Premium experience limited to one group per session. Get special instruction from Aso, the assistant head monk of the Saikoku-ji Temple, the head temple of the Daigo sect of Shingon Buddhism. Leave the bustle of the city behind and unite body and mind through learning, sutra copying, meditation, and service. Time moves slowly in Setouchi, giving you ample opportunity to come face to face with who you are. There is a one-night, two-day “body and soul approach” program that includes reserved accommodation, a lesson in making Buddhist shojin vegetarian cuisine, and a sake experience. Release yourself from daily worries and stresses, and come find the next step forward in your life.
Special program to experience Kanazawa's traditions and culture that have been handed down from the time of the samurai
At the "Samurai Feast Premium Dinner," guests can enjoy a special dinner in Kanazawa Castle that recreates "samurai gourmet," which the Maeda family, who ruled Kaga Domain from the late 1500s through to 1867, had served when entertaining guests. Kanazawa Castle's Gojukken Nagaya, where meals are not normally served, has been specially set up as the dining venue, and the food is prepared by a long-established ryotei restaurant with a history of serving as the leading restaurant of Kaga Domain. This is a special program that adapts the finest hospitality of the samurai culture to modern times, a tradition that can only be recreated in Kanazawa, where the samurai culture has been passed down from the Edo period (1603–1867).
In addition, tours are offered to experience the richness of Kanazawa's traditions and culture, where traditional crafts and performing arts have thrived for hundreds of years.
Guided by a young Noh performer, visitors will experience the mysterious and profound world of Nohgaku. Nohgaku is one of Japan's leading traditional performing arts, with a history of more than 600 years. The Kaga daimyo poured their resources into all arts, including Noh, and even after their rule came to an end, the arts have been passed down by fans in Kanazawa.
There is also a tour of Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan's most famous gardens, guided by a garden specialist. Learn about the backstory and highlights not covered in the guidebook, and have a drink while admiring the oldest existing fountain in Japan at the site where the Kaga family's villa once stood.
Similarly, the Nagamachi Samurai District conveys the atmosphere of the samura era with its old-fashioned earthen walls and cobbled streets. Tour the streets with a local guide and through an SDGs perspective on the rows of stately samurai residences.
In the beautiful rural landscape of Komatsu, visit an auberge renovated from an abandoned school and savor pairings of delicious food with sake brewed at the adjacent sake brewery.
A trip to discover the faith and culture of Suwa, which developed through communication between people and nature in the area known as Jomon Ginza, which once thrived over 10,000 years ago
Located in the middle of Nagano Prefecture, the Suwa/Chino area is easily accessible from the Tokyo metropolitan area as well as Nagoya. This area is said to have been the most populated in Japan during the Jomon period (10,000–300 BCE), and Jomon culture thrived here. The Suwa faith has since taken root in the area, originating from Suwa Taisha Shrine, and the culture and lifestyle of respecting and coexisting with nature are very much alive in the area today. Captivated by the power of this place, many keep coming back to it, and many continue to live here. Two programs will be held to allow visitors to take time to reflect on themselves through an encounter with magnificent nature and interactions with local residents.
One program focuses on special cultural content that allows visitors to experience the spirituality of the Suwa faith. Suwa taiko drum is a cultural performing art that evolved from kagura (Shinto music) dedicated to Suwa Taisha Shrine and serves as the origin of the modern kumidaiko style of drumming. Makoto Yamamoto, who is the successor of this tradition, will give a tour of Suwa Taisha Shrine. Afterwards, visitors will head to Buppo Shoryu-ji Temple, which has deep ties to Suwa Taisha Shrine, to experience the worldview of the Shinto-Buddhism syncretism and its story of overcoming the political storms. At the end of the tour, visitors will have a special opportunity to observe an up-close performance of the Suwa taiko drum dedication to the Shinto god of the Upper Shrine, Suwa Daimyojin (original Buddhist deity Fugen Bodhisattva).
The other program allows visitors to discover the history of the Suwa region. The tour will specially reserve Honjin Iwanami House at Shimosuwa-juku, which was considered an important hub along the highway during the Edo period (1603–1867). Participants will tour the buildings, scenery, and treasures that remain today under the guidance of the 28th head of the family. There will be an opportunity to enjoy a Koto performance in the reception room overlooking Nakasendo's best garden, which will be the main attraction of the event.
Encounter a heart that has been inherited from the traditional culture that lives in Kyoto (1/KYOTO)
Encounters can change your destiny.
Whether it is a close friend, a strict coach, or someone you fall in love with,
an encounter with just one person can change your life.
There are billions of people in the world, and we cross paths with countless people when traveling,
but our aim is to forge a deeper, lifelong connection.
Kyoto is filled with unique and interesting people,
such as, a craftsman who continues to reinvent tradition as he weaves,
or a monk who has inherited the deep wisdom of a thousand year-old temple.
Have a genuine encounter with a Kyoto resident who could never be met through sightseeing alone.
Listen to them, talk to them, touch their heart, and connect with them. This is the journey that we offer.
If possible, we would love to hear your story too.
We want a heart-to-heart dialogue rather than a one-sided transmission of information and knowledge.
Only then can we say that two people truly had an encounter.
Through our program, people who have lived completely different lives in distant locations can communicate from the heart.
Make lifelong memories through rich experiences that can only be found in Kyoto.
We aim to transform travel from touring different places to encountering new people.
Special experience programs for overseas guests to enjoy sumo, Japan’s national sport, are offered all throughout the year.
The Grand Sumo Tournaments are held every January, March, May, July, September, and November. Our guides arrange tours and help visitors better understand and enjoy sumo wrestling during these tournaments, but we have also prepared a range of programs for visitors to enjoy sumo wrestling even during the off months. For example, some of the contents include visits to early-morning practices at the sumo stables, which are usually only open to sumo wrestlers, and private tours of “sumo schools.” Guided tours in January 2024 will be conducted by English-speaking NHK global announcers, making this a truly valuable guest experience.
1. Guided Tours of the Grand Sumo Tournament (for 20 days in November 2023 and January 2024)
2. Premium Guided Tours of the Grand Sumo Tournament with English-speaking NHK Global Announcers (for two days in January 2024)
3. Exclusive Early-Morning Practice Tour of the Sumo Stables (for 10 days in October 2023, December 2023, and February 2024)
4. “Sumo School” Tour (for 15 days in October 2023, December 2023, and February 2024)
(Scheduled dates and frequencies in parentheses)
This luxurious tour includes the beautiful nature of Nasu’s autumn leaves, one of Japan's best hot springs, shopping at an outlet mall, Nasu’s unique food, and the culture and history of the Meiji aristocracy.
(1) Culture and history of the Meiji aristocracy
The Nasu area used to be a barren, uninhabitable wilderness until the Meiji elite had the Nasu Canal excavated in order to secure water that was essential for development. As a result of the subsequent establishment of large-scale farms, it has now grown into one of Japan’s leading dairy regions. Follow in the footsteps of Meiji aristocrats with a professional guide and dress up in aristocratic Meiji clothes for photos.
(2) Autumn leaves
With the arrival of fall, Nasu's rich forests turn into a sea of bright reds, oranges, and yellows, and the scenery of these colors surrounding the mountains and lakes is truly spectacular. Canoeing and other experiences are available and offer diverse views of the autumn leaves.
(3) Meals and shopping
Nasu has a treasure trove of fresh vegetables and mountain delicacies, and this program will serve food that can only be tasted in Nasu. Enjoy shopping for famous brands at the Nasu Garden Outlet mall, as well as attendning a brewery tour and tasting “Nasu de Suna”, a craft beer selected as a Nasushiobara brand.
Seven tailor-made experiences have been prepared especially for this event:
1. The first-ever dinner event in the history of Hasedera Temple!
A rare opportunity to share in this inaugural event.
2. A private event at Hasedera Temple, a historic and popular tourist attraction!
When the temple-goers finish their daily prayers, Hasedera Temple will open its doors to participants for this private event.
3. Private viewing of floral bonsai designed by renowned garden artist Kazuyuki Ishihara!
Visit an art installation from a garden artist who was featured in the TV documentary series "Jounetsu Tairiku."
4. A special musical experience in front of the magnanimous 1,300-year-old main deity!
Enjoy a different kind of musical performance every day in an otherwise solemn temple dedicated to the Buddhist deity of compassion, Kannon.
5. Special dinner with an assortment of delicious foods from Shonan and Kamakura!
Enjoy a limited-time menu specially crafted by local shops and restaurants for this event.
6. Beat the crowd to enjoy a private autumn stroll, with the season lit up in all its glory at Hasedera Temple!
Take an early autumn walk in privacy through the seasonal illumination event, which officially starts on November 23.
7. Prayer candle devotions for every participant!
Prayer candle inscriptions will be used during the Kannon Mandōe service on New Year’s Eve.
Key Attractions of the Tour:
◆Puts importance on sustainability views
The understanding and cooperation of both local residents and visitors to the area is essential to protect its beautiful nature. This tour chooses environmentally friendly activities, and meals are centered on the idea of local production for local consumption.
◆Shows hospitality through a fully guided, community-based & collaborative tour
Tour guides who love the area will assist participants throughout the entire duration of the tour. The guides' roles are also to connect the local residents with the visitors, promoting collaboration and communication.
◆Tours the unexplored, normally inaccessible "Maejima Island," and allows participants to explore and experience the old and new cuisines to fully appreciate the culture of Okinawa's remote, idyllic islands
Maejima Island became uninhabited about 60 years ago when the last family moved to the main island of Okinawa. The atmosphere is mystical, as the remnants of a previous lifestyle slowly merge with nature. Participants will also get to meet Mr. Nakamura, who was born on the island and continues today to protect it, hoping for its restoration. This experience is one of the the major highlights of the tour.
Bask in the Glory of Nature in Wakasa, Fukui, With REAL WAKASA: A Limited-Time-Only Private Cultural Experience Plan for One Group Per Day
The Wakasa Fukui region offers four special experiences for you to try!
1. Get a taste of Japanese cuisine in your own privately rented temple! Savor dishes made with local ingredients from the sea using traditionally crafted Wakasa lacquer chopsticks. Add some light-hearted banter to your meal with the addition of a geisha dinner party experience.
2. Take in an unbroken 360-degree panoramic view of the Sea of Japan and the Five Lakes of Mikata! Admire the beauty of the setting sun before coming back to a privately rented guest house in a quaint fishing village. There, a home-cooked meal made with local ingredients and graciously crafted by your host awaits you.
3. Lake Suigetsu is home to 70,000-year-old varves, or sedimentary layers, which serve as a standard form of measurement for the age of fossils and archeological artifacts. Come see these ancient varves in the museum and go on an environmentally sustainable battery-propelled, guided boat ride to learn more about the process of collecting these unique varves. A tour of a local beer factory and meals can also be prepared.
4. Cook your very own seasonal dishes, using ingredients harvested from the forest and the sea, on a kamado, a type of traditional Japanese wood stove! You can enjoy your lunch in a Japanese-style room in a traditional Japanese house.
In this program, you can use a real kamado, sample real local ingredients in all their simplicity in style, record a video of staff for later use, and receive a guide on how to create your own delicious food at home.
Inbound Tourism Project Kizuna: Private Rental of a Fukui City Cultural Property for Traditional and Cultural Experiences
This is no ordinary project—it is unique in that it aims to use “food” and “lifestyle” to unravel the history, traditions, and spirit of Fukui, a city that grew alongside Zen Buddhism. Visitors will be able to experience the teachings of Dogen, founder of the Japanese Sōtō Zen school of Buddhism, who taught that "everything in daily life, including waking, eating, cleaning, washing, and bathing, is as important as seated meditation, and thus forms the practice of the Zen practitioner.”
Soybeans are an integral part of the Sōtō Zen diet, and now, for the first time ever, guided factory tours are offered at two factories which process this key ingredient: Fuku Syouyu (a soy sauce factory established in 1918) and Komego Miso (a miso factory established in 1832).
Traditional Food and Craft Experience in a Historical Site, Reserved Exclusively for Your Private Use:
There are half-day rentals of five private houses in Osagoe Folk Village Museum, a cultural property of Fukui City featuring traditionally-built farming houses. This experience is the first of its kind to combine tours, traditional handicrafts, and food into a combination package for inbound tourists. Visitors can try their hand at making traditional Wakasa lacquer chopsticks and polishing Shakudani stones, which are used as building materials in nearby temples. Meals are served based on the Zen Buddhist style of vegetarianism. Visitors will get to select their own ingredients, make their own rice balls, and then wrap up by enjoying their own creations.