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
£3070excluding flights
15 Days
Tailor made
Make enquiry

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.

Price information

£3070excluding flights
Make enquiry

Departure information

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

Travel guides

Cooking & food
Taste can trigger our most intense memories, like the bit of petite madeleine that instantly evoked a dreamy past in Proust's A La Recherche Du Temps ...
If you haven’t been there, just talk to someone who has. People get hooked on Japan. On their rituals, quirkiness, history and innate welcoming nature...

Holiday information

Dietary requirements:
We can cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.


1 Reviews of Japan gastronomic holiday

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Exploring a wide range of parts of Japan and trying our hand at things like sushi making and noodle making

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It is a great way to maximise your time in Japan. Having the logistics worked out for you by a specialist who knows the country really helps to get more out of your time while the self-tour aspect means it is still under your won control and not confined by tour groups. That element of flexibility allows you to make the holiday your own

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It could be said that our interaction with the tourist locations and some of the classes like noodle making helped the local economy but honestly speaking it is not possible to make an argument that this trip reduced environmental impact or supported conservation even though we used our own chopsticks and recycled our waste.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The company tailored the trip very well to our needs and as a result we had a great experience

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


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 the phrases to refuse a plastic bag and other non-essential items.

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 Hida Furukawa, you’ll stay at traditional 'machiya' accommodation, a lovingly restored old townhouse that has been renovated as part of a community project to promote local tourism. In Kanazawa, you’ll take part in a cookery course in a local townhouse. 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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