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Luxury Japan Holidays 2014, 2015
The letters from A&K travellers returning from Japan make it as clear as a Mount Fuji stream: Japan seduces and confuses - often at the same time. Along with serene landscapes and the intoxicating juxtaposition of ancient traditions and modern technology, it's the country's trump card. We've heard stories of following onsen etiquette - yes, you really do wear a towel on your head - accidentally dipping food in sake, thinking it was sauce, and eating in a fashionable Tokyo café, only to later discover it was someone's private house. If the best holidays start with stepping outside daily life, then Japan delivers. In every possible way.
Without slicing a slither of excitement off this unique adventure, our highly qualified team in Japan will help you decipher and understand an exotic, mesmerising, often alien culture. A&K has been taking travellers to Japan for three decades, and has highly knowledgeable guides fluent in English.
We can arrange exclusive experiences completely off the tourist radar, including attending a Noh Theatre performance with an acclaimed expert, and joining a Kaiseki banquet cooked by one of the country's many Michelin starred chefs.
Travel to Japan with A&K and you could take part in a traditional tea ceremony at Tokyo's Happo-en Garden or visit Harajuku's cutting-edge fashion boutiques, before bullet training it to Osaka for fine dining in 'the nation's kitchen' and Kyoto for geisha, palaces, shrines and the I.M. Pei's exquisite Miho Museum. Alternatively slow down with a pilgrimage walk on Mount Fuji, recent recipient of UNESCO status; a sobering visit to Hiroshima; or take a relaxing break in the Okinawa archipelago, home to the most beautiful of Japan's 6,800 islands.
A&K can show you the extraordinary ice carvings at the Sapporo snow festival in February or Spring's explosion of cherry blossom. It's all possible, and all amazing. Just ask returning traveller, Guy Canning. After attending a sumo bout, he literally bumped into one of the rikishi wrestlers in a restaurant, who happily agreed to have Guy's wife photographed on his giant knee. It was a perfect simile for our Japanese holidays: highly unusual, incredibly hospitable and absolutely unforgettable.
Best time to be there
Spring (late March to April) for cherry blossom, early summer (May to early June) for warm sunshine, autumn (October to November) for sunny weather and spectacular colours.
Osaka/ Tokyo Narita and Haneda (Japan Airlines, British Airways)
12 hours 30 minutes from London
GMT +9 hours
Not required for UK passport holders
No vaccinations required
I want to thank you for all your help (Annie Jensen) and expertise on arranging our recent trip . Everything was well arranged and your in-country team was very efficient and helpful. Re hotels, Chris and I are still debating which hotel was the best, the Park Hyatt, the Ritz Carleton or the Palace. We have stayed at many 'grand' hotels around the world, but these three topped them all! We had to watch again last night "Lost in Translation." Best wishes to you for the coming holiday season. A&K is the best!
- CO, London