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Japan

EXPLORE

Must-see sights to hidden places: dynamic Tokyo to Kyoto, peaceful Miyazu and Okinawa, the art islands of Naoshima

SAVOR

Street stalls to Michelin-starred restaurants in the most exciting, dynamic food cities in the world

HONOR

Buddhist shrines, centuries-old crafts, traditional tea ceremonies, the delicate rituals of an ancient civilization

Why Japan

Nowhere else in the world can you find as much brilliant innovation paired with age-old tradition. Futuristic cities juxtaposed with stunning ancient history; busy streets and towering skyscrapers, a tranquil ryokan tucked in the mountains. If you’re fascinated by tradition and by artisans who’ve been perfecting their crafts for centuries, or believe that every second of every day should be filled with adventure, Japan is the place.

Moments That Matter

We pack in enough to satiate the Japanophile in all of us. In between market tours and ancient shrines, gorge yourself on sushi, explore ancient districts and Buddhist temples, and meet with amazing artisans who will show you the inspiring result of technique and time. Leave inspired full, and still hungry for more.

Your Private Experience

Who It’s For

A luxurious exploration tailored for unabashed foodies, Naoshima Island art lovers, and those who want to connect with centuries of design and craft.

When to Travel

Our favorite times of year are April - May, with brilliant cherry blossoms and sunny skies; and Oct - Nov, bursting with autumn foliage and moderate temperatures.

Make It Yours

The end-all-be-all of food journeys? The pensive artistic experience? The city-to-country getaway? We can craft a trip that highlights everything you hope to experience in Japan.

Itinerary Highlights

From Tokyo to Osaka, Kyoto to the Art Island of Naoshima, we’ll handle all the details: bullet trains, internal flights and transfers, reservations and accommodations, meet-ups with artists and chefs.

Days 1 - 2

There’s no city on earth quite like Tokyo. In between monster robots and ancient shrines, you can see classic art performances, visit world-class galleries and gardens, meet local artists and ceramicists, go behind-the-scenes with Sumo wrestlers, or simply shop back-alley shops, speakeasies and teahouses. There’s no wrong way to go. Cap it off legendary meals, from sushi to soba noodles, from Michelin-starred meals to seasonal dishes made to perfection at a back-alley izakaya.

  • Tokyo city highlights
  • Opt for a hands-on cooking experience, foodie tours
  • Noh theater performance
  • Michelin-star meals
  • Shinjuku district cocktails

Days 3 - 4

Next up, head to Kyoto for a continued masterclass in craft and further acquainted with the Japanese way of life. Visit temples and participate in meditations and tea ceremonies, wander sprawling Zen gardens immersed in sinuous leafy foliage, learn the ancient art of shodo calligraphy, drop by a miso brewery, have a meal with a Geisha—as in Tokyo, your itinerary can be as full as you want it to be.

  • Bullet-train to Kyoto
  • Private temple and shrine visits
  • Traditional tea ceremony
  • Hands-on calligraphy and cooking classes
  • Ceramics studios and artisan workshops

Days 5 - 6

For the artfully minded, don’t miss out on Japan’s iconic Art Islands. First, take a ferry to Naoshima, the once-sleepy fishing island that’s now a destination for art pilgrims the world over. Tackle the dozens of museums and art projects that adorn the island, turning every new path, corner, and horizon into something unexpected. It’s a short ferry to Teshima, the “island of abundance” and another of Japan’s renowned art islands. Explore, admire the art, peddle a bike through the open-air exhibits—this is art appreciation at its most elevated.

  • Private ferries to Naoshima & Teshima art islands
  • Chichu Museum and House Project
  • Teshima Art Museum & Yokoo House
  • Naoshima Bath House

Day 7

Deepen any journey into serenity with a stopover in Miyazu, settling into your own traditional Japanese ryokan inn. Usher in your tranquility with monk-led meditations, mountain-top temples, investigating the workings of rice vinegar and wine and admire the fabled “Three Views of Japan” from its gentle, sleepy shoreline.

  • Private transfer to Miyazu
  • Traditional ryokan inn
  • Guided meditations and tea ceremonies

Day 8

The last leg of a true Japan experience takes you south, to Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture in Japan, scattered in the South China Sea. Once an independent kingdom, it boasts its own history, cuisine, culture and music. For those curious about the Japanese crafts of salt, awamori, ceramic pottery and umami flavor profiles, Okinawa is not to be missed.

  • Awamori distillery visit and tasting
  • Ceramic pottery village visit

Day 9

Osaka has a reputation as the culinary heart of Japan. The reputation is built on its concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants (99 at last count), its excellent street-food scene, its openness to foreign cuisines (in this case, mainly Korean), and two delicious indigenous snacks: okonomiyaki (yam-flour pancakes filled with seafood, pork, kimchi) and tako yaki (octopus doughnuts). If you love Japanese cuisine, Osaka is the perfect destination to linger in and savor.

  • Osaka city exploration
  • Michelin-starred meals
  • Market and city tour

Where We Sleep

We blend the luxurious, modern world with ryokan-style rooms of tatami mats and sliding doors. And it all comes with a restoring dose of Japanese shibui, that notion of striking a peaceful harmony with nature.

Tokyo

Here, time passes gently and the cityscape outside feels a world away. Inside it's fashionable high art, a bar with floor-to-ceiling views of central Tokyo, and all the comforts you'd expect. The Ginza district location means you're in the heart of nightlife, theater and shopping.

Kyoto

Our Kyoto hillside retreat is an architectural beauty. This unique luxury hotel offers tranquil rooms highlighting local craftsmanship and garden views tucked away from the bustling Higashiyama streets.

Naoshima

Few experiences in life can prepare you for staying on the Art Islands, especially in the breezy, light-filled gallery space/luxury hotel on Naoshima. The brainchild of architect Tadao Ando, its expanses of concrete, glass, and wood are designed to showcase one of the world’s most stunning indoor-outdoor art collections.

Miyazu

A night in a traditional Japanese ryokan is like an ancient ritual, where staff in kimonos offer slippers as you’re whisked to minimalist rooms of tatami mats and sliding doors that open to lush gardens. Dine on freshly caught seafood and look over the neighboring Amonohashidate, the natural land bridge that’s wooed Japanese artists for centuries.

People Love MO/AD’s Japan

Unique access to people and places. This was a trip we could not have done without Modern Adventure.
Scott F.
One of the best weeks of my life. I definitely want to do another trip with MO/AD.
Elizabeth Z.
Everything was perfectly planned and amazing. We were able to explore places that most people never see.
Jennifer G.

FAQs

  1. How many people is this itinerary suitable for?

    Our private itineraries to Japan are ideal for groups of four or more—you and friends, families, and multi-generational groups. For groups of six or more, an optional Modern Adventure local guide can be arranged.

  2. Can you curate an itinerary for a larger group?

    Yes, we can help you craft an unforgettable milestone celebration, for groups as large as 40 or more.

  3. What makes a MO/AD experience different?

    Our level of curation and care. We handle everything, overseeing your experience from beginning to end, with the highest levels of ownership and responsibility. We also support you each step of the way, with comprehensive trip materials and itineraries, detailed day-by-day options, insider destination info, gear recommendations, and 24/7 dedicated support.

  4. How far in advance should I plan my trip?

    Preferably three to six months in advance. We stay in unique, in-demand boutique and luxury hotels where advance reservations are important to secure the best accommodations possible.

  5. What is typically included?

    We curate your Modern Adventure to ensure the experiences are authentic and immersive, and included in your trip price. This includes all accommodations, local transport and airport transfers, private travel for all day trips and excursions, private tours with local guides and cultural experts, exclusive VIP access and activities, all breakfasts and some lunches and dinners.

  6. How much will it cost?

    Private Modern Adventures typically cost $750 to $1,500 per person, per day, and vary by time of year, number of people in your group, types of activities you prefer including private local guides and private transfers.

  7. What's not included?

    MO/AD Private Departures do not include roundtrip airfare to/from your destination, travel insurance, transportation to your trip’s starting point, hotel incidentals (including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs), and any activities or meals not included in your confirmed MO/AD itinerary.

  8. What deposits are required?

    After learning more about you, your interests and preferred style of travel, as well as your preferred travel dates, we will present you with a detailed itinerary including activities, internal flights, transport and accommodations. In order to check and confirm availability for your group, there is a $750 non-refundable deposit due. This will be applied to your final trip cost. 

    Your trip is guaranteed—and your dates secured—with a 25% non-refundable deposit. Many of our local partners, including our hotel and resort partners, require advance deposits to secure the best accommodations. The balance of your trip is due 30 days prior to travel.

  9. What travel documents are needed?

    US citizens are not required to have a visa for stays in Japan of under 90 days. Just bring a valid US passport. For citizens of other countries, please check with the Japanese embassy or consulate for information and requirements.