Discover the greatest Japanese gastronomical pleasures. In Kyoto, learn the ancient art of the tea ceremony; led by grandmaster Soshin Kimura. In modern Tokyo, experience seasonal tasting menus at the multi-Michelin starred restaurants Ryugin, and Narisawa.
Arrive in the modern metropolis of Tokyo to begin your gastronomical adventure through Japan. At Seiji Yamamoto's three Michelin starred Ryugin, you will enjoy the chef's imaginative tasting menu. The 18-seat restaurant offers an intimate and relaxed dining experience. Chef Yamamoto seeks to push the boundaries of Japanese cuisine through his dishes, but always with an understanding and appreciation of seasonality, indigenous ingredients and the traditional techniques of Japanese culinary heritage. Two Michelin starred Narisawa fuses the finest of Japan's products with a European cooking style. Head chef Yoshihiro Narisawa trained in France, Switzerland and Italy, and brought this tutelage back to his Tokyo restaurant. In 2013, as well as being the highest ranked restaurant in Asia, Narisawa also received the inaugural Sustainable Restaurant Award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, reflecting the chef’s deep connection with nature and commitment to farm to fork cooking. Narisawa’s dishes are carefully considered creations, and the chef urges his diners not just to eat, but to absorb life from the food. Move on from Tokyo to the ancient city of Kyoto. Here, you will learn the art of the Japanese tea ceremony from grandmaster Soshin Kimura. Japan was first introduced to tea by the Chinese in the 700’s. Tea ceremonies are a fundamental part of Japanese culture. The elaborate and refined tea ceremony includes infusing powdered or leafed tea with boiling water, and eating ‘wagashi’, a selection of Japanese sweets that aid in the appreciation of the tea’s varying tastes and values. In a traditional tea drinking ceremony with Soshin, you’ll learn the graceful etiquette of drinking tea, gain knowledge of the importance of tea in Japan and be enlightened to the ways that tea subtly reflect Japan’s philosophy, art, history, architecture and hospitality. To round-off your Japanese adventure, spend 2 nights in the sanctuary of a traditional Ryokan. Ryokan are ancient Japanese style inns found throughout the country, especially in hot spring resorts. Your stay will allow you to experience traditional Japanese hospitality. The Ryokan feature tatami floors, futon beds and Japanese style baths. Adapt to the Japanese culture and lifestyle, and ensure you won’t be considered a baka gaijin.
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