Discover the exquisite delights of Japan’s food and culture. From frenetic fish-markets and noodle-making in Tokyo to the regional delights of Osaka, Takayama and Kyoto. We take you to the heart of each region with real cultural experiences to get you under the surface of this fascinating country.
Start early for Tsukiji Fish Market and spend the morning at this hive of activity. Stroll around Hamarikyu-tien, a garden oasis surrounded by a sea of skyscrapers. Take a walk to ‘Kitchenware Town’. Visit the Tsukiji Soba Academy, home of Master Chef Akira Inouye, and learn the secrets of making soba, the classic buckwheat noodle of Japan. Board the famous shinkansen, or bullet train, to Takayama, a beautifully preserved mountain town. Sample the prized sake of the area at a local brewery. Indulge in a kaiseki, a beautifully presented meal consisting of many small courses. Next, to Osaka, widely regarded as ‘Japan’s kitchen’ to dine at a top restaurant. Visit Nara, the 8th century capital with its many temples and shrines and tame deer. Take a stunning scenic train ride to Mt. Koya, the center of Shingon Buddhism. Stay at a Japanese temple lodging and be served shojin ryori, the traditional vegetarian Buddhist cuisine. Rise-early to witness the monks chanting their prayers. Discover Kyoto with your knowledgeable local guide. Visit Nijo Castle, famous for its ‘chirping’ nightingale floors, and stroll through Higashiyama, whose shops sell Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles. Meet your cooking guide and go to the fascinating Nishiki market. Wander to a former sake brewery and sample the local sake. Head to a traditional wooden townhouse for a cooking class and learn how to make classic Japanese dishes.