Remote Lands, the world’s leading ultra-luxe and intrepid Asia travel designer, is excited to announce the ultimate gourmet experience in collaboration with Aman – the Aman Japan Culinary Journey. For travelers seeking the very best in gastronomic cultural immersion, this nine-night journey, which is limited to just 16 people, will take place from May 15-24, 2022 and offer access to exclusive, high-end dining and libation experiences, many of which are not available to the general public. All travel is by high-speed Shinkansen bullet train, chartered helicopter and private car.
Remote Lands and Aman will indulge guests with a unique itinerary that goes behind the scenes to savor some of the finest examples of traditional and contemporary Japanese culinary excellence in Tokyo, Yamanashi, Nagoya, Shima, Osaka and Kyoto. In addition to chef-guided market visits and fine-dining experiences, the itinerary includes exclusive tastings at wineries, sake breweries and whisky distilleries as well as private restaurant and gallery visits and hands-on lessons in the exceptional culinary arts of Japan.
This journey of discovery begins in Tokyo, where guests will spend four nights at the serene Aman Tokyo. Accompanied by a top Japanese sushi chef, participants will kick off their touring with an early morning visit to the market floor of the renowned Toyosu Fish Market, home of Japan’s famed tuna auctions, which is off-limits to the general public.
Participants will also take part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, a spiritual ritual that embodies harmony, respect, purity and tranquility, followed by a sushi experience and lunch with one of Tokyo’s premier sushi masters, a fifth-generation chef, at his family’s private restaurant. Other culinary highlights include a Japanese soufflé pancake tasting, shochu (a traditional Japanese liquor) tasting with a shochu “sommelier”, followed by dinner at a local Izakaya bar, and a soba noodle-making class and lunch guided by a top soba chef.
Guests will also visit the Art Aquarium, where more than 30,000 fish are living works of art, and attend a spiritual fire ritual at Fukagawa Fudo temple, which features 9,500 miniature crystal Buddha statues. Tapping into Japanese sporting traditions, travelers will also have the opportunity to partake in a samurai sword-fighting lesson and a sumo demonstration with recently retired wrestlers, as well as attend a Japanese baseball game, where stadium snacks typically include yakitori, bento boxes, edamame, donburi and noodles.
Travelers will enjoy a full-day excursion to Yamanashi, a prefecture that produces Japan’s finest wines. There, guests will relish in magnificent views of Mt. Fuji from walking trails along Lake Kawaguchiko and enjoy lunch and wine tastings at top Japanese vineyards.
The itinerary then takes travelers to Nagoya for a two-night stay at Amanemu, set within a national park on a clifftop on the Shima Peninsula overlooking Ago Bay. For touring, guests will explore two of Nagoya’s most intriguing neighborhoods, the traditional shopping street Endoji and the old town residential area Shikemichi, before enjoying Nagoya’s famous hitsumabushi (barbecued freshwater eel) lunch. Afternoon options include a visit to the Ise Jingu Grand Shrine or Mikimoto Pearl Island.
Guests will have the opportunity to relax at Amanemu’s 2,000-square-meter spa, which is rooted in Japan’s sixth-century tradition of onsen bathing in magical mineral-rich waters for the cleansing and detoxing of the mind, body and soul. In the evenings, guests will savor authentic Japanese meals including a traditional kaiseki dinner and a Matsusaka Wagyu beef dinner, which originates in the Shima region.
A chartered helicopter transfer to Osaka begins the next leg of the itinerary, which includes a street food tour and lunch with a local guide to the vibrant Dotonbori district to sample local delicacies including okonomiyaki (loaded savory pancake), takoyaki (octopus balls) and kitsune udon (large flour noodles with dried tofu skin. Guests will also visit the Kuromon Ichiba market, the Momofuku Ramen Museum and the Suntori Yamazaki Whisky Distillery, where they will partake in an exclusive whisky tasting. Evening marks the beginning of three nights at Aman Kyoto, a 26-room property set in the secret garden of a 79-acre forest at the foot of Mt. Hidari Daimonji.
In Kyoto, travelers will have the opportunity to explore the destination and the surrounding areas with a private car, driver and guide on one of three suggested itineraries. For Kyoto first-timers, the highlights tour includes the must-sees such as Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Monkey Park, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle and the geisha neighborhood of Gion. Another option is a day trip to Nara, the capital of Japan from 710 to 784, Uji and its many centuries old Shinto shrines, and Wazuka Town, home to the finest producers of Uji matcha (green tea). A final option includes a half-day trip to the stunning I.M. Pei-designed Miho Museum, along with a visit to the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. Back in Kyoto, after an optional behind-the-scenes tour of the famed Fushimi brewery area, guests will enjoy a private geisha dinner.
The journey’s final day offers an array of culinary and spiritual experiences including a wagashi sweets making lesson with a wagashi master, Zen meditation with a Buddhist monk followed by a Shojin-ryori vegetarian lunch, a tour of the iconic Nishiki Market, a visit to the 15th-century Ginkakuji Temple and a sake tasting at the Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery, renowned for its selection of ceramics.
The Aman Japan Culinary Journey will be led by Remote Lands’ CEO and Co-founder, Catherine Heald, and will take place from May 15-24, 2022. The trip is priced at $48,888 per person based on double occupancy with a single supplement cost of $13,888. For more information, visit www.remotelands.com.