Japan Culinary Tour

  • Duration : 13 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Miyajima, Kyoto

Discover Japan with this tour that will awaken all your senses!

Embark upon an unforgettable gastronomic journey by visiting Japan's most beautiful sites and by participating in numerous activities: discovery of tea fields, a guided tour of the Japanese countryside, a visit to a typical market, an evening of gastronomy...


2 week itinerary 

  • Departure city/Airport : Tokyo (Narita : NRT or Haneda : HND)
  • Tokyo (4 nights)
  • Osaka (2 nights)
  • Kobe (1 night)
  • Miyajima (1 night)
  • Kyoto (4 nights, including 1 day in Nara)
  • Return city/Airport : Kyoto (Kansai International Airport : KIX)

Please find below the itinerary details.

Tour length : 12 nights / 13 days (+ 1 day at the beginning if you leave from Europe)

PLEASE NOTE: The departure and end dates shown on this page only apply to your stay in Japan. You must therefore leave Europe the day before the first day of your tour. The date of your return flight and that of your return to Europe are identical due to the time difference.

Example : 

  • Departure from Europe : January 1st
  • Arrival in Tokyo (= the date to be selected in the calendar when booking) : January 2nd
  • Return flight from KIX airport / Return to Europe : January 14th

Please note that flights are not included in the price of your tour.

This tour information was last updated on May 21, 2024.


Why this trip to Japan ?

  1. A tour to discover all the gastronomy through several activities
  2. In Tokyo, you will participate in a tour of the typical restaurants of the Shinjuku district
  3. Then, move on to Osaka, a gastronomic city !
  4. Possibility of travelling to Kobe to taste the famous "Kobe beef"
  5. Reach Hiroshima and the island of Miyajima where you will spend a night in a ryokan
  6. Kyoto will offer you all its culinary refinement through several themed guided tours
  7. 5 culinary activities included: visit of the tea fields, the countryside, the market 
  8. Enjoy unlimited internet access thanks to your pocket Wi-Fi
  9. If needed, contact our bilingual Japanese/English-speaking assistance team available 7/7
  10. A number of guided days or other optional activities are available 
  11. Benefit from the expertise of Japan Experience, European leading travel agency in Japan.

Your trip in detail

Itinerary

  • Day 1 : Wake up in Tokyo 東京

    Arrival at Tokyo airport (Narita NRT or Haneda HND).
    Welcome to Japan! Yokoso 日本へようこそ!

    Welcome through customs by our airport assistant, who will give you all your travel documents and your Pocket WiFi. Unaccompanied transfer from the airport to Tokyo (see details).

    The transfer is done in a shared shuttle or bus, with other guests departing for the same hotel or a hotel close to yours. These transfers depart between 1.5 and 3 hours after your scheduled flight arrival, and stops may be made before your hotel.

    If you would like a private, non-stop transfer directly after the arrival of your flight, feel free to take the "Private Taxi from the Airport" option.

    Check in at Hotel OMO3 Tokyo Akasaka by Hoshino Resorts or similar category 3* hotel (rooms available from 3pm).

  • Day 2 : First steps in the capital

    What to do in Tokyo on your first day

    We recommend that you start your visit to Tokyo slowly by visiting the following districts:
    - Harajuku, the avant-garde district ; 
    - Meiji Jingû, the imperial sanctuary ;
    - Takeshita-Dôri, a must-see street in the capital ; 
    - Omotesandô, Tokyo's Champs-Élysées ; 
    - Shibuya and its impressive crossroads.

    One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can also accompany you to visit the classic sights of Tokyo (optional, from 9am to 5pm).

    In the evening (included activities), your guide will whisk you off for an authentic Japanese dinner at local "izakaya" restaurants, frequented by locals and rarely seen by tourists.

  • Day 3 : The big loop

    For this second day of sightseeing in Tokyo, we recommend the following "loop".

    Start at Tokyo Central Station, with its original architecture, then head off to visit :
    - Ginza, Tokyo's chic district ;
    - Tsukiji, the small outdoor food market ;
    - Hama-rikyû, the Japanese garden between Tokyo's buildings ;
    - Asakusa, a traditional district and place of pilgrimage, accessible by cruise on the Sumida river ;
    - Sensô-ji, the oldest Buddhist temple in the Japanese capital ;
    - Tokyo Sky Tree, 643 metres high, with its panoramic view of Tokyo at sunset.

    Between Hama-rikyû Garden and Asakusa, why not enjoy a cruise on the Sumida River ?

  • Day 4 : Back to the future

    There are still many places to discover according to your taste ! Ueno, Yanaka, Odaiba...

    Don't hesitate to book an English-speaking guide for the day (optional) to visit Tokyo off the beaten path!

    Make the most of our many optional activities:
    - Are you looking more for fun? Ghibli Museum, Disneyland or Hello Kitty Park are waiting for you!
    - Do you prefer a themed activity? Book a visit on an architecture tour, gardens, home cooking or Noh's theatre.
    - Chasing thrills? Let yourself be tempted by a helicopter ride or a sumo tournament (in season)!

    If you wish to continue the visits at your own pace, Kamakura is the right place for you. This small coastal town just 45 minutes by train (no reservations required) from Tokyo was once a shogun capital. The great Buddha of Kamakura is the symbol of the city. Our English-speaking guides can help you discover this city full of history.

  • Day 5 : First steps in the capital of Kansai

    In the morning, head to Osaka by shinkansen (about 2h, direct, included in your package).

    Check-in at Hotel Intergate Osaka Umeda or same category hotel 3* (rooms available from 3pm).

    What is there to do in Osaka in 2 days ? We recommend that you start your visit to Osaka slowly, in the northern and eastern districts :

    - Osaka's medieval castle, with its park full of plum and cherry trees ;
    - The city centre and Nakanoshima Island, with its rose park surrounded by buildings ;
    - Utsubo Park, a cool oasis in the business district ;
    - Visit Umeda, the temple of Japanese shopping ;
    - Finish off with the Umeda Sky building at dusk for a 360° view of Kansai (including Kyoto on a clear day!).

    One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can also accompany you to visit the classic sights of Osaka (optional, from 9am to 5pm). 

  • Day 6 : Gastronomic introduction

    For your second day in Osaka, we recommend the following itinerary :

    - Osaka Kaiyûkan Aquarium, the world's largest aquarium in terms of volume ;
    - The Tennôji district and its Shitennô-ji Buddhist temple, one of the oldest in Japan ;
    - Spa World, Japan's largest thermal baths (onsen) ;
    - Shinseikai, with its retro charm ;
    - DenDen machi, the technologeek village ;
    - Finish off with Dôtonbori, the liveliest district in Japan.

    Immerse yourself in the vibrant Namba district and Dôtonbori Street, Osaka's famed "foodie paradise"! Explore the countless restaurants that earned Osaka its title as Japan's culinary capital. You can sample Osaka's many specialities: takoyaki, okonomiyaki, among others.

  • Day 7 : Kobe

    In the morning, take a local train from JR Osaka station to JR Kobe station. The journey takes about 30-40 minutes.

    Head to Kobe Harborland for a waterfront experience. Why not visiting the Kobe Maritime Museum and learn about the city's seafaring history? Relax at Meriken Park and admire the harbor views.

    For lunch, immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Kobe Chinatown, one of Japan's largest. Savor a delicious Chinese lunch and explore the unique shops.

    In the afternoon, take a scenic ride up Mount Rokko on the Kobe Ropeway. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Kobe and the harbor from the top. Explore the beautiful Rokko Garden Terrace with its flowers, plants, and sculptures.

    Overnight stay in Kobe.

  • Day 8 : The Sacred Island

    In the morning, send your luggage to your hotel in Kyoto (details in your travel diary, check with the hotel reception) so that you can travel light for your night in Miyajima.

    Take the shinkansen to Miyajima (about 1h30) then then boat (20 minutes), both included in your Kansai Hiroshima pass.

    While attracting more visitors, the coastline boasts captivating beauty. Don't miss Miyajima, a sacred island (twinned with the Mont Saint-Michel), offering a tranquil escape steeped in Shinto tradition.

    Reach your ryôkan near the island's ferry terminal. The time to explore the island has come ! Its Itsukushima-jinja shrine and the great Ôtorii gate built into the sea are definitely a must-see. Take the cable car up to Mount Misen and then descend on foot. A breathtaking view of Hiroshima Bay awaits you!

    An opportunity to taste all of the region's specialities, most of which are based on seafood. A truly refined experience! At the ryôkan, you will be treated to a tasty traditional Japanese dinner before retiring to your tatami room.

  • Day 9 : The former capital

    Traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryôkan.

    In the morning, make a brief stop in Hiroshima (30 minutes by train from Miyajimaguchi Ferry Station, included in your Kansai Hiroshima pass) and visit the Peace Park and its memorial.

    From Hiroshima, head to Kyoto by shinkansen (about 2h30, included in your package). Once arrived, check into the RAKURO 京都 by THE SHARE HOTELS or equivalent (rooms available from 3pm).

    You have 4 days to visit Kyoto. Start in the afternoon in the historic Gion district, close to your accommodation :
    - Kiyomizu-Dera, the impressive water temple ;
    - The historic lanes of Sannen-zaka & Ninnen-zaka ;
    - Kôdai-ji, Kyoto's temple of maple trees and bamboo.

  • Day 10 : Between temples and deer

    For your second day in Kyoto, we recommend taking the 50 minute journey to Nara, included in your package.

    Visit Nara, Japan's first fixed capital in the 8th century.
    Discover :
    - The Kasuga-taisha Shinto shrine and its thousands of lanterns
    - Tôdai-ji, with its great bronze Buddha and the imposing Nan-Daimon gate ; 
    - Kôfuku-ji temple and its delightful pagoda.

    Return to Kyoto and stop to see the sunset at the Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto's immense shrine of 10,000 torii.

    If you wish to be accompanied on this day, one of our English-speaking guides will reveal all the secrets of Japan's first capital (optional).

  • Day 11 : On the Tea Road

    Immerse yourself in the world of matcha (green tea powder) on a captivating day trip to Uji! This morning, you'll swap the city lights for rolling green hills, venturing by private vehicle to Uji, the heart of Japan's finest matcha production. Explore sprawling tea fields, meet passionate local growers, and gain insights into the cultivation and processing of this iconic green tea powder. 

    But the highlight? A delightful tasting session where you'll savor different varieties of matcha, learning to appreciate their subtle nuances. This refreshing journey promises a memorable glimpse into Japanese culture and its deep connection to tea

    Return to your Kyoto hotel for a relaxing overnight stay.

  • Day 12 : Market and Cooking class

    Explore Kyoto's lively Nishiki Market with a local guide in the morning! Sample delicious local dishes (lunch included in your package) and learn about traditional Japanese cuisine and Kyoto's unique food culture. Your guide will share their passion for Japan and help you navigate the market like a pro!

    In the afternoon, unleash your inner chef in a fun bentô cooking workshop! Learn the secrets of crafting delicious and beautiful bento boxes – a Japanese art form both practical and pleasing. Your instructors will guide you through essential skills like preparing dashi "broth" and proper seasoning, empowering you to recreate these dishes at home. 

    But the fun doesn't stop there! Discover the fascinating history and cultural significance of bento boxes, and learn the art of presentation – a key element in Japanese cuisine. Prepare to create a visually stunning and delicious bento – a perfect souvenir of your culinary adventure!

  • Day 13 : Sayonara, and see you next time!

    Take a direct transfer to Kansai International Airport (included but not accompanied).

    This transfer is by shuttle or shared bus, with other customers departing from the same hotel or a hotel close to yours. These transfers arrive between 3 hours and 1.5 hours before the actual departure of your flight, and stops can be made before you arrive at the airport.

    If you prefer a private transfer at a time of your choice, direct to the airport and with no intermediate stops, select the "Private Taxi to Airport" option.

    Return flight to Europe, North America, Australia.

    Don't hesitate to extend your trip by a few days, in Kansai or elsewhere... Get in touch and we would be happy to advise you!

    Included in your self-guided tour

  • Accommodation

    - 4 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of Tokyo, close to public transport

    - 2 nights in a 3* hotel  in Osaka

    - 1 night in 3* hotel  in Kobe

    - 1 night in a 3* ryôkan in Miyajima, traditional half-board

    - 4 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of Kyoto, close to public transport

    The basic rate includes a room with double bed in the hotels.

  • Transport

    - Airport transfer to Tokyo HND or NRT

    - Return airport transfer Kyoto > Kansai International Airport KIX

    - Prepaid public transport card

    - Shinkansen Tokyo > Osaka, seats reserved in standard class

    - Kansai Hiroshima Pass for 5 days

  • Experiences and meals

    - Airport meet and greet 

    - Traditional dinner and breakfast included at the ryôkan in Miyajima

    - Night guided culinary tour in Tokyo

    - Guided tour of Nishiki, Kyoto's culinary market

    - Guided day trip on the "Tea Road"

  • Additional services

    - Unlimited internet access with Pocket WiFi

    - Complete digital travel guide sent before your departure

    - Luggage transfer between your hotels in Kobe > Kyoto

    - Telephone assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in English and Japanese bilingual. The number will be given to you in your travel pack. This phone number is valid for telephone calls and also for WhatsApp.

  • Not included in the price of your trip

    - Flights Europe <> Japan

    - Optional insurance

    - Personal expenses, including meals (breakfasts can sometimes be added as an option at your hotel reception, see details). For other meals, you will find addresses selected by us in your travel pack.

    - Public transport once your transport cards have run out (see details)

    - Everything not mentioned in the section "Included in your tour".

More about your trip

Your tour :

  • The prices displayed on this page may vary according to the exchange rate of the Japanese ¥.
  • Unfortunately, this tour is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.
  • Children and babies accepted. From 3 to 11 years old a child rate is offered. In each accommodation, a standard adult bed will be offered to them, and a standard seat will be allocated to them in transport. From 0 to 2 years old inclusive, a "baby" rate is offered. This price corresponds to the allocation of a cot in the majority of the accommodation of the chosen circuit. However, we cannot guarantee a baby cot in each accommodation.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • This programme is subject to change due to circumstances such as weather conditions or any other case of force majeure. Please note that due to the current circumstances, any information mentioned is subject to change or modification.
  • Your travel documents will be given to you as follows:
    • Travel diary by email 3 weeks before departure, and other electronic documents 
    • Paper documents (airport transfer ticket, transportation card, Kansai Hiroshima Pass voucher) and Pocket WiFi upon arrival at the airport by our airport assistant.
  • Note : In very rare cases, mostly in very high season, steps might be reversed. You will be informed in your mini travel-guide. Thanks for your kind understanding.

Your accommodation :

  • Some hotels may ask you to pay a tourist tax on arrival. This depends on the city and even the hotel, as some do not include it in the booking price. Normally, it is 200¥/night/person (about £1.37/1.93$) but can be slightly higher in 4* hotels. It must be paid in cash at the hotel reception. For traditional Japan Experience accommodations, it is included in the initial tour price.
  • Room size: in Japan, a densely populated country where everything is compact, 3-star luxury hotels are of very good quality but the rooms are often quite narrow (12 to 20m2/129 sq ft to 215 sq ft) depending on the hotel. Please note the size of the single room, between 10 and 16m2 (107sq ft and 172 fq ft). For more comfort, you can choose our luxury 4* accommodation upgrade option. (This option is only valid for the hotel in Tokyo, not for the traditional accommodation in Kyoto).
  • Double room: Rooms for two people in western hotels have 2 single beds (twin rooms) by default, which can usually be joined together. As an option, you can select a double room instead of a twin if you prefer a double bed.
  • Single room: People travelling alone and wishing to book a single room must pay a supplement at the time of booking. The single room supplement is compulsory for orders with an odd number of participants. Please note that if you request more than two people in a single room, the single room supplement will be applied to all accommodation except for the ryokans (3 and 4*). In fact, as this is traditional accommodation, people with the same reservation are grouped together in spacious rooms for up to 5 people.
  • 3-person room: If there are 3, 5 or more of you and you do not select the single supplement, a triple room will be allocated to you.
  • In the case of a group order (> 5 people), it is possible, depending on hotel availability, that not all members of the group will be accommodated in the same hotel. Nevertheless, we aim to keep you close. 
  • Names of the hotels : The names given on the site are for information only. In the event of unavailability, an establishment of equivalent standing will be scheduled. Hotels, corresponding to local standards, are given as an indication and may be changed on site for hotels of a similar category.
  • In the ryôkan, the rooms have a private sink and toilet. The single-sex collective Japanese baths ("onsen") then act as shared bathrooms, with showers and thermal baths. They are freely accessible, at the times in force on the site. These baths are often not accessible to people with clearly visible tattoo(s). The latter are invited to contact us to evaluate the possibilities of accommodation with private baths or shared baths that can be reserved. The 4* ryôkan (see 4* option) have comfortable futons raised on either western beds in a traditional tatami room. The bathrooms and toilets of the 4* ryôkan are private.

Your transport :

  • Flights are not included in this tour. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to include flights in your order: Flights in economy class with stopovers or direct flights, eco-premium or business air upgrades, provincial departures or abroad: we will be able to advise you.
  • The tour departure and end dates presented on this page relate to your stay in Japan. You will arrive in Japan via Tokyo (Narita or Haneda airports) and depart from Kansai airport (KIX, not Itami ITM). On departure, you will have to leave the day before Europe and land at 6:30 p.m. at the most to make the most of the airport services of your circuit (reception and transfer to Tokyo).
  • The return takes place the same day, taking into account the favorable time difference, with a minimum take-off time at 9 a.m. Please do not hesitate to consult us for any uncertainty or need for precision in the choice of international flights.
  • If the flights have been purchased by your care without the intervention of Japan Experience, it is necessary to send us by mail 1 month before your departure your flight information (flight number, airport, date and time of arrival) to allow us 'Organize your welcome and airport transfer.
  • Airport Transfers: The shared limousine bus leaves from the airport and stops either in front of your hotel or at a stop within 1-15 minutes walk from your hotel. Our airport assistant in Tokyo will drive you to the platform to pick up the airport transfer. The transfer to the hotel is unassisted. If you wish to be accompanied from the airport to your hotel reception, please choose the option "Accompanied Airport Transfer". This transfer is done in a shared shuttle or bus, with other clients leaving for the same hotel or a hotel close to yours. These transfers leave between 1.5 and 3 hours after your flight's scheduled arrival and stops can be made before your hotel. If you would like a private, non-stop transfer directly after the actual arrival of your flight, feel free to take the "Private Taxi from the Airport" option. Please note: due to the many changes in flight schedules by the airlines, if the airline notifies you of a change in arrival time less than 72 hours before your departure, and if it exceeds 45 minutes, we cannot guarantee your airport shuttle. You will then have to take a taxi at your own expense, requesting a refund from your airline for abusive schedule changes. The same applies to your return journey: 72 hours before your return flight, we cannot change the shuttle schedule. Similarly, you will have to take a taxi booked with the hotel, at your own expense, with reimbursement procedures with the airline company being the only solution. Japan Experience is not responsible for last minute schedule changes.The same applies to the return trip from Osaka to KIX airport.
  • Included in your tour is a pre-charged transport prepayment card of ¥ 1,500 (around £10.30 / 14.54$) (suica or Pasmo brand); Shinkansen tickets for Tokyo > Osaka, seats reserved in standard class, and a Kansai Hiroshima Pass for 5 days. These cards should cover a large part of your trips during the stay. Upon expiry of the 1,500¥ Transport Prepayment Card, or if the line you are travelling on is not covered by your Japan Rail Pass, any travel will be at your own expense by recharging your pre-paid transport card (at vending machines in all stations and metro stations). 

Your activities :

  • Airport reception is in English. Your airport assistant will be waiting for you at the customs exit holding a sign with the name of the reservation. They will give you your travel documents and take you to your airport transfer. They will not accompany you to Tokyo (this is possible, but optional).
  • The Tokyo Culinary Tour, Nishiki Tour, and Tea Route are group tours of maximum 12 people conducted in English. All expenses (transportation, meals) are included, except for admission fees for sightseeing spots. More details on the meeting point in your travel pack.
  • The bento cooking class will teach you how to cook the famous Japanese lunchbox, both practical and delicious at the same time. Your instructors will teach you the basic secrets of Japanese cooking, such as dashi and seasoning, so that you can learn how to make them at home. More details on the location of the workshop in your travel pack.

Your meals :

  • Breakfasts which are not included in your package can be added at the reception when you arrive at the hotel. However, you will find many cafés near your hotel serving copious breakfasts, often tastier than those in the hotels, which sometimes have tight schedules and are predominantly savoury. However, if you would like to add breakfast to your offer when you make your reservation, you can select it as an option.
  • Traditional Japanese dinner and Japanese breakfast (mostly savoury) are included in your Miyajima tour. Do not hesitate to indicate any dietary requirements you may have, we will pass them on to the ryôkan so that they can take them into account when planning the meals. If the ryôkan does not take any of these dietary requirements into account, we cannot be held responsible and no compensation will be issued.

Your additional services:

  • A pocket wifi is included in your tour. It allows unlimited high-speed internet access. Your Pocket WiFi will be given to you at the airport of arrival.
  • It comes with a small booklet to operate your device (don't panic: simple operation) and a prepaid envelope to return your device at the end of your stay. Your pocket wifi will work naturally until the last day of your trip to Japan.
  • A maximum of 5 devices can be connected to a pocket wifi (phone, tablet, computer).
  • A single pocket wifi is provided for a circuit order of 1 to 5 people. For an order of 6 people or more, a second pocket wifi will be added automatically and at no extra cost to your reservation.

When you buy, Japan Experience offers you 2 types of protection:

Japan Experience Flex : 
Cancellation insurance before departure under conditions.

Japan Experience Protect :
Pre-departure cancellation insurance under conditions and on-site assistance under conditions. 

 

 

Frequently asked questions

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Japan Culinary Tour

From
$1,925 per person - 13 days

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