Day 1 Depart USA
- Enjoying a cocktail in the bar in your hotel, used as the location for “ Lost in Translation”
- The scenic beauty of the rice paddies of Senmaida descending down to the coast of the Sea of Japan
- A stroll through the Wajima Morning Market with your private guide as host and cultural interpreter
- Visiting the craftsmen of the Satake Lacquerware studio
You board your flight to Tokyo arriving in the afternoon of the following day.
Day 2 Welcome to Tokyo
Upon arrival at Narita you will be met by our representative and escorted to your waiting car for the trip to your hotel. Upon arrival at your hotel you are greeted by the staff and escorted to your room. If this seems familiar to you it could be because your hotel was the location for the movie "Lost in Translation". You have a chance to relax and enjoy the inspiring views of Tokyo laid out beneath you before having dinner at the New York Grill in the hotel.
Day 3 City Highlights and Cuisine as Theatre
After breakfast your personal guide will be waiting to take you on an introductory exploration of historic, trendy and cultural Tokyo. You will visit the Meijijingu Shrine dedicated to the Emperor Meiji who modernized Japan and brought it out of its feudal past, you will visit Harajuku located between Shinjuku and Shibuya which is often called Tokyo's Champs Elysees and a focal point of Tokyo's youth fashion culture. You will then visit Roppongi Hills where Europeans tend to hang out in the evening at its many bars and restaurant. After lunch at a steak restaurant you will have a personal tour of the Mori Art Museum and the Suntory Museum of Art. You return to the hotel to freshen up before heading out to a restaurant specializing in Robatayaki. Upon your arrival your maître‘de will shout "the guests have arrived" and this will be repeated by the other waiters. You will be seated at a u-shaped table inside of which are baskets and blocks of ice containing vegetables, seafood, Kobe beef and other delicacies. In the middle of the baskets kneels a chef. You point to what you want and the waiter shouts it out and the chef cooks it for you on a small grill. It is an unforgettable culinary experience.
Day 4 Culinary and Cultural Contrasts in Today’s Tokyo
While Tokyo still sleeps and dawn has yet to arrive you will meet your guide and be taken to the Tsukiji Fish Market known in English as the Tokyo Metropolitan Wholesale Market. You will have a chance to see the vast array of fresh seafood, much of it still alive, before watching the action at the Tuna Auction where buyers bid against each other for the prized sushi grade Tuna. After the auction you celebrate with s Sushi breakfast. Your next visit will be to Hamariku Garden located at the mouth of the Sumida River and surrounded by a seawater moat filled from the waters of Tokyo Bay. You then board a water taxi which will take you to Asakusa Temple, one of Japan's most revered sites before stopping for lunch at a Soba restaurant which specializes in noodles. After your lunch your car will take you to the Ginza. Known for having the most expensive real estate on earth and lined with neon signs, the Ginza is home to some of Japan's most prestigious companies, department stores, boutiques and bars. You have some time to shop while your driver waits for you. In the evening you are picked up and taken to Ukatei, a restaurant specializing in Teppanyaki.
Day 5 Departure for Ishikawa
In the morning your guide will meet you at the hotel and take you to Haneda airport where you catch your flight to Noto in the Ishikawa Prefecture. The flight takes about an hour and upon arrival you are met by your guide who will take you on an orientation tour of Noto including a vegetarian lunch prepared by the monks at Iwakura Temple. In the afternoon you will travel to Senmaida which translates as "one thousand rice paddies". Senmaida is a group of small, terraced rice paddies on the steep hillsides extending downward to the ocean. The terraced paddies allow water to flow from the top layers to the bottom ones in an orderly fashion, both functional and beautiful. You are then taken to your superb Ryokan overlooking Wajima Bay where you have a chance to enjoy the hot springs baths before enjoying an authentic country meal.
Day 6 A Day in Wajima
After breakfast, your guide will meet you and take you into the town of Wajima where your first stop will be the colorful local market where the local people, ,mostly women, sell a variety of fish and food products for consumption by the locals. It is an excellent insight into typical Japanese country life. From there you go to the studio of a lacquerware craftsman to learn how this ancient art is still practical for today's cuisine. A lacquerware piece going through about 100 steps in its production process can take six months to one year to produce. The process is not only beautiful but practical since even if you pour hot soup into a Wajima lacquerware bowl, you can easily hold the bowl since the wood and the lacquer coated on the surface help moderate the heat. After lunch at a Soba restaurant you visit Sojiji Temple a significant Buddhist shrine within Japan.
Day 7 The Geisha and Samurai of Kanazawa
In the morning you check out of the Ryokan and your guide will take car of loading your luggage into the car. Then it is off to Kanazawa which is sometimes called "Little Kyoto" because its many older buildings are similar to those of Kyoto and, like Kyoto, they are authentic since Kanazawa was also spared any bombing during the war. Your first visit will be to Kenrokuen Garden regarded as one of Japan's finest. In ancient China it was considered impossible to combine six focal themes of beauty: extensiveness, quiet seclusion, artificial construction, antique elegance, abundant water and wide prospect. The name Kenrokuen, which literally means, " a garden combining six" stems from the fact the garden successfully exhibits a harmonious coexistence among the six attributes of beauty. Following a sushi lunch you have the chance to visit the old samurai town of Nagamachi which is the same as it was in the time of the Shoguns. You will also visit the quaint Geisha district of Higashi before arriving at your hotel. This evening you will enjoy Yakitori at Restaurant Jyubei
Day 8 Kakusenkei Gorge and the Secrets of Sake
After breakfast your luggage will be taken to the car for the short drive to the town of Yamanaka, a town close to the Sea of Japan and noted for its hot springs. The Buddhist priest first discovered Yamanaka's hot spring waters over a thousand years ago and it has been a favorite ever since. Upon arrival in the area you will visit Satake Studio to see their particular technique in lacquerware. You will also visit a sake brewery to learn the science and the art to brewing this unique brew. Just as beer and wine are an integral part of life in the West, in Japan a wide variety of Sake is an integral part of Japanese Life. It is said that the sake production process dates back more than 2,000 years. Sake is characterized by its fermentation process that differs from that of western alcoholic beverages and its rather high alcohol content of about 20%. After lunch you will visit a typical Japanese fishing port before arriving at your charming Ryokan with just ten suites arranged in the traditional style of a tea ceremony pavilion. The Ryokan is set at the beginning a delightful one mile walking trail along the Kakusenkei Gorge which offers scenic river views highlighted by three bridges spanning the gorge.
Day 9 Kutani Pottery, River Cruise and the Hot Springs Experience
In the morning your guide will take you on an excursion to the Kutani Pottery Museum where you can view historical Japanese pottery and its cultural implications. You will then board a traditional Japanese boat for a scenic river cruise before having lunch at the Bantei restaurant. After lunch you return to your Ryokan where you are encouraged to try the hot springs baths. There are two indoor communal baths sourced from natural hot springs. The baths are splendidly glassed in on three sides providing you with views of the surrounding forest as you soak your cares away. A traditional dinner at the Ryokan completes the day.
Day 10 Return to USA
In the morning you will be transferred to the airport for the short flight to Haneda Airport. a car will meet you and take you to Narita airport where you board your international flight for your return to the US arriving back that same afternoon.
Available Year Round
Luxury Culinary Tour in Ishikawa Prefecture ULJA04 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Tokyo, Wajima Bay, Kanazawa, Kaga
Additional Pricing Information
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest informationregarding passports and visa requirements)
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