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Japan with Ally Coucke Exploration

Tokyo - Kyoto - Osaka

2022: Apr 1 - Apr 7


If you believe that food tells a story, represents a culture, or reveals a country's history, there is no place like Japan. Whether you are examining the relationship between spirituality and tea, meditation and sushi, or simply eating and drinking your way through tiny Japanese back streets and alleyways, Japan is a paradise for the curious eater.

  • 7 days

  • 10 - 20 spots

  • Double occupancy in 3-star hotels (single rooms available)

  • 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 2 dinners included

  • Fly into Narita International Airport (NRT). TrovaTrip will provide 3 transfers between 8am and 5pm.

  • Fly out of Kansai International Airport (KIX). TrovaTrip will provide two transfers on the last day.

Activities Included

  • Tokyo Street Food Tour
  • Make Your Own Okonomiyaki Lunch
  • Tokyo Gourmet Walk
  • Asakusa Walking Tour
  • Kappabashi Replica Food Experience
  • Zen Temple Tea Ceremony
  • Higashiyama Walking Tour
  • Nishiki Market Tour
  • Osaka Walking Tour
  • Flavors of Osaka Tour

Other Inclusions

  • Double Occupancy in 3-star Hotels
  • Local Guide throughout Trip
  • All City Transfers
  • Arrival Airport Transfer (until 5pm on first day)
  • Departure Airport Transfer (morning of last day)
  • 6 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches & 2 Dinners

Optional Activities

  • Gekkeikan Okura Sake Experience

Exclusions

  • International Flights
  • Food & Alcohol (except as noted)
  • Visas & Travel Insurance
  • Airport Transfers Outside of Designated Times

Your Host

Ally Coucke

Ally Coucke is an author, creator, and traveler. After selling her own business in the Pacific Northwest, Ally made her home in Denver with her dogs, Bailey and the well-known, Loki the Wolfdog. Ally's passion for travel has taken her all over North America, to Asia, and Africa. Writing and photographing every experience along the way, she cannot wait to share and create new memories with you!

Itinerary

Day 1

It’s been a long journey but you’ve made it, welcome to Japan! You’ll meet your local guide who will help you transfer to your hotel in Tokyo.

After settling in and freshening up, you will meet your new travel buddies and set out for the bright lights of Tokyo on a Street Food Tour. You will be accompanied by a local food expert who will take you to the side streets and alleys in search of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets and toast to the culinary adventure ahead.

Overnight in Tokyo

Arrival: Fly into Narita International Airport (NRT). TrovaTrip will provide 3 transfers between 8am and 5pm.

Included: Airport Transfer, Tokyo Nights Street Food Tour


Day 2

Rise and shine to the Land of the Rising Sun! After breakfast, you will set off on the first full day of your journey.

Your first stop is Meiji Jingu, the central Shinto shrine which is surrounded by 120 trees, a piece of zen in the center of the city. You’ll then visit the Harajuku district and walk down Takeshita Street, the quirky, loud, and eccentric central fashion district for Tokyo’s youth.

For lunch, you will sit down for a ‘make your own’ Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki, a savory pancake with ingredients of your choosing, derives from the words okonomi, which means ‘how you like’ and yaki, which means ‘cooked.’ You will sit down in front of the flat-top and create your own Okonomiyaki with help from your guide.

In the afternoon, you’ll join your local food expert for a food crawl of Tokyo’s traditional neighborhoods. You will visit bustling markets and learn about local produce and ingredients while snacking on little delights along the way. You’ll sample handmade noodles, Japanese sweets, and local drinks.

Overnight in Tokyo

Included: Breakfast, Make Your Own Okonomiyaki Lunch, Tokyo Gourmet Walk


Day 3

After breakfast, you will head to the neighborhood of Asakusa, one of the few remaining old towns of Tokyo that still represent the atmosphere of the Edo period.

After visiting the Senso-Ji Temple and walking around the old town, you will head to the neighborhood of Kappabashi, home to Japan’s restaurant supply chain. Here, you will find shops of all sizes that manufacture and distribute noodle bowls, soup spoons, baskets, specialized knives, and other commercial kitchen supplies.

You will pop into a shop that specializes in replica foods, the same replicas that you’ve seen at storefronts in Japanese restaurants the world over, and participate in a workshop creating your own ‘tempura’ bowl. After the workshop, you will head to a traditional tempura restaurant for a real bowl of tempura for lunch.

The evening is free for you to explore different neighborhoods but make sure to check in with your local food expert for recommendations!

Overnight in Tokyo

Included: Breakfast, Asakusa Old Town Tour, Kappabashi Replica Foods Experience, Tempura Lunch


Day 4

The morning is free and at leisure to do any last-minute shopping in Tokyo. In the early afternoon, you will head to Tokyo Station and board the Bullet Train to Kyoto.

For lunch, you will have a prepared bento box on the shinkansen, a truly Japanese experience.

Upon arrival in Kyoto, you will head directly to Kodai-ji, a 400-year-old temple, and then stroll around the perfectly manicured gardens. The temple will be privatized for a ceremony where you will meet a tea master who will teach you about the relationship between Japanese tea and Zen Buddhism.

After your tea ceremony, you will take a walking tour of the Higashiyama district. In the picturesque Kyoto that you’ve envisioned, you will walk on the cobblestone streets lined by tea houses and artisan shops, surrounded by traditional architecture.

In the late afternoon, you will join a local chef who will lead a cooking class on Kyoto Izakaya dishes. Izakaya cuisine, which could be compared to pub food in the west, is typically served with beers. Your chef will give a lesson not only on the techniques but also the history behind the dishes.

Overnight in Kyoto

Included: Breakfast, Bullet Train Bento Box, Zen Temple Tea Ceremony, Higashiyama Walking Tour, Izakaya Cooking Class


Day 5

After breakfast, your local food expert will pick you up and take you to the Nishiki Market.

The mile-long covered food market is central to the culinary world in Kyoto and you’ll have an opportunity to learn about local Japanese produce and snap some photos of goods unique to the region. Some of the shops give or sell small samples so there will be plenty of chances to experiment and explore.

The afternoon is free for your own exploration! If you are feeling thirsty, there will be an optional tour of the Gekkeikan Sake Museum, an old sake brewery dating back to 1909. You will have the chance to learn about the production process and of course sample some sake.

Overnight Kyoto

Included: Breakfast, Nishiki Market Tour

Optional: Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum


Day 6

The morning is free and at leisure to do any last-minute shopping or picture taking in Kyoto.

In the afternoon you will transfer to Osaka. Upon arrival you will head directly to Tenjinbashisuji Street, a covered shopping arcade with major retro vibes with quaint family-owned stores and little snacking stations where you can sample local specialties like takoyaki balls.

You’ll then head to the Dotonbori River and head to the iconic and neon-lit Ebisubashi Street.

In the evening you will live the local motto of Kuidaore, which translates to ‘Eat oneself to bankruptcy.’ During the night food tour of Osaka, you will join a local Osakan food expert who will help you navigate the food stalls, tiny bars, and eateries tucked away in hidden side streets. The perfect way to celebrate an extraordinary journey, and toast with your travel buddies on the final evening in Japan.

Overnight in Osaka

Included: Breakfast, Osaka Walking Tour, Flavors of Osaka Experience


Day 7

All good things must come to an end, but only until your next journey! You will transfer to KIX airport for your international departure flight and bid farewell to Japan and your travel buddies.

Included: Breakfast, Airport Transfer

Departure: Fly out of Kansai International Airport (KIX). TrovaTrip will provide two transfers on the last day.

Cancellation Policy

25% down payment Additional payments
Spot pending Refundable Refundable
Spot confirmed Non-refundable* Refundable
60 days pre-trip Non-refundable Non-refundable

*If you cancel when your spot is confirmed and outside of 60 days until departure, you can receive a trip credit for your down payment minus the $100 cancellation fee.

For our full cancellation policy, see our Terms & Conditions.

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In partnership with The Cool Effect, 1% of your booking will be donated to reduce carbon emissions through community-based initiatives around the globe. Learn more at cooleffect.org.

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