SMALL PRIVATE GROUPS

We have years of experience providing private tour services to museums, galleries and collectors and can create a once-in-a-lifetime custom experience of Japan.

Emperor Meiji (1852-1912)

The spacious sky
Spans serene and clear
So blue above,
Oh, that our soul could grow
And become so open!

Esprit creates and leads custom tours for a variety of organizations, including museums, colleges and universities, horticultural societies, and artists’ and alumni groups. These fully customized tours are planned in coordination with the sponsoring organization. This ensures that the destinations, activities, accommodations and schedules are all in tune with the group’s interests. Each tour offers a wealth of specialized activities relating to gardens, art, crafts, textiles and ceramics, theater, cuisine, cultural traditions and rural life. Through impeccable, personalized planning, Esprit helps groups offer a spectacular travel experience to their members.

Once your group arrives at its destination, you’ll discover what lies at the heart of Esprit’s success — its tour leaders. They have experience living, studying, and working in the Japan and are fluent in Japanese. They effortlessly orchestrate tours that deliver so many exquisite experiences as to be thoroughly intoxicating. But what makes traveling with them truly special is how much you’ll enjoy their company. They are amazingly knowledgeable, gifted raconteurs, thoughtful hosts and passionate about your destinations.

Because they are so passionate about the arts, culture, traditions and folkways of the countries they travel to, Esprit tour leaders have gotten to know many sensei, or masters, over the years. Their friends include indigo dyers, Buddhist monks, garden designers, architects, printmakers, tea ceremony masters, basket makers and artisans. Your group will have the chance to meet some of these friends, who share your interests, and spend time with them one-on-one in their homes, studios and gardens.

To ensure that your group doesn’t miss any of your tour leader’s enlightening commentary, he or she will use a short range radio transmitter to communicate with your group, through the pocket-sized receivers and headphones that you’ll each carry. This allows each person to go at their own pace and travel freely through gardens, markets, museums, train stations and other public spaces without missing a word. It also means that your group can take full advantage of your tour leader’s expertise and ask questions along the way.

You members will return home ecstatic about the journey they’ve experienced and eager to hear where you plan to travel to next and when they can sign up. You and the entire travel planning staff at your organization will discover how easy it can be to plan a truly extraordinary cultural arts tour to Japan when you work with Esprit. And you can rest assured that your needs will be heard and met, every step of the way.

OUR PROCESS

Sketch Itinerary

We start by finding out what is important to you, from where you want to go to what you want to see, experience and remember from this trip. Whether helping a couple get married in a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, arranging an overnight stay and private viewing at the Benesse House Art Site, or getting reservations at a special inn during the festival in Takayama, we make dreams come true. Our deep expertise in Japanese culture, built over years of studying, living and working in the Japan, and our mastery of the Japanese language allow us not only to craft the journey you want, but find innumerable ways to make it rich and memorable. Once this is complete, we prepare a sketch itinerary proposal and budget for your review.

  • Understanding
  • Daily Plan Layout
  • Experience Options
01

Tour Preparation

Esprit’s prepares a complete custom tour package for you.  We want your experience in Japan to be seamless so you can relax and enjoy the culture, the food, the private introductions and all that this fascinating culture has to offer, without sweating the details. We can address all your group members needs and prepare them for their trip-of-a-lifetime.

  • Tour Planning Handbook
  • Suggested Reading List
  • Airport-to-Airport Logistics
02

Enhanced Itinerary

A few months before you travel, we take our initial sketch itinerary and lay out the details of what you will be able to do, day-by-day, so that you can determine the right schedule and pacing for yourself. This enhanced itinerary gives you a good idea of what can reasonably be done each day so that you can truly live in the moment while in Japan.

  • Pacing
  • Timing
  • Event Selection
03

Detailed Review Itinerary

We are meticulous (some might say obsessed) in planning every detail, so you can enjoy the people, places, experiences, learning and adventures you travel to find. We make sure you and your travel group have information, introductions, guides, interpreters, reservations, plans and support when and where you need them — effortlessly.

  • Reservations
  • Guide Planning
  • Logistics Management
04

Final Documents

About 2 weeks before you travel, everyone in your group will receive one of Esprit’s fabulously detailed itineraries, all printed up into an easy-to-carry booklet, along with a full set of documents to make the tour go smoothly. Our final package includes maps, restaurant suggestions, detailed sightseeing information for when you are on your own, tourist information and lots of little goodies, all included in a beautiful package that you can just take and go.

  • itinerary booklet
  • maps
  • sightseeing suggestions
05

Experience Japan!

Finally, we will send you to Japan with introductions to our friends — the artists, craftspeople, artisans, cultural experts and sensei we have had the good fortune to share friendship with for years. Each of these introductions is a special gift and is made to open a unique door on your interests. We have arranged access to private workshops in Kyoto’s weaving district, cooking classes, a workshop in indigo dying, shakuhachi flute lessons, introductions to Japanese artists for collectors and much more.

  • Special Visits
  • Private Introductions
  • Personalized Service
06

Choose from a range of exciting destinations and experiences!