Day 01: Hello! Welcome to Japan, where culinary art meets fresh ingredients and generations of expertise. Your Tokyo adventure kicks off tonight at 6 pm with a welcome meeting. Explore the city’s diverse facets before the meeting, from museums to izakaya-lined backstreets. Afterward, enjoy a welcome dinner with your group, savoring delicious yakitori skewers or flavorful soba noodles. Cap off the night by exploring Shibuya’s backstreets for sake or local cocktails.

Day 02: Begin your day with a stroll through Tsukiji Outer Market, where Tokyo’s largest fish market delivers fresh seafood daily. Dive into the art of sushi making, discovering the history and techniques behind this Edo-era specialty. Sample delectable sushi and then explore the historic Asakusa area, visiting the ancient Senso-ji temple. Indulge your sweet tooth with treats like fried sweet potatoes or red bean paste pancakes. Cap off the day with a taste of Tokyo’s traditional dish, monjayaki, in Tsukishima.

Day 03: Take a scenic train ride to Kanazawa, a city blending modernity with tradition. Enjoy an ekiben lunch on the way—a popular train bento. Explore Kanazawa with your leader, starting with an orientation walk and a visit to the Chaya Gai district, known for its preserved streets and geisha performances. In the evening, consider joining your leader for a local dinner featuring fresh seafood like Kano crabs and sweet prawns from the Sea of Japan.

Day 04: Start your day with a visit to the enchanting 17th-century Kenroku-en Garden, featuring intricate landscapes with bridges, ponds, waterfalls, and tea houses. Enjoy a cup of freshly whisked matcha tea while strolling through the beautiful grounds. Next, explore Kanazawa’s food culture at Omicho market, discovering the freshest seasonal ingredients. Join a cooking class in a local home, learning to prepare local cuisine from an expert foodie. After lunch, take the afternoon to explore Kanazawa at your own pace.

Day 05: Explore Kyoto, Japan’s cultural hub, on a train journey today. Once the capital for over 1000 years, Kyoto boasts narrow streets in the charming Gion district, offering insights into the city’s geisha culture. Spot geiko and maiko in their traditional attire. Optionally join your leader for a dinner featuring Kyoto’s signature dishes, such as nishin soba or gyu katsu.

Day 06: Embark on a delightful day trip to Uji, a cultural gem known for its green tea. Explore the ancient Ujigami Shrine, Japan’s oldest, and the historic Byodoin Temple. Experience the art of green tea production at a local farm, tasting the finest blends. Discover other Japanese vegetables cultivated on the farm and enjoy a bento box lunch with your group. Conclude the day and return to Kyoto for a leisurely evening.

Day 07: Start your day with a delicious breakfast before embarking on another exploration of Kyoto. Begin by visiting the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine, strolling through its famous torii gates and capturing memorable photos. Recharge at a local sake brewery, considering a bottle to take home. Dive into a culinary adventure at the historic Nishiki Market, where your local guide will help you discover delightful street eats for lunch, such as tako-tamago, beef sushi, matcha sweets, or tamagoyaki. The afternoon is yours to explore Kyoto or relax in a nearby park.

Day 08: Wake early, and take a train to the heart of Shingon Buddhism in Koya-san, founded by the revered Kobo Daishi in the 8th century. Explore the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, Okuno-in, and spend the night in a temple alongside monks, participating in their meditation and prayers. Experience shojin ryori, a plant-based cuisine introduced by Zen monks in the 13th century, emphasizing seasonal vegetables and wild plants from the mountains.

Day 09: Explore Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city and culinary hub, on public transport this morning. Stroll through the vibrant Kuromon food market, check out the quirky Doguyasuji Arcade for kitchen gadgets and Japanese bowls, and learn to perfect the local specialty, okonomiyaki. In the evening, venture into Osaka’s lively back alleys for a unique tachinomi bar experience with travel companions.

Day 10: Start your day with breakfast, then explore a depachika – the food hall in a Japanese department store. Discover a variety of beautifully displayed local products. In the afternoon, stroll through Osaka’s vibrant Dotonbori district with your group, known for its iconic signs, nightlife, and diverse shopping. Enjoy included snacks and have the afternoon to explore on your own. Gather for a farewell dinner featuring kushikatsu (skewered and deep-fried meat and vegetables) with fellow travelers tonight.

Day 11: Your trip concludes after breakfast today with no scheduled activities. Feel free to depart after check-out, but consider extending your stay in Osaka to indulge in more of the city’s culinary delights.

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