Weekend of Luxury in Kyoto

Weekend of Luxury in Kyoto


Spend a weekend of luxury exploring Kyoto!

Kyoto was Japan’s capital city for over 1,000 years. During that time, it was the cultural, educational and economic center of the nation.

Although the capital city was eventually moved to Tokyo, Kyoto remained a strong cultural center. Thanks in part to escaping destruction during World War II, in addition to conservation efforts, much of the city’s history remains to this day.

It would take months, if not years, to fully explore Kyoto. There’s no better way to start than with a weekend journeying through Japan’s past in this amazing city.

Your tour will show you all the major spots in Kyoto in addition to some hidden gems. You’ll enjoy an authentic Buddhist meal, meet a Maiko (geisha in training), and also make your own authentic Kyoto pottery.

Day 1

Art Mon Zen Kyoto

Art Mon Zen Kyoto (2 nights)

Gion—Kyoto's most renowned shopping district. Close to famous sightseeing spots such as Chion-in Temple and Yasaka Shrine, Gion is also a popular place of lodging for tourists. In the antique art district of Furumonzen in the northern corner of Gion is ART MON ZEN KYOTO, a luxury hotel produced by the art dealer Nakanishi Shohoken. Fifteen rooms that differ in taste are ornamented at every turn with the beauty and craftsmanship of the sukiya-zukuri style of architecture, which is the pride of Japan and recognized all over the world. These rooms are decorated with domestic and international works of art selected with an exacting aesthetic sense. All rooms are outfitted with beds, bubble bathtubs, air conditioning, and amenities of the highest quality. We have also prepared a wide variety of events, such as the Japanese tea ceremony, to further enrich your stay in Kyoto. Please enjoy the harmonious blending of Japanese and Western styles, tradition and innovation, and relaxation and pleasant surprise, which combine to create a hospitality experience that cannot be found anywhere else.

Private Vehicle Transfer, Itami Airport to Hotel

Private Vehicle Transfer, Itami Airport to Hotel

Meet your driver upon your arrival at Itami Airport and move to your hotel via your private vehicle.

Private Guided Tour

Private Guided Tour

Meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel and set out for a private guided tour.

Arashiyama

Arashiyama

Arashiyama is one of Kyoto’s most beloved spots. It has a famous and storied wooden bridge, numerous temples known for their statuary and gardens, a scenic bamboo grove that is great for a stroll, and picturesque streets that complement each other to make a pleasant atmosphere excellent for leisurely walks.

Tenryuji

Tenryuji

With a history dating back nearly 700 years, Tenryuji is one of Arashiyama's most visited sites, and for good reason. While the building complex has suffered from fire damage throughout history (like much of Japan), the stunning gardens remain in their original form. As you stroll through the garden, both from within the temple and on the garden paths, you'll move from the pond, which symbolizes a large lake, up the mountain and into the forest (where multiple cherry trees can be found). As you exit the temple, you'll come to the famous bamboo forest.

Shojin Ryori

Shojin Ryori

A traditional Buddhist meal, shojin ryori is made without the use of any animal ingredients. This meal is the perfect chance to taste the exquisite flavor of Japan's vegetables while refueling for your touring.

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji

While many religious sites have a somber tone, Otagi Nenbutsu-ji is a fun twist on the Japanese temple experience. Here you'll find well over 1,000 small stone statues, called rakan, often depicting humorous and lighthearted disciples of the Buddha.

Jojakko-ji Temple

Jojakko-ji Temple

Founded in the 16th century, this temple is located on the mountainside nestled beneath a canopy of maples and pines. Its small, attractive buildings and gates provide the temple with a gentle and understated atmosphere. The moss all along the temple's paths and stairs add to the ambience.

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

Arashiyama Monkey Park is popular among foreign visitors but not only. Located on the left bank of Oi River in Arashiyama region, the park is inhabited by around 130 Japanese macaques, native of the country and also known as "snow monkeys". The monkeys are entirely wild animals and live in the surrounding mountains. They visit the park every day to receive the food from the park staff. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes because it is a 30 - 40 minute hike. Proceeding up the mountain, you will find signs that indicate when you are entering the areas where monkeys can be found - please note that the monkeys, although looked after by humans, are still wild and it is forbidden to feed them with your own food.

Day 2

Private Guided Tour

Private Guided Tour

Meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel and set out for a private guided tour.

Public transportation for touring

Public transportation for touring

Today you will tour using a combination of trains, buses, and taxis.

Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion

Kinkakuji, or the Golden Pavilion, is one of Japan’s iconic sites. The temple grounds first began as a small villa in 1224 and was converted to a Zen temple shortly after. Like so many other historical landmarks in Japan, the temple has unfortunately suffered destruction from fires in its history. The building, as it stands today, is a historically accurate reconstruction of the temple before it burned down from arson in 1950.

Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji)

Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji)

Founded in 1482 by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the Silver Pavilion "Ginkakuji" is widely considered to be the birthplace of much of Kyoto, and Japanese culture. Yoshimasa's love of culture lead to the development of the tea ceremony, Noh theater, and flower arrangement. Although nicknamed the Silver Pavilion (as a counterpart to the Golden Pavilion), there is no silver on the exterior of the building. Rather, the nickname (most likely) arises from the silver hue when the moonlight would be reflected off the once black exterior. The temple is closed for entry, but the grounds are the perfect opportunity to take in classical Japanese architecture and gardens.

Philosopher's Path

Philosopher's Path

A scenic, stone path that connects the Silver Pavilion and Nanzenji. This path, which received its name after the daily meditative strolls of Nishida Kitaro, is home to many small local shops, artisans, and temples. The path is exceptionally beautiful during the spring cherry blossom season and fall foliage season, but beware - the crowds during this time are also quite large.

Nanzenji

Nanzenji

Just near the Philosopher's Path is Nanzenji – a site that features a temple and aqueducts. After the capital city of Japan moved from Kyoto to Tokyo, the population also began to fall. In order to bolster the reputation of the city, provide higher quality jobs for residents, and prove the city still had intellectual capability, a project was undertaken to move much needed water from neighboring Lake Biwa to Kyoto. Here you can see the canals that are still used to this day that were built during this project.

Kodaiji Temple

Kodaiji Temple

Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Japan was known as an isolated country. This isolation is due to the policies of the Tokugawa Shogun as a way of maintaining peace and stability for a unified Japan, with Tokugawa Ieyasu establishing these isolation policies. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was the predecessor Shogun to Tokugawa Ieyasu, ruling from 1585 to 1591, and was considered one of Japan's great unifiers. Upon his death in 1598, his wife Nene established Kodaiji in his memory, which was backed by Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Tea with Maiko

Tea with Maiko

Later in the afternoon today, you will spend an hour meeting and speaking with a maiko (geisha in training) face to face in the famous area of Gion over light refreshments. During the meeting you can take pictures and appreciate her beauty (private experience).

Day 3

Private Guided Tour

Private Guided Tour

Meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel and set out for a private guided tour.

Private Vehicle for Touring, Full Day

Private Vehicle for Touring, Full Day

Today you will tour in the comfort of your private vehicle.

Uji

Uji

Nestled in the quiet countryside between Kyoto and Nara is the small city of Uji. Although small when compared with Kyoto and Nara, the city has played a significant role in Japanese history. The famous author Murasaki Shikibu wrote The Tale of Genji here, and much of the scenery described in the novel can still be easily found in the city. Later, the Fujiwara clan chose Uji as the spot for their countryside retreat, only later to be turned into a temple - now known as Byodoin. The original Phoenix Hall, built in 1053 still survives to this day and has been recently restored to its original, colorful beauty. Uji is also known for its delicious green tea and we recommend enjoying it as many ways as possible - green tea ice cream, green tea soba, green tea sweets, and of course, matcha.

Uji Potter Visit

Uji Potter Visit

Enjoy a casual visit to a well known local potter family in Uji, the center of Japan's tea culture. Uji is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, tea regions in Japan. It has a long history of producing robust, flavorful tea and the area is rich in the arts and crafts, with many potters based here. During your visit with this family you'll learn their family history, visit their kiln, stop by their showroom and finally enjoy a great cup of green tea together. This is an amazing opportunity to connect with locals, view interesting and unique pieces, and learn more about the rich artistic heritage of the area.

Nara

Nara

Nara was the capital of Japan for about 100 years prior to the capital being moved to Kyoto. Like Kyoto, the city is filled with historical landmarks and must-see items. One of the city’s most beloved attractions are its deer. Roaming the streets freely in search of “shika-senbei” (deer crackers), these timid creatures were once considered sacred messengers of the gods.

Todaiji

Todaiji

One of the Nara's (and Japan’s) most incredible landmarks is Todaiji, which houses the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world. Construction of the temple began in the 8th century, a time of heightened instability in Japan. As with many structures in Japan, the temple has suffered from extensive fire damage/destruction in its history, and the current structure today is the second largest entirely wooden building in the world.

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