10 days / 9 nights
Max 20 People
Bullet Train + Limited Express + Local Train + Private Coach + Ferry
Embark on a culinary journey across Japan
Japanese cuisine is famed around the world. From a high-end multi-course Kaiseki meal to a raucous izakaya pub beneath the rumbling train tracks, the Japanese obsession with food can be seen everywhere.
This tour puts Japanese cuisine in the spotlight as we travel the popular “Golden Route” to seek out the best dishes each region has to offer. And between meals we’ll show you our favourite sights and attractions.
Not only will you try the food, you’ll also don an apron and learn from the masters to gain an appreciation of the unique relationship and respect Japanese people have towards food.
Share unforgettable moments (and meals) with people you will meet on this culinary journey.
We’ve carefully chosen each dining experience so you can try the best of each region we visit – plus all the local favourites. Sushi, tempura, teppanyaki, yakitori, ramen, the freshest seafood, the finest beef and so much more – you won’t miss a thing!
Step behind the scenes of an authentic tofu shop where you’ll be welcomed by tofu masters who’ll teach your their trade and pass on the knowledge that dates back generations. Test your new-found skills and try your own creations for lunch.
Japan is famous for picture-perfect sushi and now you have the chance to give it a try. Learn from the experts and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be plating up your own take on Japan’s most iconic food. Good luck!
Visit the museum of a centuries-old Kyoto brewery that taps into the pure underground spring water of Fushimi. After a tour of the brewery and sampling the range, you’ll understand why sake is becoming so popular globally. Kanpai!(Cheers)
photo: sample image
A rare opportunity to spend an evening enjoying performances by maiko (apprentice geisha) and savour Kyoto’s famed ‘kaiseki‘ multi-course dinner with drinks. Take part in traditional geisha games for a true Japanese experience!
Shop where the locals and chefs do at Omicho Market in Kanazawa and see why it’s known as “Kanazawa’s Kitchen”. Experience this lively food market where the finest seafood found off Japan’s coast is on full display over hundreds of stalls. Keep an eye out for samples!
Welcome to Japan!
After arriving at Haneda Airport, you’ll be greeted by the Kintetsu representative and meet the rest of your group.
Your tour begins with a trip to Hakone – a beautiful lake-side region known for hot springs that’s just an hour away from Tokyo via private coach.
Board a unique pirate-themed ship and cruise around the stunning Lake Ashi. Keep an eye out for Mt Fuji in the distance!
After a hearty lunch of soba noodles, we’ll move onto Owakudani – an atmospheric volcanic valley.
After a big day, we’ll head to Atami/Odawara via private coach for the night. Relax at the hotel and enjoy your first dinner in Japan – a traditional multi-course Kaiseki meal.
Luggage transfer from Atami Hotel to Kyoto Hotel. Travel light in Takayama and Kanazawa.
After breakfast at the hotel, it’s time to board the iconic Shinkansen (bullet train) bound for Nagoya – the best way to see Japan. With such a silky smooth ride, it’s almost impossible to believe the scenery is flying by at up to 285km per hour! From Nagoya we’ll take the Limited Express “Wide View Hida” to Takayama, a city nestled in the mountains of the Hida region.
Before we start exploring, we’ll enjoy a bowl of Takayama ramen – a ramen with a lighter broth and smaller curly noodles unique to the region.
Fully charged after lunch, we explore Takayama Old Town and Takayama Jinya. Stroll down streets lined with beautifully preserved buildings of the Edo era that allow you to see Japan as it was hundreds of years ago.
For dinner, we’ll try sukiyaki. A bubbling hotpot with vegetables and Hida beef – among the finest quality beef in Japan.
After breakfast, we’ll visit Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its thatched roof houses. It’s a charming area that looks straight from the pages of a children’s storybook.
We’ll leave the mountains and head via private coach to the city of Kanazawa located right on the Sea of Japan. With some of the freshest seafood in Japan, seafood lovers are in for a treat.
After a tempura lunch, we head to Omicho Market to explore the hundreds of stalls and shops showcasing the finest produce the region has to offer.
Finish the day with a delicious crab dinner – you’ll never have had fresher crab!
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll board our private coach to tour the best attractions of Kanazawa.
First up are the narrow streets of the historic Higashi Chaya district – one of Japan’s few remaining geisha districts.
From there we stop at the majestic Kanazawa Castle which dates back to the 1500s. Across from the Castle are the Kenrokuen Gardens – an exquisite landscaped garden that shares a history with the Castle. Tranquil and serene, the gardens feature pine trees that are 200 years old and beautiful water features. The perfect way to end our tour of Kanazawa.
By now it’s time to eat and for our last taste of Kanazawa’s amazing seafood – a delectable sushi lunch.
In the late afternoon we’ll catch the Limited Express “Thunderbird” for Kyoto – the ancient capital of Japan.
After getting settled in the Kyoto hotel, we’ll go out for dinner to finish up the day.
We begin our exploration of Kyoto with the shimmering Kinkakuji – the iconic temple covered in gold leaf.
Next, we’ll meet tofu masters at their shop where they’ll share their secrets on making tofu. Try your hand at making tofu and even get to try our efforts for lunch.
After lunch we’ll take part in a traditional tea ceremony before continuing on to Kiyomizudera Temple. Perched on a mountain, Kiyomizudera’s vast veranda offers a spectacular view of Kyoto.
From there we’ll return to Kyoto central and visit Nishiki Market. This market is crowded with all the local delights – green tea, sweets, locally-made ceramics and anything else you could imagine.
With our appetites worked up from the market, tonight’s dinner will be much welcomed – a teppanyaki feast at a local restaurant.
After breakfast, we board a private coach tour to Nara and southern Kyoto.
Nara Park is vast and home to many sights of great cultural significance. Explore the park and visit Todaiji Temple – an enormous wooden structure that houses the largest bronze statue of Buddha in the world.
Be sure to say hello to the deer that freely roam Nara Park – but be careful – they’re on the lookout for snacks!
For lunch, we’ll stop in at a local Italian restaurant for pizza and pasta.
In the afternoon we’ll visit the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum in Kyoto. This centuries-old Kyoto brewery taps into the pure underground spring water of Fushimi – perfect for making sake. Try a sample (or two!) afterwards!
We will also visit Fushimi-Inari Taisha shrine, with its iconic thousands of vermillion torii gates across the narrow pathway to the mountain top.
For dinner, spend the evening at an elegant restaurant surrounded by beautifully landscaped Japanese gardens and enjoy a Kaiseki meal. And as a truly rare experience, be entertained over dinner by a maiko – a geisha apprentice – with a performance featuring games and music.
Luggage transfer from Kyoto Hotel to Tokyo Hotel. Travel light in Hiroshima and Osaka.
Today we head to Hiroshima on the bullet train – a city that respects its tragic past but is not defined by it.
We’ll first board a ferry for a day-trip to Miyajima – a small island just 10 minutes off the mainland. Miyajima is home to one of the most iconic scenes in Japan – the “floating” tori gate of Itsukushima shrine. Explore the island and see the Five Story Pagoda and Daishoin Temple – and make new friends with the deer that roam the island.
Miyajima is famous for delicious, juicy oysters – which feature on today’s lunch menu!
Take a moment to relax back in the hotel before we take on Hiroshima’s comfort food of choice for dinner – okonomiyaki. Most commonly described as a sizzling savoury pancake – topped with meat or local seafood – it is a must-try.
This morning we visit the A-Bomb Dome – the epicentre of the 1945 atomic bomb blast. Surrounded by the beautiful Peace Memorial Park dotted with colourful origami cranes symbolising hope, it is incredible to see how the city of Hiroshima has prospered.
Next we farewell Hiroshima and take a bullet train to Osaka – also known as Japan’s Kitchen. Pick up a bento (lunch box) before the trip and watch the scenery glide by as you eat!
After arriving in Osaka we head to Osaka Castle. Situated in a picturesque park, Osaka Castle sits high above and provides a great view over Osaka.
For dinner, we dive into the chaotic night-life of Dotonbori and feast on kushikatsu. Kushikatsu is deep-fried skewered meat and vegetables with a dipping sauce – a true Osaka favourite. Remember, only dip once!
After breakfast we hop on the bullet train and speed toward our final destination – the mega-city of Tokyo!
You’re in charge for lunch as we roll up our sleeves and take part in a sushi-making class. Learn under the experts’ watchful eye. Good luck!
After lunch we’ll spend the afternoon in the Asakusa district. Here you’ll see the area’s unique blend of old Japan and cutting-edge future of Japan.
Stroll down the buzzing Nakamise shopping street while sampling traditional snacks and picking up those last-minute souvenirs before arriving at Sensoji – Tokyo’s most famous temple.
Head skywards to the 634m-high Tokyo Skytree. The never-ending sprawl of Tokyo laid out beneath you is a truly memorable sight.
Tonight we celebrate a great trip with an all-you-can-eat izakaya dinner. Eat, drink and plan your next trip to Japan!
On our final day in Japan we’ll witness the intensity of sumo. Watch two former professional sumo wrestlers go to toe-to-toe in a sumo demonstration or witness the intensity of sumo training in a sumo stable. At the sumo demonstration, if you’re feeling bold, perhaps you can face off against them too!
After conquering the sumo wrestlers, we head to Tsukuji Outer Market. The former site of Tokyo’s iconic seafood market, Tsukuji remains an important source for fresh seafood and produce and is a favourite among restauranteurs.
As we head to lunch we drive through the Olympic Games precincts. Pick up the tongs and enjoy our final feast in Japan – yakinuku – Japanese BBQ!
And as the sun sets, our tour comes to an end and we return to the hotel. If you are flying home tonight, board your private transfer back to Haneda Airport.
We hope to see you again in Japan – sayonara!
Overlooking the Sagami Sea, your room offers all the comforts you need. Enjoy the public hot spring bath and wind down after the first day of the tour. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby.
Located in the center of Takayama, this hotel’s key feature is the gorgeous rooftop spa with mountain views. Free Wi-Fi available.
Minutes away from Omicho Market, this hotel ensures a supremely comfortable stay. Relax in the roof-top bathhouse while enjoying a view of
the Kanazawa Castle Park. Free Wi-Fi available.
This stylish hotel is minutes away from Kyoto Station, making our train connections simple and easy. Relax in a beautifully appointed room with a Japanese touch. Free Wi-Fi available.
This Michelin 3-star rated hotel is directly connected to JR Hiroshima Station for your convenience as we travel in and out of Hiroshima. Why not try a massage after a long day exploring Hiroshima? Free Wi-Fi available.
A centrally located hotel right above Osaka’s busiest transport hub – Osaka Station. Comfortable rooms with many dining options to choose from. Free Wi-Fi available.
A high-rise hotel located in the heart of Shinjuku’s skyscraper district. Enjoy views of the Tokyo skyline in your elegant room that allows you to enjoy your final city in Japan stress-free. Free Wi-Fi available.
*Please note: For groups with 8 travellers, we will use a private mini-bus.
For 2021 departure
For 2022 departure
Group size: Min 8 people / Max 20 people
*Please contact us for our solo traveller rates and triple-share rates.
*This tour is for travellers aged 15 years old and up.
Please read our General Booking Terms & Conditions
Kintetsu International Express (Oceania) is an ATAS accredited travel agent in Australia, a member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents. In Australia, we specialise in arranging Corporate and Group Travel for businesses, schools, religious groups and cultural organisations. We have Travel Centres in Sydney and Melbourne serving our Australian customers and offices in Cairns, Gold Coast and Auckland handling Japanese inbound tours. We are also an authorised travel agent to sell Japan Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass in Australia
Kintetsu International belongs to the travel arm of the Kintetsu Group, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate which operates a major Japanese rail system, bus & freight forwarding companies, department stores, restaurants & hotel chains. We have more than 150 offices in Japan and more than 40 overseas offices worldwide. Utilising our global network, we guide our customers to every location around the globe with quality and dependable services.