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
Long considered the crown jewel of Japanese sake-producing regions, Niigata is home to more than 90 breweries. On this trip, we’ll visit four of them, including one on the remote island of Sado, the former place of exile for court nobles, and now home to a revived population of Japanese crested ibis. Our tour opens with a refined Niigata dinner and geisha performance.
We’ll walk snow-covered plains with rice growers, savor Niigata’s beloved rice, and enjoy a simple farm lunch. We’ll also visit Murakami, the historic mecca of salmon culture, and sample locally grown tea in a traditional machiya (merchant’s townhouse). On Sado island, you’ll even get to try your hand at Kodo drumming!
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.