Japan Real Food
Japanese cuisine charms the world and there is nothing better than delving deeper into its secrets, discovering more beyond sushi and sashimi. Whilst Japanese Chefs pride themselves on the gourmet and intricateness of their cuisine, we believe that there is much to be gained by experiencing the real local food of Japan. The Japanese kitchen specialises in its fresh, ‘cooked in the moment’ approach, witnessed in the numerous ways of preparing food in front of their guests.
Our Japan Real Food Journey takes you through this beautiful region of the world to savour food and delicacies accompanied by the atmosphere that brings the Japan cooking to life. You will be ducking into magical local eateries, crowding with the locals to slurp up noodles and toasting with warm sake at Japanese traditional pubs (Izakaya). Markets will be explained to you, small alleyways explored all in the search for the perfect meal. It’s not going to be the fancy food in the style of samurai warlords, rather food that is heavenly in its taste, uniqueness and freshness.
Not forgetting the amazing cultural and traditional beauty of this region, we will also show you the scenic and historical highlights of Japan, from the bustling city of Osaka, the mountain retreat of Koya San, relaxing in the Onsen town of Kinosaki and finishing up on the cultural splendour of Kyoto.
Kobe to Kinosaki
Tour ends Kyoto
TransportationLocal bus and local train
Included In PriceLocal English speaking guide, all accommodation on a twin share basis, all transportation and meals as described in the itinerary.
*Kuromon market visit in Osaka
*Sennichimae Dogusuji market visit in Osaka
*Takoyaki making in Osaka
*Morning chanting in Koyasan
*Okunoin graveyard walk in Koyasan
*China town visit in Kobe
*Kinkakuji and Kiyomizu temple visit in Kyoto
*Gion night walk in Kyoto
*Nishiki food market visit in Kyoto
Special meals include:
Day 1 Okonomiyaki dinner
Day 2 Takoyaki making lunch
Day 5 Kobe beef lunch
Day 8 Kaiseki lunch
Meals IncludedThis tour includes 18 meals; 9 breakfasts 4 lunches 5 dinners
Not Included In PriceItems of a personal nature, tipping, meals not described in the itinerary, travel insurance, visas
|Start||End||Twin share pp|
|8 Sep 2013||17 Sep 2013||AU$ 3990|
|Minimum 6 passengers, $4450 for minimum of 4 passengers|
Day 1: Arrive Osaka
We join in Osaka with our group meeting finishing with an Okonomiyaki dinner. Famous in Osaka, it is a savoury pancake containing cabbage and a variety of ingredients grilled. Known as Osaka ‘soul food’, it is best with dollops of mayonnaise and special BBQ style sauce. Most Okonomiyaki restaurants are actually grill-it-yourself establishments which add to the atmosphere and experience of your first night in Japan.
AccommodationNew Osaka Hotel Shinsaibashi
Meals Included1 x Dinners
Day 2: Osaka
It is said that the people of Osaka are happy and open-hearted because they eat good food and we are here to show you their secrets.
Our morning starts early with a visit to Kuromon Market, for more than 170 years, this market has been the centre of the Osaka Epicure world. Restaurant chefs and house-wives crowd to buy their daily needs, drawn by the taste, freshness and variety of the markets products.
We then head to Sennichimae Dogusuji “Kitchenware Arcade”, where we can find those special quirky items unique to Japanese cuisine. Osaka is called the ‘Kitchen of the world” with their professional chefs having an incredible thirst for things culinary and here is the place to discover it. The arcade features plenty of food sampling, a taste of things to come.
There will be a chance to cook up Takoyaki this afternoon and perhaps try your nerve ordering Fugu...
AccommodationNew Osaka Hotel Shinsaibashi or similar
Meals Included1 x Breakfasts1 x Lunches
Day 3 & 4: Koya San
We head to Koya San with a picturesque 2 hour journey through the Japanese forests. This small and secluded mountain town is the centre of Shingon Buddhism in Japan. First settled in 819, it is located south of Osaka at 800 metres. It is surrounded by 8 mountain peaks which are said to resemble the lotus leaf, an important emblem of Japanese Buddhism.
We take the opportunity to experience a stay in temple lodgings (shared facilities), where you can get a taste of a monk’s lifestyle. Dining this evening will be sharing traditional vegetarian monk’s cuisine known as shojin ryori, prayers said before the commencement of the meal.
The following morning, you will be woken to the sound of chanting and be able to join in with the monks. Candle lights, incense, traditional bells, the melodic chanting will enthral and mystify you. The rest of the day is spent exploring the area, visiting the Okunoin grave yard and marvelling at the grand trees nestled in mist. The tranquillity and beauty of Koyasan will astound you.
AccommodationRengejoin Temple Complex
Meals Included2 x Breakfasts1 x Lunches2 x Dinners
Day 5 & 6: Kobe to Kinosaki
On our way to Kinosaki, we stop into Kobe to try Kobe Beef. Cuts of meat from the Black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu Cattle are masterfully prepared in Kobe, highlighting the marbling quality of the meat. Many claim that the beef from Wagyu cattle is as tender as Foie Gras. In order for the meat to be so tender, the cow is pampered with massages, pints of beer and plenty of sake to stimulate their appetite. We can try Kobe beef during a Teppanyaki BBQ feast.
We visit China town in Kobe, known as Nankinmachi. This area developed as the residential area of Chinese merchants, who settled in Kobe when the city’s ports opened to foreign trade in 1868.
We end Day 5 settled in our traditional ryokan (inn) in Kinosaki. Ryokans offer the same living experience as a Japanese family, with rolled out mattresses and tatami mats. They offer a special way to understand the Japanese culture, not just a cosy and intimate accommodation.
Kinosaki is also known as Kinosaki Onsen. Onsen means ‘hot springs’ and Kinosaki is full of them. Japanese hot springs are unique and you will need some cultural interpretation with your guide before you start your “onsen hopping”. Hot springs were discovered in Kinosaki around the 8th century and since then the town has developed into a charmingly old-fashioned town. In the evening, we can join the locals in a stroll about town, for those who dare, in our kimonos and geta (wooden clogs) or we can stay on our rolled out couches and relax.
We will also have time to explore the countryside on bikes or hiking.
Meals Included2 x Breakfasts1 x Lunches2 x Dinners
Day 7 to 9: Kyoto
We travel to Kyoto, the epicentre of Japanese culture. We have a leisurely three days to explore this ancient Japanese capital and fill our time discovering Japanese gastronomic treats. We mix up our sightseeing time in Kyoto with famous highlig 1631 hts such as Kinakuji and Kiyomizu temple as well as smaller, simpler pleasures of intimate garden scapes and micro moments.
Our Day 8 food exploration will focus on the Nishiki Food Market, known as “Kyoto’s kitchen”. It has several centuries of history and many of the stores have been operated by the same family for generations. Narrow and captivating, we can taste and buy various kinds of fresh and processed foods such as Kyoto specialties; pickles, dried food and Japanese sweets.
We have the option in Kyoto to add traditional activities to our stay. The tour leader can help arrange your participation in a cooking school (learn to make miso soup, tempura and such), tea ceremony or wagashi (Japanese sweets) making. Due to the wide variety of activities on offer, we have kept it an optional activity as each group member might choose a different activity. The tour leader will explain each option with the costs and participant numbers needed.
Day 9 is a free day in Kyoto but we will all meet up to enjoy our final dinner together at a famous local Restaurant.
Meals Included3 x Breakfasts1 x Lunches
Day 10: Tour ends Kyoto
Our tour ends in Kyoto this morning after breakfast.