Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Soneva Kiri by Six Senses, Koh Kood, Thailand

Soneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, Thailand
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Soneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, ThailandSoneva Kiri, Thailand
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One of our Director's Oliver was lucky enough to spend a few nights at Soneva Kiri by Six Senses on the stunning island of Koh Kood, Thailand.

"The resort is amazing and I can highly recommend it for both families and couples, out of this world"

Contact Oliver to plan your trip to Soneva Kiri on +44(0)1543 258631 or email

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

All eyes on Burma...

BURMA?   Isn’t that what soldiers used to write on the back of their envelopes when they wrote to their wives and sweethearts during the war?  Well yes they did but now Burma or Myanmar to give it its official name is continuing to attract even more attention with the David Cameron's recent visit as part of a trade mission to the Far East, a further signs that the country is emerging not only as a major ‘new’ tourist destination but also as a country with a real future.

Our advice if you are looking to travel there is to book as early as possible. Hotels are limited in numbers and demand remains very high especially during the peak seasons for tourists of October to March  -and BURMA on the back of envelopes?  We’ll leave that to your imagination!

Call us on 01543 258631 or email to discuss your requirements. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

**LAST REMAINING SPACES** Andrea Bocelli in Tuscany...


As predicted the first departure date for a special tour to see Andrea Bocelli in Tuscany is now completely sold out.  And so we can now offer a second departure date: 9th July 2012.

The tour includes the same excursions and number of nights and gives you a great opportunity to explore Tuscany while watching Andrea Bocelli perform in his home town.

For full details click here or call us now to book on 01543 258631 or email

We are also offering a package to see Andrea Bocelli in Fano, click here the main menu.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Seoul's Amazing Lotus Lantern Festival

Date: 18-20 May 2012
Location: within the vicinity of the Jogye-sa, Temple - Seoul

Generally, the festival is very interactive for the visitor, who will not only be amazed by the illuminated parades but also enjoy the post-lantern parade celebrations where festival-goers can join in the dancing. This is often nicknamed the 'Flower Party' by foreigners and culminates in a shower of flower petals from the sky, also there are traditional cultural events that takes place throughout the festival duration. Festival-goers are encouraged to get involved with activities such as making lotus lanterns, creating Buddhist art, trying temple food and playing traditional Korean folk games, or just checking-out the Exhibition on exquisite hand-crafted lanterns.

Top tip from the Korea Tourism Organization London office is "get involved with as much of the festival as they can and get into the friendly spirit of the event".

The highlight is the Lotus Lantern Parade on the 19th May; more than 100,000 Lotus lanterns will light up the Seoul sky/ May 19 (Sat) 7:00 ~ 9:30 pm/ Begins at Dongdaemun and proceeds to Jogye-sa Temple, along Jongno Street(Subway Line 1, 3, 5 Jongno 3-ga Station / Line 1 Jonggak Station or Jongno 5-ga Station).
The grand finale of the festival features a mini lantern parade around Insa-dong accompanied by the singing and dancing of the Lotus Lantern Performance Groups. This is a chance to let your hair down, and laugh and dance. A joyful conclusion to a festival full of energy and harmony!
  • May 20 (Sun) 7:00 ~ 9:00 pm Insa-dong ~ Street in front of Jogye-sa Temple (Subway Line 1 Jonggak Station / Line 3 Anguk Station).
To book your holiday to Seoul call Robert Broad Travel on 01543 258631 or email 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Winner of Istanbul Holiday announced...

Every year in association with our local paper, The Mercury we give our local residents the chance to win a holiday.  Last year's winner were Sarah Bate and Greg Derry who won a weekend in Istanbul (pictured above receiving their prize earlier this month with RBT Director Nathan Collins).

Details of the new competition are now available in your copy of The Mercury plus it will be featured in our forthcoming newsletter

Here is a copy of the original coverage with the award winning photo...

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Mount Fuji Rocks

Rock up at one of the best music festivals in the world, Fuji Rock, and then regain composure at the top of the eponymous sacred mountain.

Fast becoming one of the best-loved festivals in the world, this year's
Fuji Rock will take place on 27, 28 and 29 July. The Stone Roses and Radiohead have confirmed their places amongst what will be an eclectic line-up of established favourites, up-and-coming stars and home-grown talent.

Originally launched in the foothills of Mount Fuji, a typhoon stopped play in 1997 and, since then, Mount Naeba in Niigata, on the edge of the Japanese Alps, has provided a beautiful setting of forests and mountain slopes. Add the world's longest gondola, which opens for the event so that people can ride high above the 100,000 festival-goers, plus hot spring baths, and this becomes a truly unique festival.

 guided climbs (groups consist of seven people maximum) that are timed to arrive at the mountain-top at 4:30am.

Organised with meticulous attention to detail and a genuine respect for the natural surroundings - Fuji Rock is carbon neutral - the site is made up of a colourful mix of stages, marquees, cabaret venues and art installations; even the waste disposal/recycling areas are brightly decorated. Head to the Green Stage for big production shows, the Red Marquee for dancing 'til dawn, the Palace of Wonder for edgy artistic performances and the Café de Paris for cocktails and burlesque. If you're a smoker, do as the Japanese do and take a portable ashtray wherever you go.

And after one kind of rock, head to another - Mount Fuji itself, immortalised in Japanese art and literature. The official climbing season runs from 1 July - 31 August and is popular with pilgrims who aim to reach the sacred mountain's summit of 3,776 metres in time for sunrise. We can arrange group-

Fuji Rock Festival package costs from £902 pp (two sharing) and includes three nights' hotel accommodation in Tokyo's exciting Shinjuku district, rail passes (including the shinkansen bullet train), airport transfers, tents for collection at the site and a three-day festival ticket. Excludes flights, available from Virgin or BA from around £650 return. A Mount Fuji climb can be added to any trip.

To check availability and make a booking call Robert Broad Travel on 01543 258631 or email

Friday, 13 April 2012

Botswana & Zambia Late Offer plus photo's now online

Nathan's photographs from his Botswana & Zambia trip are now online, click here to view them.

We also have a fantastic special offer to Botswana & Zambia, see below for more details but be quick as it departs on 18th May 2012.  If you cant travel on this date call us on 01543 258631 or email for a personal quotation for your preferred date.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Explorer Justin Wateridge joins us for Antarctica Evening

Frozen Planet: Report from Antarctica
Monday 14th May 2012, 1830hrs, Barton Marina
Tickets: FREE for RBT Clients, otherwise £5 per person
Click here to request your tickets online

We welcome Justin Wateridge to Barton Marina to tell us all about his recent visit to Antarctica.  With a collection of wonderful photographs we will hear from Justin about the different species in the area as well as what to expect when visiting the region.

About Justin Wateridge
Brought up in Zambia, educated at Oxford and having survived London, Justin began exploring his passion for travel. His travels have taken him to over eighty countries in the world, whether as a guide (Explore Worldwide), expedition leader (World Challenge Expeditions), pioneering expedition (Mekong River Expedition) or for personal pleasure.

His travel highlights have been many but from a wildlife perspective would include spotting a snow leopard in Ladakh, tracking gorillas with the Ba’aka pygmies in Central Africa and seeing a Sei whale in the Galapagos. In terms of landscape it would be the tepuis of Venezuela, the remote island of Socotra off Yemen and the pristine beauty of the North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan. In terms of cities, Cartagena, Kashgar and Beirut. In terms of experiences, spending time with the nomadic Wodaabe in the Sahara and
cycling up the Mekong River.

Justin firmly believes that travel breaks down barriers and prejudice. “Travel gives us so much – experience, empathy, perspective, understanding and such vivid memories. Our world is wonderfully diverse and we should not shrink from it but experience it, relish it and use those experiences to redefine our own lives.”

He has spoken at a number of venues including the Royal Geographical Society and written numerous articles on travel. He lives in the Cotswolds with his wife, two daughters and son. He spends his time with his family, reading and planning mad-cap schemes to raise money for charity (such as kayaking from Devizes to London and running a marathon in a rhino suit).

We look forward to welcoming Justin to Lichfield for what we are sure will be an enjoyable evening.  Click here to request your tickets online or call us on 01543 258631.

OFFER EXTENDED: Mark Carwardine Galapagos Expedition

Who better to explore the magnificent Galapagos Islands with than a zoologist, outspoken conservationist, award-winning writer, TV and radio presenter and widely published wildlife photographer? 

Mark co-presented the BBC television series Last Chance to See with Stephen Fry (as well as writing the original with Douglas Adams) and hosted the weekly Radio 4 programme Nature for many years.

This very special one-off tour departs London 24th May, and leaves Ecuador on 3rd June 2012, arriving back in the UK the following morning.

The price includes accommodation, 2 gala dinners and daily breakfast on land, full board on the expedition ship, guided excursions, and domestic flights to the Galapagos Islands. The price excludes international flights.

Price from £4,395 per person if booked before 30th April 2012 (saving £2000pp) - call Robert Broad Travel now on 01543 258631 to book or email

Ask to speak to our Director Oliver who visited the Galapagos Islands last June.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

New 'Cruise & Yoga' with Star Clipper

Tall ship cruise specialist Star Clippers has added four new dates to its programme of yoga and meditation-themed cruises this summer and you can book them through Robert Broad Travel now on 01543 258631.
In addition to being on board the flagship Royal Clipper during her TransAtlantic crossing in April 2012, yoga expert Christel Vollmer will be offering complimentary daily yoga and meditation sessions on board the 170-passenger tall ship Star Flyer on three cruises in the Baltic on 19th May, 17th June and 18th August.
Yoga classes on all sailings will take place in the open air, under thousands of square feet of billowing sails – the ultimate relaxation for body and soul, enhanced by the fresh sea breezes. Each cruise will begin with an Introduction to Yoga class and every day thereafter, two classes will be held: 60 minutes of power yoga in the morning and a 40-minute wind-down class at sunset, followed by meditation. Christel will also deliver lectures on yoga for slimming, yoga for back care and power yoga, or astanga. All classes are completely optional; the ships will continue their normal progamme of activities and ports of call and guests are welcome to do as many or as few classes as they like.

For those who want to follow a healthy or vegetarian diet during the cruise, Star Clippers’ usual sumptuous breakfast buffets, piled with fresh, seasonal fruits, and magnificent arrays of salads at lunchtime will be available, as well as vegetarian choices at dinner.
Astanga yoga is a dynamic and powerful style of yoga based on a sequence of easy-to-learn movements called asanas. Christel’s classes, which take place in English, will be suitable for all levels and no prior experience is required. There is no upper age limit for practicing yoga; Christel herself is in her fifties, with many years of teaching experience, having trained under West Coast-based Bryan Kest, yoga guru to stars including Madonna, Cindy Crawford and Sting.
The new yoga cruises for 2012 include:

·         Barbados to Rome on Royal Clipper, departing April 7, 21 nights from £2,305 per person. As this is a transatlantic crossing, there is ample time to relax, meditate and commune with the sea for the ultimate relaxation.
·         Hamburg to Oslo on Star Flyer, departing May 19, seven nights from  £1,490 per person.
·         Warnemunde to Kiel on Star Flyer, departing June 17, five nights from £1,035 per person.
·         Oslo to Hamburg on Star Flyer, departing August 18, seven nights from £1,490 per person.
All prices include full board on the cruise, all yoga and lectures and port charges. Flights are extra. To book, call Robert Broad Travel on 01543 258631 or email

Friday, 6 April 2012

Lisa visits Trou aux Biches, Mauritius

Lisa recently returned from Mauritius where she inspected over 20 hotels and resorts!  Whilst we wait for Lisa's report and photographs we wanted to bring you a wonderful video of one of the resorts she visited - the newly refurbished Trou au Biches.  Enjoy!  To plan your holiday to Mauritius be sure to use the first hand knowledge and advice of Lisa who can recommend the most suitable resort when booking with us.

Call Lisa on 01543 258631 or email

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Easter's approaching - Time for Some Spiritual Inspiration

With Easter fast approaching, be inspired by our selection of religious-themed holidays from Robert Broad Travel.
Early Christianity's Ephesus - Turkey from £1,995 pp
Cruise Turkey's Aegean coast aboard a hand-crafted gulet to Ephesus - capital of Roman Asia. Along the way, there'll be visits to some of southwest Turkey's most interesting sites, and you'll also take in stunning views and glorious swims. An important centre for early Christendom, Ephesus was where St Paul lived and preached, and is mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Today, it's one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean with its marble streets, agoras and a spectacular library. Departing May and September, 'Cruising to Ephesus' costs from £1,995 pp (two sharing) including seven nights' full-board, transfers, all entrance fees and expert guiding. Flights extra.

A piece of Italy in the Orkneys - from £995 pp While experiencing the wild beauty and fascinating heritage of the Orkney Isles, clients on this walking tour can visit the great religious site of The Italian Chapel, on the island of Lamb Holm. This highly ornate Catholic chapel was built by Italian prisoners of war in the Second World War out of two Nissan huts, and using only the limited materials available. Not completed until after the war, the stunning chapel has since become a place of pilgrimage and worship, receiving over 100,000 visitors every year.  It is now regarded as one of the best-known and most moving symbols of reconciliation in the British Isles. The six-night tour costs from £995 pp (two sharing), including accommodation, most meals, transport and transfers (including ferry from Inverness), and experienced guide.

Do the 'Dead 2 Red' on two wheels - for £1,445 pp Anyone keen on exploring Jordan who also has a passion for cycling will love this mountain biking tour. Clients will encounter many of the 'must see' locations of this engaging country, starting with the spiritual site of Mount Nebo and its stunning views across to the Promised Land. Back on two wheels, the group will then head to the ruins of King Herod's palace, where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded, before a descent to the shores of the Dead Sea - an incredible 400 metres below sea level. This is the lowest point on earth, and climbing back up - past crusaders' castles, the Valley of Moses, and the desert landscapes at Wadi Rum - is a truly unique experience. The nine-day tour costs £1,445 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Heathrow), transfers, accommodation, and all meals.

Colourful, religious pageantry in Bruges - from £270 pp The most colourful event to take place in the city of Bruges coincides annually with Ascension Day, this year on 17 May.  Known as the Procession of the Holy Blood, the lively pageant dates back to the 12th century, when a citizen of Bruges is said to have brought back a stained cloth from the Second Crusade, allegedly used to wipe Christ's wounds. Led by 30 city notables belonging to the Brotherhood of the Holy Blood and accompanied by brass bands, more than 1,700 costumed citizens - on foot, in carts or on horseback - perform stories from the Old Testament, about the life of Jesus and the history of Bruges. Two nights' B&B at the three-star Hotel Bryghia, with its quiet canal-side location, costs from £270 pp over Ascension Day (two sharing), including return rail travel from London.

Follow in Jesus's footsteps - from £1,989 pp A Journey to Jerusalem is a luxury escorted tour that contrasts the modern city life of Tel Aviv with the fascinating holy city of Jerusalem. En route, guests will visit the historic port of Jaffa, climb the Mount of Beatitudes (from where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount), and explore Nazareth - Jesus's boyhood home. Once in Jerusalem, there will be trips to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the opportunity to reflect and relax in the Dead Sea. The seven-night tour costs from £1,989 pp (two sharing), includes return flights (Heathrow), transfers, excursions, B&B accommodation, and some additional meals. Private tours can be organised over Easter at an additional cost.

Medieval monasticism on Iona - from £395 pp Lying just off the Ross of Mull, the sacred isle of Iona is famous the world over for its peaceful Abbey - a place of calm and contemplation, and the perfect antidote to the stress of modern life. The island was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and played a crucial role in the conversion to Christianity of the Picts (of present-day Scotland) in the late 6th century. This four-night tour visits the isles of Mull and Iona, as well as sailing out to the little island of Staffa, whose natural cathedral of basalt columns is one of the wonders of the west coast. The tour costs from £395 pp (two sharing), including accommodation, all meals and transfers (from a number of Scottish mainland locations).

Cappadocia on horseback - from £821 pp Many centuries ago, early Christians carved underground cities out of Cappadocia's soft red rock, to protect themselves from Roman persecution and Arab invasions. This secluded setting provided the perfect place for them to devote themselves to an undisturbed monastic life, the evidence of which can still be seen in beautifully-frescoed subterranean chapels. The landscape above ground is equally  breathtaking, and is known for its unique natural rock formations, or 'fairy chimneys'. The name Cappadocia translates as 'the land of beautiful horses', so what could be more fitting than exploring the area on horseback? The six-night tour costs from £821 pp (two sharing), including accommodation, full board, horses and riding equipment, a guide, entrance to museums and airport transfers. Flights extra.

See the spiritual side of Spain - from £600 pp The ancient Camino de Santiago, or Way of St James, is one of Europe's most significant pilgrimage routes, ending at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Historically the most important route to Santiago, Camino del Frances ('the Frenchman's route') is steeped in history from start to finish. Journey into the Spanish interior, untouched by mass tourism, and marvel at the high mountains of Navarra, the arid plains of the Meseta, and the lush green hills of Galicia. Along the way, travellers will pass fantastic religious architecture - all dedicated to the glory of St James - as well as the wine regions of La Rioja and Albariño. A nine-night tour costs from £600 pp (two sharing), including B&B accommodation, car hire and guide book. Flights extra.

Explore Jordan with an expert - from £1,249 pp What better way to discover Jordan's varied landscape than with the award-winning travel journalist and author of the Rough Guide to Jordan guidebook, Matthew Teller? On this nine-day trip, Matthew will sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for a country he knows inside out, as he guides you around the ancient city of Petra, across the pink sands of the Wadi Rum dunes, and through the wilderness of the Dana Nature Reserve. Departing 16 June, the eight-night tour costs from £1,249 pp, including B&B accommodation (a combination of hotels, a desert camp, campsites, and a wilderness lodge), some meals, transportation and transfers. Flights extra.

Discover Krakow at Easter - for £1,450 pp Each Easter the great medieval city of Krakow hosts the internationally-renowned Misteria Paschalia Festival, with performances of music specifically composed to relate the events of Christ's Passion in Jerusalem. This unique Easter break will feature a performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion and a concert in the 700-year-old Wieliczka salt mine, as well as visits to Wawel castle and cathedral, a tour of the Jewish Kazimierz quarter, and beautiful country walks beneath the Tatra mountain peaks. Departing 3 April, the five-night tour costs £1,450 pp (two sharing), including accommodation, all meals and wine, transfers, entrance fees, top-category tickets for three concerts, and the services of a specialist tour guide.

Follow St Cuthbert's Way - from £355 pp Follow in the footsteps of one of England's most important medieval saints to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on St Cuthbert's Way. This self-guided walking holiday through the Scottish Borders and Northumberland links places closely associated with the life of St Cuthbert. Accounts of his life make it clear that the saint gained great solace from walking through this beautiful landscape and, on St Cuthbert's Way, visitors today can also enjoy this quiet corner of England. Macs Adventure offers a range of self-guided walking holidays on the route, ranging from four to seven days in length, costing from £355 pp (two sharing). Price includes B&B accommodation, baggage transfer, a detailed information pack and the services of a local representative.

On Buddha's trail - from £2,925 pp In his very first sermon, Lord Buddha talked of the Middle Way, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path, and his message spread rapidly, penetrating caste and class barriers. Today, with its message of peace and tolerance, Buddhism is a way of life for millions of people across the world, and this trip takes clients on a journey to places associated with important events in Buddha's life. Visit the ancient city of Sravasti where he taught the path to enlightenment, the gardens of Lumbini where he was born, and the Mahaparinirvana Temple which is where Buddha is said to have attained Parinirvana. The 15-day private tour costs from £2,925 pp (two sharing), including B&B accommodation, return flights (Heathrow) and transfers.

From Jordan to Jerusalem - from £2,965 pp This special trip offers the rare opportunity to explore both Jordan and Jerusalem. The fascinating 11-day journey takes in many contrasting highlights of a complex region, rich in history and culture. Clients will walk the 1.2 km narrow canyon leading into the famous city of Petra, visit the mighty Crusader Castle of Karak, and relax by the Dead Sea, before crossing the Allenby Bridge to Jerusalem, spiritual centre of three of the world's major religions. Jerusalem is just an hour's drive from the border and can be combined with Bethlehem, which is a further eight kilometres away. This itinerary costs from £2,965 pp (two sharing), including accommodation, return flights (Heathrow), a private driver and a guide.

Bring the Bible to life - from £1,799 pp How about a biblical tour that follows the path of Paul the Apostle's first missionary journey. The highlight is a visit to Antioch (now Antakya) - the site of the cave church of St Peter. This unique place of worship is said to have been dug by the apostle himself as a place for the early Christian community of Antioch to meet and, as such, it is believed to be the very first Christian church. Time will also be spent in Derbe, Lysra, Salamis and Famagusta in Cyprus. The ten-night tour can be privately tailored for a minimum of two people and costs from £1,799 pp (two sharing), including half-board accommodation, return flights (London), transfers and a guide.

Join a pilgrimage to Lourdes - from £476 pp Believers and non-believers alike shouldn't miss this chance to travel to the most-visited Catholic shrine in the world - Lourdes. It was in this small Pyrenean town that a poor, 14-year-old local girl experienced 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the mid-nineteenth century and, on this tour, visitors will be able to visit the famous grotto where the first apparition is said to have occurred. There will also be trips to the baths - famous for their healing properties - as well as the opportunity to walk in a torchlight procession and to listen to a stirring recital of Ave Maria, sung by thousands of visiting pilgrims. A three-night pilgrimage to Lourdes costs from £476 pp (two sharing), including full board accommodation, return flights (Stansted), transfers and a guide. 

For more details of any of these holidays, to check availability and book call Robert Broad Travel on 01543 258631 or email

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Japanese Food & Cookery with Masterchef 2011 Winner Tim Anderson

This very special 13 night tour is a one-off departure in 2012 and will offer a unique experience of the world of Japanese cuisine.

In addition to your experienced Tour Leader Liam Chawdhary, the tour will be accompanied by Masterchef Winner 2011 Tim Anderson who will be leading cookery master classes during the tour and introducing the group to some of his favourite foody places from three years spent living in Japan.

Staying at high quality accommodation throughout , the tour takes in must see destinations of Japan such as Tokyo and Kyoto but also goes off the beaten track in search of the best culinary experiences Japan has to offer.

 8th November 2012
Price: £4900 pp (excluding international flights)

Perfect for lovers of Japanese cuisine and those wishing to learn to cook from a proven expert in the field, this tour frames unique food experiences against the backdrop of the must-see sights in Tokyo, Kyoto and rural Kyushu.

We will be trying the full spectrum of Japanese cuisine on this 13 night tour; you'll dine in a Michelin starred restaurant in Tokyo, eat finest kaiseki in Kyoto and discover regional delicacies throughout the rural island of Kyushu. And you won't just be eating Japanese; you'll be preparing it too: Three cookery master-classes led by Tim are included alongside a sushi making lesson and a soba noodle making experience.
Japan is famous for its chefs' knives and Takefu is home to some of the nation's finest manufacturers. Here we will be visiting a knife museum where you will witness some of the intricate processes used to forge knives. Alongside this will be a visit to a pottery to see examples of finest Japanese porcelain.
For the night in Takefu we will be staying in a Japanese ryokan (traditional inn). The spectacular banquet dinner is served in elegant tatami rooms - a first chance to experience some of the very best in Japanese hospitality. We will then be repeating the experience later in the tour with ryokan stays on Miyajima Island and in Miyazaki.
Food aside, you will also see some of Japan's most iconic sights. Experiences include the Golden Pavilion, Path of Philosophy and Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto, the bustling precincts of Sensoji Temple in Tokyo and the stunning Mt. Aso, the world's largest caldera, on Kyushu. You will also be visiting some beautiful Japanese gardens as well as seeing the bright lights of modern Tokyo.
Some of the best food experiences in Japan are simple street fare. With a small group size we have the flexibility to taste the delicacies of the yatai food stands in Fukuoka; sample okonomiyaki pancakes and takoyaki octopus dumplings in Osaka; and in Yokohama indulge in a dish very close to the heart of Tim, the simple yet sublime ramen noodles.
Making extensive use of the Shinkansen 'Bullet' Train to travel between destinations will also provide ample opportunity to enjoy another Japanese food institution; the famous 'bento' lunch box. Not simply a packed lunch these are an art-work in themselves!
Visits to a brewery in Fukuoka, a sake tasting and tea ceremony in Kyoto and a shochu distillery and winery visit in Miyazaki ensure a complete exploration of Japan's culinary culture.
In total 12 evening meals are included along with breakfast everyday and a number of lunches cooked during the lessons. Accommodation is of a 4 star level throughout and is fully en-suite. At the Japanese inns you also have the chance to enjoy traditional onsen hot spring baths.
This one off departure is truly the trip of a lifetime.
Places are strictly limited so please do get in touch and book early to avoid missing out.
What’s Included:
  • Full time services of your Tour Leader and chef Tim Anderson, winner of Masterchef 2011
  • 3 cookery classes led by Tim Anderson and 2 other classes focusing on sushi and soba noodles
  • A great mix of 4 star accommodation including Japanese Ryokan in Takefu, Miyajima and Miyazaki
  • 12 evening meals including a Michelin starred restaurant in Tokyo and traditional Kaiseki Ryouri in Kyoto
  • 6 lunches including those cooked by participants during our cookery classes
  • A mix of Western and traditional Japanese style breakfasts everyday
  • Tea ceremony, brewery visit, sake tasting and schochu distillery visit
  • Temple and garden highlights in Tokyo and Kyoto
  • Knife museum and pottery museum entrance in Takefu
  • Ramen museum visit in Yokohama
  • Mt. Aso caldera volcano visit in Kyushu
  • All transport between destinations in Japan including airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Tokyo Transport Pass
  • Meet and Greet on arrival at Tokyo Narita Airport
  • Complimentary Info-Pack
What’s NOT Included:
  • International Flights
  • Local transport (buses, subways, taxis) at any destination except that covered by transport passes in Tokyo
  • Any entrance fees including those for shrines, temples and museums except those noted above
  • Baggage handling - you will be expected to carry your own bags for the duration of the trip

Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Tokyo Meals: Dinner
You will be met by your tour leader today and transfer to our hotel in the historic Asakusa district of Tokyo by express train and taxi. Sensoji temple and Kappabashi cookery street are just a short walk from our hotel so there is lots to explore in this area. Tonight's dinner is included at a local restaurant and is a great chance to get to know Tim, Liam and the other tour members.

Day 2 Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
We will be visiting Tsukiji Fish Market this morning with an optional early start to see the famous Tuna auctions. All that fish should prove inspirational for your first included cookery lesson, a sushi making class with a local expert with Tim and Liam also on hand to assist you. This afternoon we will explore some of Tokyo's top sights including Hama-rikyu gardens and Meiji shrine as well as the temple area near our hotel. In the evening we will be dressing up smart for an included dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant.

Day 3 Tokyo Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Today you will have your first Japanese cookery class with Tim. The three included classes will teach the basics of Japanese cooking as well as some of the special techniques showcased on Masterchef in 2011. After enjoying eating your creations you will spend this afternoon in Tokyo's neighbour city Yokohama, where we will visit the fabulous Ramen museum for dinner time noodle treats.

Day 4 Takefu
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
The Shinkansen 'Bullet' Train will take us in speed and comfort into the countryside today for a one night stay in Takefu in rural Japan. Here we are staying Japanese style with gourmet meals included. Takefu is famous for knife making, pottery and paper making and you will be able to see each of these crafts. You will also be trying your hand at making soba noodles – one of Japan’s simplest but most delicious meals.
Day 5 Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
We will travel to Kyoto today for a 3 night stay in the ancient Imperial capital of Japan. This is the place to really get to grips with Japan’s history, its culture and its food. On this first day we plan to walk the scenic Path of Philosophy visiting the Silver Pavilion with its fabulous gardens and the impressive Nanzenji Temple enroute. We will stop for lunch in the Nanzenji area which is perfect for trying some shojin ryori, traditional Buddhist cuisine. Dinner tonight is sure to be a real treat as you try the cuisine of Emperors' – Kyoto's famous kaiseki dishes.

Day 6 Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast/Dinner
Highlights of Kyoto await today with a visit to the Golden Pavilion, Ryoanji zen gardens and the scenic Arashiyama area known for its bamboo groves. You will also visit a confectionary museum to sample some of the sweets that Kyoto is well known for. This evening we make a night visit to nearby Osaka, Japan’s lively second city and a foodies’ paradise. On the menu will be some typical and delicious street food including okonomiyaki and takoyaki.

Day 7 Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Today we will explore the centre of Kyoto finishing up at Nishiki Market, a treasure trove of ingredients which we will use during our second cookery lesson with Tim. Following up on the skills and recipes learnt in Tokyo you will create some more masterpieces together. This evening we will reward ourselves with a sake tasting session and learn about this subtle Japanese drink which has as many varieties, aromas and flavours as wine.

Day 8 MiyajimaMeals: Breakfast/Dinner
It is back on the Shinkansen today as we head west to Miyajima. This scenic island, just off the Hiroshima coast is famous for its vermillion torii gate 'floating' in the inland sea. We will explore the island and take views of the maritime national park from the top of Mt. Misen – perhaps even encountering some local monkeys as we do. This evening we are staying Japanese style on the island with dinner included. Local speciality oysters are just one treat to look forward to.
Day 9 Fukuoka
Meals: Breakfast/Dinner
Travelling further west, today we head to the southern island of Kyushu. We begin exploring with a one night stay in the city of Fukuoka. You will visit the well known Asahi brewery this afternoon and our tour will include a tasting session at the end. This evening we will explore Fukuoka's vibrant street life: Yatai stands line the river in the centre of town and sell all variety of simple but delicious foods. With Tim leading the way you will be taste testing a smörgåsbord of local specialities.

Day 10 Kumamoto
Meals: Breakfast/Dinner
A packed day today as we break from food and culture to see one of Japan's natural wonders in the shape of Mt. Aso. This huge volcanic caldera is an awe-inspiring and beautiful sight. A cable car takes visitors to the top affording splendid views into the crater and across the surrounding landscape. The mountain is en-route to Kumamoto, a scenic castle town and our base for the next two nights. Dinner tonight is included at a local restaurant in Kumamoto.

Day 11 Kumamoto
Meals: Breakfast/Lunch
You will have plenty of time to explore Kumamoto castle today as well as to walk around the beautiful surrounding gardens. This charming small city is the venue for our third cookery class with Tim and another chance to pick the brains of the Masterchef 2011 winner. Tonight is left free to explore the city.

Day 12 Miyazaki
Meals: Breakfast/Dinner

We travel further south today to the coastal prefecture of Miyazaki. Here we are going to visit and stay at the Shusen no Mori centre. This literally translates as 'spirits of the forest' and is an area known for its shochu (distilled Japanese liquor) and wines as well as some fantastic onsen hot spring baths. We will be trying all three before enjoying a banquet meal served at our Japanese style inn. This countryside break allows a glimpse of arable Japan.

Day 13 Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast/Dinner
Heading back by plane to the capital today you will have time for last minute sightseeing and shopping. Tonight's included 'sayonara' dinner will be a special treat.

Day 14 Depart
Meals: Breakfast
Time to head home – your airport transfer by comfortable airport coach is included.

Important Practical Information
Max Group Size: 14
Single Supplement: We do NOT charge a single supplement. In some accommodation single travellers will have a single room. However, singles will be asked to share a room with a group member of the same sex at 3 night stops: Takefu, Miyajima and Miyazaki.
Transport: Please note that all transfers are by public transport making use of Japan's first-rate transport network. All the hotels and ryokan have been chosen for their location convenient to the nearest station. However, you will have to carry your bags for short distances and some stations do not have escalators. We highly recommend that to make your stay more enjoyable you pack reasonably light. Large suitcases will be an inconvenience to you. A small case or bag with wheels or a rucksack is most appropriate for this tour.
Accommodation: All hotel rooms are fully en-suite.
International Flights: This tour starts and finishes in Tokyo for arrivals and departures at Tokyo Narita Airport.
Please note that the included meet-and-greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available up to 2 days in advance of the tour and if you are staying extra nights pre-tour it is only available if those nights are booked through us.
Check-in: Please note that rooms at the Tokyo hotel are only available from 2pm. (You can however securely leave your luggage at the front desk at any time).

How to book...
This tour will no doubt prove popular and space is strictly limited so please do call us on 01543 258631 or email to reserve your space now.  We can also provide you with a quotation to include your flights, please ask for details.