Tokyo to Kyoto, and all the yakitori in between
Ignite your tastebuds on a culinary journey through Japan’s most delicious hotspots. To the glittering skyscrapers of Tokyo and the lush alps of Takayama, slurp on soba and sample some sake as you work your way through the contrasting flavours of the land of the rising sun. This 12-day epicurean adventure takes you from the traditional monastic cuisine of Koya-san to the tantalising takoyaki stalls that line Osaka’s vibrant streets. Master the art of sushi making in an intimate cooking class, savour the flavour of sizzling yakitori in Tokyo's hidden backstreet izakaya, spot geisha with your local leader in Kyoto’s Gion district and eat all of the freshest seafood and sumo-sized feasts you can handle. From temples to tempura, shrines to sashimi – embark on a tour that has all the best Japanese ingredients.
It’s true – Japanese people take incredible pride in their cuisine. Explore a country where food is taken seriously, all the way from the station tonkatsu restaurant to a high-end sushi establishment.
Travel by Shinkansen to the Japanese Alps and taste succulent wagyu beef in the 17th-century Edo period town of Takayama – the definition of a melt-in-your-mouth moment.
Snack on awesome and adventurous street food in the unofficial culinary capital of Osaka and master the skill behind making the famous takoyaki (octopus and pickled ginger in batter).
Discover the traditions, culture and history behind tea in Kyoto during a private ceremony with a long-time practitioner of this art with your small group.
Venture into mountainous Koya-san, spending the night in a monastery and discovering shojin ryori – a traditional vegetarian Buddhist meal with over 800 years of history.
This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. In many countries, dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, please advise your agent at time of booking to receive information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed.
This itinerary is a great overview of Japan, however there is a lot to take in – especially in Tokyo and Kyoto. If you wish to spend more time exploring these cities, beyond what is included in your itinerary, we recommend extending your stay at the start and/or finish of your trip. We are confident you won't run out of things to see or do!
Please be aware that the wholesale fish market, previously located at Tsukiji, moved to a new location in Toyosu in late 2018. However, as part of this tour, we continue to visit the old, atmospheric Tsukiji Outer Market, which still functions as a fresh fish and produce market for the public, but we do not visit the new wholesale market.
In some destinations you may be staying in a ryokan, which is a Japanese-style inn. It’s a great taste of tradition, however not everyone finds futon mattresses on the tatami mat floor, tiny bathrooms and proximity to other guests as comfortable as more western-style hotels and beds. Read more about ryokans in the ‘Accommodation’ section of the Essential Trip Information.
A good degree of fitness is recommended for this trip as there is a lot of walking involved (up to 10 kilometres each day), particularly around Kyoto which is best seen on foot. Bring comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to spend most of the day on your feet.
We recommend packing light and smart for this trip as you'll be required to carry your own luggage between train stations and to hotels, which can include going up and down multiple flights of stairs in crowded areas. There’s an optional luggage transfer offered on this trip so if you’d like to take up this option, bring a small backpack or overnight bag for one night.
Trip departures are unavailable.
There are currently no scheduled departures on our Japan Real Food Adventure trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A single supplement is currently not available for this trip due to limited rooms at many of our properties.
2. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so that we can ensure you’ll enjoy this trip.
3. We are currently unable to offer pre and post tour accommodation at our trip hotels in Japan. Should you be arriving earlier or departing later, please make your own arrangements at a hotel of your choice.
4. Due to the rapid increase in tourism in Japan it has been necessary to go outside our traditional tour leader sources. As a result, our passionate, professional and trained tour leaders may be local Japanese people or long-term foreign residents in Japan.
5. A 7 day Japan Rail Pass is included in the price of your trip (validated on Day 3). For those wishing to stay and travel longer in Japan after the trip, a Japan Rail Pass extension (total 14 days or 21 days) is available for purchase at time of booking. Please note that you can't purchase the rail pass or extension after arriving in Japan.
6. It is essential you pack light and compact for rail travel in Japan. There are size restrictions for luggage on Shinkansen trains. Luggage over 160–250 cm may require an additional JPY1000 fee per train journey. Luggage over 251 cm will NOT be permitted on the Shinkansen trains. Please notify your group leader at the welcome meeting if your luggage is over 160–250 cm so they can make the necessary arrangements.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.View Essential Trip Information