Japan gastronomic holiday

“A two week tailor made, self-guided trip around Honshu with cooking lessons, market trips, street food and fine meals. With private transfers , train travel and private guides at some points.”


Tokyo | Matsumoto | Takayama | Kanazawa | Kyoto | Kii Peninsula | Funicular railway to Mount Koya | Night in Buddhist temple lodgings | Osaka | Private cookery class | Kaiseki multi-course feast

Description of Japan gastronomic holiday

From Michelin-starred sushi restaurants to street-side noodle bars and ramen restaurants, Japan is the ultimate foodie’s paradise. Japanese food is arguably the most subtle, intricate and varied cuisine in the world, with numerous regional and seasonal specialities to savour. For so many visitors to Japan, sampling the food is a highlight of the trip.

Food is the focus of this 13 night self-guided itinerary, designed to take you on a gastronomic voyage of discovery across Japan. With the guidance of our expert Insider staff, you’ll pitch in with the locals at a lively izakaya in Tokyo and enjoy lunch at the city’s best ramen joints.

It’s not just constant eating – in Matsumoto, you’ll try your hand at making the local speciality soba noodles in between sightseeing, take a cooking lesson at a private local house and have an opportunity to get in touch with your spiritual side at traditional Buddhist temple lodgings at Mount Koya.

Of course, a foodie trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a stay in vibrant Osaka – nicknamed the ‘Kitchen of Japan’ on account of the wonderful array of street food vendors and eateries.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Japan gastronomic holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


Most of the journeys on this itinerary are taken by local train or bus to minimise carbon emissions. Wherever possible, we encourage clients to use Japan’s excellent and efficient public transport system.

Hotel staff in Japan are aware of environmental issues, so do look out for recycling bins in the hotels and also outside convenience stores. We give all clients an ‘Eco-Card’ which you can leave on the hotel room bed asking staff not to replace linen and towels.

All of our customers receive a list of tips for going green in Japan. We encourage clients not to overuse the air conditioning in summer or heating in winter. Tap water is safe to drink in Japan so you can avoid buying bottles of water from the ubiquitous vending machines. Our Info-Pack provides lots of recommendations for local restaurants and shops.

Japanese culture makes much of the changing of the seasons and the food you’ll eat on this trip is sure to reflect this. Your guides will be sure to pick restaurants where the menu offers locally grown, seasonal specialities keeping those food miles down and introducing you to the best Japanese cuisine.


One of the highlights of the Gastronomic Adventure is a stay in traditional temple lodging at Mount Koya. In addition to being a completely unique experience for the guests, we are pleased to promote and support a simpler way of life in accordance with Buddhist teachings. All of the food here is strictly vegetarian; fresh, healthy and locally sourced.

In Takayama, you’ll stay at traditional ryokan accommodation, owned and run by one family and enjoy a home-made kaiseki feast. In Kyoto, you’ll take part in a cookery course in the teacher’s own home kitchen. This is a rare glimpse into local Japanese culture and is a great opportunity to make a new friend in a relaxed friendly environment.

In Tokyo and Kyoto you'll spend time with local English-speaking Japanese guides who will give you the lowdown on each city and tips for the best speciality foods to try. They will recommend restaurants that you might be otherwise too scared to try, translate the menu for you and introduce you to new dishes. There a number of local, family-run restaurants and bars that we have a very good relationship with and encourage our clients to visit on our trips.

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