2018 “Discover Japan” – Cuisine & Culture Tour

Another UNIQUE Cooking Passions “Small-Group” Cuisine & Culture Journey

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NEW DISCOVER JAPAN – CUISINE & CULTURE EXPERIENCE

TENTATIVE 2018 DATES

– 11 Days / 10 Nights –
Tuesday 22 May 2018 to Friday 01 June 2018

We are currently accepting “Expressions of Interest” for those interested in receiving Pre Notification about details for our 2018 “Discover Japan” tour.

If visiting Japan has been one of your “must-do” bucket list travel experiences, then we are pleased to share with our our newest Luxury Small Group “Cuisine & Culture” Journey, in which we be escorting a small group of only 10 travellers on our “Discover Japan – Cuisine & Culture” experience.  Having travelled and escorted groups all over the world, Japan is unlike anywhere else we have ever visited and remains an enigma to many.
We have designed our bespoke “Discover Japan – Luxury Cherry Blossom” journey with our personal hand-picked selections of :
to allow you to comfortably experience this incredible destination for an unforgettable, once in a lifetime Japanese holiday.

Cooking Passions “Small Group” Cuisine & Culture Journeys
Cooking Passions Cuisine & Culture Journeys have been designed so that you can make the most of your precious time, as we have done all of the “behind the scenes” research to scope out the finest luxury hotels, local transfers, sights, restaurants, spas & excursions, so you don’t have too. 
Each of our tours are designed so you can do as much or as little as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immerse yourselves in the sights, shopping, relaxation and eating that YOU want to experience (we’ll be happy to provide suggestions and tips on some of our favourites from our previous trips). So all you have to do is book your preferred flight, pack a bag & a sense of adventure, and join us for an unforgettable and luxurious Japanese experience!!
Our “Discover Japan – Cuisine & Culture Experience” highlights include :

ITINERARY

 Day 1 – TOKYO

Tokyo is a truly overwhelming city: a vibrant hub of modern civilisation, constantly buzzing with activity. Japan’s largest city and its capital since the Meiji restoration of 1868, Tokyo is a sensory bombardment and the wonderful abundance of street-level detail means there is always something to keep the attention.

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Private Airport Transfer – Upon your arrival into Haneda Airport*, we have arranged for your Private Airport Transfer to our selected centrally located hotels in central Tokyo, 40 minutes from Haneda  Airport.
*When arranging for your preferred international flights to Japan, please choose your arrival airport to be Haneda Airport which services Tokyo and your departure airport to be Kansai Airport which services Osaka & Kyoto. There is an additional cost for a Private Airport Transfer from Narita due to its additional distance from the centre of Tokyo. 
Cultural Experiences – Imperial Palace & Ginza

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– Enjoy a walk around the grounds of Japan’s Imperial Palace (above), directly opposite The Peninsula Tokyo
– Take a walk around Tokyo’s most fashionable and trendy district – Ginza (below) – and visit some of the biggest names in fashion in the world.

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Culinary Experience – Kaiseki Welcome Dinner
19:00pm – Group Welcome Kaiseki Dinner – Kaiseki is Japanese cuisine in its most refined form. A kaiseki meal consists of course upon course of masterfully-prepared dishes featuring seasonal and local specialties. Tonight we will experience Japan’s centuries old kaiseki traditions, with a modern twist. Modern kaiseki draws on a number of traditional Japanese cuisines, notably four traditions: imperial court cuisine, Buddhist cuisine of temples, samurai cuisine of warrior households and tea ceremony cuisine.

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Accommodation: The Peninsula Tokyo
(Included Meals : D)
Day 2 – Old & New Tokyo
– Breakfast at your leisure
08:30am – Meet in the lobby to begin our exploration of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities and some of its most well known cultural attractions and districts. After a brief lesson on how to use Tokyo’s fantastic public transport system, Nico & Belinda will accompany the group for a bird’s eye view of Tokyo, where we may even be rewarded with a view of Mt Fuji from the top of the Tokyo Skytree.
The famous districts we will be visiting today include:
Cultural Experiences – Old & New Tokyo

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Cuisine Experiences – Tonkatsu & Japan’s Michelin Option
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16:00pm – Remainder of the afternoon and evening at your leisure. Take the opportunity for a rest in your Peninsula room or indulge in a relaxing swim in the hotel’s 20 metre indoor swimming pool and spa complex.
pm – Evening at your leisure. For those not wishing to visit a Michelin restaurant this evening, we can visit a local traditional izakaya or sushi restaurant close to the hotel.
(Included Meals : B, L)
Day 3 – Tokyo
– Breakfast at your leisure
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9:00am – Meet in the lobby for the short walk to the Tsukiji Fish Market’s* “Outer Market”, known as Japan’s “Food Town,” where one can encounter all of Japan’s traditional foods. A mixture of wholesale and retail shops along with numerous restaurants line the streets, this is where Japan’s new culinary trends are said to be born.
* With Japan’s hosting of the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market and famed tuna auction will be relocating from it’s central Ginza location in November 2016 to accommodate the redevelopment of this area. Tsukiji’s Outer Market should still remain, however there might not be the possibility of visiting the new fish market’s new location.
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10:00am – We will then continue to the Nihonbashi (“Japan Bridge”) district one of Tokyo’s oldest commercial districts. It is from this “Japan Bridge” that all mileage markers across Japan are commenced from. We will also have a quick look at one of Japan’s oldest department stores – Mitsukoshi – also known as “The Harrods of Japan”.
Sakura Ueno Park
11:00amUeno Park is one of Tokyo’s most popular and lively cherry blossom spots with more than 1000 cherry trees lining its central pathway and lake. The cherry blossoms are usually in bloom during late March and early April and attract large numbers of hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties. The park is also home to many museums including the Tokyo National Museum. After a walk around the grounds to view what Cherry Blossoms are blooming, you will have the opportunity to visit the Tokyo National Museum, before having the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.
pm – Afternoon at your leisure. Relax back at The Peninsula Tokyo or we can suggest some other areas of Tokyo that you may like to explore.
19:30pm – Depart the hotel to experience dinner at a typical, Japanese-style Izakaya (Japanese Gastropub) restaurant for a quintessential Japanese dining experience of great food and drink amongst local Japanese.
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Cultural Experiences
Cuisine Experiences
(Included Meals : B, D)
Day 4 – Nara – Japan’s Ancient Capital
am – Breakfast at your leisure.
8:30am – Check out from our hotel for departure by local train and Japan’s famous Shinkansen Bullet train to Nara, Japan’s ancient capital.
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13:00pm – Check in to our hotel – Fujitsu Nara Hote
14:00pm – Walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage ancient city of Nara, second only to Kyoto as the richest collection of traditional sites including:
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7:30pm – Dinner at a traditional Japanese “tempura” restaurant
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Cultural Experiences
Culinary Experience
(Included Meals : B, D)
Day 5 – Saturday 25 March 2017 – Kyoto – Japan’s Cultural Jewel
am – Breakfast at your leisure.
9:00am – Check out from our hotel for departure by local train to Kyoto, one of Japan’s most culturally celebrated cities.
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Kyoto – With Zen gardens, bamboo groves, Buddhist temples and geisha shuffling along cobbled laneways, Kyoto seems to be lifted straight from the scenes of an ancient Japanese woodblock print. Kyoto is the epicenter of Japanese culture and history and one of the most fascinating of Asian cities. Founded in 794 as Japan’s capital, it is home to over 15 World Heritage sites which all are associated with traditional Japan including stunning temples and shrines, mysterious geisha, Zen rock gardens, imperial palaces, refined cuisine, ornate kimono, and centuries-old bamboo groves
12noon – After dropping our bags off at our hotel, we will meet our English-speaking Japanese guide to get a start on visiting some of Kyoto’s most important World Heritage-listed treasures.
13:00pm – Visit to Kyoto’s famous  Kiyomizu-dera Temple followed by Fushimi Inari Shrine and it’s thousands of torii gates.
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19:00pm – Dinner at Japanese French Bistro
(Included Meals : B, D)
Cultural Experiences
Culinary Experiences
Day 6 – Kyoto – Japan’s Cultural Jewel
am – Breakfast at your leisure.
9am – Meet in the lobby to continue our exploration of  more of Kyoto’s most impressive and visually stunning cultural icons.
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Culinary Experiences
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Cultural Experiences
Culinary Experiences
(Included Meals : B, L, D)
Day 7  – Classic Japanese Ryokan Experience – Kinosaki
am – Breakfast at your leisure.
10:00am – Check out from our Kyoto hotel for departure by local train to Kinosaki, situated on the Sea of Japan in Central Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture.
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Kinosaki – with over 1400 years of tradition, Kinosaki is one of Japan’s top onsen (hot spring resort) destinations. This charming 8th century town, with its seven unique public hot spring baths and dozens of onsen ryokan accommodations, is the place to sample the quintessential onsen ryokan experience. For hundreds of years, Kinosaki has been known throughout Japan as a hot spring town. Putting on yukata (light cotton kimono) & geta (wooden clogs) to visit each of the town’s seven public hot springs – each with its own unique style – has become a storied tradition of visitors to Kinosaki. In addition to its famous public hot springs, Kinosaki is also known for its mouthwatering cuisine, including Japan’s famous Matsuba Crab which is sourced daily through November to March from the waters of the Sea of Japan, and Hyogo Prefecture’s Tajima Beef, the stock cattle of the world famous Kobe beef.
14:00pm – Check in to Nishimuraya Honkan, our luxury ryokan accommodation during our stay in Kinosaki.
Accommodation – Nishimuraya Honkan
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Nishimuraya Honkan is one of Japan’s most exclusive & historical ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) which has been in operation for over seven generations. Boasting a history of over 150 years, this luxurious hot spring inn’s maze-like layout lends a sense of privacy, includes traditional style Japanese guest rooms with views over the ryokan’s expansive Japanese garden; relaxing indoor & outdoor hot spring; and a private gallery of art and historical artifacts.
The centre of any stay at a ryokan is the food. The culinary artisans of Nishimuraya are renowned for their Japanese-style Kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine) degustations. A kaiseki meal is like no other Japanese meal you have ever experienced. Personal, elaborate, varied, and most importantly, incredibly delicious! There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying dish after dish of wonderfully delicious seasonal Japanese food after an evening at the hot springs.
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16:00pm – After checking into your traditional ryokan Japanese tatami room, the remainder of the afternoon is free for you to start exploring Kinosaki and its “Seven Hot Springs” which are open to the public. The ryokan will provide you with your traditional yukata (light cotton kimono), and a jacket in cooler weather, so that you can join the locals while strolling the cherry blossomed & willow-lined streets of town. In Kinosaki Onsen, it is tradition for visitors to wear yukata while they are staying. It is a common sight to see people out shopping, eating at restaurants, and strolling through the town while wearing yukata. To complete the look, slip on a pair of geta (Japanese wooden sandals) also provided by your ryokan. If you find geta difficult, you can also walk in flatter sandals or your shoes.
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19:00pm – Culinary Experience – Ryokan Kaiseki Dinner
pm – Following our Kaiseki dinner, upon returning to your room you will find your futon, Japanese style bedding, laid out and prepared for you.
Accommodation: Nishimuraya Honkan
Included Meals : B, D)
Day 8 – Tuesday 28 March 2016 – Classic Japanese Ryokan Experience – Kinosaki
am – Enjoy a leisurely Japanese breakfast (below) served in the comfort & privacy of your ryokan room.
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The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore & relax in the quaint village of Kinosaki. Enjoy a walk along the willow and cherry-blossom lined canal that runs through the town centre. Stop into one of the public onsen for a relaxing soak, or take a seat and soak your feet in one of the streetside hot spring footpaths.
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19:00pm – Culinary Experiences – “Tajima Beef” Dinner
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Cultural Experience.
Culinary Experience
Accommodation: Nishimuraya Honkan
Included Meals : B, D)
Day 9 – Arashiyama (West Kyoto)
am – Breakfast followed by check out from Nishimraya Honkan for our return train travel to West Kyoto and the stunningly beautiful and magical atmosphere of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
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Arashiyama – Set along the flowing Hozu River, Arashiyama is a welcome natural retreat from nearby bustling Kyoto. Dating back to 794, when Kyoto, then called Heian-kyo, became home to the imperial court. Arashiyama flourished as a summer and holiday retreat for court nobles attracted to its scenic charms.
14:00pm – Check into our accommodation.
18:00pm – Tonight we will enjoy an early dinner of Japan’s famous Soba (Buckwheat) Noodles at a nearby riverside restaurant.
Cultural Experiences
  • Visit to Arashiyama’s famous Bamboo Grove
Culinary Experience
  • Traditional Japanese Soba Noodles
(Included Meals : B, D)
Day 10 – Thursday 30 March 2016 – Arashiyama (West Kyoto)
– Breakfast at your leisure
10:00am – Guided tour of Arashiyama’s most famous site the Tenryu-ji Temple, followed by a leisurely walk around some of the regions other beautiful sites.

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  • Gio-ji Temple is one of the most scenic spots in Arashiyama. The thatched-roof main hall overlooking a moss-covered grotto is a magical sight.
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  • Okochi Sanso Villa– is the two-hectare former estate of Denjiro Okochi (1898-1962), Japan’s most famous silent film star. It’s “spiral-garden” and the views from Mt. Ogura, where Okochi Sanso lies, have been celebrated in classical poetry since Heian times.
pm – Remainder of the afternoon at your leisure.
19:00pm – Final Group Dinner (Included Meals : B, D)
Day 11  – Departure (Kansai Airport)
– Breakfast at your leisure
10:00am – Check out from hotel.
(Included Meals : B)

 

BOOKINGS
To secure your places, please contact Nico Moretti at nico@urbanprovider.com.au or 08 9228 0507, and we will forward you a Cooking Passions Booking Form.
Booking Deposit: A $AUD1200 BOOKING DEPOSIT is required to hold a booking for the tour, at the time of your reservation.
Final Payment: Payment in full is required at least 60 days prior to departure
We look forward to hosting you on this very special “Discover Japan”  experience! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate in contacting us.
Arigato gozaimas,
Nico & Belinda Moretti
Cooking Passions Cooking School
267 Vincent Street, LEEDERVILLE WA 6007
AUSTRALIA
www.urbanprovider.com.au