Kyoto, Japan Culinary Tour

Japan is exceptional destination for those who truly want to discover authentic culture & delicious cuisine. Museums, shrines and temples, cuisine, theater and shopping all merge at your doorstep to offer a seemingly endless choice of diversions. On this tour to Japan, discover famous sites such as the Fushimi Inari Jinja Shrine, the Kiyomizu Temple, and Nijo-jo Castle. Led by an expert chef, you will be exposed to a variety of culinary and cultural highlights designed to fully immerse you into the Japanese way of life.

Trip Summary: Kyoto, Japan | 7 Days

Trip Dates:  Year Round

Group Size:  Private & Small Group

Price From: $3900 per person

Trip Dates & Prices:

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Classic Japan Expedition $3900

Single Supplement + $600

3 Day Extension to Osaka + $1200

3 Day Extension to Tokyo + $1200

All inclusive package including accommodation for all nights, in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight, lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides, all activities, and meals as listed on the itinerary. *International Airfare and Visa Fees are not included.

Expedition Route:


This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort & adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.

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What to Expect of a Culinary Adventure:Embark with our team as we immerse and cook our way throughout Kyoto, Japan exploring tradition, history, and culture, while being mentored in Japanese and travel cuisine.  This is a great opportunity to develop your skills as a cook, or simply come home with a variety of recipes to share with friends, and explore some of Kyoto's hidden mountains, cliff-top roads, and wineries. At the end of your trip, you’ll receive a greater love for diverse cooking including Japanese cuisine that you can use when you go back home.

Professional Chefs: In the evening we will dine in the small and cozy restaurant, experiencing the culinary skills of local chefs in Kyoto, whose philosophy is to retrieve the foundation of traditional Japanese cooking, by designing dishes in accordance with authentic KYoto traditions and using original, and wherever possible, locally grown ingredients, integrating past and present cooking methodologies.  Last but not least, a selection of excellent wines from over 400 outstanding regional and national producers will make your experience especially memorable.

Trip Highlights:

  • You will have the opportunity to visit some of the City’s most beautiful and famous sites, such as the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the Rushimilnari Taisha Shrine
  • Learn and cook with local chefs with traditional Japanese cuisine and visit local markets to purchase fresh, seasonal produce, and hands-on lessons
  • Enjoy walking through the Arashiyama Bamboo grove, Fushimi Inari-Taisha and Kiyomizu Temple.

Itinerary | 7 Days

Day 1 Kyoto, Japan | Traditional Kabbo Dinner:  Welcome to Kyoto, where you will find your home located in the center of Kyoto.  From here, famou sites such as the Fushimi Inari Jinja Shrine, the Kiyomizu Temple , and Nijo Castle are only minutes away.  Your hotel is located nearby the professional kitchen that you will cook in during your stay.  Led by an expert chef, you will be exposed to numerous different culinary and cultural highlights over the course of your week stay.  After you settle into your hotel, you will have the opportunity to set out and explore Kyoto before settling down at a delicious restaurant for a traditional Kabbo multi-course meal. Kabbo-style dining is very popular in Japan and consists of sitting at a counter in front of the chef, as you dine on select dishes that he prepares for you.   Accommodation: MItsui Garden

Day 2, Visit to Fushimi Inari-Taisha | Hands-on Bento Cooking Class:  After a delicious buffet breakfast,  head off to see the famous Fushimi Inari-Taisba Shrine.  After your visit depart for your first cooking class.  The lesson will begin with master chefs explaining Japanese-style seasoning and offering a demonstration on various Japanese cooking techniques.  You will cook several bento specialties, such as miso soup, tempura vegetables, egg rolls, pickled vegetables, and fish – all using seasonal ingredients.  At the end of the lesson, you will have the opportunity to sit down with your chef and colleagues to dine on what you have prepared.   Accommodation: MItsui Garden

Day 3, Soy Factory Visit | Sushi Cooking Class: Today we will visit a traditional soy processing plant to see how the Japanese staples of soy sauce, miso (fermented soybean paste), and tofu are made.  Soy products are the heart and soul of the nation’s food – and one never tires of it.  Soy is to Japan, what Parmesan Cheese is to Italy.  After your morning factory tour, you will return to your private kitchen for a hands-on sushi course with your private chef.  Here you will learn about the vigorous training and pain that sushi chefs go through in reach the much sought-after Michelin Star.  You will learn how to perfectly cut the fish, season the rice, and create sushi, nigiri, and sashimi.   Accommodation: MItsui Garden

Day 4, Fruit Farm Excursion | Winery Visit:  Picking fruit is a very popular activity in Japan.  You will learn how orchard owners pollinate and care for the trees that produce the rich fruits of the region.  You will have the opportunity to pick your own fruit and from the unique farming techniques you observe, you can actually learn a lot about Japanese culture and society – as Japanese cuisine is built around locally sourced produce. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit a local winery that utilizing many of the fruits that you have just viewed.  You will learn about the ripening process of the fruits and what to use the fruits for at each stage.  In the late afternoon you will return to Kyoto and have an evening to spend in the city.  During the Cherry Blossom Season (March–April) you will have an opportunity to see and photograph the beautiful blossoms.  Accommodation: MItsui Garden

Day 5, Soba & Udon Cooking Class | Sake Brewery Tour: Did you know that noodles originated from the Eastern Countries of Japan and China before being brought over to Italy and transformed into what we know as ‘pasta’ today?  In your hands-on cooking class you will learn about the origin of each of the varieties of noodle and what it has come to represent in Eastern culture. You will learn how to make the perfect Ramen broth (known as dashi) which is the staple to all Japanese cooking.  From there you will learn how to cook the meats and eggs and handcraft a variety of different noodles. After your course, you will have the opportunity to sit across from your hosts, dine on delicious Japanese Ramen, and learn more about the culture of the Japanese people.  In the afternoon you will spend sometime exploring Tokyo City and visit the Askusa Temple and Meji Shrine.After you have finished your cooking course and had an opportunity to dine & relax, you will have an opportunity to visit a local Sake Brewery and learn about how the famous Japanese alcohol is produced.   Accommodation: MItsui Garden

Day 6,  Kappo Style Cooking Class | Traditional Multi-course Farewell Dinner: Kappo Cooking began in Osaka in the 19th century. Merchants and laborers felt more at ease in a casual setting in which they were standing or sitting near the chef, as opposed to the formal, aristocratic method of dining in which eaters are fed in a room clad in grandeur and served by kimono-wearing waitresses. But now things are different. Upscale kappo-style restaurants exist all over Japan and in cities like New York and Bangkok. Today you will learn how to make five to six kappo-style Japanese dishes. As your master chefs instruct you in the art of kappo-style cooking.     Accommodation: MItsui Garden

Day 7, Departure: After a delicious breakfast and leisurely morning, we will say goodbye to Kyoto as we depart through the Japanese countryside to Osaka to catch our international flights back home or extend our stay another 4-days in Tokyo (see Tokyo extension directly right).

3-Day Tokyo Extension: You are located in the heart of the city, and your complimentary metro pass will allow you to get anywhere and everywhere you need to be in a matter of minutes. Historic temples, delicious restaurants, remarkable shopping and traditional markets beckon the adventurous around every turn. From your first hands-on cooking class to your last delicate morsel, an abundance of taste will be your escort as you tour this incredibly rich culture.  Accomodation: Mitsui Garden Hotel or similar

After checking into your hotel in the heart of Tokyo, you will have the opportunity to explore the city before settling down at a traditional restaurant for a delicious shabu-shabu dinner. Shabu-shabu is a traditional Japanese experience in which you cook a variety of meats and vegetables in a simmering broth set over a burner on your table.

Next, experience Tsukiji like never before - Tsukiji is home to the world’s largest fish market. More than 1,000 bustling food establishments line the streets of the market and its surroundings, filled with fresh tuna and hundreds of different types of fish. The freshest and finest foods from around the world can be found here. With your English-speaking professional chef, you will learn about all varieties of fish and natural produce, visit the auction floor, and even have the opportunity to sample different varieties of fish and sauces. In the afternoon you will proceed to your cooking class, where you will put the fish to good use, learning how to make a variety of sushi, nigiri and sashimi dishes.