Samurai residences and Kyoto gardens, the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army are all yours to explore on this incredible journey. From kaiseki in a ryokan to Michelin Shanghai dining, this itinerary will bring 12 nights of new experiences in the best of luxury China and Japan. Travel through 3,000 years of tradition and then into tomorrow’s world on a handcrafted tour that goes far beyond the usual tourist sights in Beijing, Xian, Zhujiajiao, Shanghai, Mount Koya, Kyoto, Takayama, Kanazawa, and...
Beijing – Handpicked Dining in a Contemporary City
Beijing brings many things to every visitor, a vast contemporary city with a historical heart and a bustling sense of possibility. Neon flashes as dusk arrives and the roads are crowded with both people and vehicles going about their evening. Even from high up in a skyscraper, you can sense all the energy down below. Your restaurant for tonight stands above the city, a postmodern setting looking down on an imperial city center. Tomorrow, you will dive into what makes Beijing tick, but this evening is about downtime so that you can sit back and gaze on it all from on high as you dine. The cuisine is contemporary, with handpicked recipes from across the country given a chic makeover by one of the country’s most regarded up-and-coming chefs.
Beijing – Antiques, Architecture, Forbidden and Formidable
Beijing – Great Wall of China with Helicopter Panorama
Xian – All the Legends and an Intimate Old-World Cooking Experience
Day 5 - 6
Shanghai – The Venice of the East and Superlative Michelin-Starred Dining
Mount Koya – A Rich Contrast in Cultures: Chinese City to Japanese Mountain Monastery
Kyoto – Spirituality and Spirit Messages
Kyoto – Behind the Scenes Private Tour Through Hidden Kyoto
Takayama – Immersed in the Edo Period and Hida Beef
Kanazawa – A Second Ryokan, Samurai Residences and Kaiseki Cuisine
Tokyo – The Best of Tokyo for Art Lovers
Tokyo – The Best of Tokyo for Food Lovers
Tokyo – Departure
- Explore the finest Japanese food, including Hida beef in Takayama, a Kaiseki experience, and a sushi workshop in Tokyo
- Helicopter above the Great Wall of China and walk along lesser-known stretches of the icon
- Travel behind the scenes in Kyoto with exclusive access to gardens and temples usually closed to the public
- Discover China’s finest historical legacies with private tours in Beijing and Xian
- Slow everything down as you spend a night with monks at a monastery on Mount Koya
- Cruise through the canals of Zhujiajiao, and then compare the experience to nearby Shanghai
- Stay in two Japanese ryokans and a selection of China’s best contemporary hotels
- Uncover Tokyo from an artistic perspective with a journey from old to new that includes the city’s most interesting neighborhoods
- Stand before the Terracotta Army and spend a day exploring Samurai residences in Kanazawa
- Compare the new and old of Chinese cuisine, including a cooking experience in Xian and a Michelin-starred 22-course Shanghai dinner
For any traveler to Japan and China, it is not too difficult to see the sights. But to explore the contrasts of these countries and get to feel what they are all about is something different. The obvious contrasts between China and Japan are evident to most – Xian to Kyoto, Beijing to Tokyo, and there is no doubt which country you are in. It is through a mix of destinations and experiences that you can begin to understand the complexities of these exotic nations. Handcrafted to include the countries’ finest hotels, this 12-night luxury tour will take you beneath the surface of both China and Japan, using exclusive experiences to reveal so much more than just what is found on the surface.
China is a place of contradiction, and Beijing is a great place to start. Think contemporary dining high up in a skyscraper, looking down on the Forbidden City. Hutongs, the narrow alleyways, remain and take you on a journey into Beijing from two centuries ago. You will then exit them and move into tomorrow’s world, but around another corner, there are antiques and further old architecture. You will visit the Great Wall of China via helicopter for a stunning impression of the wall’s scale.
From Beijing, you will delve into the old world of Xian, the Chinese capital for over millennia of emperors and dynasties. Walk the thick city walls, go behind the scenes at the Terracotta Army, dive into culinary history, and keep your senses in past centuries. You will end in Shanghai, but not without half a day in Zhujiajiao, a city of canals that is often called the Venice of the East, even though it predates its Italian counterpart. Canal-side history is then brilliantly contrasted with Michelin dining in a Shanghai skyscraper, neon flashing all around in this megalopolis that ends your time in China.
Japan is all about the pursuit of perfection, and this theme runs through all of the destinations you visit, whether they are old or modern. Fly to Osaka, and travel 90 minutes into the mountains. Here, at Mount Koya, you spend a night in a monastery with Shingon Buddhist monks. Descending from the mountains, you will move next to explore Kyoto, a city of grand temples and gardens, where secrets hide in places guides know where to look. This is the heartbeat of Japanese culture, and you will gain exclusive access to experiences not found in guidebooks or tourist itineraries.
Travel onwards for a night in Takayama, home of wooden merchant homes and famous Hida beef, and then to Kanazawa, a town of ancient teahouses and Samurai residences where the dining switches to kaiseki cuisine. For both nights, you will stay in a ryokan, an experiential part of traveling in Japan. Take the bullet train to Tokyo to end with two full days in the capital. With art and food as your lenses, you can explore the most interesting neighborhoods to continue to explore what makes Japan so unique. Your itinerary will include closed-door galleries and a sushi-making workshop for two very different examples of the search for perfection. Consider learning more about our travelers’ best travel experiences by reading their travel reviews from China and Japan.
$4,363 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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