This tour is specially designed for traveler with an eye for art, architecture, and design in Japan with a focus on contemporary side. Enjoy also some of our selection of unique museums all over Japan.
Outstanding modern art works have been created and collected in Japan, and many modern art galleries have been founded in these decades. In this tour, you will visit six cities which have notable museums and galleries with unique collection of art works.
We are happy to further customize your itinerary to better fit your interests. Let me know if you have specific interests (category of art, artist name, gallery name, etc.) that you want us to reflect in the plan.
Sample Itinerary Overview
Day 1 Tokyo
Privately guided tour to see the modern side of Japan. Visit notable museums with modern architecture such as Mori Art Museum, Suntory Museum of Art, and The National Art Center, Tokyo. Then, enjoy strolling around Harajuku and Omotesando. Omotesando, sometimes described as "the world best outdoor museum of contemporary architecture", designed by world-famous architects including Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, Herzog & de Meuron and Tadao Ando. Stay at luxury hotel for two nights.
Day 2 Tokyo
At your leisure. In the morning, enjoy fresh sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market, which is one of the "must-do" activities in Tokyo. Then, visit small galleries or designer's showrooms. We will update you with the latest exhibits.
Day 3 Kanazawa
In the morning, take bullet train to Kanazawa. Afternoon at your leisure. Visit 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, one of the most acclaimed contemporary museums in Japan. You will see the unique collection chosen by three key concepts: works presenting "new sense of value", "historical reference", and "creativity of artists tied with Kanazawa". Stay at deluxe hotel for two nights.
Optional: If you are interested in glass art, we are happy to recommend leading contemporary glass art museum as well as work studio in Toyama, situated near Kanazawa.
Day 4 Kanazawa
Enjoy privately guided tour of Kanazawa. Visit Kanazawa's highlights including Kenrokuen, which is ranked as one of the best Japanese gardens, old samurai residence, Higashichaya district, and Omicho local market. Also you will be escorted to D.T. Suzuki Museum which is designed to commemorate the life and works of Suzuki Daisetsu, a world-renowned Japanese Buddhist philosopher. Zen philosophy is reflected throughout this contemporary architecture.
Kanazawa also has traditional craft galleries and boutiques that carry Kutani pottery, Kaga Yuzen kimono, and gold leaf products. It is possible to meet a local artisan. .
Day 5 Kyoto
Transfer by train to Kyoto. Upon arrival at Kyoto station, your driver will take you to Miho Museum with a collection of Asian and Western antiques. The building of the museum was designed by I. M. Pei, an internationally acclaimed architect who also designed the glass pyramid at the Louvre. Stay at a deluxe hotel for two nights and a deluxe ryokan for one night.
Day 6 Kyoto
Privately guided tour of Kyoto. Visit some of the World Heritage sites, including gardens, temples and shrines to learn about Japanese history, major religions and traditional aethetics. In the afternoon, experience a tea ceremony. Upon request, full-course Japanese kaiseki dinner with Geisha performance can be arranged.
Day 7 Kyoto
At your leisure. Explore Gion and Higashiyama area, the entertainment districts with authentic teahouses, craft shops, and pottery shops. Enjoy shopping at art galleries and antique stores. You will find stores with potteries, ceramics, folding screens, scroll pictures, tea ceremony utensils, and wood-block prints.
Day 8 Naoshima
Transfer by train and ferry to Naoshima island. Enjoy exploring Chichu Art Museum, Benesse House, and Art House Project, the three museums of modern art and architecture. Stay for one night, at a deluxe hotel Benesse House designed by the world-renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Optional: If you are interested, you might want to extend your stay in Naoshima to visit other island in Setouchi (Seto inland sea) such as Teshima and Inujima, where you can enjoy other contemporary arts and museums.
Day 9 Naoshima
Morning at your leisure in Naoshima. Afternoon transfer by ferry to Takamatsu on Shikoku island. Stay at a deluxe hotel for two nights.
Day 10 Takamatsu
At your leisure. Visit Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, which has a collection of 150 sculptures at his former studio. Then, visit a gallery which exhibits the works of one of the innovators of 20th century furniture design, George Nakashima.
Day 11 Tokyo
Fly back to Tokyo. Afternoon at your leisure. Enjoy last minute shopping at trendy boutiques, department stores, and art galleries.
Day 12 Transfer to the airport
The tour price will differ according to many factors such as the rank of accommodation (e.g. 4 or 5-star hotel, 4 or 5 star ryokan with two meals included), way of transportation (e.g. train, private car), number of days with a private guide, duration of your tour, or season. Please contact us. One of our tour consultants will come up with an ideal plan and cost for you.
For more information, or to start customizing your own itinerary, please contact us.
Michi Travel Japan
Pictures on this page
- Florian CLAAR, Klangfeld Nr.3 fur Alina, 2004 (Photo: Atsushi Nakamichi / Nacasa & Partners, Collection & Courtesy: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa)
- Yayoi Kusama: Pumpkin, Photo: Shigeo Anzai
- Leandro ERLICH, The Swimming Pool, 2004 (Photo: Atsushi Nakamichi / Nacasa & Partners, Collection & Courtesy: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa)
- MIHO MUSE
- Benesse House Museum, Photo: Koji Murakami