Japan's Culinary Heritage

A small-group guided food tour through Japan's best-kept culinary traditions

Japan's Culinary Heritage

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Tour details

Japan's Culinary Heritage
x1 traveller
Single room additional charge

Solo supplements guarantee solo rooms at the hotels on your tour. At inns, you will share with another member of your departure of the same gender.


If you would like to do multiple tours in one trip or have a question about any of our tours, do not hesitate to contact us with the button below.

  • Duration: 11 days
  • Trip level:
  • Availability: March to October
  • Type:Guided tour with an expert bilingual guide
  • Price: USD 5,020(Price per person, based on 2 travellers sharing a room)

Please choose your preferred month to see available departures.

  • Visit Kanazawa's local food market which has attracted residents and visitors for almost 300 years
  • Hunt for wild vegetables with an expert and learn traditional cooking methods with the Gokayama community
  • Learn the art of earth-oven cooking in a traditional home in Kyōto
  • Get hands-on with history during a visit to Sakai City, famous for high-quality Japanese kitchen knives
  • Visit Awaji island to learn about its seafood culture and enjoy a beach lunch with a local food-designer chef
  • Learn more about tea culture in Uji, Kyōto

Please note: due to the special focus of this tour on Japan's culinary heritage, which includes meat, fish, seafood, soy sauce, miso, and items made from wheat, we are unable to accommodate special dietary requests for this tour.

This culinary journey visits famous locations like the ancient imperial capital of Kyōto, as well as hidden rural villages and culturally-unique Awaji Island in the fabled Inland Sea, where culinary traditions have been handed down from generation to generation.  Foraging for wild ingredients, harvesting the bounty of the land, cooking with emblematic figures and alongside members of local communities, this culinary adventure will show you how food is one of the most intimate ways to uncover Japan’s history and culture. 

Japan is blessed with rich natural products from satoyama, the border area between flat arable land where rice is grown and the mountains. Managed sustainably over centuries, satoyama areas are biologically diverse and support a wide variety of wildlife throughout four seasons, offering a great variety of dishes and regional specialities. Japanese cuisine's unique qualities are the product of a long tradition of respect for the harvest of ingredients, and for nature itself.

Food culture in Japan is also closely related to festivals and rituals, and reflects the way of life in each particular region. Travelling from mountain villages to fishing ports, staying in rural thatched-roof houses and dazzling cities, and experiencing the food and the culture, you will awaken your senses and share unforgettable moments with people you’ll meet on your journey. 

Our adventure starts in Tōkyō and takes us to the local food market in Kanazawa, followed by then hunting for wild mountain vegetables in Gokayama. Next, we travel to Shirakawa-go, a World Heritage Site, and Takayama, where we take in the beautifully preserved traditional architecture. In Sakai City in Ōsaka, an area famous for its steelwork, we learn about the art of Japanese knives and the forges that make them. We visit a fishing port on Awaji Island before heading to Uji where we learn more about Japan's unique tea culture and the origin of sencha tea. Our tour ends in Kyōto City, where we learn how to cook using the traditional method of an earth oven stove known as an okudo-san and explore central Kyōto.

*Due to coronavirus, some substitutions may be necessary 

Exclusive behind-the-scene experiences:

Nakanishi-san (sake brewer) - Community-hosted lunch in Gokayama

Toga-mura is a small-scale local community in the hidden valley of Gokayama. Nakanishi-san cultivates rice to brew doburoku sake, and he will take us foraging for seasonal produce. We'll call at villagers' houses on the way, tasting some home-preserved sansai, or wild vegetables. The villagers will collaborate to produce a community-hosted lunch for us.

Chef Shinse - Foodscape beach lunch on Awaji Island 

Rendez-vous on the coast for the ultimate beach lunch experience! Your chef today is a real artist and will prepare his signature 'foodscape'. Using locally harvested ingredients, he applies his inspiration to create an edible landscape that will delight all your senses.

Baba Cutlery Works - Craftsmanship inherited from father to son

Sakai City in Ōsaka is the home of Japanese knives with a history of 600 years. Founded in 1916, Baba Cutlery Works has been inherited from father to son with a commitment to create the best quality kitchen knives and pass this knowledge on to the next generation. We will visit Sakai City to observe how collaboration between highly skilled professionals creates steel with an unparalleled sharpness.

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What is included
Full-time services of an English-speaking tour guide
10 nights in hotels and Japanese-style inns
Daily breakfast, 6 lunches, and daily dinner
All transportation between tour locations
Entrance to museums, temples and other sights on the group's itinerary
Forwarding of 1 item of luggage with daily luggage transfer on a portion of the trip
All cooking experiences and workshops
What is not included
Airport transfers
Drinks and meals not included in itinerary
Entrance fees to museums, temples, etc. not mentioned in the itinerary
Single room supplement for solo travellers at hotels

Tour itineraries are subject to change. We will inform you of any amendments as soon as we become aware of them.