From  £4190
per person
Tour Highlights
  • Visit one of the world's largest fish markets
  • Learn the art of Japanese cooking from local experts
  • Explore the iconic Shinto shrine
  • Stay in a traditional temple lodge
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Culture & Cuisine of Japan

13 Day Tour, from £4190 per person

Discover Japan's rich cultural heritage and culinary wonders on this immersive 13-day itinerary. Explore the world-renowned Japanese cuisine known for its exquisite flavours and flawless preparation, while uncovering the country's diverse cultural background and heritage.

Begin your Tokyo adventure by exploring the lively Tsukiji Outer Market and serene Hamarikyu Japanese garden, indulging in authentic sushi breakfast, followed by a visit to unique shopping districts. Travel via Shinkansen to Nagano for a serene temple stay near Zenkoji Temple. Continue to Kyoto for its iconic landmarks and an engaging hands-on cooking class. Venture to Fukuoka and visit fish markets and lively yatai stalls. Indulge in Osaka's food scene while immersing yourself in its historical sites. Wrap up your adventure with some downtime in Osaka as you relish this unforgettable fusion of food and culture in the Land of the Rising Sun!

Tour Itinerary

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

Upon arrival at Tokyo’s airport, our representative will be available to assist with transportation to your hotel, ensuring a smooth journey either by guiding you to the correct train or arranging for the appropriate shuttle bus service. The remainder of the day is free for leisure activities.

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
Tsukiji Market

Start your day with a local guide at Tokyo's Tsukiji Outer Market, renowned for its traditional shops and top-notch sushi restaurants. Explore the vibrant market scene, sample delicious food, and shop for local specialities and kitchenware. Before departing, indulge in a fresh sushi breakfast for an authentic Japanese experience.


Next, stroll to Hamarikyu, an Edo-period Japanese garden featuring seasonal flowers and Nakajima-no-Ochaya, a picturesque teahouse where you can enjoy freshly brewed green tea and learn about the tea ceremony. Then, head to Asakusa, Tokyo's historic Geisha district, to visit Senso-ji, the city's oldest Buddhist temple, and explore its traditional shops. Refuel with a lunch of delectable tempura, a local favourite.


Afterwards, take a short walk to Kappabashi, known as Kitchenware Town, for specialised stores offering knives, tableware, and food replicas. Finally, conclude your tour in Ueno's Ameyoko-cho, once a black market post-WWII and now a bustling shopping alley filled with food stalls offering a taste of local snacks. (B,L)

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Begin your day with a hands-on soba-making workshop at a cooking studio in Tokyo's Tsukiji area, led by either Akila Inouye, founder of the Tsukiji Soba Academy, or one of its graduates. Learn to prepare the wheat mixture, work the dough, and cut it into 1.6 mm thick noodles. After the lesson, enjoy dining in tachigui style with the teacher and classmates.


The afternoon is free for leisure, whether relaxing at the hotel or exploring Shibuya, Harajuku, or Yanaka independently. Consider joining a Tokyo street food tour to experience the vibrant street food scene firsthand. With the guidance of an English-speaking local, explore hidden culinary gems nestled within the city's narrow streets. Contact us for more information and to add the tour price to your itinerary. (B,L)

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
Zenkoji Temple

Today is a self-guided day. Depart from Tokyo station on Japan’s renowned Shinkansen (bullet train) bound for Nagano, a journey of just 90 minutes through the picturesque Japanese Alps.


Nestled in the Northern Alps, Nagano is known as the ‘Roof of Japan’ and is centred around the historic Zenkoji Temple, founded in the 7th Century. The temple houses a revered Buddhist statue, with a copy displayed to the public every six years. Visitors can explore the temple's underground passage in search of the ‘Key to Paradise’, believed to grant enlightenment to those who touch it. Accommodation tonight will be at a shukubo (temple lodge), where guests can enjoy famous Buddhist cuisine.


Optional activities at Zenkoji include joining the goma fire ceremony for purification and practising zazen meditation. Contact us for more information and to add this experience to your itinerary. (B,D)

Zenkoji Shukubo
Higashiyama District, Kyoto

Today is a self-guided day. Start your morning by joining the prayer service at Zenkoji Temple with a local guide, where you can experience the priests' chants and drums as they welcome the new day. Following the service, enjoy a vegetarian breakfast.


Next, embark on a scenic train journey through the Japanese Alps before boarding the bullet train to Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital, boasting approximately 2,000 shrines and temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The remainder of the day is yours to explore at your leisure.


Why not consider taking a Taste of Gion food tour this evening? Kyoto’s Gion district is renowned for its historic charm, featuring cobblestone streets lined with traditional wooden buildings, teahouses, and local shops. Led by an English-speaking guide, this food adventure focuses on Kyoto-style dishes that highlight the seasonal nature of Japanese cuisine. Contact us if you're interested in adding this tour to your itinerary. (B)

Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto Nagomitei
Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine

Today's tour begins with a visit to Kyoto's iconic Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine, renowned for its lavish decorations and thousands of orange torii gates that line the mountainside. Next, board a train to Sanjusangendo, a lesser-known yet captivating Buddhist temple housing 1001 life-sized golden statues. Following this, take a taxi to Nishiki Market, often dubbed "Kyoto's kitchen," where a variety of traditional and modern delicacies await exploration. After sampling the market's offerings, enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant recommended by the guide, accommodating guests' dietary preferences.


Continue the tour with a visit to Nijo Castle, admired for its intricate architecture and "chirping nightingale" floors. Conclude the day with a subway ride to Nanzenji Zen Temple, a serene sanctuary featuring a renowned Zen rock garden. After a day of exploration, bid farewell to the guide and return to the hotel or continue exploring independently. (B,L)

Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto Nagomitei

The morning is free for leisure activities.


In the afternoon, begin your Kyoto food tour led by a local guide at Nishiki Market. Navigate the bustling mile-long market street, perusing food stalls for fresh local ingredients and spices used in authentic Japanese cuisine. With the guidance of the local expert, select ingredients for the upcoming cooking class.


After exploring the market, proceed to the cooking class venue, a traditional wooden townhouse (machiya), where a sake tasting awaits. Learn about sake brewing and sample different varieties before diving into the cooking session. Under the guidance of a culinary expert, learn to make rolled sushi, miso soup, and fruit salad using traditional techniques. Gain insights into Japanese dining habits during the interactive culinary experience. Conclude the day with a delightful home-cooked dinner before venturing out to explore Kyoto's nightlife or returning to the hotel. (B,D)

Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto Nagomitei
Fukuoka's open air food stands

After breakfast, catch the bullet train to Fukuoka, renowned as Kyushu's culinary capital. Prepare for an afternoon food tour, commencing at 15:30. Meet with a knowledgeable foodie guide to delve into Fukuoka's rich culinary scene, renowned as one of Japan's best.


Begin the tour at the fish market, observing locals selecting the freshest ingredients and sampling dried and deep-fried delicacies. Next, explore the "depachika," the basement floor of a department store, home to various food counters and confectioners. Experience a stand-up eating shop, a popular choice amongst busy salarymen. Conclude the tour at the iconic yatai street food stalls, a quintessential part of Fukuoka's culture, offering traditional Japanese dishes like tempura and oden, as well as local specialities. Bid farewell to the guide and continue to explore Fukuoka's vibrant nightlife independently. (B,D)

Hotel Vista Fukuoka Nakasu-Kawabata
DAY 10

Today is a self-guided tour, and we recommend exploring Dazaifu this morning, a city with a rich history dating back to the 7th century. It served as the Kyushu government's location for over 500 years and played a significant role in Japan's diplomacy and defence.


Begin your visit at the renowned Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, dedicated to Sugawara Michizane's spirit, a revered figure in Japanese history. Then, proceed to Komyozenji Temple, known for its exquisite Japanese gardens, including a front garden with fifteen rocks and a rear garden featuring lush vegetation, moss, and rocks.


Additionally, consider joining an optional bike tour of Fukuoka with a local guide, which includes a delectable ramen lunch at a local restaurant known for its Hakata ramen, a speciality of the city. Let our travel specialists know if you'd like to include this activity in your itinerary. (B)

Hotel Vista Fukuoka Nakasu-Kawabata
DAY 11
Japanese Wagyu Beef

You have the morning free until the scheduled departure to Osaka. Once you arrive and check into your hotel, start your exploration of Osaka, famous for its culinary scene. We recommend visiting Dotonburi, renowned for its lively ambience and neon lights, as well as Umeda, known for its modern skyscrapers like HEP, culinary delights in Kitashinchi District, and the distinctive Umeda Sky Building with its panoramic 'Floating Garden Observatory'.


In the evening, join an Osaka food tour to indulge in the city's culinary delights. The tour begins with a visit to a hidden gem eatery serving a unique style of tempura, featuring traditional favourites like shrimp tempura alongside experimental combinations like asparagus tempura with cheese. Next, indulge in wagyu beef dishes at a renowned restaurant. 


After exploring atmospheric backstreets, conclude the tour at a small teppanyaki restaurant to savour delicious gyoza and negiyaki cooked on a metal plate before bidding farewell to the guide. You can then return to the hotel or take a leisurely stroll to explore the neighbourhood further. (B,D)

Cross Hotel Osaka
DAY 12
Osaka Castle

Begin the morning with a visit to Osaka Castle, a historic landmark celebrated for its architecture and cherry blossom trees, particularly captivating in spring. Explore the castle's exhibitions and enjoy panoramic views of the city from its upper floors, surrounded by serene gardens and moats. Then, embark on a scenic cruise along the Okawa River, offering vistas of Nakanoshima Park and the red-bricked Mint Museum, especially picturesque during cherry blossom season.


Returning to the vibrant Namba area, immerse yourself in the dynamic atmosphere, strolling through the bustling streets of Dotonbori, renowned for its entertainment and culinary scene. Explore hidden treasures like the Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum, showcasing the unique Kamigata-style woodblock prints, and Hozen-ji Yokocho, a charming area with traditional eateries and the serene Hozen-ji Temple, where worshippers splash water on the deity's statue as a ritual. (B)

Cross Hotel Osaka
DAY 13
The remainder of the day is free until your departure flight from Kansai International Airport. (B)

Pricing Information

13 day tour, from £4190 per person

Price Includes

  • Return International flights as per the itinerary
  • All airport taxes & security charges
  • Accommodation and meals as specified
  • Transfers as specified
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • All entrance fees on sightseeing tours as specified

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance
  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions

Price Notes

  • Japan's pricing can vary significantly due to festivals, domestic holidays, and weekends. For precise pricing over specific dates, please consult with one of our Travel Specialists.
  • Reservations made during weekends, peak seasons, and Japanese public holidays may be subject to additional charges.

Tour Route Map

  1. Japan, Tokyo
  2. Japan, Nagano
  3. Japan, Kyoto
  4. Japan, Fukuoka
  5. Japan, Osaka

Tour Accommodation

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku Located in Shinjuku's Kabukicho district, Hotel Gracery stands out with its distinctive feature: a unique Godzilla bust on its eighth floor, paying homage to the iconic......
Zenkoji Shukubo
Zenkoji Shukubo
Zenkoji Shukubo Zenko-ji Temple, nestled in Nagano and a mere 20-minute walk from Nagano Station, stands as one of Japan's oldest and most significant Buddhist temples. With a multitude of......
Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto Nagomitei
Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto Nagomitei
Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto Nagomitei Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto Nagomitei provides a convenient stay just a 7-minute walk from Shijo Station, granting easy access to Kyoto's top attractions like Nijo......
Hotel Vista Fukuoka Nakasu-Kawabata
Hotel Vista Fukuoka Nakasu-Kawabata
Hotel Vista Fukuoka Nakasu-Kawabata Conveniently nestled in the heart of Fukuoka, Hotel Vista Fukuoka Nakasu-Kawabata is a 3-star hotel that offers comfortable air-conditioned rooms......
Cross Hotel Osaka
Cross Hotel Osaka
Cross Hotel Osaka Cross Hotel Osaka stands at a strategic location, a stone's throw away from the lively Dotonbori area and just a brief 3-minute walk from Namba Subway Station, providing......

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