic gardens and sites and to have a vegetarian lunch at a Zen temple. Enjoy a private tour of Gion, Kyoto’s traditional geisha district, walk on the Philosopher’s Path, and see traditional architecture in our favorite neighborhoods. Also browse Nishiki Market, antiques districts, specialty museums and historic shops that have been selling traditional goods for centuries. One day, opt to continue city touring or take a private excursion to ancient Nara, the eighth-century capital of Japan, and Uji, home to tea plantations and Byodoin Temple. Artisans of Leisure will also arrange an exclusive private Japanese tea ceremony in a tea villa and reservations at Kyoto’s best restaurants.

Upon request, other activities that can be arranged around Kyoto include an exclusive private dinner with geisha entertainment, private Zen meditation in a local Buddhist temple, meetings with local craftspeople, private ikebana (flower arranging) lessons, visiting a master swordsmith, meetings with ceramics experts, tea tastings, visits to sake breweries and tofu factories, manga drawing lessons, a visit to a private machiya (traditional merchant house), hiking to temples in the hills, attending local festivals, private Japanese cooking classes, and visiting the best places around Kyoto to view cherry blossoms and fall foliage.

Continue by first-class express train to Kanazawa, one of Japan’s wealthiest cities during the feudal era and now a wonderful cultural and culinary destination on the Sea of Japan. With your expert guide, explore the highlights of the town, including traditional Japanese architecture in former samurai and geisha districts and beautiful Kenrokuen Garden, one of the most famous gardens in Japan. Learn about Kanazawa’s celebrated traditional crafts, including silk, lacquer and gold leaf products. Also tour fascinating Myoryuji (Ninja Temple), and visit museums such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts. Explore the city’s Omicho food market, and experience Kanazawa’s refined cuisine at our favorite restaurants. One day, Artisans of Leisure will arrange an exclusive private visit and culinary experience at a traditional Japanese farm in the countryside. Other touring options around Kanazawa include visiting the Ohi Museum, the D.T. Suzuki Museum, and a renowned pottery kiln and studio.

Return to Tokyo for additional touring or shopping customized to your interests.

Itinerary Overview
Day 1

Arrive Tokyo

Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights

Day 2

Tokyo

Full-day private city tour

Day 3

Tokyo & Omiya Bonsai Village

Full-day private city touring and excursion

Day 4

Tokyo – Okayama – Kurashiki

Private transfer to station for first-class shinkansen (bullet train) to Okayama. Private tour of Korakuen Garden. Private transfer to Kurashiki and luxury ryokan for 2 nights, including kaiseki ryori dinner

Day 5

Kurashiki

Half-day private tour. Kaiseki ryori dinner

Day 6

Kurashiki – Kyoto

Private transfer to Okayama station for first-class shinkansen to Kyoto. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 4 nights. Afternoon private tour

Day 7

Kyoto

Full-day private city tour, including private tea ceremony and vegetarian lunch at a temple

Day 8

Kyoto 

Full-day private tour focused on renowned gardens, including Katsura Rikyu and Saihoji

Day 9

Kyoto & environs

Full-day private city tour, including option for cultural activity, or excursion to gardens in Nara and Uji

Day 10

Kyoto – Kanazawa

Private transfer to station for first-class express train to Kanazawa. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights. Afternoon private city tour, including Kenrokuen Garden

Day 11

Kanazawa

Full-day private tour, including afternoon culinary experience at a farm in a rural village

Day 12

Kanazawa – Tokyo

Private transfer to station for Gran Class shinkansen to Tokyo. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night

Day 13

Depart Tokyo

Private airport transfer


Hotels
Tokyo: Aman Tokyo, Peninsula Tokyo and/or Park Hyatt Tokyo
Kurashiki: Ryokan Kurashiki
Kyoto:

The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto or Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

*Aman Kyoto, Tawaraya Ryokan or Hiiragiya Ryokan can be booked for a supplement

Kanazawa: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Cost
$27,145 Per person (double occupancy)

Luxury Garden Tours

Decorative Arts & Gardens of England
(9 Days)
London, Cotswolds

Garden Tour of France
(8 Days)
Versailles, Loire Valley, Paris & Giverny

Garden Tour of Italy
(10 Days)
Lake Como, Florence & Tuscany, Rome & Tivoli

Garden Tour of Japan
(13 Days)
Tokyo & Omiya, Kurashiki & Okayama, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Tokyo

Gardens of the Netherlands
(8 days)
Amsterdam with Keukenhof Gardens, Leiden, Delft & Gelderland

Garden Tour of Portugal
(9 Days)
Porto & Douro Valley, Sintra & Cascais, Lisbon

Design & Gardens Tour of Sicily
(8 Days)
Palermo with Monreale & Agrigento, Taormina with Mount Etna & Syracuse


Testimonials

We are all back from a wonderful trip to Japan. Thanks for getting us into the two private gardens. They were high points of the Kyoto trip. I came away with a historical feel for the aesthetic of Japan.
~ J.M., Chenqua, WI

We loved the guides and drivers, museums and gardens, dinners and accommodations in Brussels and Amsterdam. Perfection!
~ S.S.& J.S., Chappaqua, NY

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