A Taste of Japan

May 24-June 1, 2018

Join this once-in-a-lifetime, artfully curated travel experience. Ideal for first-timers to Japan, we have custom-created this tour to introduce you to some classic spots, but highlighting off-the-beaten-path sites and experiences. You will get to interact with locals thanks to Sobremesa's local connections, because we believe that's what travel is all about. We offer unforgettable experiences and meals, and allow some free time for processing, shopping, sightseeing, or eating more. 

If you love Japanese food and would like to engage with the culture, this trip is for you; seize the opportunity and sign up soon! We have spent lots of time researching, to construct an off-the-beaten-path trip for you that would be impossible to achieve on your own. 

What's included?

  • 9 days, including Kyoto, Kanazawa, and a mountain village in Ukyo Ward 
  • 8 nights accommodation in double rooms in traditional Japanese guesthouses
  • Guided market visits
  • Cook with local chefs
  • Local guides 
  • Lovingly curated excursions 
  • Traditional Japanese tea ceremony 
  • Japanese Calligraphy class in a Kyoto temple 
  • Workshop and lunch in a family-run 150 year-old pickle shop
  • Meals where the locals eat (and in some local homes!)
  • Tips on best places to shop for artisanal goods
  • Ground transportation between trip locations  
  • Small, exclusive group: max. 8 people. We want you to feel taken care of! 

More details on our trip:

After arriving in Kyoto individually, the group will meet up on the first evening at our ryokan, or traditional Japanese guesthouse, an almost two century-old, newly renovated oasis in the city. We will celebrate our first gathering over a kaiseki dinner prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients by a seventh-generation Kyoto chef.  

The next two days will be spent exploring Kyoto and experiencing the rich, enticing beauty its culture has to offer. In addition to some delicious meals, in restaurants and even in local homes, we will take part actively in the culture by means of tea ceremony and a calligraphy lesson with a monk in a local temple. There will also be some free time, to either visit more temples and gardens (Kyoto has so many!) or peruse some of Camila's favorite local shops. Spring is also the time of year for outside dining by the river, which we will enjoy on our last night in the city before heading off to the next destination. 

On the morning of the fourth day we depart on the train towards Kanazawa, where we will visit Kenroku-en garden, known as one of the three Great Gardens of Japan. Its name means "garden which combines six characteristics"– the six aspects considered important for an ideal garden: spaciousness, serenity, venerability, scenic views, subtle design, and coolness. 

The next day has something very special in store: a visit, workshop and lunch at a 150 year-old, family-run pickle shop. You never imagined pickles could be this good, or this varied. And don't get me started about their gelato! Our favorite is the umeboshi flavor (Japanese plum).

After some afternoon exploring, we will visit the geisha district; Kanazawa is one of the few cities in Japan to have a still functioning geisha district or chayagai.  

The following morning, day six, we will head towards our third destination in the mountains north of Kyoto. After enjoying a special local dinner, we will spend the night at our peaceful accommodation preparing for the exciting things the next two days in the village have in store, which all explore themes of cooking and craft, and include some fun workshops as well as visits to local craftspeople in their element. 

On day 8 we head back to Kyoto, where we will have some free time for that last-minute whatever-I-want. We will share a group traditional Japanese breakfast before saying goodbye on day nine, our hearts and bellies full and happy. 

What's not included?

  • Airfare
  • Airport transportation
  • Personal shopping expenses

Cost

$5,195 per person

 

Terms of Payment
Payment in three installments:
1. Deposit due upon registration (non-refundable): $1000
2. 50% (minus deposit) due Nov. 1, 2017
3. Remaining 50% due Feb. 1, 2018