As with any popular destination, Japan has more to see than you’ll have time for on your vacation. With an abundance of tours for every budget and itineraries to stimulate all the senses, this beautiful island nation is captivating, but for the discerning traveler, there is the path of luxury. Of course, our itinerary is all about the luxury in Japan.
Arrive In Tokyo
Vibrant doesn’t begin to describe Tokyo, prepare yourself because you may experience sensory overload. Take a deep breath and just enjoy the city. We’d recommend checking into a beautiful hotel with a city view, how about The Prince Park Tower? With a natural hot spring water bathhouse, sky bar overlooking the Tokyo Tower, luxe suites, panoramic views of Japanese gardens, starting your vacation here will set the tone for both relaxation and luxury. Spend some time in Tokyo, relax, dine, shop, and enjoy, with The Prince Park Tower as your home base.
Hakone National Park
An opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart of the Land of the Rising Sun, a visit to Hakone National Park will show you a side of Japan you hadn’t imagined and it will be a welcome change from Tokyo. You’ll have the perfect view of Mt. Fuji as well as the chance to take a tour around Lake Ashi. This massive park encompasses everything from mountains, lakes, volcanic islands, long coastlines, and deep woods. It’s also home to some of Japan’s most popular hot springs (or onsen) resorts as well as an aerial tram with outstanding views of the area and Mt. Fuji. You’ll want to take some time here and explore the park and the area and take advantage of the hot springs that the area resorts feature so prominently.
Bullet Train to Osaka
As Americans, we often hear about and fantasize about the speed trains in Japan. You’ll earn bragging rights with your friends and neighbors after boarding the Bullet train in Hakone with a destination of Osaka. Japan’s bullet trains are called shinkansen and are operated by Japan Railways. With a relatively extensive network, they make traveling around Japan quite convenient. If you opt for their Gran Class, you’ll realize it’s very much like traveling first class on an airline with similar amenities and comfort. For a long train ride, you’ll appreciate their nod to luxury. Book your seats one month in advance of your trip and make sure you get a Japan Rail Pass.
Explore Osaka and Beyond
Your trip will end in Osaka, but the last couple days will keep you very busy. Settle into a plush and luxurious room at the St. Regis and get ready to explore. Of course, Osaka has a wealth of art galleries and museums as well as a world-class aquarium, but they also have Japan’s first science museum – Osaka Science Museum. No trip to Osaka is complete without a visit to the stately Osaka Castle or Midosuji Boulevard, but what will make the end of your trip through Japan will be the excursions you’ll experience during your stay in Osaka. A day trip to the gardens and temples of Nara; a day trip to Kyoto to experience the magical atmosphere of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the glittering Kinkaku-Ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) covered in gold leaf, and the Japanese Mingei Folk Art; and, you may even have time to visit Hiroshima.
One week in Japan is hardly enough, we didn’t even get to squeeze in Tokyo Disneyland or Universal Studios which – while seeming very American – can be a great comparison of cultures, especially if you’re traveling with kids. While in Tokyo, be sure to go shopping in Tokyo’s Ginza District as well!