Luxury Gourmet Tour of Japan
A Gourmet Tour through two of Japan's most important cities with exclusive, cooking classes, market and street food tours and a traditional tea ceremony
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Completely private tours of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Sushi, soba noodle making and Japanese cooking classes
- Traditional tea ceremony
- Sake brewery visit
- Food market and street food tour
- Bullet Train journey
- Meet and greet airport service
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Exotic flavours, finely balanced textures and exquisite presentation. Japanese cuisine is an experience to be savoured. We’ll take you on a Luxury Gourmet Tour with stays in two of Japan’s main cities to discover the epicurean delights of the east.
You’ll begin in Tokyo where over three days, you’ll learn how to choose the freshest catches at a busy fish market before trying your hand at chef-led sushi and soba noodle making classes and taking part in a traditional tea ceremony.
It’s then on to Kyoto by Bullet Train for three days to explore Japan’s well-preserved imperial city. Here we’ll visit the famous Fushimi sake breweries and enjoy a private “Japanese home food” class, a traditional “Shojin” meal typically eaten by Zen Buddhist monks and a visit to the vibrant Nishiki market.
Before returning home, there’s just time for a quick stop in beautiful Osaka, the “Kitchen of Japan” to taste its celebrated street food.
You’ll explore ornate shrines and sites of cultural importance all along the way and stay in luxury accommodation throughout, with our recommendations for the best to see in do in each location.
Example Trip Itinerary
Meet and greet at Tokyo airport
Accommodation in Tokyo
- 84 rooms and suites
- Restaurant and bar
- Pool and fitness centre
Embracing the minimalism of traditional Japanese architecture, this retreat is the epitome of the luxury found in the very heart of Tokyo. Aman is a stylish, bespoke hotel that will offer you an array of amenities and easy accessibility to the city’s sights. Each of the 84 guest rooms and suites have unique layouts with uncompromising city views and every contemporary convenience. You’ll find the design inspiration evident throughout the hotel, from traditional Japanese residential structures to the use of classical materials such as camphor wood, washi paper and stone alongside modern luxurious fabrics. The hotel also offers an exquisite dining experience in their elegant mediterranean fine dining restaurant on the 33rd floor with views of the Imperial Palace Gardens and Mount Fuji. Take a dip in the infinity pool on the 34th floor, high above the hustle and bustle of the city or head to the spa to relax after a long day of exploring the city. You’ll also enjoy Ginza, the upmarket shopping area just a pleasant 15 minute walk away.
- 200 rooms and suites
- 3 restaurants and bars
- Free Wi-Fi
- CHI Spa
- Heated indoor swimming pool
- 24-hour gym
- Jacuzzi and sauna
- Collection of 2,000 artworks
After a smooth and speedy trip on the world-famous bullet train, you’ll find yourself at the elegant Shangri-La Tokyo, a haven of refinement set amid the relentlessly buzz of Tokyo, just opposite Tokyo Station. With some of the largest rooms in the capital, the Shangri-La is a calming, sleek retreat from the 24-hour energy of Tokyo. There’s one lobby bar and two restaurants, including the Japanese restaurant Nadaman, located on the level 29, where you can sample Chef Takehiro Yoshida’s sautéed eggplant wrapped in thin slices of Wagyu beef. The palette of dark wood, chocolate brown and burnt orange is complimented by low, amber lighting, exuding a sense of elegance and sophistication. Many of the spacious rooms have views across Tokyo, a scene that is best viewed at night. That’s ideal, because you’ll be spending your days out and about exploring the endless fascinations of Tokyo. Within walking distance of the hotel, you’ll find the Ginza shopping district and the Imperial Palace in its park surroundings, and a 20-minute train ride will deliver you to the Buddhist Asakusa Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple.
- 314 guest rooms and suites
- Pool and fitness centre
- 3 restaurants
Built of amber Namibian granite, The Peninsula Tokyo is a construction of sheer opulence occupying a covetable position opposite the Imperial palace and Hibiya Park in the business district of Marunouchi. The hotels offers you commanding city views, elegant design, luxurious comfort, sophisticated facilities and extraordinary dining. With 314 spacious guest rooms, this hotel is as large as it is luxurious. Designed by the renowned interior designer Yukio Hashimoto, the hotel intertwines rich earth tones, woods, stone and lacquers with modern design and functionality to create a stunning luxurious living environment. Customise your space with the use of the bedside panels allowing you to tweak the room’s ambience from the comfort of your bed. Taste the delicious European Cuisine at Peter with stunning views from the hotel’s 24th floor over the Imperial Palace, or visit the Hei Fung Terrace for a sophisticated Cantonese dining experience. Make sure you don’t miss out on the sensational Japanese cuisine at Kyoto Tsuruya where you can watch the skilled chefs prepare Japan’s oldest and most loved culinary delights.
- 179 guest rooms and suites
- Eight restaurants
- Two bars
- Tea lounge
- Fitness centre
Relax in contemporary luxury at the Mandarin Oriental. Located in the heart of Tokyo, this hotel offers serenity above a ever-growing metropolis. When you arrive in the 38th floor lobby, you’ll find yourself stunned by the dramatic views over the city’s skyline. The 157 guest rooms and 21 suites are heavily inspired by the Japanese aesthetic, blending futuristic luxury with a typical Japanese understanding of sense of space, aesthetically capturing the country’s rich culture within the modern luxury that Mandarin Oriental are renowned for. Step out of your hotel and you’ll be in the middle of Tokyo’s metropolis, just a five minute walk from Ginza shopping district. After a busy day enjoying the buzz of Tokyo, relax in the Sense Tea Room or head to the Mandarin Bar and enjoy a signature cocktail by their award-winning chief bartender whilst listening to live jazz.
- 164 guest rooms and suites
- Three dining options
- Rooftop bar
- Complimentary soft drinks and snacks
An innovative collaboration between award-winning designers Tony Chi and Shinichiro Ogata, the Andaz Tokyo is a hotel that reflects Japan’s cultural emphasis on beauty and purity of form. Found in the heart of the metropolis that is Tokyo, this hotel sets the standard for design and luxury. With 164 spacious guest rooms and suites located between the 47th and 50th floor, find yourself awestruck at the unparalleled panoramic views of Tokyo’s skyline. The decor emphasises the Japanese love for natural materials such as washi paper and wood and the bespoke design also includes partitions, allowing you to customise the space based on personal style. When you are ready to dine, head to the Andaz Tavern for refined European provincial cuisine prepared with indigenous Japanese ingredients or enjoy sushi in the Rooftop Bar. For those wanting something more relaxed head to Bebu for their signature burger, tapas and grill menu. With historic landmarks such as the Atago Shrine, Zojoji Temple and Hamarikyu Gardens on your doorstep and some of Tokyo’s best shopping just a stones throw away, discover the charm and uniqueness of this eclectic city.
Tokyo is a city with an infectious energy that is like no other. Enjoy your time exploring this incredible metropolis visiting the city's fascinating food markets and enjoying the freshest of sushi, discovering ornate shrines, ancient temples and touring small craft breweries.
This morning, your guide will meet you at your hotel and bring you to the famed Tsukiji fish market. Tsukiji is one of the largest fish markets in the world and it imports fish and seafood from 60 countries on six continents, including 85% of tuna consumed in Japan. It's a very popular destination for visitors with culinary flare. Upon arrival, you will be met by a well-known Japanese sushi chef who will take you directly into the wholesale area, the centre of action, where fish is cut and sold to Tokyo’s restaurant chefs. Stroll around with the sushi chef who will point out and explain the different fish and seafood that's on offer. The chef will help you to choose the freshest seafood for your up-coming sushi lesson. We then move to the outer-market which is often overlooked by visitors but a real treasure trove for adventurous gourmets. This large section of the market occupies several blocks around Tsukiji and is an ideal place to stock-up on Japanese ingredients, offering everything from kelp and seaweed to dried bonito, vegetables, tea, and herbs and spices.
After our market tour, we then move onto one of Japan's finest restaurants for an exclusive sushi making lesson lead by our private chef who will teach us how to make nigiri sushi, temari and seaweed wrapped maki sushi, as well as miso soup. We'll enjoy the fruits of our labours for lunch in the restaurant which we have closed to the public for this special occasion.
You will visit one of the newly opened craft-beer bars offering 10 to 15 different varieties of beer, all crafted by small operating breweries using the highest quality malts, hops and yeasts and traditional techniques.
This morning we start our sightseeing tour in Asakusa, one of Tokyo oldest and well preserved districts. We begin with a walk along the Nakamise Dori merchant street which dates back to the Edo period when the temple’s neighbours were given special permission to open their shops in the approach to the temple. Although a touristy spot, you'll find it really interesting to see the variety of typical snacks and sweets on offer at the different stalls. Next we explore Sensoji Temple on a guided tour. We then move on to the nearby district of Kappabashi which is renowned for selling everything and anything that Japanese chefs may need to set up shop, from wax food window displays to lacquer ware, ceramics, cooking pots, utensils and excellent Japanese knives.
We then partake in a private soba noodle making class. Made of buckwheat flour, soba noodles have a very distinct taste. Enjoy your own creations for lunch.
After lunch we will enjoy a peaceful walk in the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, a verdant oasis covering 115 hectares and home to one of the most beautiful gardens in Tokyo. After entering from the Otemon Gate, which once served as the main gate to Edo Castle, we visit the Sannomaru grounds and Ninomaru Garden with its coy pond and waterfall. We then travel to the Nihonbashi district for an exclusive and intimate traditional tea ceremony at a Japanese Fine Arts school. You'll then be returned to your hotel to spend the evening at your leisure.
Afterwards if time permits, we carry on to the Ginza district for a tour of the Food Courts, called "depa-chika", in the basement floors of famous high-end department stores where Tokyoites buy their delicacies. Here, we'll discover delicacies that are unique to Japan as well as famous sweets and
snacks from international gourmet brands.
Private transfer to Tokyo station
Shinkansen "Bullet Train" from Tokyo to Kyoto
Accommodation in Kyoto
- 134 guest rooms and suites
- Four dining outlets
- Indoor pool
Exuding Japan’s simple elegance, the Ritz-Carlton combines luxury modern design with traditional Japanese zen accents. With 134 guest rooms, the Ritz-Carlton is Kyoto’s first urban luxury resort. Sitting on the banks Kamogawa river, the hotel boasts astounding views of the famous Higashiyama mountains. The hotel has four restaurants and you can take your pick from traditional Japanese dishes, Italian cuisine or go for the seafood private dining option. Enjoy brunch or sweet treats by the French patisserie Pierre Hermé Paris next to a cascading waterfall in the terrace, or retire to the library where a range of Japanese art and architecture books are available for you to thumb through at your leisure. Situated in close proximity to Kyoto’s popular downtown areas, retail and entertainment districts, this hotel will allow you to enjoy the rich culture of Japan’s ancient capital within modern luxury. Explore the Imperial Palace, Nijo Castle or the atmospheric dining of Pontocho, all of which will be on your doorstep.
- 25 guest rooms and suites
- Complimentary boat service
Sail along the banks of the Hozugawa River and tucked away in the hills of the Arashiyama district, you will find a series of traditional Japanese-inspired houses clinging to a mountainside, which make up the HOSHINOYA luxury hotel. Upon entering the hotel changed into slippers and silk robes and unwind in this retreat, which will make you feel miles away from the bustle of Kyoto. The 25 rooms at this exclusive resort infuses classic Japanese interiors with contemporary style, creating a tranquil, comfortable atmosphere. During your stay savour the creative multi-course Japanese kaiseki dinner, combining Japanese and foreign flavours for a totally unique culinary experience. Explore the local Arashiyama district and marvel at the famous cherry blossom or venture into Kyoto itself and discover the rich culture of this city. After a busy day treat yourself to a spa treatment at the hotel, relax in the gardens or visit the tea rooms. Unwind at the luxury, peaceful oasis.
- 189 guest rooms and suites
- Spa and fitness centre
- Three restaurants
- Pastry boutique
Located in the heart of Kyoto, the stylish Hyatt Regency offers spacious rooms and excellent hospitality. This hotel is perfect for those looking for a relaxed atmosphere whilst exploring the rich culture of Kyoto. Each of the elegant 189 guest rooms and suites are decorated in light neutral tones combining the aesthetics that Japan is famed for with the style and comfort of western living. During your stay marvel in the culinary excellence offered by the Hyatt, from authentic Italian cuisine to a French grill to flavourful Japanese dishes, there is something for everyone at this luxury hotel. Explore the wonders of Kyoto, with countless temples and shrines and other historical structures, marvel in this city’s fascinating culture. After a busy day of exploring why not visit the hotel’s spa for a relaxing massage or visit The Touzan Bar to taste the hotel’s boutique sake collection.
Upon arrival into Kyoto station, you'll be met by your English speaking guide and and brought in a private vehicle to the Fushimiinari Shrine which was founded in the 9th century in honour of a fox that farmers believed was the messenger of the harvest god. The tunnel-like path of hundreds of bright-red torii gates is stunning and was made famous in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha". Depending on your fitness level and interest, you can choose to just visit the base or to walk under the red gates to the top of the hill.
Fushimi is also famous for its sake breweries. It is one of the oldest sake producing areas in Japan and enjoyed the patronage of the Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century. Learn the process of polishing rice, adding enzymes and yeast and the maturation process that is involved in sake production. You'll also have the opportunity to sample different kinds of sake. After the tour you will be brought to your hotel to check in and enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Spend your time in Kyoto admiring the impressive imperial beauty of the city, evident in the abundance of prewar buildings such as grand palaces, traditional "machiya" townhouses and ornate shrines. Savour the tastes of the city with special cooking classes, traditional dinners and street market tours. See kimono-clad geisha on their way to engagements and stroll in the celebrated Ryoan-Ji rock garden. Make sure you visit the magnificent wooden Kiyomizu-Dera and the Golden and Silver Pavilion Temples. Your travel designer can help you to experience the city at its best with private guided tours and excursions.
Today, meet your private English speaking guide in your hotel and travel to Kinkaku-Ji Golden Pavilion temple. Built in 1397 to serve as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, it gets its name from its fine covering of gold leaf.
We then continue to the serene Ryoan-Ji temple with its celebrated rock garden composed of nothing but clay walls, raked sand and 15 rocks.
Next, we'll enjoy a private class in “Japanese home food” taking place in a traditional house that's been converted into a simple and intimate cooking school. We'll learn how to use Japanese ingredients such as soy sauce and other condiments to bring out a “umami flavour” and then enjoy them. We've selected popular Japanese recipes that can easily be replicated at home.
Today we visit the Geisha district of Gion which is famed for its beautifully preserved traditional architecture. During Gion's golden age in the first half of 19th century, more than 3000 Geikos (young Geisha) worked in some 700 teahouses. We will keep our eyes open for Geisha on their way to an assignment. This is also a great opportunity for shopping in this craft-rich district.
You will meet your English speaking guide and your driver for a visit to the beautiful district of Arashiyama, located just outside of Kyoto and surrounded by nature for a welcome break from the city’s hustle. We start at the Tenryu-Ji Temple, a famous Zen Buddhist temple which is the head temple of the Tenryu-Ji branch of Rinzai Zen sect and part of World Cultural Heritage monuments. From here, we'll take a relaxing stroll around the Bamboo Forests, designated as one of the three most beautiful bamboo forests in Japan. Arrive at Okochi Sanso, a splendid mountain retreat, previously occupied by Okochi Denjiro, a silent screen actor. We'll take a leisurely walk through the villa's beautiful gardens and savour the fine views of Kyoto city in the distance. For lunch, we're in for a treat with a unique Japanese meal of Shojin Ryori. Developed by Japanese Zen Buddhist monks who choose not to eat living animals, Shojin meals are based exclusively on vegetables, beans and roots. Particular care is taken in presentation, texture and bringing out the flavour of each ingredient.
We'll make our way to the Adashino Nembutsuji temple to see its 8,000 stone Buddha and beautiful pagodas. Adashino means fragile, expressing the fragility of human lives, and the area was originally a cremation ground with stone grave markers dating from the Heian period.
A few minutes’ walk from here is the unique and quiet Otagi-Nenbutsuji temple, a Tendai-Shu sect Buddhist temple. Here you'll find 1200 stone Rakan figures, carved by worshipers from 1981 to 1991 to pray for the prosperity of the temple. These carvings are very different from other Buddhist figures, and have been sculpted with much humour.
Finally, we return to Kyoto and visit the Nishiki market, a narrow shopping arcade only 400 meters in length with over 100 vendors. This is an excellent opportunity to discover Kyoto’s distinctive culinary delicacies and stock up on the ingredients that you will have encountered during your culinary journey of Japan.
This morning, you will check out of your hotel in Kyoto and be met by your English speaking guide and driver who will transfer you in a shared vehicle to Osaka, affectionately known as the “Kitchen of Japan”. Our first stop is the ancient Osaka castle. We'll walk through the charming castle grounds up to the castle itself which was constructed in 1583 on the former site of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple and was the largest castle at that time. Destroyed by fire several times, it has been rebuilt in its original form. We then move on to the Shinsaibashi, the city's main shopping area. Shinsaibashi is renowned for its street food. Try favourites such as takoyaki - balls of wheat flour batter filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion; kushikatsu – deep-fried and battered meat or vegetable skewers; and okonomiyaki - savoury pancakes.
Private transfer to Osaka Kansai Airport
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Luxury Gourmet Tour of Japan
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.