12 days

Japan Sushi to Sake

Japan Sushi to Sake

The world's largest wooden structure of Todai-ji

The impenetrable Himeji castle

The spirit of Tokugawa, walk in the footsteps of Basho, Tsumago to Magome.

Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa's Toshogu Shrine

Shinto shrines

Okunoin Cemetery's stone-cut statues

Trip rating
  • Becoming a sushi chef, or itamae, as they're known in Japan, is no mean feat. An apprentice must work for four to five years under the supervision of a master before they're considered experienced enough to even prepare the rice. It can take up to 10 years for an apprentice to gain the title of itamae and be placed in front of their own cutting board. 

    Why we love it

    • Japan, a country steeped in mythical traditions and modern wonders. This journey uncovers the highlights of this fascinating country.
    • Like the history, the country is varied and diverse: from the ancient cities like Kyoto to one of the holiest mountains in Japan, Koya-San.
    • This trip will take you from the historically relevant city of Hiroshima, to the beautifully preserved village of Tsumago, to the bustling futuristic city of Tokyo.
    • The rich variety of the country is unveiled as you visit temples, castles, shrines and holy mountains while mixing with locals and experiencing the real Japan through nights in family run ryokans.

    Itinerary

    Day 1-3 - Tokyo

    • Konnichiwa! Welcome to Japan.
    • A pre-trip briefing will be held in the evening, to meet the other members of your group and discuss the trip itinerary.
    • Please check for a welcome notice on the Peregrine notice board, located near the hotel lifts, which will provide your tour leader's name and the exact time and location of the meeting.
    • Keep in mind that you will need to have your insurance details on hand at this meeting.
    • The first stop of your food adventure is Shinjuku's Memory Lane, a bustling street filled with busy restaurants and tiny bars. Gaining infamy as the black market drinking quarter in the 1940s, Memory Lane is now the best location to sample Tokyo’s beloved ‘fast food’. Yakitori is but one of the many exciting culinary options on offer here.
    • You will then visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building where you can enjoy stunning evening views across this eclectic and vibrant city from the observation deck.
    • You will awake early and travel to the famed Tsukiji Fish Market to watch the live auction that happens daily (except Sunday and national holidays) at 5.20am. If the auction is particularly busy, it may be closed to visitors. With over 400 varieties of seafood are available at the market, it is considered the biggest wholesale seafood market in the world.
    • To sate your appetite for the wonderful fresh fish you’ve been surrounded by all morning, you will sit down to a sushi breakfast in one of the restaurants near the market after the auction. This may be the freshest sushi you will ever eat!
    • While in the capital you will also have the opportunity to visit a sumo stable, where you can watch wrestlers in their morning practice. If the stables are closed to the public, a substitute activity will be arranged.
    • Learning the art of making Japan’s famed buckwheat soba noodles is the perfect way to work up an appetite for the soba lunch that will follow.
    • You will then spend the afternoon exploring Asakusa, an old part of Tokyo that has a street dedicated to shops supplying the local restaurant industry. It is aptly named Kappabashi-dori (or Kitchen Town). This is a great place to get your hands on obscure kitchen implements and sample some of Japan’s famed sweets.
    • No visit to Japan would be complete without sampling sake. A visit to a local sake brewery will fulfill this requirement. You will learn how sake is made, what food it is best paired with, regional differences and its historical significance. Of course you will be able to enjoy a taste as well. Please note that this brewery visit make take place in Nikko on some departures.
    • You will finish the day with a free evening to explore. Choose to indulge at one of Japan’s better known fine dining establishments, or simply bunker down at a local izakaya.
    • If you are interested, your tour leader will be able to point you in the direction of one of Tokyo’s chic bars for a nightcap.
    Asakusa Sunroute Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4-5 - Nikko

    • Nikko is one of Japan’s most sacred sites, with an abundance of important temples and shrines dotted through the area with a backdrop of revered and feared mountains – home of the gods and demons. This is the perfect contradiction to bustling Tokyo, a blissful escape into Japan of old.
    • You will visit Tosho-gu Shrine - an elaborate and intricate mausoleum known for its impressive woodcarvings and gold detailing, and you will also visit the final resting place of a Tokugawa shogun.
    • You will of course have the opportunity to sample some local, rural cuisine. No visit to Japan would be complete without sampling sake. A visit to a local sake brewery will fulfill this requirement. You will learn how sake is made, what food it is best paired with, regional differences and its historical significance. Of course you will be able to enjoy a taste as well. If the brewery is closed you will attend a brewery in Tokyo on day 3.
    • Soaking in a traditional onsen is also an option here.
    Nikko Station Classic Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 6-7 - Mount Koya San

    • From Nikko you will head to Koya-san, the centre of Shingon Buddhism for over 1200 years, and home to more than 120 temples that are spread across the mountain peak.
    • Staying in a local Monastery offers a new and unique perspective, as well as expansive mountain views. Aside from the incredible Zen meditation here, you will have the opportunity to try some devotion food.
    • You will also visit a 1000 year-old cemetery here, as well as the largest rock garden in Japan.
    Rengejo Inn or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 8-10 - Kyoto

    • A city of great diversity, Kyoto is part concrete jungle, part cultural hub. Once the nation’s capital, Kyoto enjoyed its golden age during the imperial court’s heyday between 794 and 1185. Kyoto is home to an abundance of historical sites, cultural landmarks and a rich traditional art and literature scene.
    • You will have the opportunity to learn more about the geisha culture of the city, as well as visiting one if the city’s 16,000 Buddhist temples.
    • Better still, you will visit the Nishiki market, where you can experience the local food culture first hand. You can try anything from mochi (rice cakes), fugu (puffer fish), and tsukemono (Japanese pickles) to raw oysters with cold beer here.
    • You will have the option to take part in a traditional tea ceremony (at additional cost).
    New Miyako Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 11-12 - Osaka

    • From ancient Kyoto, you will head to bustling Osaka. A city known for its exceptional cuisine, sprawling shopping hubs, and heaving tiny restaurants and bars tucked into winding backstreets.
    • Takoyaki, are one of the many local specialties, along with deep fried kebabs and a vibrant after-dark scene – this is the perfect place to get your final fix of Japanese food.
    • With a myriad of shops, museums, and modern sights on offer, Osaka is a wonderful place to wander the streets and immerse yourself in modern Japanese culture. Kampai!
    Unizo Yodoyabashi Hotel or similar
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Peregrine tour leader
    • Local guides
    • Transport
    • Sightseeing and entrance fees

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Departure taxes
    • Arrival and departure transfer
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Other meals
    • Drinks
    • Optional additional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    There’s no feedback available on this trip yet. If you’ve been on this trip and would like to contribute a review, rating or simply make a comment then please get in touch.

  • From our Blog

    We send the Royals on holiday

    On Saturday 2 June this year, the Queen will celebrate 60 years on the throne. Celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee are happening right across the UK, culminating in a special event this weekend.

    So when all the ceremonies, parties, soirees, processions and concerts wind up, we figure a few...

    Read on...

    Four great Asian treks

    Asia is incredibly diverse in its landscape and topography – from volcanic ranges and snowy peaks to sun drenched beaches and tropical rainforests.  It’s also home to some of the best, most rewarding and scenic treks the world has to offer.

    Here are four of the best:

    ...

    Read on...

    Cherry blossom season in Japan

    Monique Engler says from the end of March to early May, sakura bloom all over Japan. The cherry blossoms come and go, but not without being noticed.

    Everyone stops. The whole country drinks sake until they can’t walk, and stare at the blossoms until the last pale petal floats to the...

    Read on...

    Why we love it: Japan

    This is the next in our Why We Love It Series. We are using this series to showcase some wonderful blogs written by passionate Peregrine staff members. Each blog focuses on a different destination, and today's is about Japan:

    Japan...what a place! Definitely a world of its own. From the...

    Read on...

    A musical journey around the world

    Think Buenos Aires and the strains of the tango accompany the images; memories of Cuba come with a breathless dash of rumba music and separating the sounds of West Africa from its people is nigh on impossible.

    Music is the lifeblood of many countries, and catching a local performance is...

    Read on...
From US $3850
*Per Person, Twin Share

Select a trip date below

Trip Start Dates
Trip Duration
Guaranteed Departure Start Date
Trip Selected:
Price: US $
Start:
End:
Discount price: US $

*Please note: To receive the discounted price for this departure, please enter the Promo Code at Step 4 of the booking form.

No Code available
View all departures

Trip at a glance

Trip Code PCJF
Group size 6 - 12
Start City: Tokyo, Japan
End City: Osaka, Japan

Contact an expert

1-800-663-5132We'll call you

Simply enter your details and we'll call you back within the next business day.