Come travel to Japan with a chef and former restaurant owner for a personally guided tour through the culinary scenes of Tokyo, Nagano and Yamanashi. In this intimate group tour, discover the culinary side of Japan by visiting old temples for century old vegetarian cuisine, make sushi at the Tsukiji fish market, and learn to make soba noodles from scratch. You will also sample whiskey, visit a wasabi farm in the Japanese Alps, and harvest vegetables from a farmhouse garden. This tour will give guests the ultimate, hands on, one of a kind experience. You will see Tokyo as well as the countryside, a Japanese farmhouse, mountains, ride bullet trains and more. We would love to see you there!
Welcome to Japan. You will be meeting your guide at the hotel in Tokyo. We will be staying in Ginza - Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district. Arrive early and experience the nightlife of Tokyo. Your guide will be available to answer any questions about transportation and nearby shopping and restaurants.
After breakfast, a hands on learning opportunity awaits you at Tsukiji Fish Market, the world’s largest fish market. Located between the Sumida River and the Ginza district, Tsukiji carries over 400 different kinds of seafoods and handles more than 700,000 tons of fish every year. Today we will learn about fish at the market and then how to make sushi at a restaurant. Tsukiji is also known for shops selling knives and kitchen equipment for professional chefs. Take this opportunity to shop like professional chefs at the market. The afternoon will be available for you to explore Tokyo on your own. Visit museums, Japanese gardens, the Imperial Palace, shopping and more.
We are taking the Shinkansen today, one of the fastest bullet train in the world, to Nagano Prefecture for Japanese culture and a zen experience. This landlocked area is located in Chubu region and is known for its clean water, buckwheat, wasabi, miso & more. After lunch, we will visit Zenkoji, the largest buddhist temple in the prefecture. Tonight we are checking in at a monastery that once housed buddhist monks paying visits to the temple for zen training. Enjoy delicious, eye opening vegetarian meals of the region.
We will visit a destination wasabi farm nestled in the Japanese Alps, and then visit the historical architecture of Kiso, known for traditional dishware. In the evening, we will check in at traditional Ryokan and enjoy the “virgin landscape of Japan”. The afternoon is open to relax, shop and hike.
Today we will travel to Yamanashi prefecture and attend a soba making class at a dojo. Afterwards, we will tour the famous Suntory Whiskey Distillary which is known for for its exceptional quality and using the best mountain water for spirit making. Tonight, we are checking in at a private Japanese farmhouse that has been converted into a country inn. Take a walk around the garden and harvest vegetables for dinner. Relax in their Goemonburo, a bath heated with fire from beneath, while the viewing the beautiful surrounding nature. We will have diner as a group prepared by the farmhouse chef using local and seasonal ingredients.
The tour will end back in Tokyo. Feel free to stay longer in the city if you'd like. We can provide information on activities and shopping.
4 -10 people
Hotels, Local Transportation, Bullet Train, English and Japanese Speaking Tour Guide, Eight Meals
Flight to/from Japan, Personal Spending, Transportation To and From Airport, Some Meals
"There are many ways to approach visiting Japan, but if you are into food, this is the way to go. As with any travel, figuring out what is actually authentic and local can be a challenge, but with TanpopoStudio, this is taken care of. Every planned meal on the trip is about as authentic as one can get, and is delicious. The low key, fun and chill vibe throughout the trip, aided in part by and excellent translator, makes exploring Japan effortless and fulfilling. I cannot recommend this tour enough, it is a sure way to gain perspective on how food is sourced, presented, and enjoyed. "