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For anyone interested in Japanese food and culture, this incredible holiday is the prefect way to discover the real Japan and taste the flavours and unique dishes that make this place so special. Join a local guide on a tour of the bustling and colourful food markets of Tokyo, learn the art of Soba making in a masterclass, taste the food of the Buddhist monks in Koyasan and savour local delicacies such as Wagyu beef and even experimental tempura. Try Hida beef sushi in Takayama, roll sushi in Kyoto and eat like the exuberant locals in Osaka.
Day 1 - 3: Tokyo
Join a local guide to visit Tokyo’s world famous Tsukiji Outer Market, filled with traditional shops, local specialities and the best sushi restaurants. Stop for a break in the beautiful teahouse Nakajima-no-Ochaya within the popular Hamarikyu Japanese Garden before a scenic cruise along the river to Asakusa, the city’s oldest Geisha district and home to the Buddhist temple Senso-ji. Asakusa is also known for it’s tempura, so stop at one of the local restaurants for a delicious lunch, and swing by a former black market, now a bustling foodies alley filled with delicious local snacks. The following day brings a hands-on culinary adventure with a soba making workshop at the Tsukiji Soba Academy.
Day 4 & 5: Takayama
Today’s journey begins with the high-speed bullet train, followed by the limited express train Wide View, which as it’s name suggests, offers panoramic views and is considered to be one of Japan’s most scenic rail journeys. On arrival we recommend strolling around Shitamachi, where the streets are lined with ancient houses and sake breweries offering a taste of the local drop. Hida beef sushi is famous here and the local food stalls often have long queues, but it is worth the wait. You may also decide to take the bus to Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage site, famous for its steep thatched rooved farmhouses, intricately designed to withstand the snow.
Stay in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese-style inn furnished with low tables and chairs, sliding shoji doors, and tatami flooring.
Day 6 - 8: Kyoto
Travel by train to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital and home to around 2000 shrines and temples. The following day, enjoy a guided tour of the city, including Nijo Castle, Ryoan-ji Temple and its rock garden, the golden pavilion and the Buddhist temple Kiyomizu-dera with breath-taking views. Finally, stroll the busy streets of Higashiyama District, with small eateries, shops and pottery centres.
Enjoy a relaxing morning, before setting off on your guided food tour to Nishiki covered market, where your guide will explain how these local ingredients are used in authentic Japanese cooking and select ingredients for this afternoon’s cooking class. Join your culinary expert to learn how to make rolled sushi, miso soup and a Japanese fruit salad using traditional techniques.
Day 9: Koyasan
The journey to Koyasan is a real highlight of the trip, with the final part of the journey taking a cable car which offers spectacular views as it ascends the mountains. Get an insight into Japanese Buddhism, visit the head temple and Japan’s largest rock garden, then taste Buddhist cuisine in the temple lodge.
Day 10 - 12: Osaka
Take the train to Osaka, known as Japan’s kitchen, where the local’s motto is kuiadore, meaning to eat oneself bankrupt, and Osaka certainly provides the opportunity to do just that. An early evening flavours of Osaka tour provides a guided tasting experience and a slice of Osaka’s food scene, from street food to speciality supreme wagyu beef and experimental tempura.
From £3,899 per person
Truly Individual Holiday Includes:
Price based on two people sharing accommodation. Any element of this holiday can be tailor-made to suit you. Simply enquire below!
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