Bear Luxe Travel Offers Immersive Artistic Cultural Experiences in Kanagawa, Japan

Just a short trip from Tokyo lies a region with rich artistic culture immersed in natural beauty.

Kanagawa, the highly accessible Prefecture just south of Tokyo, of which Yokohama is the capital city, is often known for its landmarks and attractions. There’s the Minato Mirai waterfront of Yokohama, Odawara Castle in Odawara City, the Great Buddha of Kamakura, the Owakudani bubbling sulfurous hot springs in Hakone, where the famous black eggs are boiled, and of course, magnificent Mt. Fuji.

Nevertheless, there is much more to see and experience in Kanagawa than just sightseeing. Kanagawa is a cultural mecca that has inspired artists and artisans for centuries. Probably the most famous of these artistic masters was the ukiyoe woodblock printmaker, Hokusai. His iconic “Great Wave of Kanagawa” (Kanagawa oki nami ura)” print is part of a larger collection called Thirty-Six Views of Mt Fuji, which are all internationally renowned.

To get a sense of the prefecture’s rich artistic culture, a visit to the onsen town of Hakone is a must. The area is home to some of the country’s most engaging museums with acclaimed collections of art ( –from painting and sculpture pieces, to outdoor installations – by both Japanese and foreign masters. A visit to the Takashi Imazato-designed Narukawa Art Museum (, which opened in 1988, elevates one’s appreciation of the region’s art offerings. Bear Luxe Travel, Japan ( can arrange a guided tour by none other than the museum’s General Manager, Mr Katsunori Kanagawa. The intimate tour explores the Narukawa’s collection of contemporary Nihonga ( – traditional style Japanese paintings using pure pigments and explains these unique painting materials. The tour concludes with tea and conversation at the museum’s Kisetsufu cafe, whose panoramic glass windows offer a stunning view of Lake Ashi ( and Mt Fuji.

Odawara “Shikki” Lacquerware

Among collectors and connoisseurs, lacquerware or shikki made in the city of Odawara is distinctive for its beauty and technique and remains among the most highly prized. Odawara lacquerware (, a 500-year-old craft tradition, uses the durable Zelkova wood ( and celebrates the beauty of the wood grain by keeping it visible beneath the polished lacquer.

On the exclusive Bear Luxe arranged tour of the tucked away Okawa Woodworking Studio (, master Hajime Okawa – a member of the craft family’s third generation, and among the very few artisans with the title of “Traditional Craftsman” – provides guests with a brief history of Odawara lacquerware and takes them on a behind-the-scenes look at the production process. In addition to the guided tour, guests are invited to participate by polishing and creating their own original patterns on lacquerware. Their original creations will later be carefully packed and mailed to their homes by courier as a special keepsake.

Enoura Observatory: Odawara Arts Foundation

The Enoura Observatory ( site is a hilly area covered with citrus trees in Enoura, in the Kataura district of Odawara, overlooking Sagami Bay, with panoramic views extending to the Boso Peninsula and Oshima Island. The facility was envisioned by contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto and comprises a gallery space, a noh stage, the revived -an tea ceremony room, the restored Muromachi Period (c. 1338-1573) Meigetsu Gate, a strolling Tensho garden, and offices. For the true art lover, Bear Luxe arranges curator-led tours of this spectacular place.

About Bear Luxe Travel JAPAN

Bear Luxe Japan specializes in luxury within Japan, dedicated to providing bespoke travel experiences with a human touch. Operating a network of over 75 independent Japanese luxury hotels, Bear Luxe Japan provides a comprehensive suite of services, including tailor-made itineraries, event planning and seamless payment options.

Full Name
Goldberg Marketing Communications
Phone Number

  Spam Protection