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Tokyo to Nara: imagination land
13 Nights
A concierge is at your service:
Price of a local call

Travelling from Tokyo to Nara might seem like a lengthy urban trip. And yet this trip is much more bucolic and poetic than the Japan Railways bullet train would have you believe. We weave around Honshu Island, taking backroads and discovering a great many museums and galleries recounting the history of places so often shrouded in mystery.

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The Kitano Hotel Tokyo

Tokyo - Japan 70 rooms

This property is open.

Hotel and restaurant in town. Nestled in the heart of Japan’s capital, The Kitano Hotel Tokyo is a contemporary address, perfectly in tune with the times. Its location in Chiyoda City, home of the political power, is ideal to explore the city’s most famous sights. From the hotel, it is just a short walk to the beautiful Imperial Palace Gardens, where you can stroll among the blossoming sakura trees and lush green lawns. Its elegant and contemporary interiors showcase noble materials and invite you to discover Japanese hospitality in its most modern form. The serene atmosphere that emanates from the property, spreads to the rooms, bathed in natural light and designed with taste, including cherry wood furniture. The hotel’s wellness centre combines Chinese and Western traditions and is the perfect place to reset your body and mind. At the end of the day, the rooftop, offering a panoramic view of Tokyo’s urban jungle, is the ideal location to enjoy a cocktail, while the restaurant Sushi Ohmi, invites you to dine, traditional style. ... Learn moreless

(from) US$ 286.77
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Relais & Châteaux L'Effervescence

Relais & Châteaux L'Effervescence

With its contemporary decor and its clever play of light and shadow, guaranteeing the intimacy of each table, the restaurant L’Effervescence borrows from the mastery of art museums and showrooms of diamond dealers to spotlight its creations. Evoking purity and refinement, it offers an ambience rarely...

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21_21 Design Sight, where the arts converge

21_21 Design Sight, where the arts converge

For many people, this is one of the beacons of artistic creativity in Tokyo. Installed in a bunker designed by Ando Tadao, 21_21 Design Sight is the meeting point for the capital's artists. More like a studio than a museum, this is an incubator of ideas where one visits as much to discuss as to view....

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SCAI: art in a bathhouse

SCAI: art in a bathhouse

SCAI the Bathhouse is a small contemporary art gallery that has been housed in a 200-year-old building, once the public baths, since 1993. Today, the avant-garde of the artistic community meet here among works by Anish Kapoor, Tadanori Yokoo, and Lee Ufan. SCAI is also a venue where you can discover...

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Gôra Kadan

Hakone - Japan 39 rooms - 2 villas

This property is open.

Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. A stay in Gôra Kadan, the former retreat of the Imperial Family, Kanin-no-miya, situated in the heart of Hakone National Park, is an invitation to bring your five senses to life by immersing yourself in the ancient Japanese way of life. Listen to the gentle swoosh of a sliding wall made of rice paper, smell the fragrant flower incense, taste the traditional Kaiseki cuisine and feel the touch of silk. This calm retreat is located in an area known for its springs, which are heated by volcanic rocks. The suites have been designed in a minimalist style, and the hotel’s facilities include a swimming pool, a spa, and a beauty salon. ... Learn moreless

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(from) US$ 841.18
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Sculptures at the Hakone Open-Air Museum

Sculptures at the Hakone Open-Air Museum

This garden-museum, which opened in 1969, spans more than 17 acres and is home to some 120 works by world-renowned artists. Visitors can amble through lush greenery, passing monumental sculptures by Rodin and Miro, Picasso and Calder, Niki de Saint-Phalle and Yasuo Mizui. Even though the atmosphere changes...

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Oriental wonders at the Okada Museum of Art

Oriental wonders at the Okada Museum of Art

The Okada Museum of Art invites you on a rich and refined journey through artworks from Japan, China, and Korea, from antiquity to the present day. Businessman Okada Kazuo was responsible for collecting these prints, paintings, and ceramics, some signed by the great masters and others by little-known...

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Asaba

Izu, Shizuoka - Japan 11 rooms - 1 villa

This property is open.

Hotel and restaurant in a village. It is said that the great teacher of Japanese Buddhism, Kobo Daishi, bathed every morning in the river Katsura and emerged purified. A few minutes from this river, the hotel Asaba submerges you in the Japan of legends: traditional “Noh” theatre performed by the riverside. After a game of golf in picturesque surroundings, leave your kimono behind and enjoy the pleasures of an open-air bath filled with spring water. The restaurant serves traditional dishes with delightful combinations of sweet and savoury flavours. In the lounge, relax in a chair designed by famous Italian-American Harry Bertoia and in the garden, be inspired by the sweet fragrances of nature. ... Learn moreless

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(from) US$ 914.34
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A sanctuary among the hot springs

A sanctuary among the hot springs

As legend has it, the young monk Kobo Daishi was an apprentice in Shuzenji in the 8th century. In the shade of the bamboo forests, the priest performed a miracle that brought forth the Tokko no Yu hot spring. The Shuzenji temple was later built on the site where this miraculous, healing spring appeared....

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Tobira Onsen Myojinkan

Matsumoto - Japan 42 rooms - 2 villas

This property is open.

Hotel and restaurant in a park. In the heart of Japan’s “Northern Alps”, discover the secret charms of this hotel that opened in 1931. This little jewel is tucked away in the calm and serenity of the mountains, between the snowy peaks and fine traditional hot springs, located in the national park, and renowned for their therapeutic qualities. Tobira Onsen Myojinkan offers a divinely serene atmosphere in the forest, relaxing baths in the heart of nature, aromatherapy and superb rooms and suites. The sophisticated Kaiseki-style food is a marvellous balance of textures, flavours and colours. Organic French cuisine is also on offer, prepared by a talented chef who specializes in macrobiotic cuisine. ... Learn moreless

Relais & Châteaux review
(from) US$ 518.73
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Beniya Mukayu - Main cover photo ©Nippon Design Center Inc
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Beniya Mukayu  - female snow crab with amber jelly ©Beniya Mukayu
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Beniya Mukayu

Kaga-shi - Japan 16 rooms

This property is open.

Hotel and restaurant in a village. Founded in 1928 in the spa town of Yamashiro, Beniya Mukayu is located on the road from the revered Kyoto to the world heritage sites Shirakawago-Gokayama, close to Kanazawa. The hotel’s architecture elegantly emphasizes contrasts between light, shade and neutral colours. Every room has its own private open-air hot spring bath, with a wonderful view of the authentic Japanese garden. The traditional tea ceremony performed by the owner, the finest Kaga style Kaiseki cuisine served on locally crafted crockery, as well as invigorating medicinal spa treatments, combine to make Beniya Mukayu a peaceful heaven. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
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(from) US$ 484.32
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Relais & Châteaux Restaurant Zeniya

Relais & Châteaux Restaurant Zeniya

Take a seat at the counter and let yourself be surprised. Here, there is no menu or predefined specials; the chef follows his inspiration and what he perceives of his guests' desires to prepare them a unique meal celebrating a moment that will not be repeated. At the head of this family restaurant,...

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Kanamean Nishitomiya

Kyoto - Japan 7 rooms

This property is open.

Hotel and restaurant in town. The Kanamean Nishitomiya is one of the ryokans which have survived in the modern surroundings of downtown Kyoto. The wooden architecture hosts only seven suites which lead to a little Japanese garden with seasonal flowers. Futon, tatamis, bamboo furniture… true serenity is prevailing. Mr and Mrs Nishida, the fifth generation of hoteliers in this property, welcome you personally, respecting the Japanese tradition of hospitality. Like the very beautiful crockery in which the dishes are served, your hosts look after every detail inspired by the history of the Honeyanocho district, renowned for crafted fans, which have given their name to the hotel. ... Learn moreless

Relais & Châteaux review
1 Michelin Star 2024
(from) US$ 462.65
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Miyawaki Baisenan, the art of fans

Miyawaki Baisenan, the art of fans

Founded in 1823 in downtown Kyoto, the old workshop of Miyawaki Baisenan developed unique know-how and techniques in the art of fan-making. In 1987, the New York Times wrote a piece about it, declaring, “The store bespeaks a tradition that goes back over a thousand years, to the first flowering of classical...

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Kamisoe, the art of paper craft

Kamisoe, the art of paper craft

In his little shop in the Nishijin district, Ko Kado is reinventing the art of Karakami, or handmade patterned paper. On the first floor of his workshop, the artisan designs cards and envelopes, as well as sliding panels. Delicate patterns in subtle colors are perfectly in tune with the fine traditional...

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Noborioji Hotel Nara

Nara City - Japan 13 rooms

This property is open.

Hotel and restaurant in town. Renovated in 2022, Noborioji Hotel Nara is ideally located in the heart of the historic district of Nara, just a few minutes walk away from the traditional monuments of Japan's ancient imperial capital. Not far from the city park where tame deer wander peacefully, it appeals to music, design and nature lovers alike. The contemporary glass and steel building houses rooms and suites, all of which are bright and elegant. Just behind it stands the elegant silhouette of Kōfuku-ji, one of Japan's oldest temples and a landmark of this fascinating World Heritage city. Like the other temples, you’ll be able to explore it with Noborioji Hotel Nara staff on private tours upon request. Music lovers will enjoy evenings with a classical live concert once a month at Le Bois restaurant, where refined innovative cuisine using local ingredients from Nara is offered. ... Learn moreless

(from) US$ 802.95
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Relais & Châteaux Kashiwaya Osaka Senriyama

Relais & Châteaux Kashiwaya Osaka Senriyama

In this acclaimed traditional Ryotei restaurant on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan’s landmark city, Kashiwaya Osaka Senriyama offers modern Japanese food in a dining room designed in the “Sukiya” style, Japan’s traditional format for tea ceremonies: Fusuma sliding doors, shoji paper screens, tatami mats...

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Osaka National Museum of Art

Osaka National Museum of Art

This impressive cathedral of glass and steel conceals one of the country's most astonishing museums. The contemporary building designed by César Pelli looks like it is poised to take flight from the center of the island of Nakanoshima. Inside, hidden underground and sheltered from the daylight, visitors...

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A day at the National Bunraku Theatre

A day at the National Bunraku Theatre

Osaka is the birthplace of bunraku, the 17th-century theater form in which characters are represented by oversized puppets controlled in full view of the audience. A one-of-a-kind experience, with some performances lasting an entire day! All of the parts are recited by a single narrator.

Texts : © Gallimard Loisirs
Photos : © Hideaki Hamada
IMAGINE IF EVERYTHING WAS EXACTLY HOW YOU LIKE IT: ALWAYS BE EXPECTED