Luxury wellness holidays and retreats in Japan
Japanese Yen (JPY)
Best months to visit
Japan experiences a diverse range of weather throughout the year so time your trip carefully to make the most of your holiday. Spring and autumn are ideal- it’s warm and dry and most activities are on offer. A trip in spring is also the best time to see the splendid cherry blossom bursting into bloom throughout the country. Japan’s world-class ski slopes are a magnet for snow sports enthusiasts in winter, while summer signals beach hopping and water sports, alongside great mountain hiking.
In this fascinating country which contrasts elegant modernity with rich cultural tradition, you can expect a luxury wellness retreat which combines the two for a relaxing, spiritual experience like no other. Japanese people live longer than almost anyone else in the world, and this is in part due to the mindful activities that are woven into everyday life, from soaking in natural hot springs, to the ritual of tea ceremonies, which promote mindfulness and gratitude, to practising Zen meditation during the traditional art of Shodo - Japanese calligraphy. Take a healing dip in the Onsen - volcanic hot springs, or awaken the senses in the picturesque Japanese gardens during the Cherry Blossom season in Kyoto. Whether you choose to wander through the Sagano bamboo groves of Kyoto's Arashiyama, complete exhilarating hikes to the top of Mt Fuji or soak up the views of the mountain from lake Hakone, followed by beachtime and snorkelling in Okinawa's famed beaches, there are limitless opportunities to connect with Japan’s traditional culture.
Top places to visit in Japan for health & wellness
Previously the capital of Japan, Kyoto is home to countless temples and shrines filled with monks, and is one of the few places in Japan where you can still see a Geisha. Venture into the surroundings mountains to hike through the orange Torii Gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, witness the famed golden pavilion Kinkaku-ji, or experience the magic of Cherry Blossom viewing season in early Spring.
A welcoming city with a distinct regional identity, Osaka is most famous for its food. Here you can find an array of fresh produce from all over the country, and a wealth of fantastic restaurants. As well as being home to the renowned Shinto Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine - one of the country’s most important Sumiyoshi shrines, its flourishing port also led to the beginnings of Buddhism in Japan.
The magnificent Mount Fuji, a symbol of Japan’s physical, cultural and spiritual geography, has been a sacred site for practicers of Shinto for well over 1000 years. Shinto- ‘the way of the Gods’, is the indigenous faith of Japan, and many Shinto shrines are found at Mount Fuji. For the best views of Mount Fuji, head to Lake Kawaguchiko, which is especially lovely in cherry blossom or autumn leaf seasons.
Here's 3 experiences to inspire you
Experience an Onsen
Mineral rich, natural hot springs, or onsen, as they are known in Japan, are the perfect way to relax and unwind. Many are outdoors, such as the one at the luxury resort of Amanemu, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the tranquility of lush, green surroundings.
Learn the art of Zen meditation with a Buddhist monks
Journey deep into Japanese culture with Zen Buddhism, opening your heart and mind to peace, clarity, and self-discovery with zazen – or Zen meditation. Dedicated monks will help you navigate your spirituality in this form of seated mediation, which is believed to have helped Buddha achieve enlightenment.
Explore the Bamboo Forest (Kyoto)
Take a break from the city of Kyoto to explore the Sagano Bamboo Forest, immersing yourself in the dense greenery and gentle stirring of the bamboo swaying in the breeze for and overwhelmingly calming sensory experience. This iconic Japanese soundscape is the perfect spot for a restorative walk and some calming meditation.