Japan Culinary Journey

8 days from $11,832 per person*
  • Explore Tokyo's trendy Akachochin district with a private guide.
  • Enjoy one of the best kaiseki dinners in all of Japan while in Hakone.
  • Head out into the Japanese countryside for a sake and gourmet experience.
  • Sample Osaka's world-famous takoyaki treats - the world's most complicated snack to make.
  • Premium accommodations selected by a regional specialist.
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Excite your senses on a culinary journey of Japan, and taste your way through Tokyo, Kyoto, Hakone and Osaka, with an expert private guide. Tour the city sights of urban Tokyo, then head to Akachochin where you'll dine at a local izakaya. Head to the Japanese countryside for an impressive day-long sake and gourmet experience. In Hakone, you'll go to Gora Kadan for one of the country's best kaiseki dinners. Experience private tea with a geisha in Kyoto, and try delicious local creations in Osaka on an evening gourmet tour with a private guide. This is undoubtedly the tastiest way to experience Japan.

Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Tokyo
    Tokyo
    • Japan - Welcome
    • Airport Meet & Assist - Meet & Greet-Narita 9:00-20:55
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Driver/Narita Airport
  • Day 2 Tokyo
    Tokyo
    • Tour - Private - Half Day Tokyo Highlights Tour by Private Transportation (4 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide
    • Tour - Private - Akachochin Red Lantern Evening Local Food Tour (3 hrs) - Guide/Taxi
  • Day 3 Tokyo
    Tokyo
    • Tour - Private - Full Day Countryside Sake and Gourmet Excursion with Lunch (7 hrs) - Guide/Public Transportation
  • Day 4 Tokyo to Hakone
    Tokyo to Hakone
    • Tour - Private - Full Day Hakone Mt. Fuji National Park Tour by Private Transportation (9 hrs) - Guide/Vehicle
    Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 Hakone to Kyoto
    Hakone to Kyoto
    • Transfer - Private - Train Station - Vehicle/Driver
    • Train - Hakone - Kyoto [(2hrs)] - 1st Class
    • Transfer - Private - Train Station Transfer with Private Vehicle and Guide - Vehicle/Guide
    • Tour - Private - Afternoon Tea with a Geisha and Host Peter MacIntosh by Taxi (2 hrs) - Host/Taxi
  • Day 6 Kyoto
    Kyoto
    • Tour - Private - Half Day Kyoto Arashiyama Tour with Lunch by Private Transportation (4 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Tour - Private - Half Day Kyoto Highlights Tour by Private Transportation (4 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide
  • Day 7 Kyoto
    Kyoto
    • Tour - Private - Half Day Tour of Nara by Private Transportation (5 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide
    • Tour - Private - Evening Osaka Gourmet Excursion by Private Transportation (2.5 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 8 Kyoto
    Kyoto
    • Kyoto - Osaka [Kansai Airport] - Vehicle/Driver(2)
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Tokyo

Welcome to Japan!

For your added comfort, you will be welcomed by an English speaking assistant who will assist you upon arrival at the airport. Your assistant will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it.

Meet your driver for an enjoyable airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Peninsula Tokyo (5*)

The truly first class Peninsula Tokyo Hotel is located in a business and shopping district, opposite Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace. It is adjacent to Hibiya Subway Station, and a few short minutes stroll from the large, top end, designer Ginza shopping district. This hotel offers excellent business and conference services and rooms, a 20 meter indoor pool, a spa that is manned by very experienced and trained therapists and an array of fine gourmet restaurants. The Peninsula Tokyo Hotel has very spacious, luxury decorated rooms that have deluxe amenities and supported by professional, polite, efficient yet friendly staff.

Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Tokyo
Tokyo
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  The Peninsula Tokyo
The Peninsula Tokyo

Day 2: Tokyo

Take a half day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide by private transportation. The day begins with a visit to the outside Imperial Palace, home of Japan’s Imperial Family. Next is Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town where you can soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of rtaditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Afterwards, head across town to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings.   

This evening take a stroll around one of Tokyo’s trendiest areas, conveniently located minutes away from Shibuya. A popular place for locals ranging from their mid-twenties to early forties to grab a drink and a bite, this area boasts some of Tokyo’s best casual eateries driven by competition among local restaurant. On this tour you will visit five different restaurants and izakaya (Japanese casual pub) and get to experience some of the authentic food locals enjoy. These are friendly places where interaction between patrons (facilitated by your bilingual guide) will often happen. You will eat Yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), sashimi and sake tasting, okonomiyaki (savoury pancake), ramen or udon noodles and Japanese ice cream. Food and one drink at each restaurant are included. Please note you will be picked up by a taxi from your hotel and transferred to the meeting point. After the tour, your guide will assist you on how to get back to your hotel.

Accommodation: Peninsula Tokyo (5*)
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Yakitori
Yakitori

Day 3: Tokyo

Tokyo is a bustling metropolis, but if you take just a few steps outside of it, you will find surprising rural corners of quietness and tradition.
A French expert on Japanese Sake and Food, Sebastien Lemoine, will take you to rural Chiba (1 hour 15 minutes by train from Tokyo), to discover the universe of Japan’s emblematic and sacred drink "Sake," as well high-end local terroir cuisine. Sebastien is fluent in Japanese and will guide you on this unique day excursion, a refreshing escape from the city to an authentic location off the beaten path. It includes the visit of a family-run Sake brewery on the Boso area coastline, exploration of the area, and a healthful, primarily organic and vegetarian meal prepared from local ingredients at a beautiful, refined local restaurant where Sebastien will pair the fantastic meal with the best Sake option for your delight.

Please note that with this tour you will have a private guide, but rather than traveling by private vehicle, you will make use of Tokyo’s efficient local transit system.

Accommodation: Peninsula Tokyo (5*)
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Sake
Sake

Day 4: Tokyo - Hakone

Today leave Tokyo behind as you make the car journey to Hakone, the gateway to Mt Fuji and surrounding national park, with your local guide by private transportation. To explore the National Park, you can take advantage of the numerous forms of transport on offer, seamlessly integrated with your private car. Ride the world’s second longest cable car up Mt Owakudani, passing over sulfurous fumes, hot springs and hot rivers in this volcanic area, where you can eat an egg hard boiled in the sulfuric hot springs which make Hakone famous. If you do, it will add seven years to your life! A majestic replica pirate ship will sweep you across the Lake Ashinoko, a lake formed by a volcanic eruption 3000 years ago, and as you drive through the mountains, you will take in amazing views of the surrounding valleys. Throughout the day you will have the chance to get a glimpse of Mt Fuji, however please keep in mind that she is a notoriously shy mountain and it needs to be a clear day.

Accommodation: Gora Kadan (5*)

A stay in Gora Kadan, a former holiday retreat for the imperial family in the National Park Hakone, is an invitation to bring your five senses to life by submerging yourself in Japan’s most ancient way of life. A true highlight for foodies - it is renowned for serving one of the best 'kaiseki' dinners in all of Japan. In these calm and pleasurable settings, located in an area of springs heated by volcanic sources, you may move from your suite with its minimalist design, to a swimming pool or spa while wearing a Yukata cotton kimono. Treat yourself to a well-earned retreat in the natural beauty of Hakone National Park.

Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hakone
Hakone
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Gora Kadan
Gora Kadan

Day 5: Hakone - Kyoto

Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle.

Enjoy a scenic transfer by train from Hakone (Odawara) to Kyoto. The train ride is approximately 2 hours.

Meet your guide for a train station transfer with a private vehicle.

Explore the back streets of Kyoto`s geisha districts with the leading foreign geisha culture expert, Peter MacIntosh who has spent half his life living in Kyoto. He was married to an ex-geisha, studies Japanese arts and is a lecturer on Geisha Studies at a Kansai University. On a private walk through the geisha districts he will discuss the history as well as the present situation of the flower and willow world of Kyoto before stopping at a private, members only ochaya (geisha teahouse) where you will have matcha green tea and Japanese sweets in the company of a maiko or geiko. No other customers will be present. There will be traditional song, dance and games along with great photo opportunities. Please note this is just drinking tea and sweets with the maiko or geiko, not a tea ceremony, which is a traditional art geisha do not practice. Tour ends at the teahouse.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Kyoto (5*)

Discover the style and vibe of today's Japan with an 800-year-old ikeniwa (pond garden) at its heart – intimate, contemporary Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, in the scenic district of temples. Within light-filled, spacious guest rooms and select Private Hotel Residences, experience personalised, insider access to Kyoto's four-season delights. Double-height windows frame our tranquil garden as you enjoy modern European brasserie dining. Sip local craft beers on the waterside terrace. Cross the glass bridge for matcha in the Tea House. Float in the indoor pool then melt into bliss in the Spa. Conclude successful business behind artisan-carved cedar doors. Or celebrate new beginnings in the soaring, sunlit Chapel.

Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Kyoto
Kyoto
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Four Seasons Kyoto
Four Seasons Kyoto

Day 6: Kyoto

Arashiyama is a pleasant district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Okochi Mountain Villa is the former villa of the popular samurai film star Okochi Denjiro (1896-1962), and consists of several beautiful gardens and buildings, including living quarters, tea houses and a zen meditation hall. Here you will enjoy some matcha green tea with a snack. Next, take a walk through Arashiyama’s famous bamboo groves, which are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo stalks sway gently back and forth. The bamboo has been used to manufacture various products, such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local workshops for centuries. Nonomiya shrine is a Shinto shrine where in ancient times, unmarried imperial princesses stayed for a year or more to purify themselves.  Ranked among Kyoto's five great Zen temples, Tenryuji is the largest and most impressive temple in Arashiyama. Founded in 1339 at the beginning of the Muromachi Period (1338-1573), the temple is one of Kyoto's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition to its temple buildings, there are attractive gardens with walking paths.

Visit 2 of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and a local market on this half day tour. Start the day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. Next is Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle that was built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors. Finish the day with a visit to Nishiki Market.  Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, Nishiki is a narrow shopping street lined more with than 100 shops, selling fresh seafood and vegetables, pickles, Japanese sweets and sushi.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Kyoto (5*)
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Bamboo Groves
Bamboo Groves
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Kinkakuji Temple
Kinkakuji Temple

Day 7: Kyoto

Transfer from your hotel to Nara (45 minutes) with a private vehicle and guide. For 74 years during the 8th century Nara was Japan’s capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. Visit Todaiji temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Next stop is Nara’s most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshipers. End the day with a wander through Nara Park, called Deer park by locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer living there.

Osaka is one of Japan’s most vibrant cities, and primarily known for its active people - and it's food. Your guide will introduce you to the splendors of Osaka’s casual cuisine, venturing into the epicenter of street food culture in Osaka: Dotonbori. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in Kyoto and taken to Osaka. Dotonbori is a famous pedestrian-only restaurant street in Osaka’s boisterous Namba district. Famous for its vast array of culinary options, Dotonbori is known as a food paradise throughout Japan. Colorful eateries and bars line the neon-filled streets: hole-in-the-wall takoyaki stands and upscale eateries serving the finest wagyu beef – and everywhere, people – young and old – out to enjoy the culinary pleasures of the nation’s most famous restaurant district. You’ll have the chance to sample a variety of local foods, including the famous and ubiquitous takoyaki (commonly known as “octopus dumplings”) and kushikatsu (skewered meats and vegetables). The cost of these - and one drink a piece - is included. Your guide can also take you to a huge variety of other establishments, from ramen noodles to izakaya bars. The cost for your orders here will be on you. Afterwards, you will head back to Kyoto.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Kyoto (5*)
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Nara Park
Nara Park
Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Takoyaki - Octopus Dumplings
Takoyaki - Octopus Dumplings

Day 8: Kyoto

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Peninsula Tokyo (5*): Tokyo

The truly first class Peninsula Tokyo Hotel is located in a business and shopping district, opposite Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace. It is adjacent to Hibiya Subway Station, and a few short minutes stroll from the large, top end, designer Ginza shopping district. This hotel offers excellent business and conference services and rooms, a 20 meter indoor pool, a spa that is manned by very experienced and trained therapists and an array of fine gourmet restaurants. The Peninsula Tokyo Hotel has very spacious, luxury decorated rooms that have deluxe amenities and supported by professional, polite, efficient yet friendly staff.

Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  The Peninsula Tokyo
The Peninsula Tokyo

Gora Kadan (5*): Hakone

A stay in Gora Kadan, a former holiday retreat for the imperial family in the National Park Hakone, is an invitation to bring your five senses to life by submerging yourself in Japan’s most ancient way of life. A true highlight for foodies - it is renowned for serving one of the best 'kaiseki' dinners in all of Japan. In these calm and pleasurable settings, located in an area of springs heated by volcanic sources, you may move from your suite with its minimalist design, to a swimming pool or spa while wearing a Yukata cotton kimono. Treat yourself to a well-earned retreat in the natural beauty of Hakone National Park.

Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Gora Kadan
Gora Kadan

Four Seasons Kyoto (5*): Kyoto

Discover the style and vibe of today's Japan with an 800-year-old ikeniwa (pond garden) at its heart – intimate, contemporary Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, in the scenic district of temples. Within light-filled, spacious guest rooms and select Private Hotel Residences, experience personalised, insider access to Kyoto's four-season delights. Double-height windows frame our tranquil garden as you enjoy modern European brasserie dining. Sip local craft beers on the waterside terrace. Cross the glass bridge for matcha in the Tea House. Float in the indoor pool then melt into bliss in the Spa. Conclude successful business behind artisan-carved cedar doors. Or celebrate new beginnings in the soaring, sunlit Chapel.

Japan Culinary Journey Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Four Seasons Kyoto
Four Seasons Kyoto

Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard): Global Location

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Patrick T — August 22, 2017 — Asia

    Preparations were excellent - we really appreciated the attention to detail. The VIP Visa handling in Vietnam & Cambodia was much appreciated also. Guides were outstanding - particularly Borin in Cambodia.

  • Levi P — August 22, 2017 — Asia

    Used Kensington Tours to book my honeymoon in the foreign speaking country of Thailand. It was great to not have to worry about transportation or accommodation. Our itinerary was amazing but the best part was probably our English speaking guides. We had three separate guides and each of them became like close friend to us. The travel was long but I wouldn't trade our experience in Thailand for anything.

  • Karen K — August 22, 2017 — Asia

    I went to private tour w Kensington to Japan for 3 weeks last month. It was incredible. My daughter was studying in Niigata so I wanted her to hook up with me periodically throughout my tour to see all the highlights of Japan. It worked out perfectly. I'd personally like to thank Adam Watkins who was incredible with detail, kindness and professionalism. The guide selection was a perfect fit. I cannot say enough about my and my daughter's experience with Kensington Tours. A trip of a lifetime.

  • Debra Y — August 22, 2017 — Asia

    All the accommodations were great. The guides were very personable and knowledgeable. As a woman traveling alone, I never felt unsafe.

  • Kathleen P — August 22, 2017 — Asia

    My husband and I had a wonderful trip to Japan with Kensington Tours. Our private tour guides were incredibly knowledgeable and charismatic. We cannot wait to make a return visit to Japan! Thank you again for helping us create an amazing honeymoon.

  • Ellen Weisstein — May 23, 2017 — Asia

    Poopsha in Thailand was extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic and great company!!!!

  • Kelly Jennings — May 23, 2017 — Asia

    This was the first time I used a tour company and loved it. We REALLY REALLY appreciated Phusa in Chiang Mai, when she suggested the Silk factory tour and Pottery factory tour, that was great.

  • Sydni Smith — May 23, 2017 — Asia

    All travel guides were excellent!! Mutchalin from Chiang Mai is new to Kensington.She should be used by you again. Excellent

  • Jane L — March 29, 2017 — Asia

    Having Cindy Kwan organize our trip made it incredibly easy. Everything flowed smoothly.

  • Pamela G — March 17, 2017 — Asia

    It was perfect!

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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