Imagine

…you’re on a train journey through Japan…

If you’re a food-lover, start in Tokyo, before dawn, with an interpreter at the famous Tokyo Tuna Market, where you watch the call and chaos of the daily auction. Then take the underground tunnel into the restricted wholesale area to pick up a portion of the day’s fish for your private chef to create an extraordinary 16-plate gourmet Japanese breakfast, complete with table-side tuna carving.

Another gastro-treat in Tokyo is Jiro’s Sushi. Straight out of the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Rare Finds Travel can help you secure one of the 10 coveted seats. Meet the legendary chef himself and be relieved that you’re with our guide. Because each step of this 15 minute, 8-course $300 lunch – from your choice of beverage to the way you hold your light-as-air sushi – has a strict protocol.
If Tokyo is home to the finest surf, then Kyoto, the nation’s other ancient capital, about 3 hours down the train line, is home of choicest turf – Kobe Beef. Sliced and sauteed and enjoyed with sake, a dinner of Kobe steak is a celebration of rich aromas, melt-in-your-mouth textures, and revered traditions.

And at the other end of the gourmet scale – though every bit as exciting for your palate – is Osaka’s street food scene. With exotic offerings like takoyaki and okonomiyaki, it quickly becomes clear why you want a guide! And we’ve got the perfect millennial food ambassador for the job.

If you’re an animal lover, Nagano should top of your list. At the snow monkey park outside of town, you can spend hours watching them groom, mother, play, eat, squabble, and soak in the hot springs river.
If you’re a history buff, hop off the train at Matsumoto Castle, the fort which witnessed the warfare transition from bows & arrows to musketry. And bear witness to our modern war history at Hiroshima’a Peace Park.
If you like nature, make sure you make time to hike the Hakone Trail. Some sections can be done in a single day, with stops along the way in traditional tea houses.

And if you’re a zen lover, visit a Japanese temple south of Kyoto. There’s meditation in the evening, a fire ceremony the next morning, and visits to onsens – or traditional bathhouses – in between, so plan to stay overnight.

Along the way there are car factories to tour and geishas to meet, robot restaurants and ramen shops, pearl divers and sumo wrestlers, and even the Last Samurai!

And while capsule hotels are uniquely Japan – and also easy on the budget – you’ll love the ryokans, or traditional Japanese inns. A sleep on a tatami mat is a LOT more comfy that you’d ever imagine.

See Japan in

Bragging Rights at Jiro’s Sushi
Temple Overnight in Koyasan
My Experiment in Japan: Can you do it without a guide?
Tuna Extravaganza: the Tokyo Market and Chef Breakfast
Meeting the Kobe Beef Chef