THE FULLEST Guide to Central Japan
Chafinity is on a mission to create exceptional experiences through the healing power of organic matcha. Their tea is grown on a small family farm, focusing on the quality of excellence over mass production. We couldn’t think of anyone better to play tour guide through Central Japan than the co-founder of Chafinity, Kentaro Chiba.
We journey through Tokyo in the east to Kyoto in the west. Kentaro highlights Japan’s untapped and unassumed spots where visitors can experience peace, health, and wellness inside and out. With its captivating natural beauty, spiritual landmarks, and modern wellness activities, Japan proves to be an ideal destination for travel enthusiasts and offers a unique opportunity to discover a new level of cultural immersion and self-transformation.
This traditional ryokan offers a tranquil experience in the middle of the busy city. “Cha-shitsu” directly translates to “tea room,” which is visually and energetically embodied in the guestroom with its peaceful atmosphere and understated elegance. Whether enjoying a cup of tea in the tatami rooms, unwinding on a private rooftop onsen, or enjoying a delicious traditional Japanese meal, Cya Shitsu allows visitors to immerse themselves in the Zen state of mind from start to finish.
Momijiya is a traditional ryokan nestled in the scenic beauty of Arashiyama, Kyoto. This traditional inn boasts stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the enchanting Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. The location is close enough to easily get to the tourist hot spots while being far enough away from the busy energy. Momijiya also offers a unique all-inclusive dining experience where you are taken to a private riverbed to enjoy a custom dinner sourced from local and seasonal ingredients.
At Glamping Terrace Minenohana in Mt Fuji, you can expect an unforgettable glamping experience combining luxury with nature’s beauty. Nestled at the foot of Mt Fuji, this resort offers breathtaking views of the iconic mountain and the surrounding landscape. The glamping tents are spacious and well-equipped, providing a comfortable and stylish retreat. Guests can also indulge in delicious meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients and participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and fishing. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Glamping Terrace Minenohana is sure to provide a new way of experiencing Japan in a new light.
Aman Kyoto offers a serene and tranquil setting that immerses you in a world of bliss and wellness. With mindfulness and rejuvenation at its core, this luxurious resort provides an array of personalized wellness experiences catering to your needs. From intimate yoga sessions amidst lush gardens to rejuvenating spa treatments inspired by traditional Japanese healing practices, Aman Kyoto enables you to reconnect with your mind, body, and spirit. The soothing natural surroundings, including bamboo groves, peaceful streams, and serene gardens, further enhance the ambiance of relaxation and well-being, allowing you to truly unwind and find harmony within.
Opened in 2003, Brown Rice was created to nourish busy modern-day people with the blessings of nature. Their vision is to preserve the agricultural beauty of Japan, nurture healthy lives, and pass on the teachings of our ancestors to the next generation. Regarding organic farming, Brown Rice is very particular about farming methods such as repairing soil, protecting water quality, and supporting ecosystem diversity. Their menu mainly centers around brown rice, soybeans, and fresh vegetables purchased that day.
Located at the prestigious United Nations University, this bustling market offers a diverse array of fresh and locally sourced products with an emphasis on organically sourced ingredients. You can engage directly with the farmers and producers, learning about their methods and the stories behind their products. In addition to the abundant food offerings, you will find specialty items like artisanal bread, homemade jams, and unique handmade crafts. The market provides a wonderful opportunity to support local businesses and gain a deeper understanding of the agricultural community in Tokyo.
This organic greengrocer has been around for almost 30 years, offering a wide selection of organic ingredients for the everyday price. Their seasonal organic vegetables are delivered from contracted farmers across the country. Beyond produce, they also have countless options for frozen foods and retort products that use safe ingredients with limited processing, as well as organic baby food and household items.
True to its name, We Are The Farm sources its ingredients from their own organic farm in Chiba Prefecture. Their organic fruits and vegetables are freshly picked in the morning and are presented as the vibrant centerpiece of their menu items. They also have a full meat selection, all small-farm raised, that perfectly balances the fresh vegetables. Lunch and dinner courses are available upon request.
This boutique store is tucked away in the heart of Asakusa, a popular tourist destination with a lively culture embedded in an enterprising spirit. Kurumi-san opened this store to share her love for handmade products and honor the Artisans who create them. With the slogan “a place in the world where you can meet each other,” she believes that Handmade BOX can offer many unique encounters, discoveries, and experiences that connect the world through handmade goods.
Etenraku is located in Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, operated by a husband and wife duo. This store sells original clothing made with hand-woven and hand-spun natural materials, focusing on plant-dyed colors and unique designs. Each handcrafted piece is one of a kind; you will never find two of the same clothing designs. Etenraku sells women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, accessories, and other miscellaneous goods.
Tokyo Kimono Shoes is an innovative brand that takes unused, luxurious kimono garments and gives them a new life by transforming the fabric into stunning footwear. Typically, traditional silk kimonos are only worn on special occasions, then stored away and forgotten. However, Tokyo Kimono Shoes seeks to change this by repurposing them into one-of-a-kind sneakers. Even the most minor details (such as the soles and laces) are sourced and produced within Japan. No two pairs are ever alike, as they are crafted using different kimono and obi, resulting in a distinctive look for each pair.
When visiting BioTop, you are welcomed with a vibrant oasis filled with lush greenery and even a treehouse! This eco-conscious space offers a range of sustainable products, such as organic vegetables, ethically made apparel, and eco-lifestyle items. BioTop offers a beautiful array of conscious curations, from skincare goods to household items. After browsing the distinctive merchandise, you can refuel at one of the cafe’s outdoor tables. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in beauty, fashion, food, or nature, BioTop adds a refreshing and inspiring energy to your Tokyo itinerary.
Located inside the Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Riraku Spa honors both Eastern and Western traditions, offering four types of treatments: acupuncture, Shiatsu, moxibustion, and meridian treatment. The most unique treatment on the menu has to be the “Hinoki Bath,” a dry bath made of fermented powder from the cypress tree grown in the Nara Prefecture.
This Zen experience is a unique plan where you can sit in zazen and enjoy matcha tea at a temple that is usually closed to the public. Explore the spirit of wabi-sabi at Daiji-In, where you are led with a meditation workshop in front of a beautiful garden hosted by a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony (Chanoyu), and share a unique moment to chat with the priest. Learn “Self-maintenance & Yuru Zazen” in Kyoto that even beginners can enjoy with peace of mind.
Chikura is a town in Chiba known for its rich nature, regarded as “the town of flowers and herbs.” Who knew that just a bit further down from the metropolis area lives a secret herb garden along the Boso Peninsula!? On this charming farm, visitors are welcome to explore the various sections categorized by tea, cooking, aromatherapy, and medicinal healing. Chikuri offers an herb-picking experience led by Hiromi-san, a Master Herbalist who guides you through a full day of spending time with the energetics of herbs and their profound healing properties for the body and mind.
Izu Geo Trail takes you through the breathtaking landscapes of the Izu Peninsula, including volcanic craters, rugged coastlines, and lush forests. The trail also offers opportunities to witness stunning panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and nearby islands, immersing you in Japan’s scenic splendor. You’ll also encounter ancient shrines, temples, and even remnants of old fortresses, offering glimpses into Japan’s rich heritage. It is a must-visit destination for those seeking adventure, cultural exploration, and an appreciation for the stunning beauty of Japan, both land and sea.
Located in Kuramae, Tokyo, Kurenboh is a “Meditation Gallery” that bridges the world of Buddhism and modern art. The gallery offers experiences to calm the mind and concentrate entirely on the art at hand (so the visitor can wander mentally within the universe of the Artist). Kurenboh limits to one visitor at a time; the Buddhist philosophy applies itself to modern art. They hope to help visitors experience a Zen state of mind as they search for the deeper meaning of life through quiet self-discovery. This gallery only exhibits a few times a year, by appointment only.