Essential Japan

With Japan's diverse cultural heritage and almost endless possibilities for adventure, experiencing everything the country has to offer in a week can be a daunting challenge. Drawing our extensive knowledge of key destinations, unique activities with local experts, and fine luxury accommodations, The Art of Travel has distilled the essential Japan experience down into an exiting short program itinerary that will delight first-time visitors and travelers looking to fit Japan into their busy schedule.

This compact trip is not merely about essential locations; The Art of Travel enhances your time in country with our experts and experiences, who add a layer of depth to your visit and help you unlock Japanese culture in new and exciting ways.

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Trip Details

Trip Length: 9 days / 8 nights

Fly into either of Tokyo’s airports, Narita or Haneda.

Depart from Osaka (Kansai International) or Tokyo.

Perfect for:

  • First-time visitors to Japan or Asia.

  • Travelers looking to fit a short trip into their busy schedule.

  • Guests trying to slip Japan into a larger Asia vacation.

When to Visit:

  • This trip works well year-round, making it a popular favorite in all months.

  • Major destinations get busy during the spring, so if crowds are a concern we recommend visiting in summer or winter instead.

  • Chilly winter is perfect for enjoying the hot springs in Hakone, or a midsummer visit can align with seasonal festivals in Tokyo and Kyoto.




The Pinnacle of Modernity

3 nights


Overnight Hot Spring Getaway

1 night

Fushimi Inari shrine tunnel in kyoto

The Ancient Cultural Capital

3 nights


A Charming Daytrip

1 day



japan night lanterns kyoto

Destination Variety
A concise lineup of Japan’s key locations, from the absolute modernity of Tokyo’s metropolis to the historic backstreets of Kyoto, with a few charming surprises mixed in as well.

Tea Ceremony

Exclusive Activities
Along your journey, you’ll encounter experts to guide you through cultural activities like tea ceremony, local cuisine, Buddhist ritual, and even a private meeting with a geisha.


Ryokan Stay & Hot Spring
An exciting opportunity to experience Japanese omotenashi hospitality in an elegant, authentic atmosphere, complete with a traditional multi-course kaiseki meal.


All-Inclusive Luxury
Private guides and chauffeured vehicles in each city to ensure comfort and privacy. Accommodations are flexible with 5-star, 4-star, and boutique options available.



Even a short trip to Japan offers a chance to experience of the country’s best luxury lodging.

Below are some of our suggested luxury accommodations for this Insider Journey.


Mandarin Oriental



Gora Byakudan Ryokan


Ritz Carlton Kyoto Lobby Reception

The Ritz-Carlton



Pricing and Budget

Japan Insider Collection trips start at approximately 800 USD per person per day. Selected elements of these itineraries can be adjusted to suit your traveling preferences:


- Accommodation: Choose from 4-star, 5-star, or boutique level accommodations

- Transport: Select public or private transportation, or a mix of the two

- Experiences: Add or substitute experiences and activities


Pricing can also vary based on levels of service, seasonality, time of inquiry, and other factors. All itineraries and price quotes are uniquely tailored to our guests, so the only exact price will be the one you receive on your personalized quotation.



Use the form below to request an itinerary and personalized quote
for our Essential Japan trip