Food & Drink
Inbound Tourism Project Kizuna: Private Rental of a Fukui City Cultural Property for Traditional and Cultural Experiences
This is no ordinary project—it is unique in that it aims to use “food” and “lifestyle” to unravel the history, traditions, and spirit of Fukui, a city that grew alongside Zen Buddhism. Visitors will be able to experience the teachings of Dogen, founder of the Japanese Sōtō Zen school of Buddhism, who taught that "everything in daily life, including waking, eating, cleaning, washing, and bathing, is as important as seated meditation, and thus forms the practice of the Zen practitioner.”
Soybeans are an integral part of the Sōtō Zen diet, and now, for the first time ever, guided factory tours are offered at two factories which process this key ingredient: Fuku Syouyu (a soy sauce factory established in 1918) and Komego Miso (a miso factory established in 1832).
Traditional Food and Craft Experience in a Historical Site, Reserved Exclusively for Your Private Use:
There are half-day rentals of five private houses in Osagoe Folk Village Museum, a cultural property of Fukui City featuring traditionally-built farming houses. This experience is the first of its kind to combine tours, traditional handicrafts, and food into a combination package for inbound tourists. Visitors can try their hand at making traditional Wakasa lacquer chopsticks and polishing Shakudani stones, which are used as building materials in nearby temples. Meals are served based on the Zen Buddhist style of vegetarianism. Visitors will get to select their own ingredients, make their own rice balls, and then wrap up by enjoying their own creations.
Cultural Experience in Privately Booked World Heritage Site x A Meal from Japan’s Top Chef: “THE LEGENDARY JAPAN” program for wealthy overseas visitors offers a private, premium experience of Japanese history and culture
Guests receive special cultural experiences at Kyoto’s World Heritage Ninnaji Temple, such as a ritual prayers in the Daikokudo Hall and a special Buddhist memorial service at the Kondo Hall, which is designated National Treasure. You can also view an illumination of historic buildings and observe the wall paintings of the Five Wisdom Kings, which has been opened for the first time in approximately 400 years. After this cultural experience, you can enjoy top-tier traditional Japanese kaiseki meal by Chef Masayoshi Nishikawa, a top Japanese chef at Kyoto’s famous “Gion Nishikawa,” where it is nearly impossible to get a reservation. This exquisite meal prepared from only the best of the best Japanese ingredients is served in the Jikido Hall, which the general public cannot enter.
2-day 1-night package with a Ghibli Park ticket and an authentic tea ceremony experience at a long-standing Japanese restaurant
1. Shiratama, a long-standing Japanese restaurant in Nagoya, the culture of hospitality has been passed down over 400 years from the Edo period. In this tour, guests are offered special cuisine overflowing with seasonal flavor and carefully selected dishes within the restaurant's beautiful interior decorations.
2. At Shiratama, guests will participate in an authentic tea ceremony experience, one of Japan's most famous traditions. Each tea ceremony strives to improve on the last so that guests can experience the intrinsic art and aesthetic beauty of tea ceremony. Guests can also admire tea ceremony tools from the Owari Domain. This program is a one-of-a-kind, rare opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the charm of Japanese tea.
3. On the second day, you will visit Ghibli Park, which opened in Aichi Commemorative Park (Moricoro Park) in November 2022, and celebrates the world of Studio Ghibli films. There are no large attractions or rides in Ghibli Park; rather, walk around the forest and paths, feel the breeze on your skin, and discover the secrets of the park's magical atmosphere.
4. This program includes same-day tickets for Ghibli Park’s main area “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse”. In this massive facility, you can enjoy video exhibitions, three technical exhibitions, a children’s play area, shops, and cafes.
Enjoy a festival of captivating wine and food in Yamanashi, a city filled with the flavors and harmony of autumn.
Special lunches and dinners will be served for one day only in the larger area that includes Erinji Temple, the family temple of warrior Takeda Shingen; Daizenji Temple, which has a long tradition of growing grapes; historical architecture built by a Japanese railroad magnate; and the vineyards of famous wineries. These areas usually do not allow eating or drinking, and some cannot even be entered without special permission.
Cooking contest winners and chefs from reputable restaurants in Tokyo and Yamanashi will select regional wines that match their cuisine, and the carefully selected local ingredients and wine will harmonize to deliver a delicious, heartwarming experience.
Japan Fruits, a duty-free shop (Note 1) selling fresh, high-value Japanese fruits and cut fruit that can be eaten on the spot, will open in the special security-restricted area (the food and shopping area after passing through customs) of Terminal 3 of Tokyo International Airport for a limited time from early October 2023 until the end of January 2024.
Visitors can experience the full appeal of fruits, which can only be gained by visiting the store, including comparing the flavors of different fruits in season. Grapes and mandarin oranges are sold in October and November, mandarin oranges and strawberries in November and December, and strawberries in January; melons and apples are sold from October to the end of January. Please buy some as a souvenir for that special someone (Note 1). In addition, the store will also display information about tourist farms with fresh fruit harvesting experiences and other tourist attractions in the surrounding areas.
Please enjoy the delicious charm of Japan Fruits while reminiscing on your happy memories of Japan before getting on the plane.
(Note 1: Due to plant quarantine regulations, there are a limited number of countries and regions where Japanese fruits can be taken.)
The Nada Gogo is a cluster of sake breweries straddling Kobe and Nishinomiya cities in Hyogo Prefecture. It has prospered as Japan's largest sake production area since the Edo period (1603–1867). The history nurtured here is that of sake brewing itself, and learning about Nada Gogo, which created the original form of modern brewing, will lead to an understanding of sake brewing as a craft. For the first time ever, the Nada Gogo area will hold events in both Kobe and Tokyo in fall and winter 2023 themed on the history of sake brewing. There will also be a sake brewing experience tour in Nada Gogo, which is considered a sacred place for sake brewing. Learn about the culture of sake brewing that evolved from Japan's unique climate and spirit, and experience the flavor of the famous sake of Nada Gogo, which still boasts the largest sake production volume in the country.
150 year anniversary of the founding of the Meijiza Theater “Everything Meijiza” ~ From premium Japanese cuisine to ninjas! Take a behind-the-stage look!
Enjoy everything Japanese-culture offered by Meijiza Theater, Tokyo’s oldest theater with 150 years of history, including special performances!
The two top tier performances are Fuji Musume, a Japanese kabuki dance featuring a vibrant performance by the Fuji no Sei, and a ninja show by the group PADMA, which has flown across the globe to perform. Between the two shows, the audience will be offered a look at the set change, which is usually hidden behind the curtains.
Inside the theater, there will be workshops for origami and shuriken throwing, as well as a digital art museum, where captions are provided for Japanese art displayed inside the theater.
Plus, the "Everything Special Ticket" includes a premium boxed lunch packed with Japanese food, and a back stage tour where you can experience the spinning stage, the naraku area beneath the stage, and the oseri trap door lift stage mechanism.
Program creation project for a Minamiboso gastronomy experience that touches the essence of Japanese food culture
“Washoku” traditional Japanese dietary culture is registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and is one of the top reasons people visit Japan. This premium tour has been created to develop new attractions in Minamiboso focusing on Japanese cuisine, which has garnered a lot of attention over recent years, and the food culture that embodies the thoughts and ideas about cooking that Japanese people have.
The highlight of this tour is the special “Hochoshiki” knife ceremony that has been held as an imperial court event since the Heian period (794–1185) at Takabe Shrine, the only shrine in Japan that enshrines the “gods of cooking.” In addition, special experiences tailored to the tastes of tourists who are passionate about food have been prepared to allow people to fully enjoy the rich food culture unique to the region. Such experiences include fishing with local fishermen, who do not usually take guests with them; an organic lunch--made with locally produced vegetables--at a 300-year-old farming house with locals who share their thoughts and experiences about traditional Japanese life and culture; a visit to an “ama” female divers’ hut; a wild game experience in the satoyama, an area in which humans live sustainably in the environment; and an experience with fermented food. A professional guide will accompany the tour with the aim of providing further added value by deepening the participants’ understandings not only of the language but also of Japanese food and the local culture.
Minamiboso City, located 90 minutes by car from Tokyo and Narita and Haneda Airports, is a town of serenity and healing, with its warm and scenic location, summer sea, and spring flowers. In addition to the two-day tour that provides enjoyment of the rich charm of Minamiboso, which is blessed with plentiful seafood and fresh produce from the land, day trips to Tokyo can be arranged to suit individual needs.
Enjoy a two-day, one-night premium tour in November (planned) to experience the history and culture of surfing and the sea at Ichinomiya, a surfing event site for the Tokyo Olympics and a place where 700,000 surfers visit each year. On the first day, experience real surfing with a personal surfing guide on Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, which was used as a surfing event site during the Tokyo Olympics. After that, head over to Tamasaki Shrine, a tangible cultural property of Chiba Prefecture, to enjoy a special performance of gagaku music, a classical genre of Japanese music often played at imperial court. Performed by Tamasaki Gagaku Association, this musical performance has strong ties to the ocean, adding the unique cultural element to this surfing tour. Finally, enjoy a premium dinner made from local ingredient and relax in the evening at a luxuriously private hotel. On the second day, you might choose to enjoy surfing at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach or perhaps even go for a round of golf; a personal car is prepared for all activities, and an interpreter will be available to assist you with whatever activities you decide to do.
Kudoyama in Wakayama Prefecture is the starting point of the Mt Koya Pilgrimage Route, where old traditions and landscapes live on to this day. This tour provides a valuable opportunity to experience the Japanese culture unique to Kudoyama.
A pleasant time can be spent interacting with the locals through activities such as tea ceremony, helmet making, and Japanese cooking experiences. Additionally, the Tahoto pagoda at Jison-in Temple, built by Kukai (774–835), the founder of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism at Mt Koya, will open for the first time in over 400 years. Inside the pagoda, a statue of Amida Buddha is enshrined. The Tahoto pagoda has never been open to the public since it was built in the early Edo period (1603–1867), but it will be opened for the first time in the fall of 2023. Please come and join us for this historic moment!
To commemorate this moment, a light-up event will also be held on the grounds of Jison-in Temple during the tour, and visitors will be welcomed by Japanese paper lanterns made from traditional “Koyagami” paper produced in the towns of Kudoyama and Koya in Wakayama Prefecture; enjoy the magical evening atmosphere—an entirely different charm compared to that during the day. For the second day of the tour, a trek along the Koyasan chōishi-michi trail, which is also registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is planned. The chōishi-michi trail leads from Jison-in Temple in Kudoyama to the grand central pagoda of Kongobu-ji Temple on Mt Koya. The 180 stone pillars (chōishi) that stand along the route have led worshipers to the sanctuary ever since Kukai established the Mt Koya temple complex. It is one of the historic Mt Koya Pilgrimage Routes and is also registered as a World Heritage Site. Come and visit Kudoyama and Koyasan for a wonderful cultural experience!