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Cuisine & Culture of Japan Tour

Lovers of Japanese food – and Japanese culture – may want to check out the small-group Cuisine & Culture of Japan Tour

We loved our trip to Tokyo and Japan to film for our PBS and Amazon Prime series. The combination of food and culture was outstanding. Lovers of Japanese food – and Japanese culture – may want to check out the small-group Cuisine & Culture of Japan Tour (May 16-29, 2019) from Esprit Travel. From sushi to Kobe beef, Michelin-starred kaiseki meals to humble train station bentos, this popular tour offers insider perspectives of Japan’s UNESCO-honored cuisine through cooking classes, market and farm visits and meals by top chefs.

Now in its third year, the small-group tour (up to 15 people) covers the gourmet hubs of Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, including:

· meals at some of Japan’s best-known restaurants for elegant kaiseki cuisine, tempura, Kobe beef and more
· farm-to-table experiences
· market districts for gourmet foods, tableware and kitchen supplies
· a famed depachika, department store food hall
· a lesson from a master of the Way of Tea (tea ceremony)
· countryside excursions to a farm village and a green tea plantation
· a sake brewery Kobe’s Nada district, where one-third of Japan’s sake is produced
· educational visits to galleries for knives and ceramics, with shopping opportunities
· cooking classes for sushi, noodle-making and everyday home cooking
· a guided walk through a Japanese supermarket.

The tour also explores Japan’s unique culture, including:

· specially arranged visits to Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines
· famous gardens of Kanazawa and Kyoto
· textiles at one of the country’s most innovative studios and a dye workshop which grows its own natural pigments
· classical and Pritzker-prize-winning modern architecture
· natural beauty in a country villa and bamboo forest
· bright lights and big city energy of Tokyo and Osaka

The tour is led by noted travel and food writer Andrew Bender. Over decades living or working in Japan, Andy has contributed to over a dozen Japan guide books for Lonely Planet and Frommer’s and written numerous articles about Japan and food for other publications, including the closely-watched annual food and restaurant trends list for Forbes.

This tour is offered by Esprit Travel & Tours, a specialist in insider, small group tours to Japan for over 25 years Japan. At this link, you can check out the daily itinerary and further details.

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Travels with Darley is a travel TV series broadcast on PBS stations and on digital networks, including the AOL On Network. Host Darley Newman of "Equitrekking" fame joins locals to showcase the top food, culture and adventure attractions in the USA and around the globe. is the companion site with travel guides, videos and information so viewers can recreate the adventures seen on the series and beyond.

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