Come for the Games and Immerse Yourself in the Culture

The Adventure and Zen of Japan

By Roxana Lewis, Luxury Travel Agent

All eyes will be on Tokyo in 2020

Every four years, the world unites for one of the biggest events in sport. All the excitement surrounding the Summer Games has shifted to Tokyo, chosen as the host city for the first time since 1964. While most will enjoy the events from their televisions, those in attendance will experience something extraordinary: watching history as it is being made, surrounded by the electric atmosphere unique to this epic competition. If there is one sporting event that should be on your bucket list, it is this one.

Shinjuku Kabuki Cho District, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is sure to make a wonderful and welcoming host city and will also have the honor of introducing five new sports to the Summer Games: sport climbing, karate, skateboarding, surfing, and the return of baseball/softball.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Stone toro lantern, Tokyo, Japan

Curiously addictive, Tokyo somehow manages to blend throbbing neon mania of Shibuya with the zen calm of the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. And of course, Tokyo is gourmet capital of the world, with the most Michelin-starred restaurants of any city—308 Michelin stars distributed over 230 restaurants.

Book with Protravel for a VIP Experience

Interest in these Summer Games is high and capacity is limited—particularly at this level of luxury—so don’t miss out!

Your Protravel Advisor has insider access to completely customizable and personalized trips based on your tastes and preferences, as well as experienced onsite hosts to take care of you every step of the way. In addition, we have secured space at some of the city's top luxury hotels, including the iconic Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi; the elegant Park Hyatt Tokyo and glamorous Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills.

Available options and add-ons include:

  • Any class of Airfare or Private Jet
  • Personalized airport meet and greet service
  • Round-trip private transfers between airport and hotel in Tokyo
  • Tokyo Welcome Kit
  • 24/7 service from experienced onsite host team
  • Five-star accommodations in Tokyo
  • Full Breakfast Daily
  • Optional private event transfers (sedan, limousine, luxury motor coach)
  • Private tour full or half-day Tokyo tours, including tea ceremony
  • Private sushi-making class
  • Tokyo culinary walking tour
  • Mt Fuji day trip by Bullet Train
  • Guided Nightlife experience
  • 3-day Kyoto excursion
  • Private access to unique cultural, sumo, culinary and shipping experiences

Chureito Pagoda Arakura Shrine, Mt Fuji, Fujiyoshida, Japan

The Adventure and Zen of Japan

Japan amazes people with its vast span of history and unique culture. For example, Japan is home to Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, the oldest hotel in the world, located near Mount Fuji and its famed hot springs. Dating back to 705 A.D., it has been in the same family for 52 generations!

As a Sansei—a third-generation Japanese-American—I have a strong connection to Japanese culture and have been to Japan more times than I can count. As a professional luxury Travel Agent, I love connecting my clients with local artisans and other cultural experiences in my ancestral country.

One of my favorite experiences is in Kanazawa, nicknamed “Little Kyoto” for its authentic lifestyle and preserved ancient Edo and Samurai areas. It has one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens: Kenroku-en Garden, as well as wonderful crafts. While there, you can take a workshop with an artisan and create a lacquered box with gold leaf as a souvenir. And with a new bullet train connection, it is just two hours from Tokyo.

I can also arrange crafts activities at other venues throughout Japan. You might throw a pot in one of the country’s six great ceramic centers, perhaps under the tutelage of an official “living national treasure.” This honorary term is bestowed upon recognized master craftsmen who have worked at their trade for 50 years or more.

Adventurous travelers often want to climb Mount Fuji, and I can arrange a guide who will take you at your pace. It is important to be relatively fit, as it is typically an 11-hour roundtrip hike. 

Hand holding frying pan and chopstick, ramen in large soup bowl

Japanese cuisine is more varied than most Americans realize. A great way to experience it is with a chef, who will walk you thru Tsukiji Food Market in Tokyo. Or you can take a street food tour in Kyoto, the ancient capital. Viewed as the cultural soul of the country, Kyoto’s cuisine dates back 1,000 years and is known for its unique regional produce and specialties. Kyoto is also famous for its high-quality green tea, especially in the Uji neighborhood, as you can learn on tea tour.

For full immersion, you can’t beat staying at one of Japan’s traditional temples, which can date back five centuries or more. It is a full-on Zen experience that can be as luxurious as a stay at the Four Seasons, or quite rustic. Increasingly, temples are offering rooms with Western-style beds; the traditional rooms have futon-style beds that are comfortable but lay out like a mattress on the floor (something older travelers’ knees often don’t appreciate).

Most temples are set are on sprawling grounds with lovely, ancient gardens. The typical one-day stay starts with a 3 p.m. check-in and then a garden stroll followed by a deep-soaking Onsen bath. A vegan dinner is usually served at 6 p.m., leaving time for an evening walk. Go to bed early because you will want to wake at 6 a.m. to join the monks and experience the chanting. After a wonderful vegan breakfast, some temples offer calligraphy, flower-arranging or other classes where you can experience the meditative and artistic life of a Zen monk.

From sumo wrestling training camp to tea ceremonies, I can arrange authentic ways for you to experience the traditions and contemporary life of Japan.

Andaz Tokyo, Japan

Andaz Tokyo

1-23-4, Toranomon, Tokyo, Japan

  • Spectacular views of the city: Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills is the second-tallest high rise in the city
  • AO Spa & Club includes a unique 20-meter pool overlooking the Imperial Palace
  • Take in the sunset over Tokyo with a seasonal cocktail at Rooftop Bar
Park Hyatt Tokyo, Japan

Park Hyatt Tokyo

3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Japan

  • An elegant oasis of space and calm occupying the top 14 floors of the 52-story Shinjuku Park Tower
  • Enjoy 360-degree views of the city and Mount Fuji
  • Savor world class, authentic Japanese cuisine overlooking Mt. Fuji at Kozue, a bold architectural space with unobstructed views
Four Seasons Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan

Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi

1-11-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku

  • A true boutique hideaway in the middle of downtown, connected to Tokyo Station
  • Embark on a gastronomic journey at MOTIF where culinary works of art created by Michelin-starred chef Hiroshi Nakamichi and Head Chef Hiroyuki Asano
  • Escape in the Japanese-style onsen (hot spring) bath, or work out in the gym overlooking the city

Meet the expert

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