JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 11 Japan
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Karuizawa

Much-loved as a weekend retreat by affluent Tokyo urbanites, Karuizawa is set deep within a verdant mountainous valley in the Japan Alps. It has the wonderful benefit of having an accessible location, just over an hour away from the capital by bullet train, while also feeling millions of miles away from the stresses and strains of city life. This countryside resort in the Nagano Prefecture sits at one end of Japan’s ‘romantic road’ – a renowned route that winds its way through the mountains to Nikko – in a particularly picturesque rural idyll.

Here, a number of scenic spots can be found dotted around; from the impressive Shiraito Waterfall to the volcanic Mount Asama, both of which provide excellent views when arriving from Nikko by car. Respect and appreciation for nature is integral to Japanese culture and we believe that there is no better way to admire it in all its glory than in the most striking seasons; cherry blossom ‘sakura’ season (MarchApril) and autumn leaf ‘koyo’ season (NovemberDecember). Karuizawa comes to life at these times of year, as the landscape becomes awash with pretty petals in the spring and gets set ablaze with the vivid deep red and golden leaves in autumn; both really are a sight to behold.

In the summer months, many venture to this town for a welcome relief from the sweltering heat in Tokyo and to play at the resort’s golf courses. Nature lovers also embrace the unspoiled surroundings by walking and cycling within the atmospheric forests. During the cold winter, Karuizawa is a popular destination for those in need of healing hot spring ‘onsen’ baths, as well as those seeking outdoor activities in the mountains. The snowsports on offer here from skiing and snowboarding to sledging and snowtubing make it an ideal destination for a family adventure holiday in Japan.

To add to its strengths, this highland getaway is also home to one of Japan’s most renowned modern 'ryokan' - the Hoshinoya. This luxury property is the little sister of arguably the most iconic hotel in Kyoto (set upon the banks of the river in Arashiyama), so is of the finest quality, complete with traditional rooms and ‘kaiseki’ gourmet cuisine. We recommend staying here to relax for a night or two as you travel through the captivating Japan Alps.

Features in the following itineraries

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The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
G. K. Chesterton

Client Testimonials

Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India

From our Instagram

A team of Ampersander's have officially landed in #Rajasthan. First stop, the Capital - #Jaipur 💗
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Also known as the Pink City because of its trademark colour throughout, its hard to miss a picture perfect moment in front of one of Jaipur's landmark doorways.
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A colourful city packed full of contrast and a variety of ethnic districts ready to be explored!
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#LittleIndia, originally a division of colonial Singapore. Today a vibrant district with a mix of Hindu and Chinese Temples and The House of Tan Teng Niah - one of the last surviving Chinese villas in the Indian enclave
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✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
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Overlooking a crashing waterfall & immersed in rugged jungle, this luxury camp genuinely lives up to its name 🍃
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Beautiful #Bhutan has topped the @lonelyplanet #BestinTravel list as the top country to visit in 2020 🇧🇹🐉
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Soaring mountains are blanketed with evergreen forests and dotted with Buddhist temples, valleys are sliced by glacial rivers and the piney air is delicious and clean.
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It is already the world’s only carbon-negative country, and the kingdom is set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020, so it’s only going to get more beautiful 🏔 ✨
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Travel to with us to Bhutan & discover its extraordinary natural beauty.
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A luxury holiday to #Goa feeds the soul and the senses 🇮🇳🌅
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Our Africa Specialist captured these memorable moments during their recent stay at @matetsivictoriafalls 🦓🐘
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A beautifully designed Safari Lodge set in a vast private reserve along the Zambezi River banks. The perfect stay close to Victoria Falls, post or pre African Safari ✨
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🇨🇳 Drift down the #LijiangRiver while touring #China with us to find yourself surrounded by towering karst mountains, mirror-still waterways and sunsets like this 🌅
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