Last Minute Deal Intrepid | Japan Real Food Adventure

Take your tastebuds on an 11-day culinary journey through Japan’s most delicious hotspots, relishing the flavours of the land of the rising sun. Uncover the secrets of sushi in Tokyo, pick local produce with an expert in Kanazawa, feast on plant-based monastic cuisine in Koya-san, meet local farmers in Uji and go on a food crawl in Osaka. Take part in cooking classes, cooking demonstrations and market visits, feasting on local delights along the way. From temples to tempura, shrines to sashimi, seafood markets to sake breweries, you’ll join a local leader on a food-focused adventure that has all the best Japanese ingredients.

Theme

Food

  • Highlights

    • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.
    • Feast on delicious Japanese cuisine, from street food to restaurant favourites – including ekiben, sushi, matcha, takoyaki, okonomiyaki and fresh seafood.
    • Learn the tricks of the trade when you take part in a hands-on sushi-making class in Tokyo, pick local produce from the market before a cooking class in Kanazawa and make your own okonomiyaki in Osaka.
    • Meet local farmers during a day trip from Kyoto to Uji, the home of green tea production. Tour the green tea and matcha farms, enjoy a hot cuppa, then tour a vegetable farm full of fresh, organic produce.
    • Sip on sake, the national drink of Japan, during a visit to a local sake brewery in Kyoto. Learn how sake is made and maybe even pick up a bottle (or two) to take home.
    • When you’re not busy eating, enjoy iconic experiences like wandering the streets of Tokyo, Kenroku-en garden in Kyoto, the glowing signs of Osaka’s Dotonbori district, learning Buddhist history in Koya-san and walking through Kyoto’s Gion district.
  • What's Included

    Meals

    10 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners

    Transport

    Bus , Train , Bullet train

    Accommodation

    Hotel (9 nights), Temple (1 night)

    Included Activities

    • Kanazawa – Chaya gai district walking tour
    • Kanazawa - Home cooking class
    • Kanazawa - Kenroku-en Garden
    • Kanazawa - Leader-led orientation walk
    • Kanazawa - Omicho market tour
    • Koya-san - Okuno-in Mausoleum
    • Kyoto - Fushimi Inari Shrine
    • Kyoto - Gion District walk
    • Kyoto - Leader-led orientation walk
    • Kyoto - Nishiki Market walk
    • Kyoto - Sake Brewery & tasting
    • Osaka – Depachika visit
    • Osaka - Dotonbori Tour
    • Osaka – Tour of Kuromon Market and Doguyasuji Arcade
    • Tokyo - Art of Sushi-making class
    • Tokyo - Asakusa guided walk & Sensoji Temple
    • Tokyo - Tsukiji Outer Market & Sushi Tasting
    • Tokyo - Welcome dinner
    • Uji - Green tea & vegetable farm visit with tastings
  • Pricing

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  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: Tokyo - Konnichiwa! Welcome to Japan. Between the freshest ingredients and generations of culinary know-how, this is a country that celebrates the art of eating well. Your adventure begins in Tokyo – a food lover’s dream. You’ll have a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight, where you’ll meet your local leader and fellow travellers. If you get to Tokyo with time to spare, you may like to head out to explore the different sides of the city, from fascinating museums to neighbourhood backstreets lined with izakaya and karaoke bars. After your meeting, it’s time to get acquainted with local cuisine over a welcome dinner with your group. Fancy some perfectly grilled yakitori skewers or super tasty soba noodles? You’re in the right place. Once dinner’s done and stomachs are full, maybe head out to explore Shibuya's backstreets in search of sake or a couple of local cocktails.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: Tokyo - Kick off the day with a walk around the famous Tsukiji Outer Market, where seafood from Tokyo's largest wholesale fish market is delivered and ready to sample daily. After, learn the art of sushi making firsthand – it's the quintessential Edo-era specialty and possibly Japan's most famous culinary gift to the world. Hear about the history of sushi, how to choose the best fish, learn proper slicing and rice-making techniques and sample some seriously fresh sushi. Then, enjoy free time to explore the historic Asakusa area. Stop by Senso-ji, the city’s oldest temple, founded almost 1400 years ago. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then Asakusa is the place to get your sugar fix. Try fried sweet potatoes tossed in sugar and soy or sweet red bean paste sandwiched between baked pancake batter (yes, it’s as good as it sounds!). Tonight, why not head to Tsukishima to tuck into one of Tokyo's most traditional dishes, monjayaki (a type of savoury pancake).

     

    Day - 3

    Location: Kanazawa - Take the train towards Japan's northern coastline to the historic city of Kanazawa. Having avoided much of the destruction of World War 2, it's a place where modern and traditional Japan go hand in hand. On the train, you’ll be treated to ekiben for lunch – a bento box popularly sold on trains in Japan – yum! When you arrive in Kanazawa, join your leader on an orientation walk around the city, followed by a visit to the Chaya Gai district. With its well-preserved streets and old wooden tea houses, this is where geisha perform music and dance for small private functions. In the evening, join your leader for an optional dinner to sample local dishes bursting with regional flavour, particularly fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan. The unique blend of warm and cold currents creates the perfect conditions for a wide variety of fish and shellfish year-round, including the famed Kano crabs and sweet prawns.

     

    Day - 4

    Location: Kanazawa - This morning after breakfast, visit the lush, 17th-century Kenroku-en Garden – a highly intricate landscaped acreage of bridges, ponds, waterfalls, fountains and tea houses that are beautiful no matter the season. Perhaps stop for a cup of freshly whisked matcha tea on your stroll through the extensive grounds. Then, take a walk around Omicho market – the hub of Kanazawa’s food culture. Explore the stalls and seek out the best seasonal ingredients, learning how to spot the freshest seafood and vegetables along the way. Then head to a local home for a cooking class with an expert foodie. Pick up some tips and tricks on how to cook local cuisine, learn the history of Kanazawa’s favourite foods and then enjoy the fruits of your labour for lunch. This afternoon, you’re free to explore Kanazawa at your leisure.

     

    Day - 5

    Location: Kyoto - Today, you’ll make your way by train to Kyoto – a city regarded as the cultural heart of Japan. Before Tokyo, Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1000 years. When you arrive, get acquainted with this gorgeous city on an orientation walk with your leader, making your way to the narrow streets of Kyoto's charming Gion district. Here, you’ll learn about the city’s geisha culture. If you’re lucky, you might spot geiko (geisha) or maiko (apprentice geisha) in their elaborate dress and makeup. Join your leader for an optional dinner to sample some of Kyoto's trademark cuisine, like nishin soba (soba noodles with dried herring) or gyu katsu (beef cutlet).

     

    Day - 6

    Location: Kyoto - Today, gear up for a fun daytrip to Uji – this small city between Kyoto and Nara is a cultural hub famous for its green tea. The Ujigami Shrine is the oldest extant shrine in Japan and was constructed here (along with the historic Byodoin Temple) during the height of the Fujiwara clan’s power, between 794 and 1192. Known for its superior quality since the 1100s, a hot cup of Uji’s green tea is a must-have while you’re here, so you’ll be taken to a local farm for an insight into the growing and harvesting process. The farm grows and produces its own green tea and matcha, and you’ll get to taste a cup of the finest! Find out which other popular Japanese vegetables they're growing - perhaps radishes or turnips. Learn about the agricultural industry firsthand from the local farmer, then sit down for a bento box lunch with your group. Return back to Kyoto for a free evening.

     

    Day - 7

    Location: Kyoto - Tuck into some breakfast this morning, then head out for another day of exploration around Kyoto. You’ll first visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, where you’ll have some time to wander through the iconic torii gates. Snap a few pics, then refuel your energy at a local sake brewery, where you might like to pick up a bottle to take home. Continue on for a food crawl through the glass-covered Nishiki Market. This 400-year-old market is the perfect spot to pick up a few local street eats for lunch, so you’ll follow your local leader and pick out a few favourites – maybe try tako-tamago (translating to octopus egg, this must-try is a savoury surprise of baby octopus with a quails egg inserted into the head after cooking!), beef sushi, matcha sweets or tamagoyaki (an omelette filled with cabbage, carrots, green and white onions and pickled ginger). The rest of the day is free to enjoy Kyoto, whether that means walking off your food baby or heading to a local park for a rest in the sun.

     

    Day - 8

    Location: Koya-san - Rise early, hop on the train and venture into an important region for Shingon Buddhism. Founded in the 8th century by the revered Buddhist saint Kobo Daishi, Koya-san has been a centre for religious activities for over 1200 years. When you arrive, visit Okuno-in – the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi. Your unique accommodation tonight is in one of the many temples still operating here. You’ll stay alongside Buddhist monks and follow their routine of evening meditation and morning prayers. Tonight, enjoy an introduction to shojin ryori, or monastic cuisine, prepared by novice monks. Shojin ryori was popularised in Japan in the 13th century by Zen monks from China. Shojin ryori is plant-based and prohibits the inclusion of meat and fish, following the teaching that it is wrong to kill living animals. Instead, meals are prepared with seasonable vegetables and wild plants from the mountains.

     

    Day - 9

    Location: Osaka - Hop on public transport this morning to Osaka – Japan’s third-largest city and the unofficial culinary capital. Sprawling shopping hubs and tiny backstreets full of restaurants and bars serve up local delicacies here, as well as Japan's answer to fast food (Osaka is credited with the first kaiten-zushi, or conveyer belt sushi restaurants). When you arrive, visit the lively Kuromon food market for a morning walk through the quirky Doguyasuji Arcade, where you can pick up some kitchen gadgets (or plastic food!) and all the Japanese bowls you’ll ever need. You’ll also learn about one of Osaka’s signature dishes and try your hand at perfecting okonomiyaki. This evening, maybe dive into Osaka’s twisting back alleys and experience one of the city’s typical tachinomi bars (drinking while standing), maybe sharing a few drinks with your travel pals.

     

    Day - 10

    Location: Osaka - Have some breakfast this morning, then pop into a depachika – the food basement hall of one of Japan's department stores. This is a treasure trove for food lovers, given the endless range of products beautifully displayed. It’s also one of the best ways to understand what the locals eat on a daily basis. Wander the Dotonbori district with your group this afternoon at the heart of Osaka. This bustling district, known for the iconic glowing signs all over the canal, is the go-to destination for local nightlife, delicious cuisine and diverse shopping options. Enjoy a few included snacks along the way, then you’re free for the afternoon to continue exploring at your own pace. Regroup with your fellow travellers tonight for a farewell dinner of kushikatsu (skewered meat and vegetables, battered and deep fried).

     

    Day - 11

    Location: Osaka - With no further activities planned, your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. You’re free to leave anytime after check-out, but your adventure doesn’t have to end here! Osaka has so much to explore, it’s recommended that you stay a few extra days and continue to feast on the city’s many foodie favourites.

     

    Japan Real Food Adventure
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
HLO Ref# 4796
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