Hidden Japan: A Saké & Whisky Tour


What’s included:

  • – 6 Day/5 Night Tour of Sanin, Japan
  • – Private tour of Ota Shuzo sake distillery
  • – Tour to the Yamazaki whisky distillery
  • – Accommodation, transport and meals per tour itinerary
  • – Tours runs from 5-10 December, 2016
  • – RM2,500 single supplement applicable

Gift must be purchased by 10 October 2016. Flights to and from Osaka not included

Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement, a quest for perfection. Kaizen means never resting on laurels, because there is always room for improvement to polish closer to perfection. It is this philosophy that has powered Japan forward over the past six decades, transforming it into a contemporary, futuristic society that is simultaneously modern, yet adherently traditional.

That drive, and the mixture of old and new, is the spotlight of this exclusive tour organised by Kampachi, Malaysia’s most established Japanese restaurant. For over 40 years, Kampachi has been at the forefront of Japanese cuisine in the country and its own application of kaizen has given it exposure to ever-increasing standards of supplier-sourcing. Today, it imports its own sake from a series of small (usually still family-owned) breweries that still employ age-old hand-production techniques. Their very limited quantities make their sake highly coveted in Japan, with extremely limited quantities ever getting exported.

This tour takes guests to a distinguished saké brewery and Japan’s first whisky distillery, and along the way, trace a fascinating story that links these two industries. Saké, or rice wine, dates back to the Nara period of 710-794 AD, while whisky is a relatively recent phenomenon, imported from Scotland in 1923. Both showcase the philosophy of kaizen – refining centuries-old techniques into sophisticated modern saké and fine-tuning Scottish techniques to create a uniquely Japanese whisky.

The tour begins in Osaka, where a local flight will whisk guests off to Izumo. Over two days, guests will delve deep into a hidden side of Japan that few travellers ever set foot, visiting Ota Shuzo, a renowned saké breweries founded in 1874. Here guests will learn the secrets of saké making and sample an elixir that is interwoven into the very fabric of Japanese life and society. Along the way, picturesque sights like the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Kurashiki Bikan historical quarter will be taken in.

The party will then wind its way back to Osaka by road via Himeji, settling guests in at the Marriott Miyako Osaka, the base to explore the Suntory’s Yamazaki whisky distillery. Founded in 1923 by Shinjiro Torii, the site is the first malt distillery in Japan, heralding the arrival of the powerhouse Japanese whisky industry. Here guests will learn about the history of Yamazaki, now owned by Suntory, and what exactly makes Japanese whisky so special.

Cuisine naturally is also a feature of the tour and a series of specially-selected restaurants have been chosen. The tour will bring guests to high-quality restaurants that are not normally geared toward a tourist crowd, for a dining experience that does not feature in the usual guidebooks.

A gala dinner will cap off this journey through hidden Japan, and guests will return home enlightened, educated and excited, as well as suitably inebriated.

Full itinerary:

Day 1

  • 10.00 am: Group meets at Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
  • 1.00 pm: Transfer to Itami Airport & Check-in
  • 3.40 pm: Flight departure to Izumo Airport (JAC2355)
  • 4.30 pm: Arrival at Izumo Airport
  • 5.10 pm: Transfer to hotel (Chorakuen, Tamatsukuri; ryokan with onsen)
  • 6.00 pm: Arrival and check-in at hotel
  • 7.00 pm: Dinner

Day 2

  • 8.00 am: Breakfast
  • 8.45 am: Check-out and transfer to Izumo Taisha by private coach
  • 9.45 am: Excursion to Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, Shinmon Street Shopping precinct
  • 11.00 am: Transfer to Sakai Minato by private coach
  • 12.30 pm: Lunch at Sakai Minato Ichiba
  • 1.30 pm: Transfer to Tottori by private coach
  • 4.00 pm: Excursion to Tottori sand dunes and Tottori sand museum
  • 6.00 pm: Transfer to Misasa
  • 7.00 pm: Check-in at hotel (Yakushinoyu Mansuiro, ryokan with onsen) and dinner

Day 3

  • 7.30 am: Breakfast
  • 8.30 am: Transfer to Ota Shuzo, Sake distillery by private coach
  • 10.00 am: Private tour of Ota Shuzo
  • 12.30 pm: Lunch
  • 1.30 pm: Transfer to Kurashiki City by private coach
  • 4.00 pm: Excursion to Kurashiki Bikan historical quarter
  • 6.30 pm: Check-in at hotel (Kurashiki Royal Art Hotel)
  • 7.30 pm: Dinner

Day 4

  • 8.00 am: Breakfast
  • 8.30 am: Check-out and transfer to Himeji by private coach
  • 10.30 am: Excursion to Himeji Castle
  • 12.30 pm: Lunch
  • 1.30 pm: Transfer to Osaka by private coach
  • 2.30 pm: Excursion to Ramen Museum
  • 4.00 pm : Check-in at hotel (Osaka Marriott Miyako)
  • 6.30 pm: Dinner

Day 5

  • 8.00 am: Breakfast
  • 9.00 am: Depart to Yamazaki Whisky Factory by private coach
  • 10.00 am: Excursion to Yamazak Whisky Factory
  • 12.30 pm: Lunch
  • 1.30 pm: Excursion to Kurmon Market, Shinsaibashi
  • 7.00 pm: Farewell Dinner

Day 6

  • 8.00 am: Breakfast
  • Check-out and depart

Package includes all domestic travel (flights and private coach), English-speaking guide, guide tips, all meals (5 x Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner), all entrance fees, travel insurance. Price based on double/twin-sharing rooms; single supplement of RM2,500 applies.

Package does not include flights to/fro Osaka, alcoholic beverages outside scheduled meals, unscheduled meals, personal purchases.

Hidden Japan: A Saké & Whisky Tour


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