Food-lovers know that innovative chefs from around the world (including Rene Redzepi, David Chang, Niki Nakayama and Albert Adria) look to Japan for inspiration and training. There are more Michelin-starred restaurants in Tokyo than any other city, and Japan vies with France and Spain as the global center of restaurant cuisine (Forbes 2019). Join this two-week farm & sea-to-table tour to understand what all the fuss is about. Traveling from Kyoto to Tokyo and on to Niigata, we will eat dozens of different kinds of food, including shojin ryori (vegetarian temple food), noodles, sembei crackers, kaiseki, game meats, and of course, sushi. We will also delve into beverage traditions with a visit to a sake brewery and green tea plantation: tasting included in both visits.
Our eating and drinking will be enriched by exploring the philosophical and cultural roots of these Japanese foods as well as conversations about contemporary food systems. We will meet with wholesalers, growers, producers, shopkeepers and chefs, providing us abundant opportunity to understand how people interpret, maintain and recreate Japanese food cultures. We take time for hands-on cooking classes and a tea ceremony, too, so you can bring home ideas for your own kitchen and table.
When not busy eating and drinking with each other, we’ll visit some of Japan’s most beautiful places, including temples and shrines, gardens, bustling urban districts, mountains, hot springs and the seaside. Japan in June is awash in flowers and green scenery, setting the stage for a memorable, tasty two-week tour.
See the draft Itinerary.