The Tokyo Olympics is finally in full swing, yet there is plenty to inspire you beyond the sporting antics in the National Stadium…
In Japan, cultural connoisseurs will discover new trends and old traditions, foodies will find a smorgasbord – or bento box – of tempting venues, while nature enthusiasts can escape to alpine trails for fresh air and majestic views. That’s without mentioning spring cherry blossom viewing (hanami) and autumn leaf admiring (momijigari) – activities so popular they need to be booked six months to a year in advance.
As the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ enjoys its time in the sun, discover a range of Cox & Kings Japan tours, many with offers available. Save up to £300pp on selected 2021-23 departures of our Japan’s Cultural Treasures small-group tour, and pay just £150pp as a deposit. Alternatively, opt to travel privately and take advantage of our new £300pp deposit offer.
However you travel with us, your holiday is protected by our flexible Book with Confidence policy.
Japan is a country like no other, at once futuristic and high tech but also with a strong sense of tradition as well as exceptional natural beauty. Cities that set the trend for the modern world rub side by side with timeworn temples and gardens, snowy volcanic peaks, valleys of spring cherry blossom, remote mountains and subtropical islands.
Below we highlight some of the exceptional experiences from our Japan small group tour, revealing some of the country’s hidden wonders and cultural secrets.
Visit the WAK cultural centre, housed in a wooden townhouse known as a machiya, for a cooking class and take part in a simple tea ceremony experience. You will learn all about the traditional procedure, from the choice of tea to the careful and deliberate movements in the different stages of preparing and serving the tea.
The unique thatched-roof farmhouses, known as gassho-zukuri (praying hands) are distinctive for their steep roofs, resembling palms placed together and fingers pointing upward in prayer. Most of the houses were built about 200-300 years ago, and some have been converted into cafes, shops, museums or minshuku (traditional inns offering basic accommodation).
Visit a historic home in the Nagamachi district, located at the foot of Kanazawa Castle where samurai used to reside. The area preserves a historic atmosphere with its remaining samurai mansions, earthen walls, private entrance gates, narrow lanes and water canal.
The intricate decorative technique came to Japan from China during the ancient Tang dynasty. Nowadays, the work is still as painstaking and meticulous as ever, and carried out by highly skilled artisans. Visit Hakuza, a workshop where you will have the chance to observe the kinpaku process of gold leaf production, a craft that Kanazawa is famous for.
These signature experiences are part of our 12-day small group tour, Japan’s Cultural Treasures. The escorted tour offers an ideal opportunity to see the best that Japan has to offer, in the company of others and with the knowledge of an expert guide.
Alternatively, speak to one of our travel specialists to arrange even more unique experiences on a tailor-made itinerary. You could soak up the modern buzz of Tokyo, discover the imperial past of Kyoto, retreat to a Buddhist temple on Mount Koya, see the snow monkeys in Yudanaka, relax on sandy beaches amid coral reefs in Okinawa prefecture or indulge in healthy and nutritious food and traditional tea ceremonies. What’s more, highspeed rail links mean that you can discover much of the diversity of this country in comfort.