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810 S Spring St. #1204
Los Angeles, CA, 90014
United States

Wine, Sake & Whiskey: The Spirit(s) of Koshu

Tour Calendar

On this personal tour for eight adventurous food lovers, Yoko will take you on a journey to explore historical festivals, community events and locally acclaimed restaurants. She created the tour to share the best parts of rural Japan during its best season.  Most importantly, you will know what every one of her friends knows: Wherever Yoko goes, tasty morsels will follow!

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Wine, Sake & Whiskey: The Spirit(s) of Koshu


  • Visits to some of the best wineries in Japan's premier wine country, Katsunuma
  • Sake Tastings at 5 breweries in Lake Suwa, Nagano.
  • Hakushu Whisky Distillery Tour and Tasting at the bar where you can find the rare collections of Suntory whiskey.
  • Cooking lessons focused on regional dishes at Yoko's friend's house in Kofu (Soup Noodles & More)
  • Temple Retreat (one day): Witness the evening service with chants echoing in Kuonji Temple
  • Yuba (bean curd skin) course dinner & Selected best local dishes served every day
  • Short hikes along a beautiful stream, around the lake and through a vineyard are included everyday

Itinerary - 5 Days

We'll be walking 3 to 5 miles every day. Please wear comfortable shoes.

Our DETAILED ITINERARY is HERE. It includes all the web links to the places we're planning to visit. Places of interest* indicates the places we would love to take you. However, we may not cover all the places as we do not want to rush from one place to another. We value the flexibility to make spontaneous decisions based on the group's interest and desires while traveling. The places are listed to give you a general sense of what you can expect on the tour.

Day 1

Friday 10/12/2018

Shinjuku, Tokyo - Katsunuma, Yamanashi

We'll walk through Katsunuma's beautiful terrain and vineyards. Some of the best wineries are located here: From a small family vineyard to one of the oldest vineyards that shared their knowledge of how to make "sur lee" wine with all the other wine makers in Katsunuma. to bottom up the industry. This white wine was once thought the perfect way to embody and heighten the flavor of the Koshu grape, the indigenous grape of Japan. It's your chance to try a Japanese wine that's so very rare to come across abroad. 

  • Lunch: Included in the tour fee and served with 3 glasses of wine (tasting portion)
  • Transportation: Included (Public transportation & Taxi)
  • Winery tour and tastings: 1 tasting is included
  • Dinner: Included in the tour fee. Torihei (Yakitori) and one more bar/diner
  • Accommodation: Yumura Hotel at Yumura Hot Springs in Kofu, Yamanashi


  Day 2

 Saturday 10/13/2018

Lake Suwa, Nagono

The city of Lake Suwa has 5 sake breweries within a 1/2 mile street. Instead of bar hopping, we'll go sake brewery hopping! As a bonus, we will never get tired from walking since we can sit and rest our feet in the hot springs at various locations. 

  • Breakfast at Hotel: Included
  • Transportation: Included (Public transportation & Taxi)
  • Lunch: Included in the tour fee
  • Sake Tasting fees: Included at 2 sake breweries.
  • Dinner: Included. Popular local Japanese-Chinese restaurant
  • Accommodations: Yumura Hotel at Yumura Hot Springs in Kofu, Yamanashi

Day 3

Sunday 10/14/2018

Mt.Minobui, Yamanashi

You'll be surprised to see the temple community at one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the area which was established in the late 13th century. We would like to invite you to climb up the 287-step stairs, named the "stairs of enlightenment", that will lead to a beautiful pagoda. Once you climb up to the top, you may be greeted by the chants of hundreds of monks echoing throughout. It's impossible not to appreciate the serenity of this remote site far removed from any distractions. 

  • Brunch: Homemade regional dishes at Yoko's friend's house. We'll be cooking!
  • Transportation: Included (Public Transportation & Taxi)
  • Lunch: Not included in the tour. We will suggest restautants or other places to get food in Minobu.
  • Exploration of Kuonji Temple & Mount Minobu : Cable car fee included
  • Dinner: Included in the tour fee. Yuba Kaiseki Dinner (Shojin/Vegan)
  • Accommodation: Shukubo, Temple hostel at Mt.Minobu

Day 4

Monday 10/15/2018

Kawaguchiko & Hokuto, Yamanashi

One of the sites that visitors can't miss seeing in Yamanashi is Lake Kawaguchiko. There are many places in this prefecture you can observe Mt.Fuji. However, we love the view from Lake Kawaguchiko the best. That's why we're taking you there even though it's a bit of a detour before heading to Hakushu distillery. At Hakushu, you can enjoy spending time in the forest and sampling the whiskey of you dreams.

  • Breakfast: Included at the temple
  • Transportation: We'll have a private car and a driver all day
  • Kimono Museum entrance fee: Included.
  • Cafe at Lake: Not included. Please buy what you like at the cafe/bakery
  • Lunch: Included, eel restaurant
  • Hakushu Whiskey Distillery Tour Fee: Included
  • Dinner: TBD
  • Accommodation: Yumura Hotel at Yumura Hot Springs in Kofu, Yamanashi

Day 5

Tuesday 10/16/2018

We'll take care of you until we return to Tokyo. Let us know how we can assist you so that you can reach your next destination smoothly. 

  • Breakfast: Included at the hotel
  • Transportation: Included until we arrive at Shinjuku station.


Earlier Event: April 7
Spring Tour 2018
Later Event: November 20
Hokuriku Seafood Feast Tour: 1