Culture & Cuisine of Japan

Japan is laden with gastronomic and cultural delights waiting to be explored. Our 12 day Culture and Cuisine tour takes you through the necessary skills to prepare some of Japan’s most famous dishes with plenty of opportunity to taste them in traditional surroundings. Visit cultural capitals and marvel at the breathtaking landscapes.

Day 1

Tokyo Arrival

Arrival in Tokyo, where you will be welcomed by our representative at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 2

Tokyo (B) 


Today, discover Tokyo with your local guide. Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market where you will have a traditional sushi breakfast, then stroll through Hama-Rikyu Teien private garden and enjoy a Japanese green tea “matcha” in a local tea house. Then, take a boat cruise along the Sumida River, explore the old town, before heading to Kappabashi also known as “Kitchenware Town”, and finally conclude your day by a visit to Ueno’s Ameyoko-cho, a bustling market street underneath the train lines, a great place to try some local snacks. Overnight in Tokyo.

Day 3

Tokyo (B,L) 


Today you will enjoy a half day cooking lesson with Master Chef Akila Inouye or one of his Academy’s graduate soba specialists and discover every secret of the Japanese soba (buckwheat) noodle, a staple in Japan. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Tokyo.

Day 4

Tokyo – Takayama (B,D) 

Today is a self-guided day.
Take the world famous Skinkansen bullet train to the preserved old town of Takayama.
We recommend visiting one of the sake breweries for a taste of the local drop and of course enjoy your stay in traditional Japanese ryokan accommodation. For diner enjoy a sumptuous kaiseki multi-course meal (including Hida Beef) and finish your day with a relaxing bath in an onsen. Overnight in Takayama.

Day 5

Takayama (B,D)


Today is a self-guide day.
Start your day with a visit to Miyagama market, then have a short bus ride to the typical Hida No Sato Folk Village. In the afternoon, you also have the possibility to visit the Takayama Festival Floats museum, or simply wandering in this beautifully preserved old town. Enjoy your diner in your ryokan. Overnight in Takayama.

Day 6

Takayama to Kyoto (B)

Today is a self-guide day.
Continue your journey aboard the Shinkansen Bullet train, this time on the way to Japan’s cultural capital of Kyoto. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Kyoto.

Day 7

Kyoto (B)


Today explore the former imperial capital with your local guide. Visit the Nijo Castle, the Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion, continue to Daitoku-ji Zen temple complex, then to Kiyomizu Pure Water Temple and finish with a stroll through the atmospheric Higashiyama district. Overnight in Kyoto.

Day 8

Kyoto (B,D)

Today in the afternoon you will experience a Japanese cooking class workshop in Kyoto. Walk with your local guide to explore the Nishiki covered food markets and buy the ingredients that you will use later. Visit a sake brewery and finally arrive in a traditional wooden townhouse where you start your Japanese cooking class. Finally, enjoy your own creation for dinner. Rest of the evening at leisure. Overnight in Kyoto.

Day 9

Kyoto – Koya-san (B,D)

Pagoda_in_Koya_San_JapanEnjoy a scenic train journey from Kyoto to Koya-san (Mt Koya) and conclude your journey climbing to the top by cable car. Explore with your local guide this UNESCO World Heritage Site and discover its hundred of incredible Shingon Buddhist temples. Overnight in your traditional shukubo and enjoy shojin ryori Buddhist cuisine for dinner. Overnight in Koya-san.

Day 10

Koya-san – Osaka (B)

Today is a self-guide day.
Start your day early to witness the monks chanting their morning prayers and enjoy a traditional breakfast in your shukubo. Later, take the train to Osaka. Overnight in Osaka.

Day 11

Osaka (B,D)


Explore the third biggest city of Japan with your local guide. Visit Sumiyoshi Taisha shinto-shrine, Osaka Castle, then head to Doguyasuji shopping arcade and finally enjoy your dinner in Dotonburi,where you can sample fugu (poisonous puffer fish) and tacoyaki (octopus balls). Overnight in Osaka.

Day 12

Depart Osaka (B)

Departure day. Leisure time until your transfer by train to Kansai Airport.

Accommodation on this Tour:

Tokyo Accommodation 

  • 3* Villa Fontaine
  • Standard Room


Takayama Accommodation 



Kyoto Accommodation 


Koya-San Accommodation 

  • Shukubo Nan-In
  • Japanese Style Room



Osaka Accommodation 


 4* accommodation options also available please ask our experts today.


What is included in this tour:

  • Return flights from Dublin.
  • Return Airport meet and greet transfers.
  • Hotel accommodation in twin/double room with daily breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • English speaking local guide and all entrance fees as indicated on Day 2, Day 7, Day 9,  Day 11
  • 7 Day Japan Rail Pass for Ordinary Class (to be used from day 4)
  • PASMO Tokyo transport pass at a value of 1500 JPY
  • Kyoto one day bus and subway pass
  • Kansai Thru Pass for transport to Koya-san
  • Half day Soba Making Lesson on Day 3
  • Kyoto Cooking Class Day 8


Please note:

  • Price stated is subject to availability & based on two people sharing.
  • Laundry, telephone calls & expenditure of a personal nature are not included.
  • Small deviations in the tour are sometimes necessary depending on road conditions and availability of rooms.
  • Travel insurance is not included in this tour However, we recommend you take out insurance for such a trip. Please ask our experts for a quote today.


Country Information

Currency:  Japanese Yen (JPY)

Vaccinations: No compulsory.

Visa: A visa is NOT required for Irish passport holders who wish entering Japan for a period of six months or less, if leisure traveler.

Best time to Travel:  The best times to visit Japan are definitely during Spring (March to May) when the famous cherry’s trees (sakuras) bloom all over Japan,  and Autumn (September to November) where the temperatures are still pleasant and you can admire this time the autumn red color leaves.

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Call us today to book: (01) 207 9650

1 Frankfort Centre, Dundrum Road, Dublin 14.

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