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A Shunkan For Aussies. From Agedashi To Zosui: Dine Around Japan.

July 4, 2017 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Australian travellers are having a shunkan – that’s “moment” in Japanese. Our new short-stay snow sports capital is the perfect place to escape the Aussie winter, and head to warmer climes with decadent dining.

“We’ve seen huge growth in Japan bookings in 2017, of over 55%,  as people flock back to this idyllic country.” said Andrew Mulholland, Wendy Wu Tours Managing Director for Australia & New Zealand “In fact, we’ve seen traveller interest in Japan almost double year on year, a terrific sign that Aussies are rediscovering the historic culture and fresh food of this island nation”. 

For Wendy Wu Tours, hotspots in demand are Kyoto, Koyasan, Osaka, Hiroshima and Koyasan – telling us that Australian travellers are becoming more familiar with the destination and more specific in the areas they want to travel to. Responding to this demand, the company released a new Trails of Japan tour for 2017, giving visitors the change to meet Snow Monkeys in Yudanaka.

Australian travellers are on the hunt for unique experiences and to embrace our innate love of the great outdoors. This was evident in the unprecedented interest in Japan’s cherry blossom season in 2017 – in fact, it tripled from the year before. Mulholland said: “Wendy Wu Tours sends more Australians to view Japan’s Cherry Blossoms than any other Australian tour company.”  With that in mind, 2018 cherry blossom tours are selling fast! Mulholland suggests booking soon to avoid disappointment and to enjoy Easter in Japan in 2018. Sakura-flavoured Easter eggs, anyone?

In the coming years, Japan will be front-and-centre in the mind of Australian travellers. Global eyes will be on the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics. “As the world wakes up to the wonders of Japan, I’d encourage you to visit in 2018 before the rest of the world does. Experience Japan at its best, before these global sporting events” said Mulholland. “Wendy Wu Tours is also interested in assisting any of our agency partners that are looking to organise groups to these special events.”

Ancient Culture Meets Culinary Masterpiece

The cuisine of Japan has permeated the Australian dining table for years. From the upmarket dining experience of Tetsuya’s in Sydney, to the ubiquitous Sushi Train in every shopping centre; like too much wasabi on your sashimi, Japanese food is right under our skin.

But there’s so much more to Japanese food than what we’ve come to love. Wendy Wu’s resident Japan expert, Angela Papalexandris, gives us the inside scoop, by destination, on the company’s most popular tour, the 14-day Discover Japan.

TOKYO PREFECTURE: Days 1 – 4

You may have heard of the famous Tsukiji market in Fukagawa, Tokyo, and for good reason. Inside is a veritable feast of sashimi, ramen and stew. But Tokyo prefecture is more famous for the Fukagawa Don. Packed with juicy short-necked asari clams, unpeeled ginger and eggs, sitting on a bed of rice, you can taste this speciality all over Tokyo, before strolling around the Hamarikyu Gardens. 

TAKAYAMA PREFECTURE: Days 5 – 8

Try your hand at traditional Japanese pickled wasabi vegetables in one of Japans largest wasabi farms. The perfect accompaniment to the region’s famous Kurikinton. Said to bring you wealth, these little mushy combinations of sweetened chestnut and sweet potato are for those who’d love to live on dessert. You might even pick up your own fresh ingredients at the Miyagama market. 

KYOTO PREFECTURE: Days 8-11

Cleanse your palate with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in Kyoto….then absolutely bombard it with a traditional Kaiseki Ryori. A traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, Kaiseki today includes a minimum of an appetizer, sashimi, a one-pot dish, a grilled dish and a final steamed dish – but often includes as many as 15 belly-busting courses.

Fortunately, the following day you’ll head to the tranquillity of the Issuien Gardens at Nara, it’s beautiful ponds giving you time to reflect on why you will, in future, stick to the requisite 3 course meal. 

OSAKA PREFECTURE: Days 11-14

It’s all about Okonomiyaki in Osaka. Quite literally translating to “grilled as you like it”, this is a savoury pancake cooked with cabbage, seafood, and sometimes even pork, before being covered with Japanese mayonnaise and dried bonito.

After filling up on the delicious pancake, climb the steps to wander through Osaka’s Castle, to make room for dinner at Dotonbori, the city’s restaurant mecca. 

TASTE THE ADVENTURE

Take your tastebuds on a journey through Japan’s finest, on the 14-day Discover Japan tour from Wendy Wu Tours. Priced from $10,560 per person twin share, including flights with Cathay Pacific, fully inclusive from SYD/MEL.  To whet your appetite for Japan, here’s a video from Wendy Wu Tours.

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