The spirit of Japan will welcome you as you sample marvelous flavor in the pursuit of perfection during your exclusive 13-day Japan culinary tour. Indulge in a celebration of smooth single malt whiskey and coveted three Michelin-starred restaurants serving mouthwatering sushi. Discover a passion for creation, a dedication to artisanship, and a mastery of skill for an unparalleled gastronomic experience sampling spirits, sushi, and Japanese culture.
Tokyo – Konichiwa From the World Whisky Distiller of the Year
Japan's history is alive with myths and legends, the delicate notes of its spirits blurred into the sublime tastes of today. Take the Miyagikyo Distillery, enclosed by mountains and nestled between two rivers in Sendai. Legendary tales talk of Masataka Taketsuru starting whisky production after one sample of the unsullied mountain water - A fanciful tale? Maybe. Fast-forward to 2015, Miyagikyo Distillery was voted Distiller of the Year by the International Spirits Challenge, so perhaps there's a little more than mythology here. Arrive at Miyagikyo and the mystical reverie is immediately apparent, the distillery dominating a postcard setting, nobly standing on a landscape dappled with the elegant search for perfection.
In the morning you'll land at Narita Airport, where you will be greeted and transferred directly to the five-star Palace Hotel and a deluxe room with balcony overlooking the city. Relax and settle in, the Tokyo skyline rising and falling away towards the horizon. Your expert Tokyo guide meets you at Sendai station and guides you on a tour of the Miyagikyo Distillery, a place that happily opens its doors to those seeking to pursue the impeccability of its production. You're pulled into the natural setting, the distillery tucked away amongst a setting of diaphanous beauty. Then you're swept away by the complex fruit-noted tones of Nikka Whisky.
Return to Tokyo and a dinner at Takazawa is recommended, the exclusive 10-seat restaurant expertly fusing French and Japanese cuisine. Voted one of Asia's 50 Best restaurants by the World's 50 Best, the intimate dining room is effervescently brightened by signature dishes like snapping turtle soup and purple asparagus, or a rock pool-like assembly of seafood served on a gentle dusting of powdered shrimp sand. Subtle notes prosper and mingle while there's always a visual surprise emerging from the kitchen.
Tokyo – The Eclectic Treasures of Tokyo
Tokyo – Whisky Beneath Mount Fuji and Authentic Kobe Beef
Takayama – Exploring Japan's Sake Heritage in Takayama
Takayama to Kanazawa – Japanese Culinary Delicacies and Gardens of Splendor
Kanazawa – Ancient Sake and the Charms of Kanazawa
Kyoto – Understanding the Craft of Kyoto's Spirits
Kyoto – The Temples and Architecture of Ancient Kyoto
Kyoto – The World's Best Whisky
Osaka – Exploring Japanese Craft Beers
Osaka – Iconic Beer and an Iconic Castle
Tokyo – At the World’s Most Coveted Sushi Restaurant - Sukiyabashi Jiro
Tokyo – Departure
- Savor the rounded brilliance of the world's best whisky with a tour of Suntory Yamazaki Distillery, its Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 winning the lauded title in Jim Murray's 2015 Whisky Bible.
- Indulge in the world’s most coveted sushi at a three Michelin star restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, popularized by the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
- Explore the pursuit of perfection with a tour through the sake breweries that date as far back as the 1600’s in Kyoto and Takayama, an ancient town that delights in its enigmatic charm.
- Discover the award winning Nikka malt whiskies at the Miyagikyo Distillery, recently voted whisky Distiller of the Year for 2015 by the International Spirits Challenge.
- Enjoy a change of pace and taste as you tour Osaka's beer breweries, including the first brewery of the #1 selling beer in Japan, Asahi Super Dry.
- Experience Japan's treasured sites, with private guided tours of Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto, and Osaka including, majestic gardens, golden pavilions, and castles.
- Journey through the very best of Japanese culinary perfection that travel the evocative depth of local cuisine and seasonal ingredients, including kaiseki, sushi, teppanyaki and tsukemen.
Journey into the multiplicity of spirit with this tour celebrating Japan's continual pursuit of perfection. Rounded flavors and subtle tastes embody the dedication to the sublime, showcased as you journey to the world's best whisky, it's best distillery, ten sake breweries, and the gourmet indulgence of Japan's best chefs.
Tradition continually forms with innovation as you tour iconic Japanese sights, the tour taking you to Tokyo, ancient Takayama and Kanazawa, Kyoto, and Osaka; sipping sweet sake mingles with the ancestral-tinged tradition of Takayama's streets; the world's best whisky distillery is preceded by javelins of light that dance through a bamboo forest; kaiseki dinners deliver subtle mouthfuls of Japan's seasons, the pursuit of perfection crafted into a single mouthful. Japan has always strived to create the finest there is, celebrated with a thousand samples of sake, whisky, beer, sushi, kobe beef, korugewagyu, and the enigmatic surprises of master chefs. Over these 12 days you visit over ten sake breweries, the whisky distiller of the year, the Suntory distillery creating the world's best whisky, Osaka's famed breweries, and a succession of restaurants that craft culinary heritage into flawless dishes of indulgence. It's a celebration of spirits, but also an evocation of Japan's humble spirit to achieve perfection.
Land in Tokyo and the world's best whisky distillery provides the first day of tasting, Miyagikyo creating rounded flavors beneath a ruggedly majestic mountain backdrop. On day two you explore Tokyo, journeying through its colorful districts and feasting on its eclectic treasures. Whisky distilled from Mount Fuji's streams, provide the highlight on day three, before you head to ancient Takayama for a smorgasbord of sake. Visit a whole series of sake breweries, reveling in streets of tradition and intrigue, then sleeping in one of Japan's best ryokans.
Day six brings you to Kanazawa, another town of delectable antiquity, introduced with a unique tour of the Ninja Temple. There's a rare, almost elusive feel to the atmosphere and sake breweries, the pursuit of perfection elevated into the realms of the surreal. Now in Kyoto, the sublime sake tasting continues as you tour its breweries and museums, each sip is a symbol of Japan's effervescent spirit. Explore the enchanting wonders of this heritage town on day eight, the golden facade of a Shogun's pavilion mixing with the serene Zen of temples and gardens. And on day nine comes the international exemplifier of Japan's pursuit, the 2015 Whisky Bible's best whisky sampled on a tour of the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery. Teasingly spiced and exquisitely bold, it's the centerpiece of this spirits of Japan itinerary.
A change of pace and a change of taste as you arrive in Osaka on day 10, a couple of iconic breweries revealing the beer side to Japan's brewing prowess. Explore a castle surrounded by blossom and journey into the futuristic facade, the days always accompanied by a sample of Japan's best restaurants. Throughout the itinerary, included and recommended dinners help exude the diaphanous splendor of the country's gastronomy, each dish and each mouthful reflecting the ancient desire to modestly objectify perfection. Return to Tokyo on day 12 and you dine at the Michelin 3 star rated Sukiyabashi Jiro, following Barack Obama's example to taste the wondrous creations of Jiro Ono. It's just another sumptuous yet delicate highlight on the journey.
$6,989 per person (excluding international flights)
Five Star Accommodation Package:
Price per person based on 2 persons traveling: $8,759
- Deluxe room with balcony at the Palace Hotel
- Honjinhiranoya Kachoan Ryokan (dinner included)
- Traditional house Machiya Kanazawa Kikunoya
- Deluxe room at the Ritz Carlton Kyoto
- Deluxe room at the Ritz Carlton Osaka
- Deluxe room at the Palace Hotel
Four Star Accommodation Package:
Price per person based on 2 persons traveling: $6,989
- Deluxe Tokyo Tower Facing Room at the Palace Hotel
- Hida Hotel Takayama (dinner not included)
- Deluxe room at the Hotel Nikko Kanazawa
- Deluxe room at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto
- Deluxe room at the Cross Hotel Osaka
- Deluxe room at the Park Hotel
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