JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 11 Japan
Back to Listing


The ultimate metropolis, Tokyo is one of the world's most exciting and vibrant cities. While the sheer size and energy of the world’s largest city may seem overwhelming, it is remarkably ordered. It is this contradictory nature that forms the beauty of this extraordinary city – mixing hi-tech modern living, old-fashioned manners, urban design and unspoiled nature (beyond the skyline of buildings soars the magnificent Mount Fuji). Understated contemporary designs sit alongside outlandish cartoonish creations on most streets, and age-old temples, shrines and stone lanterns can be found tucked amongst cutting-edge architecture. Such traces of old Japan are still highly respected and run strong in 21st-century veins. From hole-in-the-wall noodle shops to swanky flagship stores, Tokyo has something to suit every taste and palette. If your eyes ever tire of the neon, there is always a serene garden, park or temple ground to find. Tokyo is even worth a visit purely for its fabulous food and unparalleled mass transit system.

From the traditional district of Asakusa to the centre of Manga culture in Akihabara, there are many distinctive areas to explore. The neon-lit nightlife of Shibuya is home to the iconic ‘scramble zebra crossing’, a concept which sums up Japanese culture in itself, where the bustling crowds move together to create 'ordered chaos'! The boutique shops of trendy Daikanyama are nearby, as are the famous high-fashion stores of Harajuku. For more upmarket shopping, walk down Omote-sando near Shinjuku and marvel at the dazzling flagship stores by the world’s most acclaimed architects, or explore the Ginza area just south of Tokyo station. This area is an ideal introduction to the somewhat mind-boggling capital city with a welcoming atmosphere and plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants. Spend an evening on the main streets here to mix with the well-heeled locals or for a grittier experience, explore the alleyways under the train tracks that are home to 'izakaya' pubs. Visit Ebisu and Shinjuku to join the office workers – ‘salarymen’ – for a drink after work for a real taste of everyday Japanese city-life. Roppongi is not to be missed, a lively entertainment district popular with Westerners, featuring elegant shops, the most English-speaking restaurants and bars, as well as cultural sights – most notably, the ‘Art Triangle’ made up of Mori Art Museum, National Art Centre and Suntory Museum of Art.

There are numerous easy day trips from Tokyo, thanks to the incredible local and bullet train systems. The historical Nikko with its beautiful temples, mountains and Lake Chuzenji is remarkable, as is the scenic Hakone with its acclaimed Open-Air Art Museum. The coastal Edo-period capital of Kamakura and nearby Enoshima Island are also easily accessible and provide a rural escape to the sea, with magnificent sights including a Giant Buddha statue and concealed bamboo grove. We recommend that keen walkers head to Mount Takao for a relatively gentle climb, complete with breathtaking views.

Tokyo is captivating all year round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and autumn to appreciate the capital in its full effect: cherry blossom or fiery red leaves enhance the spectacular panoramic views.

>> Read our blog: Everything you need to know about visiting the Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Tokyo Japan (3).jpg Tokyo Japan (3).jpg
Tokyo Japan (2).jpg Tokyo Japan (2).jpg
Japan - Tokyo cityscape.jpg Japan - Tokyo cityscape.jpg
Japan - Shinjuku, Tokyo.jpg Japan - Shinjuku, Tokyo.jpg
Japan - Shibuya, Tokyo.jpg Japan - Shibuya, Tokyo.jpg
Tokyo Japan (1).jpg Tokyo Japan (1).jpg
Japan - Tokyo, shrine, geisha.jpg Japan - Tokyo, shrine, geisha.jpg
Japan - Tokyo, Meiji Shrine.jpg Japan - Tokyo, Meiji Shrine.jpg
Japan - Tokyo Ueno park.jpg Japan - Tokyo Ueno park.jpg
Japan - sushi master.jpg Japan - sushi master.jpg
Tokyo Japan 5 Tokyo Japan 5
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
Bill Bryson

Client Testimonials

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
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
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, 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
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning 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
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
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
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, 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
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

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences