Akita Tour

itinerary | cost | gallery

We are going to take a break from Akita Tour in 2017. However, we will travel back to Akita in the future or if you would like to plan a private tour. So, please let us know if you are interested.


Akita Day 4 Tsurunoyu

Akita Day 4 Tsurunoyu

Akita Day 4 Tsurunoyu

Akita Day 4 Tsurunoyu

Akita Day 5 Kaniba Onsen

Akita Day 5 Kaniba Onsen

Akita Day 4: Tsurunoyu Onsen

Akita Day 4: Tsurunoyu Onsen


Highlights


Sake

  • Learn about sake from the world’s leading expert, John Gauntner, in an intimate class setting. Maximum group size is twelve people.
  • Explore the snow country and visit four breweries. Each brewery introduces you to different aspects of the brewing tradition.


Food

  • Soba noodles provided a staple food in this extremely cold region. Find out for yourself about the local style of soba by trying your hand at making noodles in a beautifully maintained historic kura, or storehouse, at the sake brewery.
  • Try traditional farm-style Akita cuisine and learn how to make kiritanpo rice cake from the “The Best Mom” in Akita at her farm.


Tradition

  • And, the tour is not only about sake. First, a special visit to the brewer’s private estate takes you through several centuries of the family’s history as a landlord and a brewer.
  • Explore Kakunodate and get a glimpse of the life of a samurai general in the well-preserved Edo-era quarter. View special exhibition of Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day) dolls from the same period displayed in historic residences as you walk the area.
  • Visit Masuda: this area once flourished as a center of commerce in the Tohoku region. Enjoy the finest kura, built in an architectural style unique to this area.


Onsen

  • Soak in hot springs to fully enjoy Akita. On the last night, a milky open air bath in deep snow at rustic Nyuto Onsen will take you back to a different era.


Itinerary – 5 days

Day 1 (Monday) Yuri Honjo and Yokote, Akita
japan_map_akita Fly from Tokyo Haneda Airport and arrive in Akita in the morning. Start your journey with a sake lecture by John Gauntner. A special interview with the legendary veteran Yuki no Boshatoji, or brew master, enlightens any sake fan. Relax and enjoy a luxurious private open-air bath with panoramic view, or try different types of hot springs at this scenic hotel before dinner. At dinner, private performance of minyo folksongs is scheduled to finish the day with the sound of Akita.

Hotel: Yokote Plaza Annex with onsen, Yokote, Akita
Meals: Lunch; banquet-style dinner with sake and minyo


Day 2 (Tuesday) Yokote, Akita
Visit Ama no To in the morning to discover their philosophy and individual approach to local sake brewing. In the afternoon, tour the Masuda area which flourished as center of commerce centuries ago. Storehouses decorated with glossy lacquer and built inside the house is a special feature of this area. Enjoy a special viewing of the finest examples of historic kura at a local merchant and at Hinomaru Jozo, which produce Mansaku no Hana and Manabito. Dinner features Akita delights paired with sake at one of the beautifully restored kura.

Hotel: Yokote Plaza Annex with onsen, Yokote, Akita
Meals: Breakfast; lunch; dinner with sake


Day 3 (Wednesday) Daisen, Akita
japan_map_akita_detail Visit Akita Seishu’s brewery, Kariho to a culinary experience. Learn about the local style soba through your hard work, by actually kneading the dough and enjoying the fresh soba and sake tasting at Kariho’s historic kura. In the afternoon, explore Kakunodate Edo-period quarter at leisure. Enjoy the local craft galleries and visits to samurai residence such as Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum or Ishiguro-ke.

Hotel: Bukeyashiki Hotel, Kakunodate
Meals: Breakfast; soba lunch


Day 4 (Thursday) Kakunodate and Nyuto Onsen, Akita
Be ready for a total immersion in Akita winter food. Ms. Fujii was awarded as “THE Best Okaasan (mom)” in Akita. She will share her secret recipes for pickles and kiritanpo rice cake. Enjoy a relaxing lunch at her farm house with an Akita style irori fireplace. In the afternoon, trek further into deep snow country to Nyuto Onsen. Simply enjoy the tranquil rustic onsen and very simple inaka country style food.

Tsurunoyu at Nyuto Onsen (Japanese style inn)
Meals: Breakfast; lunch; dinner with sake


Day 5 (Friday) Nyuto Onsen, Akita to Tokyo
In the morning, continue to relax at the ryokan or hop on a shuttle bus to try out different baths in the area. In the afternoon, travel to Tokyo on the Shinkansen bullet train in comfort or continue your exploration in the snow country at a leisurely pace

Meal: Breakfast


Cost

The tour price is based on a group of 8 and may change for a smaller group size.

Price Includes

  • Sake lecture by renowned sake expert, John Gauntner.
  • Four special private tours and tastings at sake breweries. These companies are not open to the general public.
  • Activities and entertainments: soba making experience at a brewery, private cooking lesson, private minyo folk song performance
  • 4 nights accommodation.
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners. Dinners include selected sake from the breweries we visit.
  • All transportation costs during the tour for Day 1 through Day 5, excluding the flight to Akita and return transportation by Shinkansen bullet train.
  • A qualified tour leader who is an Advanced Sake Professional and a Government Certified Bilingual English Guide provides translation and informative commentary throughout the trip.
  • Domestic Transportation After Your Arrival in Japan

    Your tour begins with a flight from Haneda, Tokyo to Akita on ANA and ends with a return by Shinkansen bullet train from Tazawako to Tokyo. These are not included in the tour cost. In most cases, the best option is purchasing your onward tickets together with your international ticket. This is usually cheaper and simpler. If you choose to book the flight in conjunction with your international tickets, please see ANA Airlines’ Visit JAPAN Fare or Star Alliance Japan Airpass for special domestic airfares.

    For your convenience, we will of course coordinate your domestic transportation for you. Please see Optional Tour for Akita for transportation and additional accommodation package.

    For those planning to use JR Pass for more extended travel, please contact for details regarding Shinkansen return travel from Tazawako.

    Optional Tour for Akita

    We hope to make it easy for you to travel with us to Akita. With the Tokyo Optional Package, you do not have to worry about any arrangements other than your international flights! You can simply enjoy stress-free vacation without complicated travel planning or worried about getting to places. You may choose one or more components listed in the package to design your own travel itinerary.

    Additional Travel Arrangements

    Additional domestic travel arrangements and consulting are available by Michi Travel Japan. Tazawako area is known as one of the best ski resort in Akita. Please contact us at info@saketours.com for more information.

    Gallery

    Akita Day 1: Yuki No Bosha, Cabin In The Snow ©Saiya Shuzo

    Akita Day 1: Yuki No Bosha, Cabin In The Snow ©Saiya Shuzo

    Akita Day 1: Takahashi Toji at Yuki No Bosha

    Akita Day 1: Takahashi Toji at Yuki No Bosha

    Akita Day 1: Welcome Dinner

    Akita Day 1: Welcome Dinner

    Akita Day 1: Minyo Performance  ©Peter Weld

    Akita Day 1: Minyo Performance ©Peter Weld

    Akita Day 2: Ama-no-To/Asamai Shuzo

    Akita Day 2: Ama-no-To/Asamai Shuzo

    Akita Day 2: Ama No To

    Akita Day 2: Ama No To

    Akita Day 2: Lunch at Ama no To  ©Peter Weld

    Akita Day 2: Lunch at Ama no To ©Peter Weld

    Akita Day 2: Lunch at Ama-no-To

    Akita Day 2: Lunch at Ama-no-To

    Akita Day 2: Mansaku-no-Hana, Hinomaru Jozo

    Akita Day 2: Mansaku-no-Hana, Hinomaru Jozo

    Akita Day 2: Mansaku No Hana/Hinomaru Jozo

    Akita Day 2: Mansaku No Hana/Hinomaru Jozo

    Akita Day 2: Masuda Store House

    Akita Day 2: Masuda Store House

    Akita Day 3: Kariho ©Akita Seishu

    Akita Day 3: Kariho ©Akita Seishu

    Akita Day 3: Making Soba At Kariho Brewery © Peter Weld

    Akita Day 3: Making Soba At Kariho Brewery © Peter Weld

    Akita Day 3: Soba!

    Akita Day 3: Soba!

    Day 3: Kario Brewer, Ito-san

    Day 3: Kario Brewer, Ito-san

    Akita Day 3: Soba, Sake And Toji's Talk At Kariho ©Peter Weld

    Akita Day 3: Soba, Sake And Toji's Talk At Kariho ©Peter Weld

    Akita Day 3: Bukeyashiki Edo Period Quarter

    Akita Day 3: Bukeyashiki Edo Period Quarter

    Akita Day 3: Kakunodate Bukeyashiki Edo Period Quarter

    Akita Day 3: Kakunodate Bukeyashiki Edo Period Quarter

    Akita Day 4: Okasan of Akita at Taisando Farm

    Akita Day 4: Okasan of Akita at Taisando Farm

    Akita Day 4: Making Kiritanpo with Otosan at Taisando farm

    Akita Day 4: Making Kiritanpo with Otosan at Taisando farm

    Akita Day 4: Farm Lunch Akita Style

    Akita Day 4: Farm Lunch Akita Style

    Akita Day 4: Tsurunoyu Rotenburo Open Air Bath

    Akita Day 4: Tsurunoyu Rotenburo Open Air Bath

    Akita Day 4: Tsuru-no-Yu

    Akita Day 4: Tsuru-no-Yu

    Akita Day 4: Tsurunoyu Hot Spring

    Akita Day 4: Tsurunoyu Hot Spring

    Akita Day 4: Tsurunoyu

    Akita Day 4: Tsurunoyu

    Akita Day 4: Change into yukata to relax at onsen

    Akita Day 4: Change into yukata to relax at onsen

    Akita Day 4: Farewell Dinner

    Akita Day 4: Farewell Dinner

    Akita Day 5: Simple Breakfast at Tsurunoyu

    Akita Day 5: Simple Breakfast at Tsurunoyu

    Akita Tour Testimonial

    Akita Tour Testimonial