At Sake Tours, we take you behind the scenes to meet the people who grow, cook, brew, and create the incomparable food, sake, and traditional arts and crafts of Japan.
You’ll tour sake breweries, talk with master brewers, and most importantly, taste—a lot. But that’s only part of the experience. Depending on the tour you choose, you might find yourself trying your hand at making soba, embarking on a ramen crawl through Hakata, Kyushu or visiting a pottery master’s studio.
Expect impeccably sourced restaurant dinners, hard-to-find sake, and authentic, under-the-radar cultural experiences that make Sake Tours the most non-touristic “tours” you’ll ever experience. Come find out why so many Sake Tours customers return to explore different parts of Japan with us!
Mon Feb. 4th through Fri. Feb 8th 2019
This tour is for adventurous foodies. This tour visits three or four sake breweries in Fukuoka. Enjoy a pop up oyster BBQ, blowfish (fugu) welcome party, sea critters of the Ariake Bay, super premium “shizuku” gyokuro tea, yakitori and hakata ramen. Visit an artisanal salt maker in Itoshima by the sea and take a trip to Karatsu in Saga, a famous pottery region, and tour an artist’s studio to find earthy sake vessels to bring home.
Relax and sip sake on a sendo boat ride while keeping warm under a heated kotatsu table and relax in the onsen hot springs of Yufuin. On the final day, you will visit a cooking studio in Kumamoto where white smoke rises from the ground everywhere and steam your own vegetables in geothermal vents.
Sun Feb. 17th through Fri Feb.22nd 2019
On this tour your will explore the snow country and visit 4 amazing sake breweries that are not open to the public. Meet the sake brewers, savor simple inaka-style Akita cuisine, and soak in onsen. Memorable experiences you will find only with us are: a visit to a farm; get hands-on and make soba in a historic sake brewery; private music performance; and more.
On the last day, simply relax at rustic hot springs in the deep snow far away from the city and enjoy some of Japan’s best sake as you soak in the milky waters of the rustic Nyuto Onsen.
Sun Feb. 24th through Fri Mar. 1st – 2019
Visit the leading sake producing region of Niigata and its rugged, remote island–Sado. There are over 90 breweries in the prefecture, and you will have the opportunity to really get to know four brewers and the cultural heritage of each area. Memorable experiences that you can only have with us are: visit an organic rice farmer for a sake lunch, a sake BBQ picnic in the snow, and lots more.
On Sado Island, feel the distinctly different cultural heritage and taste sake style that breaks away from the mainland. Visit the old port town of Shukunegi. Pick up sticks and try your hand at Kodo drumming. On the last night on the island, soak in open-air onsen hot springs by the sea.
Mon March 4th through Fri March 8th 2019
Visit a remote and ruggedly beautiful part of Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. Located on the south side of the island, Kochi’s landscape is rich with mountains, rivers, and cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Its sake is famous for being “light and dry,” and its culture is famous for being warm and fun-loving. Get an exclusive look at four breweries, including one that makes chestnut shochu in addition to sake. Visit a katsuobushi (bonito flake) factory to learn about how this important food product is made.
Taste Kochi’s amazing variety of fresh seafood and citrus fruit, learn about its unique and playful drinking culture with Geisha, and experience a part of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage. Take a boat ride on one of Japan’s purest and most scenic rivers, and spend your last night in a traditional hotel with open-air hot spring (onsen) baths and rooms with stunning views of a bay on the Pacific.
A tour with us is about experiences – you will get to do things that you wouldn’t be able to do if you were traveling alone.
You will get to meet the Sake brewers, local farmers, food producers and artisans – encounters you normally wouldn’t have!
Our team are extremely knowledgable when it comes to Japanese food and sake. On a tour with us you will eat (and drink) very very well.
Please Note – We are not offering the below tours in 2018 or 2019.
John Gauntner, known as the “ Sake Guy ” in Japan, is the world’s leading non-Japanese sake expert. He has published five books and written hundreds of articles on sake. He teaches a series of intensive educational sake courses in Japan and the US. He is also the only non-Japanese to function as an advisor and consultant for the Japanese government on sake promotion and the worldwide sake market.