Small Luxury Hotels Launches New “Essence of Japan” Vacation Packages

A view from the Sankara Hotel & Spa // Photo by the Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has teamed up with Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) to add four exclusive vacation packages to its “The Essence of Japan” series. The packages will allow guests to explore the cuisine, nature, history and culture of Japan through March 2018.

Lasting between two and five days, the “Essence of Japan” packages will open the door to exclusive activities, some not usually accessible to international visitors, that showcase both well-known and lesser-known parts of the country, each complemented by a SLH hotel.

The packages include:

A Two-Day Gastronomic Journey Through Tokyo: December 11-12, 2017

The first experience accommodates up to eight people and includes a private sushi dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten hosted by Chef Jiro himself, usually only available for reservations from Japanese residents. Also included is a private tour of Tsukiji market led by a fourth generation sushi chef and a dinner at Tempura Kondo.

While there, guests can also enjoy the hospitality at the Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, one of SLH’s twelve hotels across Japan, which is in the Tokyo neighborhood of Meguro.

Prices for this package start at approximately $2,200.

Three-Day Cultural Experience in Nara: March 5-7, 2018

One reservation for two people is available to see the famous “Shunie” festival at the Todaiji Temple in the ancient city of Nara. Travelers will get to see a 50-foot-tall bronze Buddha statue, as well as the Otaimatsu ceremony, which sees priests run along the corridors of the Nigatsu-do temple, showering visitors with fire sparks from huge pine torches.

Guests will also get a kaiseki dinner at Nara’s three-star Michelin restaurant Wa Yamamura, coupled with a two-night stay in a suite at the Noborioji Hotel Nara.

Prices start at $1,210 per person, based on double occupancy.

Five-Day at Yakushima Island: Available until March 16, 2018

Experience another side of Japan on a subtropical island off the Southern coast of Kyushu. Visitors can explore the ancient rainforest with a guided tour, discover waterfalls, and regenerate in a "Power Spot," believed to give visitors healing energy.

At the Sankara Hotel & Spa, guests can opt for private yoga classes, sea kayaking and diving, or attend craft workshops to make their own bath salts, chopsticks or ceramics.

Prices for this package start at $7,120 per person, based on double occupancy.

Two-Day Japanese Wedding Experience

Kick off a wedding celebration at the Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, nicknamed “Palace of the Dragon God.” The package offers the opportunity for a traditional Japanese wedding or couples photo shoot in the hotel’s chapel or in the ornate halls adorned with Japanese paintings and laquerwork.

The package includes a dinner and cultural performance, a professional “pampering” team that will attend to every detail in one of the hotel’s decorated suites.

Prices start at $3,406 per person, based on double occupancy.

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