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9 Days Splendors of Japan Culinary Tour

  • Tokyo - Kyoto - Matsumoto -Takayama - Shirikawago - Gokayama - Kanazawa - Kyoto - Osaka

Splendors of Japan Culinary Vacations

From the gleaming futurism of Tokyo to the ancient Temples of Kyoto - join a voyage of discovery through Japan. Eclectic cities, traditional villages, snow-capped mountains and coastal beauty - discover the splendors of Japan on a journey of discovery. Feel awestruck by majestic Mount Fuji as you alight at 2,300 meters. Learn the art of making delicate washi paper with a local family, before trying your hand at this traditional craft yourself. Visit traditional sushi bars and enjoy splendors of Japan!

Highlights

  • 1 sushi cooking class
  • Traditional Japanese food
  • A unique tour to a sake brewery
  • A visits to futuristic cities of Tokyo and Kyoto
  • Visits to authentic Japanese villages
  • 10 destinations included
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • 8 days with instruction
  • English
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Trafalgar hotels are centrally located, close to major attractions and each features luxurious rooms, superb cuisine, excellent amenities, and impeccable service. Each room contains a private bathroom with toilet, shower and/or bath and vanity, as well as television and air-conditioning. Rooms may also contain tea and coffee making facilities, mini-bar, room service, STD/ISD phone, radio and in-house movies. Wherever possible, Trafalgar selects establishments that offer additional facilities such as swimming pool, fitness centre, bars and restaurants.

Day 1 -Arrive Tokyo (3 nights)

Welcome to Tokyo.

Upon arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda international airport, transfer to your centrally located hotel.

This evening, join your travel director and fellow travelers for a welcome reception drink and local appetizers.

Meals: welcome reception meal.

Hotel: New Otani.

Day 2 -Tokyo sightseeing

This morning start your city tour with a visit to the Imperial Palace Plaza, a large park area in the centre of Tokyo. View the Imperial Palace, built on the former site of Edo Castle; its surrounded by its original inner moat.

Next, visit the Meiji Shrine located in a forest that covers an area of 700,000 square meters and consists of 365 different types of trees.

During lunch, enjoy a cooking class and learn how to make sushi with a local specialist in the famous Ginza district.

Continue to Asakusa and visit the Sensoji Buddhist temple. Its one of Tokyo's most colorful and popular temples. It has been rebuilt countless times since it was founded in 628, making it Tokyo's oldest temple site.

Visit Nakamise, a shopping street over 200 meters long that stretches from the outer gate to the temple's second interior gate. This evening, enjoy a Japanese style dinner at a local restaurant.

Meals: buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3 - Mount Fuji and Hakone sightseeing

After breakfast, depart on a full day of sightseeing, beginning at the Five Lakes District dominated by majestic UNESCO listed Mount Fuji. Located at 3,776 meters, its Japan's highest mountain and most recognizable icon. Ascend to the 5th Station of Mount Fuji to enjoy some spectacular views at 2,300 meters (weather permitting).

After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Owakudani via the Hakone Ropeway, a cable car ride over the forest beside Lake Ashi. In Owakudani, see the volcanic activity and enjoy black eggs boiled in geysers before continuing to the beautiful town of Hakone.

After the enjoyable day of sightseeing, return to your hotel for a restful evening.

Meals: buffet breakfast, lunch.

Day 4 - Tokyo, Matsumoto and Takayama

Drive north this morning to visit Matsumoto Castle, one of the most beautiful and complete original Japanese castles and a great Cherry Blossom viewing spot in the springtime.Marvel at its unique timber and stone structure.

Later continue your journey through the breath-taking Japanese Alps to the beautiful hillside town of Takayama.Located in the Hida Region, the town has retained a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town.

Meal: buffet breakfast

Hotel: Hida Plaza / Takayama Green / AssociaTakayama

Day 5 -Takayama sightseeing

Begin your walking tour of Takayama, known as 'Little Kyoto', and discover its Edo style streets filled with amazing attractions.

Explore the Old Town, stopping en route to sample Japanese sake at an authentic sake brewery. Next, wander through a vibrant open-air flower and fruit market - Asaichi - before continuing on to TakayamaJinya. This was a former government outpost and was in official use until 1969. Its now open to the public as a museum.

Continue to the Kami-Sannomachi-suji district, home to renowned local artisans. Walk through the narrow streets and admire the ancient Japanese wooden architecture.

This afternoon is free to explore this picturesque town or relax.

Dinner this evening is a regional meal of Japanese Hida beef at a local restaurant. Hida beef (Hida-gyu) is the specific name given to beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed; its known as one of the finest-quality varieties of beef.

Meals: buffet breakfast, regional meal.

Day 6 - Takayama, Shirakawago, Gokayama, and Kanazawa

Take a step back in time during a visit to the peaceful mountain villages and UNESCO designated sites of Gokayama and Shirakawago.

Explore the village of Shirakawago, have lunch in a local restaurant and go up to the observation deck for spectacular views looking down on the entire village.

In Gokayama, observe local artisans making washi paper and try your hand at making your own - a cultural Insight. See the unique Gassho-zukuri wooden houses; the steeply sloped thatched roofs resemble two hands together in prayer.

Visit one of the houses and meet the family before continuing on to the historic castle town of Kanazawa. On arrival visit, the Nagamachi District with its old and beautifully preserved samurai houses.

Visit the Nomura house, an elegant samurai mansion with beautiful small gardens belonging to a high-ranked samurai family.

Next, discover the secrets of gold-leaf painting during a visit with a local specialist. The production of gold leaf started in Kanazawa at the end of the 16th century, and now 99% of Japan's high quality gold leaf is produced in the area.

Later check in to your centrally located hotel and enjoy a relaxing evening.

Meals: buffet breakfast, lunch.

Hotel: Kanazawa Tokyu.

Day 7 - Kanazawa and Kyoto

Begin the day at the gardens of Kenrokuen, rated as one of the top-three most beautiful gardens in Japan and a great place to see cherry blossom in the springtime.

Explore the ornate landscapes, temples and ponds or enjoy an optional experience visit to a Japanese tea house within the gardens.

Later, take a short walk through the Omicho market to see the local fish catch and enjoy an insiders view of everyday life in a busy coastal town.

Enjoy some free time at the market to browse the stalls and to have lunch before taking the express train to Kyoto.

Later enjoy a traditional Japanese Kaiseki regional meal and dance performance featuring Maiko.

Meals: buffet breakfast, regional meal.

Hotel: Nikko Princess Kyoto.

Day 8 - Kyoto sightseeing

This morning, visit Kinkakuji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its Golden Pavilion. The Kinkakuji history dates back to 1397, when the villa was purchased by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son.

Later, enjoy a special Be My Guest Farewell Lunch at a traditional ryokan nestled in the peace and quiet of Mount Yoshida. The ryokan was built in 1932 by master craftsmen to serve as the second residence of the uncle of the current Japanese Emperor, Akihito.

Learn more about local Japanese customs as your hosts welcome you into their beautiful home.

Enjoy the pleasures of a truly flavorful and unique dining experience of Kaiseki cuisine, crafted from the very freshest of seasonal delicacies.

Later, continue on to the Fushimi Inari Shrine and see the tunnel of thousands of bright orange torii gates that snake through the forest up into the mountains.

Then, head to the Sanjusangendo Hall, a temple famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy.

The evening is free to explore, relax at the hotel or take an Optional Experience.

Meals: buffet breakfast, Be My Guest Dining.

Day 9 - Depart Kyotoa and Osaka

Transfer by airport shuttle to Kansai international airport or Osaka Itamiairport for your onward flight home.

Alternatively, extend your stay in a local Japanese ryokan or continue to Hiroshima by choosing the 13-day Itinerary.

Meals: buffet breakfast.

  • A guided tour of Kyoto
  • An excursion to Mount Fuji and Hakone
  • A Tokyo city tour
  • A visit to Matsumoto Castle and hillside town of Takayama where you will see the breathtaking Japanese Alps
  • A visit to the peaceful mountain villages and UNESCO designed sites of Gokayama and Shikawago
  • A visit to the gardens of Kenrokuen in Kyoto
  • A walking tour of Takayama

Japan is unrivalled when it comes to technology and commerce, yet the tradition of its long history is apparent in all aspects of everyday life. Youll see the dazzling lights and sights of futuristic Tokyo, before going back in time at the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. Youll also visit the village of Shirakawa-g, where the traditional homes are distinguished by their striking prayer-hands style thatched roofs. Learn how to make sushi in Tokyo and wasabi in Matsumoto. And at a ryokan in Kyoto, join a family for a traditional multi-course kaiseki dinner, over which youll learn about their customs and traditions.

In your free time, you can enjoy multiple activities such as visit Japanese garden and tea house, Gion corner in Kyoto. Optional experiences are available on the first day of your trip.

  • 7 nights accommodation in hand-picked 4- or 5-star accommodations.
  • 8 buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners.
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing.
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras.

Arrival by airplane

Arrive at Tokyo Narita international airport (NRT) or Tokyo Haneda international airport (HND). Trafalgar will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.