JAPAN’S CULINARY HERITAGE

Experience

JAPAN’S CULINARY HERITAGE

AAJI ISLAND I TOKYO I KANAZAWA I GOKAYAMA I TAKAYAMA

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

11 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

5


This 11 day small group tour covers Japan’s regional cuisine, the heart and soul of Japanese culture. Visit renowned locations as well as hidden rural villages and the unique culture of Awaji Island in the fabled Inland Sea, where culinary traditions have been handed down from generation to generation. Other highlights include taking to the bustling streets in Tokyo for an Izakaya, quintessential Japanese destinations for casual eating and drinking; tasting the local specialty Kaga-ryori in Kanazawa which uses the freshest local seafood and vegetables; a foraging experience in Gokayama; a multi-course kaiseki dinner in Takayama plus much more.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

CITY STREETS

Head out into the city’s exciting streets – your guide will advise you on the best options for food and drink. You might want to try an Izakaya restaurant. Izakaya are the quintessential Japanese destinations for casual eating and drinking – the two go hand in hand in Japan and these bars cluster around railway and subway stations. Join a post-work crowd relaxing over some of their favourite small dishes and their favourite beers, sake and shochu. Visit the local food market Oomi Ichiba, “Kanazawa citizens’ kitchen pantry”. The market has attracted residents and visitors for centuries.

HISTORY

Travel by private motorcoach from Kanazawa to Gokayama, a World Heritage Site with distinctive Gassho-zukuri farmhouses sporting triangular thatched roofs which are unique to this part of Japan. Located in a mountainous region isolated from the rest of the country for centuries, villagers still follow traditional lifestyles, gathering and preserving Sansai (wild plants) and growing their own vegetables and mushrooms. Join local plant hunter and explore the surrounding mountains and harvest seasonal wild delicacies. Visit the home of local resident Mr.Nakanishi, who grows a special variety of rice for brewing sake.

EAT

Visit nearby Shirakawago which has its own impressive collection of Gassho-zukuri houses and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. Continue onwards to Takayama nestled in the mountainous Hida region. Takayama boasts a beautifully preserved old town and a unique culture. Enjoy a multi-course Kaiseki dinner at a family-run ryokan before take a short train ride to Hida Furukawa, a beautifully-preserved old town with distinctive whitewalled storehouses retaining the atmosphere of the Edo Period. Entering one of the oldest Machiya traditional residences, a local grandmother will show the technique of cooking in a classic earth oven known as an “Okudo-san” which is rarely used in modern times. Also use traditional fireplace to grill delicious premium quality Hida Beef.

FARM

Osaka was historically known as “the Tenka no daidokoro” (the nation’s kitchen), famous not just for its Michelin starred restaurants, but particularly for its street food – takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and more – the food of the common man. For dinner, visit a hidden house in the downtown of Namba, owned by a unique sake specialty shop. Visit a small-scale producing organic farmer who left city life 10 years ago and moved to the village. Enjoy the opportunity to harvest vegetables and learn home cooking in a charming old Japanese house nearby, offering a true farm-to-table experience of preparing local dishes using vegetables grown in the area. Among the foodie experiences that have been described, there are so many treats in store.


OTHER EXPERIENCES YOU MAY LIKE


Didn’t see anything for you? No worries. Let us know what your dream trip is and we’ll help you create it.


TAKAYAMA HERITAGE TRAIL

Experience

TAKAYAMA HERITAGE TRAIL

KYOTO I TAKAYAMA I SHIRAKAWAGO I KANAZAWA

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

4 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

4


On this 4 day tour, depart from Tokyo, enjoy Mt.Fuji and then head inland to visit the impressive Takayama and Kanazawa areas, both offering insight into old and traditional Japan. Travel by train to Takayama retaining a traditional touch in its beautifully preserved old town. In Shirakawago explore the picturesque thatched roofed houses and in Kanazawa, visit the Nagamachi Samurai district, the beautiful Kenrokuen Gardens and the Higashi Chaya district, with its wooden-latticed teahouses and stone-paved streets.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

OLD TOWN

The journey will take you through some stunning countryside during the 4 hour journey. Takayama is a city in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. It retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town, which has been beautifully preserved with many buildings and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city thrived as a wealthy town of merchants. The southern half of the old town, especially the Sannomachi Street, survives in a particularly pretty state with many old homes, shops, coffee houses and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries.
On arrival you will meet your local guide for a walking tour to visit Yatai Kaikan Hall and on to Kusakabe Folk Museum, one of Takayama’s oldest merchant homes and then wander through Kami Sannomachi Street, still retaining much of its original atmosphere and traditional buildings.

HISTORY

Visit the Takayama Morning Market before a visit to the World Heritage Shirakawa-go where you can savour the taste of home-style cooking that can only be experienced in regions such as this. You will then continue to the Wada Residence (a traditional thatched- roof farmhouse) before moving on to Kanazawa. Your first stop will be the Nagamachi Samurai District and soak in the atmosphere of the days of the samurai in this area, where the earthen walls, waterways, and stone paths remain as they were when samurai of the Kaga domain resided here. Moving on you will visit what is justifiably one of Japan’s three most beautiful landscape gardens, Kenrouku-en Gardens. This spacious garden used to be the outer garden of the Kanazawa Castle and offers amazing seasonal views all year round.

TEAHOUSE

Continuing on you will visit the Higashi Chaya district, with its wooden-latticed exteriors of teahouses lining both sides of the stone-paved street, where something from the Edo period still lingers in the air. This area is an Important Traditional Building Preservation District. After a stop at the Hakuza (gold leaf shop) you will head to Kanazawa Station where you will board you high speed train taking you to Tokyo.


OTHER EXPERIENCES YOU MAY LIKE


Didn’t see anything for you? No worries. Let us know what your dream trip is and we’ll help you create it.


NAKASENDO TRAIL

Experience

NAKASENDO TRAIL

TOKYO I NARAI I KISO-FUKUSHIMA I TSUMAGO I NARA I YOSHINO I MOUNT KOY I KYOTO

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

12 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

8


On this 12 day small group tour, discover one of Japan’s ancient highways – the Nakasendo Trail. Linking Kyoto to Tokyo during Japan’s feudal period, it was the ‘road through the mountains’ traveled by feudal lords and their retinues, samurai, merchants, and travelers.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

THE JOURNEY

The journey begins in Tokyo, known as Edo during Japan’s period of rule by the Shoguns and ends in the city of Kyoto. Spend four days walking along the Nakasendo – by day walk along the ancient route as it passes through beautifully-preserved villages along an easy path. By evening, stay in traditional country inns and enjoy the regional cuisine prepared from the freshest ingredients, soak in natural hot springs and appreciate the warm hospitality of the hosts. Other hightlights include the cultural treasures of Nara, the mountaintop village of Yoshino and the sacred Mount Koya.

YOUR PACE OPTION

You can also walk the loveliest sections of the Nakasendo Trail on a 5 day self-guided walking tour. It is a variation of this fast paced hiking trail for those that want to slow it down. Highlights include walking over the Magome Pass to Tsumago, one of the best-preserved and most evocative of the Nakasendo post-towns, whilst Tsumago to Nojiri offers a beautiful and varied hike. The main difference being a minimal 5 out of 8 destinations are being explored in more detail.


OTHER EXPERIENCES YOU MAY LIKE


Didn’t see anything for you? No worries. Let us know what your dream trip is and we’ll help you create it.


JAPAN’S GOLDEN ROUTE

Experience

JAPAN’S GOLDEN ROUTE

TOKYO I HAKONE I MT. FUJI I TAKAYAMA I KANAZAWA I KYOTO I HIROSHIMA I OSAKA

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

9 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

3


This history, cultural and scenic 9 day tour of Japan covers key cities, including visits to Japans renowned Mt.Fuji and Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome. Depart from Tokyo and enjoy city sights before heading to Nikko and the striking Kegon Falls. Explore Mt.Fuji and cruise along Lake Ashi with a night spent in Hakone. Head to Nara and discover Todaiji Temple ahead of exploring Kyoto and its key attractions. Enjoy a day spent exploring Hiroshima and the island of Miyajima – pay respects at Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park and Museum.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

TEAHOUSE

Head to Kamakura. Highlights include a matcha green tea ceremony in a 400-year-old teahouse, Hokokuji Temple and its beautiful bamboo grove, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Komachidor and the Great Buddha which stands on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. You will also visit Enoshima, a getaway island popular for its cool ocean breezes.

MOUNTAIN

Depart Tokyo, bound for the stunning Mt.Fuji. Gain an overview of the area and take in the scenic views (weather permitting). Enjoy a boat ride on Lake Ashi and the Mt. Komagatake Ropeway. Set for Takayama, a city in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. It retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town.

HISTORY

Explore the key sights of Kanazawa. The city boasts many historical attractions such as restored residences and districts. Kyoto is blessed with many beautiful attractions – explore Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Heian Jingu Shrine, Sanjusangendo Temple and Kiyomizudera Temple.


OTHER EXPERIENCES YOU MAY LIKE


Didn’t see anything for you? No worries. Let us know what your dream trip is and we’ll help you create it.


LAND OF ART

Experience

LAND OF ART

TOKYO I NAOSHIMA I TAKAMATSU I OSAKA I MIHO I KYOTO I HAKOME

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

12 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

7


Designed especially for art lovers, this 12 day tour is full of arts from the ancient days to the modern times, ranging from the conventional to avant-garde.

Explore the art scene in Tokyo including a visit to 21-21 Design Sight. Continue on to Naoshima Island where distinctive works such as the ‘yellow pumpkin’ can be admired. Visit the Shikokumura Art Village in Takamatsu before discovering the museums of Osaka. Enjoy a day discovering Miho and the Miho Museum, ahead of taking in the arts of Kyoto. Enjoy the open-air museum in Hakone and some last-minute sights back in Tokyo.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.

DESIGN

Experience the vibrant city of Tokyo before immersing yourself in a day of design. Hit 21-21 Design Sight, a design museum created by architect Tadao Ando and fashion designer Issey Miyake, Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo, Nakamise Shopping street and enjoy the view of the Tokyo Skytree from Azuma Bridge. In the afternoon visit the National Museum of Western Art in Ueno Park designed by Le Corbusier housing over 5,500 works.

ISLAND

Go by the exciting bullet train to Naoshima Island by local train and ferry. Located in the Seto Inland Sea the relaxed island is dedicated to art with many installations, museums and works of modern art. Explore Naoshima Island before visiting the intersting Art house Project where artists have turned empty houses scattered about residential areas into works of art. Continue to Chichu Art Museum sympathetically constructed to blend into the landscape and containing artworks by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria. Also see the Ando Museum also designed by Tadao Ando one of Japan’s most famous architects. Admire the Yellow Pumpkin by Yayoi Kasuma a symbol of the island.

ART VILLAGE

Depart for Takamatsu by ferry and spend the day discovering Shikoku-Mura Art Village housing over twenty buildings from around Shikoku dating from the Edo period through to the Taishō period (1600s to 1920s). Spend time in Ritsurin Koen Garden divided into a Japanese style garden in the south and western style garden in the north and set in front of wooded Mt. Shiun. It is said that the garden deserves a spot on the list of the three most beautiful gardens of Japan.

MUSEUMS

Travel to Osaka via Okayama. In Osaka your guide will take you on a private tour including The Mint Museum housed in a historical Meiji era building and the little Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum unique for being the only permanent collection of local wood block prints from the area, many based on kabuki theatre. Osaka is known as the nation’s kitchen, ensure you sample some of the local street food this evening. Visit the stunning and unusual Miho Museum set in the forest in the mountains of Shiga Prefecture. Entry is by way of a tunnel, the entrance having been designed by architect I.M. Pei. Most of the museum is underground showcasing the private collection of the founder Mihoko Koyama containing ancient and modern works from Japan and wider Asia.

WORKSHOP

Chose between going to the Garden of Fine Art where masterpieces such as Monet’s Waterlilies have been reproduced on ceramic tiles set in striking surroundings. If you are intersted in pottery the Raku Museum is not to be missed explaining the origins of this destinctive pottery style. Kyoto International Manga Museum is part museum part library exploring the development of Manga culture and Ryukoku Buddhist Museum explores the expansion of Buddhism into Japan.

GALLERIES

Explore Hakone including Hakone Open Air Museum set in the mountains featuring sculptures and works of art by Picasso, Henry Moore, Taro Okamoto, Yasuo Mizui, Churyo Sato and many more. Continue to Okada Museum of Art in spacious galleries to view Japanese, Chinese and Korean works of art ranging from ancient times through to the present age. Finish with the Nezu Museum and its impressive gardens. Continue to the Meiji Picture Gallery where large works, a mixture of Japanese and western style painting show the events from the birth to the demise of the Meij’i Emperor.


OTHER EXPERIENCES YOU MAY LIKE


Didn’t see anything for you? No worries. Let us know what your dream trip is and we’ll help you create it.


EASTERN HOKKAIDO WILD LANDS

Experience

EASTERN HOKKAIDO WILD LANDS

KUSHIRO I SHIRETOKO PENINSULA I HOKKAIDO

WHEN TO GO

MARCH – MAY

IDEAL LENGTH

9 DAYS

FLIGHT TIME

11 HOURS 5 MINUTES FROM AUCKLAND

DESTINATIONS

3


On this 9 day small group tour, discover eastern Hokkaido’s rugged and remote wilderness.

Journey from Kushiro on the eastern pacific coast, through to the Shiretoko Peninsula stretching out into the Sea of Okhotsk. See untouched nature, visit UNESCO wetland nature reserves, experience spectacular landscapes formed by volcanoes and enjoy flora and fauna special to Hokkaido. Opportunity abounds for the chance to spot abundant wildlife as trails are trekked. Walk between one and six kilometres a day and relax in onsen hot springs, a by-product of the region’s geothermal activity.

MAKE THIS ITINERARY YOURS

Inspired by what you see? Remember we design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something that is entirely you. If we need to start from scratch, lets start with a conversation.


OTHER EXPERIENCES YOU MAY LIKE


Didn’t see anything for you? No worries. Let us know what your dream trip is and we’ll help you create it.