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A Culinary Tour of Japan

Private Travel | General interest 12 Days & 10 Nights Lead-in price: £4795

Food is an important part of any trip to Japan, with a wide range of fresh, local ingredients and various styles of cooking and eating experiences available. While visiting the classic cities and temples of Japan, discover some of the finest cuisine the country has to offer via a selection of expert-guided tours, prearranged meals and self-guided discovery.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Discover Tokyo's best ramen noodle dishes with an expert guide
  • Traditional tea ceremony & sake tasting in the ancient temple city of Kyoto
  • Experience Japanese hospitality & dine on a multi-course kaiseki meal at ryokan
  • Sample fresh oysters & fine Chablis on Miyajima Island
  • Take a street food safari in Osaka's Dotonbori district
  • Stay in 4- star accommodation
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Superior Private Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Tokyo


Day 2: Tokyo

Arrive and transfer to The Park Hotel in Tokyo for a 3-night stay, which is located close to the Shiodome subway station. For an introduction to Japanese cuisine, the hotel’s Hanasanshou restaurant serves a range of dishes. (N)

Day 3: Tokyo

Full-day private guided city tour using public transport, visiting the Asakusa Kannon temple, Tokyo National Museum’s Japanese gallery, the Imperial East Garden and the tranquil Meiji shrine. (B)

Day 4: Tokyo

This morning you will join a small-group class taught by local foodie Yoshimi for an in-depth lesson in everyday Japanese cooking. Yoshimi prides herself on using simple, fresh ingredients and will teach you to prepare some tempura dishes that you can recreate at home. The afternoon is at leisure, before joining long-term Tokyo resident Brian MacDuckston for an early evening tour of both the capital’s finest and most down-to-earth ramen restaurants – a great chance to sample these tasty noodle dishes of rich broth, chopped pork, spring onions and soft-boiled eggs. (B, D)

Day 5: Hakone

Travel by train to Hakone National Park, a picturesque landscape of lakes, green valleys and volcanic hot springs. Stay overnight at the Hakone Ginyu Ryokan, a traditional Japanese-style property with private hot spring open-air onsen baths. Dinner tonight will be a kaiseki meal, a uniquely Japanese culinary art form that consists of several courses of small dishes, with a focus on regional specialities and always using seasonal produce. (B, D)

Day 6: To Kyoto

Take the train to Odawara, then continue by shinkansen (bullet train), to Kyoto. Stay at the Rihga Royal Kyoto Hotel, located near Kyoto station, for 3 nights. (B)

Day 7: Kyoto

Full-day private guided city tour using public transport. Recommendations include the Ryoanji temple with its famous zen rock garden and Kinkakuji temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion. End the day with a visit to the En Tea House for a private tea ceremony experience where you can learn about the history and philosophy of this ancient rite, taste some tea and try some traditional sweets. (B)

Day 8: Kyoto

Sake, a sweet alcoholic drink made from fermented rice, has been brewed in Japan for centuries, and often plays an important part in Japanese ceremonies and social events. Today, it has been arranged for you to enjoy a sake tasting experience at Kyoto’s Horino Memorial Museum, itself a former sake brewery, which once produced one of the country’s highest-quality brands. (B)

Day 9: To Hiroshima

Take an early train south to Hiroshima and visit the A-Bomb Museum & Peace Memorial Park, built by the people of the city to symbolise their wishes for everlasting peace. Afterwards, travel by ferry to the nearby island of Miyajima, a peaceful place with walking trails and an iconic floating torii gate. Stay overnight at the Iwaso Ryokan, known for its fresh seasonal seafood such as grilled fish and conger eel. (B, D)

Day 10: Miyajima Island

Today you have a day at leisure to enjoy this peaceful island. Highly recommended is a visit to Kakiiwai, a stylish cafe that specialises in oysters, served either smoked with oil, raw, or grilled, and accompanied by a cool glass of Chablis. (B)

Day 11: To Osaka

Take the ferry back to the mainland and head north to Osaka. Tonight you will meet with an English-speaking guide for a street food safari of Osaka’s famous Dotonbori district, which is packed with restaurants and food stalls serving some of Osaka’s tastiest food. Head off the regular tourist trail to find hidden izakaya (pub-restaurants) and taste Osakan specialities like takoyaki (octopus dumplings), and kushikatsu (skewered meat and vegetables). Stay overnight in the Marriott Miyako Hotel. (B, D)

Day 12: Fly home

Transfer to Kansai airport, located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, then board your flight home. (B)

Meal basis:

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information Locally escorted & self-guided touring

This tour is led in certain destinations en route by a local tour escort, while in others it is self-guided. Where specific guides are mentioned, inclusion is subject to availability and booking at least eight months in advance is recommended, and further in advance for high season (particularly March, April & May) departures.

Superior tour

This tour is based in 4-star accommodation, with some nights in traditional Japanese inns known as ryokan. Please note that in Japan hotel room sizes are smaller than in Europe.

Single supplement

Available on request.

Tailor-made travel

For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Private travel in Japan

Please note that tailor-made travel in Japan is unlike travel in any other country in the Far East due to the high costs of vehicle hire, drivers and guides. This means that engaging the services of a private guide and driver on a tailor-made journey is not always feasible and, as a result, sightseeing and travel between cities may involve public transport or shared services that are not exclusive to Cox & Kings. Furthermore, as English is not always spoken in areas away from the main tourist destinations, a degree of independence and self-guiding may be required. A comprehensive information pack is provided before departure, with transport instructions and bilingual timetables, hotel addresses and maps, and a guide for each destination covering a wide range of topics from eating out to enjoying a hot spring bath.

Superior private tour accommodation

  • The Park Hotel Tokyo
    The Park Hotel Tokyo

    The Park Hotel, a member of the Design Hotels portfolio, occupies the top floors of the Shiodome Media Tower in Tokyo's Minato ward, close to the Shiodome subway station and only a 10-minute walk to the peaceful Hamarikyu gardens. The hotel has a modern, artistic ambience, and is centred around a high atrium with Japanese art on display in the lobby lounge and communal areas. The property features a unique 'Artist in Hotel' project, where a small number of the standard category rooms have been transformed by local artists who have decorated the room walls with their original artwork. These rooms are all different and can be booked on request at an extra cost.

  • Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
    Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel

    The stylish and contemporary Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is located on the upper floors of Japan's tallest high-rise building. The 360 well-appointed rooms and suites offer unrivalled views of Osaka Bay, the Ikoma mountains or the city itself. Dining options include Restaurant ZK on the top floor of the hotel, and the COOKA Kitchen.

  • Iwaso

    Located in serene woodlands at the foot of a mountain on Miyajima Island, the Iwaso is a charming traditional Japanese guesthouse. Only 10 minutes from the iconic Itsukushima Shrine and next to a crystal clear stream, the Ryokan perfectly complements the tranquillity of the island. All rooms are en suite and there is an onsen (hot spring bath) available for guests. A traditional seasonal Kaiseki dinner is served in the guests' rooms before a futon bed is laid out for the night.

Superior private tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Guideline Prices

Low season from £4795 per person

High season from £5495 per person


Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • • International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
    • UK departure and overseas airport taxes
    • Accommodation, itinerary & meal basis as described
    • Local Transfers in a private chauffeur-driven vehicle
    • The support (if required) of an English speaking local representative
    • Local guides and entrance fees where applicable

Destinations on this tour

  • Tokyo

    The huge, energetic and fascinating city of Tokyo has been the capital of Japa...

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  • Hakone National Park

    Hakone National Park is a picturesque landscape of lakes, green valley and...

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  • Kyoto

    Kyoto was Japan’s capital from the 7th century until around the 11th and it is known...

    Read more >
  • Osaka

    Osaka is western Japan's commercial hub. Situated at the mouth of the Yodo...

    Read more >
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