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October 10thJapan

“As Japan gears up to welcome individual travellers again for the first time in over two years, we’re excited to share several new itineraries and a curated collection of experiences that reveal a different side of this alluring country, going beyond the typical tourist attractions to showcase untouched landscapes, immersive local experiences and authentic regional fare, all while guiding our guests through the intricacies of etiquette that are essential when travelling through Japan. It’s been a long wait, but we’ve already seen a recent surge in enquiries and bookings from guests who are eager to secure their bucket-list trip to Japan for 2023 and beyond.  In particular, adventurous families with teens are heading to Japan next year for an unforgettable family trip, making up almost 50% of our future bookings to the destination.”  Kate Samuels, Head of Tailormade Product at Scott Dunn



Deserving of its UNESCO accolade, Japanese food is both an art form and an integral part of the country’s heritage. Guests can experience the rituals and exquisite presentation of kaiseki dining, enjoy a private sushi masterclass, delight in vibrant street food and sample Japan’s famous sake as part of this gastronomic trip of a lifetime. The journey begins in Tokyo, where gourmands will enjoy a food tour of the lively Shinbashi district – packed with izakaya, bars and small eateries. Here, guests will live like a local sampling regional delicacies such as savoury okonomiyaki pancakes. After exploring the city with an expert local guide, next on the agenda is mastering the art of sushi making during a private masterclass with a sushi master boasting over 45 years of experience. Onwards by bullet train to the next destination – Kanazawa. Located on Honshu’s northern coast and known as ‘Little Kyoto’, this region is renowned as the source of some of Japan’s highest quality seafood, in particular emperor crabs. Staying at a traditional Japanese ryokan inn – which is a member of Relais & Chateaux – the gourmet journey continues with an incredible kaiseki dinner using locally sourced seafood. From here guests can enjoy the best of this historic city boasting samurai and geisha districts, beautifully landscaped gardens and a lively fish market all with a private guide. Along with traditional tatami mat flooring and low furniture, each room has a private onsen for natural spring bathing. Kyoto – Japan’s cultural capital – is the next stop on this foodie adventure, with the first evening comprising a sake and whisky tour in the atmospheric district of Gion. The world-famous spirits will be paired with regional dishes and snacks. Additional highlights include a Nishiki market food shopping and cookery experience – working through the mile-long market and venturing into the less crowded backstreets with an expert guide to scout out the best local ingredients. Guests will take the market ingredients to a traditional wooden townhouse to create classic Japanese dishes under the guidance of locals.  Foodies will end this trip in Osaka, the food capital of Japan, affectionately known as ‘the nation’s kitchen’. Epicures can indulge in a guided evening tour of Dontonbori, the focus of Osaka’s street  food culture and a pedestrian-only restaurant street. Here, they will enjoy local specialities including the famous takoyaki and kushikatsu, served from hole-in-the-wall restaurants and streetside ramen bars.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers a 9 night ‘Taste of Japan’ itinerary from £9,600 per person based on two people travelling and includes accommodation, return flights from the UK and transfers by car and train throughout. For more information, please visit www.scottdunn.com or call 020 8682 5080. 



This itinerary showcases a different side to Japan, taking the best of the country’s most inspiring cities and combining them with an ancient postal route through wild forests, and the beautiful surrounds of Miyajima and Lake Kawaguchi. The trip begins in Tokyo – the ultimate urban jungle – where guests can feel at total ease with a private driver and guide to accompany them around the city. From here, guests will venture off the tourist trail to Magome where they will begin the Nakasendo Walking Trail. Taking just the essentials, Scott Dunn will organise the transfer of luggage to Kyoto where it will meet guests at the end of their trek. Over the next two nights and three days, explorers will venture from Magome to Narai staying in small guesthouses in Tsumago and Kiso-Fukushima along the way. This route follows the ancient road that Samurai used when travelling between Tokyo and Kyoto, and today provides a beautiful trail through the mountains and preserved villages, giving a unique and authentic taste of the country. At the end of the walk, guests will board the bullet train to Kyoto to explore the cultural city with a private guide. Highlights include a traditional tea ceremony to truly immerse in Japanese culture. The next stop is Miyajimaguchi, where guests can indulge in total relaxation and soak tired muscles at their luxurious ryokan. A short boat trip away lies Miyajima Island – famed for the most beautiful views in the country and home to the famous ‘floating’ Tori Gate. The final destination on this incredible itinerary is Lake Kawaguchi where travellers will enjoy a totally unique and luxurious camping experience with plenty of outdoor activities such as horse-riding, canoeing and trekking all with incredible views of the surrounding mountains and Mount Fuji.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers an 11 night ‘Exceptional Japan’ itinerary from £9,700 per person based on two people travelling and includes accommodation, return flights from the UK and transfers by car and train throughout. For more information, please visit www.scottdunn.com or call 020 8682 5080. 



Offering something for both adults and teens alike, this epic itinerary takes in the neon-lit metropolis of Tokyo, cycling in the Japanese Alps, a stay at a traditional Japanese ryokan inn and cooking in Kyoto. Beginning in Tokyo, families will enjoy a private guide to experience the best of the city. Highlights include the Ginza district home to Hakuhinkan Toy Park in Akihabara – the anime capital of Japan bursting with anime-themed cafes, manga comics and video games – as well as the Harajuku district, the focus of Japan’s youth culture. The following day, enjoy a photography tour through the streets of Tokyo with a professional photographer capturing the array of vibrant local street life. The adventure continues with a bullet train ride to Takayama, transporting guests to the snow-capped peaks of the Japanese Alps. Here, families will stay in a traditional ryokan inn where they can immerse themselves in Japanese culture. Guests will enjoy a unique experience combining food, culture and cycling, starting with a walking tour of Takayama to sample local delicacies before cycling through the scenic rice fields and farming villages of Hida. The next stop is Kanazawa where attractions include the bustling fish market, the Ninja Temple Myouryuji and the samurai museums of the Nagamachi district.  district. The city also boasts a historic arts and crafts scene with plenty of artisans displaying local handmade crafts. Guests will end their trip in Kyoto to enjoy all the cultural capital has to offer with a private guide. Kyoto is home to an impressive 17 UNESCO-listed attractions, including some of Japan’s best examples of traditional architecture, landscaped gardens and the red tori gates of the hillside shrine of Fushimi Inari-Taisha. Guests can also opt to explore the city by bike on a privately guided tour starting at the famous golden temple Kinkaku-Ji before a visit to the serene Ryoan-ji Zen Garden and the incredible bamboo groves of Arashiyama. The journey concludes on a high with a Nishiki market food shopping and cookery experience – a true sensory adventure – taking sourced market ingredients to a traditional wooden townhouse to create classic Japanese dishes under the guidance of locals.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers an 11 night ‘Family Fun in Japan’ itinerary from £6,800 per person based on a family of four travelling and includes accommodation, return flights from the UK and transfers by car and train throughout. For more information, please visit www.scottdunn.com or call 020 8682 5080. 


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Scott Dunn is one of the world’s most experienced luxury tour operators, voted the No.1 Best Travel Specialist in the world in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2022. With offices in the UK, the US and Asia, its global team of travel specialists offer guests round-the-clock support, arranging bespoke holidays and honeymoons designed to elevate travel out of the ordinary. With an insatiable appetite to discover the world pivotal to the company’s ethos, Scott Dunn relish the planning and revel in the detail – knowing it’s the smallest touches that make the biggest difference. As well as creating tailor-made itineraries filled with unique experiences, Scott Dunn also operate their Explorers Kids Clubs for children aged 4 months to 11 years in select destinations throughout the world. The tour operator launched an exclusive, ‘invitation-only’ platform for its most discerning travellers, Scott Dunn Private, at the start of 2021.

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