October 6-15, 2025

Embrace serenity on this immersive Japanese experience.

Embark on a breathtaking ten-day journey with Admiral Travel and delve into the rich tapestry of Japan’s vibrant culture, ancient traditions, and exquisite cuisine. This immersive adventure will transport you beyond the ordinary, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime. Learn from Samurai’s, Geisha’s, Monks, and more and you travel across the beautiful and diverse landscape of Japan.

Kyoto, Japan

Day 1 – Kansai Airport, Kyoto, Japan

Touch down at Kansai Airport and be met by a private guide and driver. Your guide will help you with essentials such as currency exchange and charging up transit cards, and will accompany you to the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto for check in. The drive from Kansai Airport to central Kyoto takes about 1.5 hours.

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Step into a sanctuary of modern elegance, embraced by the timeless beauty of an 800-year-old pond garden. Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, recognized as one of the world’s finest, unveils Kyoto’s rich cultural tapestry from its serene Higashiyama setting. Each season paints a captivating new scene, inviting you to experience traditional rituals, rejuvenating wellness, and exquisite culinary journeys. Discover the city’s vibrant history, woven seamlessly with the refined luxury and personalized service that defines Four Seasons.

You will be staying in the Four Seasons for the first three nights of your journey.

Day 2 – Arashiyama, Kinkaku-ji Golden Temple

Arashiyama is a district on the eastern outskirts of Kyoto City featuring historical sites as well as natural scenery. The central area near the train stations are pleasantly touristy, while areas further afield exude tranquil rural charm. Enjoy a 4-hour private guided tour by top local experts of temples and cultural sites in the Arashiyama area, including both famous sights like Arashiyama bamboo grove, as well as off-the-beaten-path locations.

Savor a leisurely lunch (lunch on own expense) in Arashiyama before being swept away via private charter to Kinkaku-ji Temple. Step into a fairytale as the famed Golden Pavilion reflects its radiant beauty in the still waters of its pond. Explore the temple’s hidden corners, each one a testament to Japan’s unparalleled artistry.

Return to the Four Seasons for an arranged French dinner at a restaurant located within your hotel.

Kinkaku-ji Temple

Day 3 – Kyoto – Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine and Free time

Travel by private charter vehicle to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in the predawn darkness. Hike the torii-gate covered shrine path as the sun rises with your guide (takes 2-3 hours depending on fitness and how many photo stops you take). Not only is the atmosphere of the shrine at its most mystical this early in the morning, it’s also the best way to avoid the crowds that swarm here later in the day.

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Ride the private charter vehicle back to hotel where you will enjoy breakfast and a time of leisure.

Spend the rest of the day freely exploring Kyoto, taking in the sights of most interest to you!

A few of the places we recommend:

  • Kiyomizudera Temple via Ninenzaka or Sanneizaka
  • Gion
  • Nijō Castle
  • Nishiki Market

Day 4 – Kyoto to Kanazawa – Samurai Story: Visit a samurai district and view traditional Japanese garden and archery.

Check out of the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto and board the limited express train to Kanazawa where you will meet your guides for the day.

Walk with warriors: Explore the secrets of Nagamachi, a historical preserved samurai district whispering tales of valor. Let your guide unveil the history etched in cobblestone streets and stoic residences, their imposing gates hinting at battles long fought. Enjoy a Japanese lunch to match the ambience of the nearby traditional district and discuss the awe-inspired start to your day. (Lunch on own expense)

This afternoon enjoy Kenrokuen garden – a spacious and refined garden of the Maeda clan that is counted among the Three Gardens of Japan – and a Kyodo experience – an introduction to Japanese archery, culminating in target practice with real arrows.

Check into the Kanazawa Chaya Ryokan, a specialty cuisine ryokan, and enjoy a gorgeous dinner.

Imagine a haven of tatami mats, where fragrant tatami scents mingle with the gentle gurgle of a koi pond. This is the world of the ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn steeped in history and elegance.

Kanazawa Chaya, nestled heartbeats from JR Kanazawa Station, isn’t just any ryokan. It’s an oasis for the senses, where Kagaya Group’s renowned hospitality blends seamlessly with exquisite Kaiseki cuisine, transforming every meal into a culinary masterpiece.

Slide open shoji screens to reveal serene gardens, inviting you to sip fragrant green tea amidst the whispers of nature. Kanazawa Chaya is your gateway to the soul of Japan, and where you will stay for the next two nights.

Kanazawa, Japan

Day 5 – Kanazawa – Samurai story: Kendo swordsmanship and samurai swords

Awaken and meet your guides for the day.

Today you will participate in a Kendo experience which will introduce you to kendo swordsmanship, culminating in a friendly duel between student and teacher. You will also be privileged with the introduction to the descendant of a samurai family for a private showing of his family’s samurai swords.

Enjoy a leisurely lunch (lunch on own expense) and stroll through the iconic samurai-era entertainment district, Higashi Chaya. Higashi Chaya is one of the best-preserved samurai-era entertainment districts in Japan.

Enjoy dinner (dinner at own expense) in the center of Kanazawa, which borders the Sea of Japan, allowing for high-quality seafood culinary adventures.

Day 6 – Kanazawa to Tokyo. Samurai story: Old Tokyo and Sumo

Get a glimpse of what Tokyo was like in the past samurai era by visiting both famous historical sites which have been preserved as well as everyday neighborhoods that time seems simply to have forgotten.

Check out of the Ryokan and ride the shinkansen bullet train from Kanazawa to Tokyo.

Meet your guide and exit Tokyo Station via the Marunouchi side, stopping to admire the station’s historical architecture as you exit. You will then be escorted to lunch and an esteemed sumo show. Watch a sumo performance by former competitive sumo wrestlers over a lunch of chanko nabe, the breakfast staple of professional sumo wrestlers. If you are lucky and raise your hand fast enough, you can also be one of the volunteers who gets to dress in a padded suit for a “fight” in the ring with a real sumo wrestler.

Next, there will be time to grab a coffee or tea (on own expense) as you make your way to the Imperial Palace – the main residence of the Emperor of Japan – for a stroll around the outer moat.

Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan

You will then board the train to Asakusa and sightsee until dinner. Being centered around this important and historic temple, the Asakusa neighborhood strives to retain an Edo-esque atmosphere even as it modernizes. Along your walk to the temple, appreciate the contrast of old and new Tokyo by gazing across the Sumida River at some outlandish architecture in the Oshiage area. Here you will have special access into the Asakusa Shrine and take part in a shinto ritual with the priests and priestesses of the shrine. Following this you will see the mikoshi portable shrines that are normally only viewable once a year during the Sanja Festival of Asakusa in the shrines’ storage rooms.

After a thrilling afternoon, part with your guide and return back to your hotel and have an arranged dinner at the luxurious Peninsula Hotel Tokyo.

Stepping into your suite at the Peninsula Hotel Tokyo is like entering a serene sanctuary. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame breathtaking cityscapes, while soft tatami mats and delicate shoji screens invite you to slow down and savor the stillness. Luxurious details like a deep soaking tub and plush kimonos await, pampering you from the inside out.

The Peninsula service is legendary, and Tokyo takes it to another level. A dedicated Peninsula page anticipates your every whim. No request is too small, no wish unfulfilled.

Day 7 – Yamagata – Samurai story: Post-samurai life

Bid farewell to the urban symphony of Tokyo and take a swift flight to Yamagata, where the Shonai region unfolds like a verdant tapestry beneath you.

Meet your guide and be whisked away to the domain of a renowned chef, a maestro of Yamagata’s rich flavors and a master of the delicate dance with pufferfish. Witness the transformation of this potentially perilous yet exquisite delicacy into a masterpiece: a “Japanese crane” plating, a signature testament to culinary skill.

After lunch, dive into the vibrant world of seafood, fresh from Yamagata’s pristine coast. Witness the delicate art of ikeJime, a Japanese technique that unlocks the peak flavor and texture of sashimi. Then, under the chef’s watchful eye, transform sashimi into delectable nigiri and rolled sushi, each bite a testament to fresh, authentic flavor.

Travel to Matsugaoka, where the final echoes of samurai honor resonate. Immerse yourself in the history of silk cultivation, a legacy born from the spirit of service and resilience.

Culminate your journey at the foot of Mt. Haguro, nestled within the hallowed grounds of a yamabushi mountain monk pilgrim’s lodge. Breathe in the crisp mountain air, steeped in over 1,400 years of spiritual history. As the sun paints the Dewa Sanzan Mountains in fiery hues, let the tranquility of this sacred space wash over you. Let the day’s experiences settle, savoring the memories of exquisite meals and ancient wisdom.

Tonight, enjoy a dinner at the lodge.

Day 8 – Yamagata – Samurai story: Spirituality and entertainment

Wake up and prepare for a day of calming rituals and enchanting traditions.

Arise and participate in a Shugendo prayer ritual and as you enjoy a breakfast of mountain monk cuisine led by the priests of your lodging. Accompanied by a yamabushi mountain guide, you will then have the opportunity to walk along the 2,446 stone stairs to reach the shrine at the peak of Mt. Haguro wearing yamabushi shiroshozoku garb. You will visit various sacred sites along this trek in the forests and take part in rituals together with the yamabushi.

Enjoy the traditional cuisine of the yamabushi in the form of a unique shojin ryori, cuisine only found here on the Dewa Sanzan. This cuisine has been protected and continued for over 1,400 years and has been recognized by UNESCO as a major reason this region was recognized as Japan’s first UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

Move onto a buddhist temple where you will be led to calm and focus your spirit with a zazen meditation session led by monks at the temple.

To round out your impeccable day, enjoy a private traditional kaiseki dinner with a geisha performance in a traditional Japanese ryotei with a beautiful Japanese garden.

You will then check into your accommodations at Suiden Terrasse – a hot spring hotel with architecture by Ban Shigeru, set in the midst of rice paddies.

Suiden Terrasse: Modern Hot Spring Hotel

Suiden Terrasse

Imagine rolling hills adorned with emerald rice fields, stretching towards the majestic Dewasanzan mountains and the shimmering expanse of the Japan Sea. This is the idyllic scenery that defines Shonai, a region in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, renowned for its rich natural heritage.

Here, nestled amidst the verdant tapestry of rice paddies, lies a haven of serenity – a place called Suiden Terrasse. Inspired by the very essence of this land, “Suiden” meaning rice field, this unique retreat blends seamlessly with its surroundings, offering a sanctuary for those seeking tranquility and connection with nature.

Suiden Terrassee offers a “Farm to Table” dining experience, serving up cuisine created from their own farm as well as the surrounding Yamagata prefecture. Relax your body and soul in the natural hot spring, sauna, and luxurious guestrooms during your stay.

Day 9 – Yamagata – Samurai story: Modern-day samurai

Check out of your hotel and embark on the final full day adventure.

Today you will experience both the Iai shrine, (with an added samurai experience) and a Soba making workshop. Iai shrine is the birthplace of iaido swordsmanship, founded when a samurai undergoing ascetic training here was bestowed a vision. The samurai experience will serve as a introductory training session with seasoned teachers, culminating in cutting through tatami with a real katana. Finally, learn how to make soba from a master in a workshop with local soba wheat grown in Yamagata. This soba is made from 100% soba, a delightful delicacy rarely available outside of Japan.

Transfer to a Japanese wagashi shop where you will experience traditional Japanese wagashi sweets and have the opportunity to create your own artistic Japanese nerikiri wagashi sweets alongside an 8th generation master. Once accomplished, indulge in the taste of your masterpiece with matcha tea in their beautiful Japanese home.

Return to Tokyo via shinkansen bullet train and spend the night in the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi.

Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi.

Day 10 – Tokyo – Sayonara Japan

Shop for souvenirs in the basement stores of Tokyo Station and soak up the last views of Tokyo before transferring to Haneda airport via charter vehicle to head home, dreaming of the surreal experiences you just lived.

Call Lori Ann Marinaccio at 941-951-1801 at extension 104 now to reserve your space on this unique journey today! You may e-mail at loriann@admiraltravel.com.

Cost starting from $12,510 per person based on double occupancy. Please inquire for single pricing.

  • 25% deposit required to secure space. All payments are non-refundable.
  • A $250 per person Admiral Travel booking fee will apply. (VIPLane members complimentary)
  • We highly recommend trip insurance and are happy to assist. Please inquire with your travel advisor.


Inclusions

  • Accommodations, touring and meals as listed on the itinerary
  • Domestic flight from Tokyo to Yamagata

Exclusions

  • International airfare
  • Personal expenses and gratuities
  • Anything not explicitly listed as included

PLEASE NOTE FOR OUR FOUNDER’S JOURNEYS:

  • All payments made to or on behalf of Admiral Travel are non-refundable unless stated otherwise
  • Travel with like-minded individuals on these exclusive departures.
  • Special global relationships that the Hiltons have formed over the years will allow you privileged access opportunities.
  • Trips are offered well in advance to give ample time for your future planning.