Food & Drink
A special program to experience the traditional culture and festivals that have been nurtured over history on the Noto Peninsula, which is surrounded by mountains and the sea
Experience a Shinto ritual and “Naorai” at the prestigious Keta-taisha Shrine, which has a history of 1,200 years and is counted as one of Japan's top four shrines. Naorai is an event where people eat the offerings to the gods after a Shinto ritual, which symbolizes the gods and people becoming one by eating together, and involves enjoying Japanese food culture and Noto’s natural features in a beautiful setting.
Noto has many unique festivals and folk events that have been passed down through generations. Experience a Noto festival at the Wakura Onsen Omatsuri Hall, where cuisine made from Noto produce and prepared by Kagaya, one of Japan's leading ryokan, is enjoyed while local residents provide a special performance in front of festival floats.
Experience a matcha tea ceremony at Seirin-ji Temple, which stands on a hill overlooking Wakura Onsen.
An exceptional program has been planned, and it includes a specially guided tour of works from the Oku-Noto Triennale held in Suzu City, at the tip of the Noto Peninsula, a tour to view Wajima-nuri lacquerware, one of Japan's major traditional crafts, guided by one of the artisans, and purchasing food at the Wajima morning market with a one-star Michelin chef, followed by an exquisite lunch at the restaurant.
Experience the charm of contemporary art works unique to this tour, located in the midst of the nature of the Oshika Peninsula, which has recovered from the unprecedented earthquake. Experiences include being part of JR's global art project “Inside Out” and admiring Kohei Nawa's sculpture “White Deer (Oshika)” while being guided by the music of Takeshi Kobayashi's installation work. A special lunch featuring the rich produce of Sanriku and prepared by a highly skilled chef is included. A taxi with a professional guide will lead the laidback tour.
Experience the worldview of Ito Sekisui V, the Sado Mumyoi Yaki potter and National Human Treasure, and experience Sado's traditional culture
(1) Hear directly about the appeal and techniques applied in the world of “Mumyoi Yaki” pottery from Ito Sekisui V, the Sado Mumyoi Yaki potter and Important Intangible Cultural Property Holder (Human National Treasure). In this program, you not only can appreciate the beauty of the pieces and their artistic characteristics, but you can also enjoy Sado cuisine in them.
(2) On Sado Island, local dishes have been passed down for use in religious ceremonies and festival events. Among them, you can prepare familiar makizuki (sushi rolls) by yourself. The beautiful patterns revealed when the makizushi rolls are cut open are highly enjoyable; find yourself charmed by the artistic design sense of local Sado cuisine.
(3) For the first time, the thatch roof buildings of the Hojo Residence and Daigan-ji Temple will be used in this program. In the space of these historic buildings, visitors can experience Japanese aesthetics on paper through impressive calligraphy, receiving instruction by a female calligrapher descended from the Hojo Clan. Guests will also be taught the heart of Buddhism through sutra and service by the 46th head monk of Daigan-ji Temple, which has 650 years of history.
(4) Since the Edo Period (1603–1867), Sado has been one of the great treasure troves for wild and medicinal herbs in Japan. Guided by the top wild herb researcher in Sado, guests will pick many types herbs that grow naturally in the satoyama and learning about functional plantlife. This program offers a unique look at Sado and the opportunity to make cuisine and crafts.
(5) Experience a trip to play taiko drums led by the internationally famous Japanese taiko drum performance group “Kodo.” Through a taiko drum experience on the grounds of Daigan-ji Temple, surrounded by green, learn about the culture of Sado’s Ondeko and let the beat of the taiko drum that echoes to the main temple building summon the soul.
Premium experience limited to one group per session. Get special instruction from Aso, the assistant head monk of the Saikoku-ji Temple, the head temple of the Daigo sect of Shingon Buddhism. Leave the bustle of the city behind and unite body and mind through learning, sutra copying, meditation, and service. Time moves slowly in Setouchi, giving you ample opportunity to come face to face with who you are. There is a one-night, two-day “body and soul approach” program that includes reserved accommodation, a lesson in making Buddhist shojin vegetarian cuisine, and a sake experience. Release yourself from daily worries and stresses, and come find the next step forward in your life.
Special program to experience Kanazawa's traditions and culture that have been handed down from the time of the samurai
At the "Samurai Feast Premium Dinner," guests can enjoy a special dinner in Kanazawa Castle that recreates "samurai gourmet," which the Maeda family, who ruled Kaga Domain from the late 1500s through to 1867, had served when entertaining guests. Kanazawa Castle's Gojukken Nagaya, where meals are not normally served, has been specially set up as the dining venue, and the food is prepared by a long-established ryotei restaurant with a history of serving as the leading restaurant of Kaga Domain. This is a special program that adapts the finest hospitality of the samurai culture to modern times, a tradition that can only be recreated in Kanazawa, where the samurai culture has been passed down from the Edo period (1603–1867).
In addition, tours are offered to experience the richness of Kanazawa's traditions and culture, where traditional crafts and performing arts have thrived for hundreds of years.
Guided by a young Noh performer, visitors will experience the mysterious and profound world of Nohgaku. Nohgaku is one of Japan's leading traditional performing arts, with a history of more than 600 years. The Kaga daimyo poured their resources into all arts, including Noh, and even after their rule came to an end, the arts have been passed down by fans in Kanazawa.
There is also a tour of Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan's most famous gardens, guided by a garden specialist. Learn about the backstory and highlights not covered in the guidebook, and have a drink while admiring the oldest existing fountain in Japan at the site where the Kaga family's villa once stood.
Similarly, the Nagamachi Samurai District conveys the atmosphere of the samura era with its old-fashioned earthen walls and cobbled streets. Tour the streets with a local guide and through an SDGs perspective on the rows of stately samurai residences.
In the beautiful rural landscape of Komatsu, visit an auberge renovated from an abandoned school and savor pairings of delicious food with sake brewed at the adjacent sake brewery.
Ask any Japanese person about Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and they will tell you that it is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it is also one of Japan’s top three sacred Buddhist mountains. Since its establishment over 1,200 years ago by eminent Buddhist monk Kukai, also known as Kobo Daishi, Mt. Koya has developed a unique food culture centered around Buddhist vegetarianism. To top it off, it is only a 90-minute drive from Kansai International Airport.
Kongobu-ji Temple, the head temple that presides over all of Mt. Koya, is proud to present Koyasan Premium Dining at Daishoin Temple. For this event, it will bring in Chef Tetsuo Ohira, Japan’s leading expert on vegan cuisine, who will not only personally design the menu but will also stand at the stovetop to prepare a new fusion of vegetarian cuisine just for visitors. The dishes served will maintain over 1,200 years of tradition while simultaneously pushing the limits of Japanese vegan cuisine. Guests can also partake in an Ajikan meditation session with the Buddhist nuns.
We will be waiting for you amid Kansai's beautiful red autumn foliage at Daishoin Temple on Mt. Koya from October 20 through October 29, 2023.
*Lunch Course: 13,000 yen (Ajikan meditation session and mealtime prayer included; drinks sold separately)
*Dinner Course: 20,000 yen (Ajikan meditation session and mealtime prayer included; drinks sold separately)
This luxurious tour includes the beautiful nature of Nasu’s autumn leaves, one of Japan's best hot springs, shopping at an outlet mall, Nasu’s unique food, and the culture and history of the Meiji aristocracy.
(1) Culture and history of the Meiji aristocracy
The Nasu area used to be a barren, uninhabitable wilderness until the Meiji elite had the Nasu Canal excavated in order to secure water that was essential for development. As a result of the subsequent establishment of large-scale farms, it has now grown into one of Japan’s leading dairy regions. Follow in the footsteps of Meiji aristocrats with a professional guide and dress up in aristocratic Meiji clothes for photos.
(2) Autumn leaves
With the arrival of fall, Nasu's rich forests turn into a sea of bright reds, oranges, and yellows, and the scenery of these colors surrounding the mountains and lakes is truly spectacular. Canoeing and other experiences are available and offer diverse views of the autumn leaves.
(3) Meals and shopping
Nasu has a treasure trove of fresh vegetables and mountain delicacies, and this program will serve food that can only be tasted in Nasu. Enjoy shopping for famous brands at the Nasu Garden Outlet mall, as well as attendning a brewery tour and tasting “Nasu de Suna”, a craft beer selected as a Nasushiobara brand.
Seven tailor-made experiences have been prepared especially for this event:
1. The first-ever dinner event in the history of Hasedera Temple!
A rare opportunity to share in this inaugural event.
2. A private event at Hasedera Temple, a historic and popular tourist attraction!
When the temple-goers finish their daily prayers, Hasedera Temple will open its doors to participants for this private event.
3. Private viewing of floral bonsai designed by renowned garden artist Kazuyuki Ishihara!
Visit an art installation from a garden artist who was featured in the TV documentary series "Jounetsu Tairiku."
4. A special musical experience in front of the magnanimous 1,300-year-old main deity!
Enjoy a different kind of musical performance every day in an otherwise solemn temple dedicated to the Buddhist deity of compassion, Kannon.
5. Special dinner with an assortment of delicious foods from Shonan and Kamakura!
Enjoy a limited-time menu specially crafted by local shops and restaurants for this event.
6. Beat the crowd to enjoy a private autumn stroll, with the season lit up in all its glory at Hasedera Temple!
Take an early autumn walk in privacy through the seasonal illumination event, which officially starts on November 23.
7. Prayer candle devotions for every participant!
Prayer candle inscriptions will be used during the Kannon Mandōe service on New Year’s Eve.
Key Attractions of the Tour:
◆Puts importance on sustainability views
The understanding and cooperation of both local residents and visitors to the area is essential to protect its beautiful nature. This tour chooses environmentally friendly activities, and meals are centered on the idea of local production for local consumption.
◆Shows hospitality through a fully guided, community-based & collaborative tour
Tour guides who love the area will assist participants throughout the entire duration of the tour. The guides' roles are also to connect the local residents with the visitors, promoting collaboration and communication.
◆Tours the unexplored, normally inaccessible "Maejima Island," and allows participants to explore and experience the old and new cuisines to fully appreciate the culture of Okinawa's remote, idyllic islands
Maejima Island became uninhabited about 60 years ago when the last family moved to the main island of Okinawa. The atmosphere is mystical, as the remnants of a previous lifestyle slowly merge with nature. Participants will also get to meet Mr. Nakamura, who was born on the island and continues today to protect it, hoping for its restoration. This experience is one of the the major highlights of the tour.
Bask in the Glory of Nature in Wakasa, Fukui, With REAL WAKASA: A Limited-Time-Only Private Cultural Experience Plan for One Group Per Day
The Wakasa Fukui region offers four special experiences for you to try!
1. Get a taste of Japanese cuisine in your own privately rented temple! Savor dishes made with local ingredients from the sea using traditionally crafted Wakasa lacquer chopsticks. Add some light-hearted banter to your meal with the addition of a geisha dinner party experience.
2. Take in an unbroken 360-degree panoramic view of the Sea of Japan and the Five Lakes of Mikata! Admire the beauty of the setting sun before coming back to a privately rented guest house in a quaint fishing village. There, a home-cooked meal made with local ingredients and graciously crafted by your host awaits you.
3. Lake Suigetsu is home to 70,000-year-old varves, or sedimentary layers, which serve as a standard form of measurement for the age of fossils and archeological artifacts. Come see these ancient varves in the museum and go on an environmentally sustainable battery-propelled, guided boat ride to learn more about the process of collecting these unique varves. A tour of a local beer factory and meals can also be prepared.
4. Cook your very own seasonal dishes, using ingredients harvested from the forest and the sea, on a kamado, a type of traditional Japanese wood stove! You can enjoy your lunch in a Japanese-style room in a traditional Japanese house.
In this program, you can use a real kamado, sample real local ingredients in all their simplicity in style, record a video of staff for later use, and receive a guide on how to create your own delicious food at home.