March 3, 2013 (Sunday) Kyoto
Members will travel on their own to Kansai and meet at the Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto to begin our tour. The hotel is conveniently located at Kyoto Station.
Hotel: Hotel Newy Hankyu Kyoto
March 4, 2013 (Monday) Fushimi, Kyoto
The day begins with a lecture by John Gauntner to prepare you for our brewery visits. We make our first brewery visit with John at the oldest sake brewery in the scenic and historic Fujimi district of Kyoto. Masuda Tokubee Shoten, the producer of Tsuki no Katsura was founded in 1675. Then, explore the streets of Fushimi on foot. Fushimi continues to prosper as one of the brewing capitals in Japan and as the home to more than twenty breweries. Close the day at a local izakaya, or sake bar, with Kyoto-style cuisine and Tsuki no Katsura.
Hotel: Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast; lunch; dinner with sake
March 5, 2013 (Tuesday) Kinomoto, Shiga
Take a Shinkansen Bullet Train and change to a local train bound for Kinomoto on the northern shore of Lake Biwa. Visit the producer of Shichi Hon Yari. Their history goes back to the 16th century. Kinomoto is a historic town that once flourished as major shukubamachi, or waystation offering food and accommodation to travelers from the Japan Sea coast provinces to Kyoto or Edo. Explore the quiet neighborhood on foot and see beautiful old merchant houses from the Edo period that still function today. Enjoy Shiga winter delicacies with Shichi Hon Yari: nare-sushi or original form of sushi, and locally hunted game meat only available during the winter.
Hotel: Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast; lunch with sake
March 6, 2013 (Wednesday) Nara
Today is devoted to Nara, the ancient capital and the center of Japanese Buddhism from the 8th century. Hop on a short train ride from Kyoto to Nara to first visit the producer of Harushikan in the heart of old town of Naramachi. After the tour and tasting, enjoy lunch at their adjoining historic Imanishike Shoin, former residence of officials from Kofukuji Temple. Visit the Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple, then see the finest collection of Buddhist statues at Kofukuji National Treasure Hall. Explore the alleys of Naramachi and wander the old warehouses and machiya (traditional lattice front houses) converted into shops and cafes. Enjoy a characteristic Nara dinner with locally grown Yamato vegetables and Harushika.
Hotel: Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast; lunch; dinner and sake
March 7, 2013 (Thursday) Shigaraki, Shiga
Drive through the mountains to visit the Shigaraki region with Robert Yellin, Japanese ceramics specialist and the Author of "Ode to Japanese Pottery-Sake Cups and Flasks." Shigaraki is one of the ancient centers of pottery producing domestic wares. At the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Robert gives you the overview of the style of the region. In the afternoon, visit artist studios selected by him.
Hotel: New Hankyu Kyoto
March 8, 2013 (Friday) Otsu, Shiga
Today's excursion is around Mount Hiei, the sacred mountain and the holy site for Tendai Buddhists. Start the day by visiting Hiei Yuba and try it yourself to find out how this versatile vegetarian food is made and how the freshest yuba tastes. Visit Ritsuin Temple to participate in the sacred Goma fire ritual. Simple vegetarian shojin ryori with yuba is served at the temple while you have a chance to hear one monk’s long and intriguing quest for enlightenment. The final visit of the day is the Enryakuji Temple complex nestled in a deep cedar forest. Return to Kyoto Station in the late afternoon to continue your own onward travel plans.
Meals: Breakfast; lunch
270,000 JPY based on double occupancy
Single occupancy supplement is 20,000 JPY
The tour price is based on a group of 8 and may change for a smaller group size.
- Sake lecture by sake expert, John Gauntner and a tour with him for the first brewery visit.
- Three special tours and tasting at sake breweries. In addition, a private visit to a yuba producer is planned.
- One-day excursion to Shigaraki with Japanese ceramic specialist, Robert Yellin.
- Accommodations for 5 nights based on double occupancy at Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto.
- 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners. Dinners include selected sake from the breweries we visit.
- Admission to all temples and museums on the tour.
- All transportation during the tour starting March 4th through 8th. Travel to Kyoto on March 3rd and continuing to your next destination from Kyoto Station are not included.
- A qualified tour leader who is an Advanced Sake Professional and a certified English Bilingual Interpretive Guide provides translation and informative commentary throughout the trip.
Your tour begins at Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto at Kyoto Station.
To access Kyoto, it is best to fly to Kansai International Airport (KIX) if you fly from overseas. Kyoto is approximately 75 to 85 minutes from KIX by limousine bus or by train. See the access information at KIX Access site.
For your convenience, we will of course coordinate your domestic transportation from Tokyo or other cities. Please see Optional Tours for Kansai for transportation and additional accommodation packages.
For those planning to use JR Pass for more extended travel, please contact us for details.
Optional Tours for Kansai
We hope to make it easy for you to travel with us to Kansai. With the optional packages, you do not have to worry about any arrangements other than your international flights! You can simply enjoy stress-free vacation without complicated travel planning or worried about getting to places. You may choose one or more components listed in the package to design your own travel itinerary.Details will be updated soon.
Please see other travel destinations before and after the Kansai tour. > Other Travel DestinationsAdditional domestic travel arrangements and consulting are available by Michi Travel Japan. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
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Sake World Sake Brewery Tour is offered by Michi Travel and the Terms and Conditions in addition to the cancellation policies at Michi Travel are applicable.