The cultural roots of Japanese food, tea ceremony, traditional arts, crafts, zen and other countless sensibilities can be traced to the Kansai region and the remarkable people who still uphold its customs. These Exclusive Expeditions will take you into the heart of Kansai to meet with Japan’s living treasures. Come and see the intersection of masterful, world-class artisans as they share their craft in idyllic spaces, now available online via our platform of luxury experiences. For a fully exclusive offline expedition, we await you in Kansai.
An Intimate Noh Performance Set in an Extravagant Private Hall
Osaka Temmangu Shrine [main shrine building]
Noh actor for shite-kata of Kanze-ryu school
Tomoyoshi Ueno (An Intangible Cultural Property) / Tomohiko Ueno
Enjoy a private viewing of a Noh play by Noh actors Tomoyoshi Ueno (an intangible cultural property) and Tomohiko Ueno from the Kanze-ryu school of Noh at the exclusively chartered main shrine building of Osaka Temmangu Shrine.
Trace the roots of Tea Ceremony in a Rarely Opened Tea Room
Heian Jingu Shrine [Shobikan] National Site of Scenic Beauty
Grand Tea Master (the fourth) of Oriberyu-fusoha school
The Shobikan, a building in the Heian Jingu Shrine that is usually closed to the public, will be exclusively chartered for you to take part in a tea ceremony in the style of Oribe-ryu. During the ceremony, you will experience "futatsugashira," the oldest method of tea preparation that is rarely performed today.
See a Master “Echizen” Papermaker’s Craft Unfold Before Your Eyes
Iwano Ichibei Studio
Echizen Washi artisan
Ichibei Iwano (Living National Treasure)
Visit the workshop of Echizen Washi artisan Ichibe Iwano (a living national treasure) and observe how washi paper is made. This exclusive tour allows you to hear directly from the artisan himself about his passion for making washi.
An Evening Noh Performance over Kobe’s Glittering Nightscape
Kitano Tenman Shrine
Noh actor for shite-kata of Kanze-ryu school
The Hall of Worship at Kitano Tenman Shrine, which offers panoramic night views of Kobe, will be converted into a Noh stage for you to enjoy a Takigi Noh performance in a magical atmosphere evoked by torches lit in the night.
Meet the Vanishing Lion, the Traveling Ise-daikagura Dancers
Hinjitsukan An Important Cultural Property
Yamamoto Kandayu (An Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties)
Charter a room in the important cultural property Hinjitsukan and enjoy a private performance by the Ise-daikagura Kosha Kandayu Yamamoto troupe.
Experience the spirit of prayer at the Shugendo Konpon Dojo
Kinpusenji Temple National Treasure（Zaodo and Niomon Gate）
Yoshino, Nara is one of the centers of religion in Japan — a place where the practice of Shugendo continues to thrive to this day, with practitioners devoting themselves to a life of prayer, repeatedly training in the heart of nature. By special invitation of the priests, we will be allowed to pay homage at the Kinpusen-ji Temple, the konpon dojo (head temple) of the Shugendo religion.
Private Zen Meditation in a Seldom Opened National Hall of Treasures
Miidera Temple National treasure
Take part in a special Zen meditation session at Kangakuin, a national treasure that is usually closed to the public. You will also encounter many invaluable temple treasures, including 64 national treasures and 720 important cultural properties at Miidera Temple.
A Village’s Prized Puppets, Dancing on an Open-air Mountain Stage
Inukai Noson Theater An Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property
Tomowaka Takemoto (An Intangible Cultural Property)
Enjoy a special Ningyo Joruri private puppet theater performance at the Inukai Noson Theater, which is held only once a year. This show will be performed by Tomowaka Takemoto (an intangible cultural property) in the style of Gidayu-bushi.
The Realm of Light in Shadows Unveiled by the Porcelain Potter
Ishitani Residence An Important Cultural Property
White-porcelain ceramics artist
Akihiro Maeta (Living National Treasure)
Sit down for a talk by Akihiro Maeta, a white-porcelain ceramics artist, at the important cultural property Ishitani Residence, where you can experience the beauty of natural lighting that makes exhibitions held there so special.
In Kumano, the “land of rebirth,” we renew our spirits
Kumano Hongu Taisha An Important Cultural Property
Walking along an ancient pilgrimage route called the Kumano Kodo, we arrive at Kumano in Wakayama Prefecture, a destination that has been visited by many people. We will pay a special pilgrimage to the Kumano Hongu Taisha.