Japan with Angel Barreto

October 20 - 27, 2023 | One Exclusive Departure

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Heritage & Tradition

Experience Japan at its most timeless and delicious with Chef Angel Barreto

October 20 - 27, 2023

One exclusive departure — reserve your spot!

8 Days, 7 Nights

The best of Tokyo, Izu, Osaka, Kyoto

Price from

$13,000

Per person based on double occupancy

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

You are soaking in the steamy waters of a natural hot spring, one that’s been soothing weary travelers and pilgrims for centuries. You’re at a traditional Japanese ryokan inn, breathing in crisp mountain air and savoring this exquisite moment of calm reflection. Just yesterday you were in the thrumming hive of Tokyo, a kaleidoscope of skyscrapers and back-alley ramen shops. Next up, Osaka and some of the finest street food on the planet. And finally Kyoto, a bastion of shrines and timeless traditions ablaze with scarlet maple leaves. This week has been a joyful celebration of every sense, and there’s nowhere in the world you’d rather be.

Joining you on this incredible journey is Chef Angel Barreto of Washington DC’s Anju. He’s the recipient of the 2020 RAMMYs Rising Star award, not to mention someone who was twice-nominated in the best chef and emerging chef categories for the 2022 James Beard Awards. He’s a chef extraordinaire with a passion for Japanese cuisine culture and exploring the history and concept behind every meticulously crafted dish.

If you find joy in immersing yourself deeply in Japanese culture and cuisine, this trip is for you. If you’re fascinated by ancient rituals and artisans who’ve been perfecting their crafts for centuries, join us in Japan alongside Angel Barreto.

Connect

With Angel, and with some of Japan’s most inspiring chefs and working artists

Savor

Tokyo and Osaka—the most exciting, dynamic food cities in the world. We'll eat everything

Experience

Kyoto's layers of history, back-alley noodle joints, bustling markets, swanky cocktail bars

Honor

Grace, beauty and centuries of history at monumental shrines and traditional ryokan inns

3 Reasons to Travel with Angel Barreto

After graduating from L’Academie de Cuisine, Angel went on to work for the likes of Anthony Chittum, Wolfgang Puck, and Scott Drewno. Pair that extensive resume with a love of Asian cuisine, and it is easy to see why he’s been named a Food and Wine Best Chef, a RAMMYs Rising Star, and a nominee for James Beard Awards in multiple categories.

Learning Opportunity

Hospitality pumps through Angel Barreto’s veins. He approaches each day as a new opportunity to teach, listen, and delight those around him. This trip to Japan is the chance to experience the ultimate expression of hospitality.

Master of Zen

While his culinary background may be in modern Korean cuisine, his daily life is deeply rooted in a form of Japanese Buddhism called Nichiren Shōshū. Self reflection is at the core of it. Above all, he honors and balances work-life boundaries for himself and those around him.

A Caring Soul

Above all, Angel is an empathetic chef. If his kitchen turns out a mistake, he won't overreact. It’s because he knows there’s work to be done in his industry around mental health, race relations, and hospitality and he’s doing the work each day in his DC community.

Your Experience

“Japan is the Mecca for food to so many because of the deep appreciation for quality ingredients and technique.”
Angel Barreto

Tokyo, Izu, Osaka, Kyoto

“If I had to eat only in one city for the rest of my life, Tokyo would be it.”
Anthony Bourdain

Day by Day

Day 1: Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo, the world’s greatest food city, and home to more Michelin stars than any other city (even Paris). We’ll start off the morning on foot, exploring lively Kappabashi, otherwise known as ‘Kitchen Street’, that will — after a few curated detours — culminate in a ramen workshop and sumptuous lunch in Asakusa. 

After downtime back at our hotel, we’ll reconvene and stand witness to centuries of tradition and history at Akagi Shrine. Then we’re off to our truly spectacular welcome dinner. Our first course is a sake tasting with special guest and sake expert Nick Coldicott, author of Tokyo Cocktails. Dinner is a personal culinary love letter from chef Hideki Ohnishi of Kisaiya Hide — he’ll dazzle us with sashimi, nasu (eggplant) salad and dishes that remind him of home in Shikoku: taimeshi (snapper) served with Japan’s finest rice. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the start of our adventure.

Day 1: Tokyo Highlights

  • Explore Kappabashi
  • Ramen workshop & lunch
  • Sake tasting & dinner at Kisaiya Hide
  • Stay at Capitol Tokyu

Day 2: Tokyo

We’ll spend our morning exploring Tokyo’s Ginza district and the Mitsukoshi food hall; it’s one of Tokyo’s fabled depachika – the underground department-store food halls where artfully packaged delicacies are displayed like precious museum artifacts. 

Lunch is a private, hands-on sushi master class with Angel and Daisuke Shimazaki at Sushi Yuu. Chef Daisuke is an up-and-coming culinary star. His quiet backstreet restaurant is small and intimate; his sushi and sashimi are close to perfectionThe afternoon is yours to explore the surrounding Roppongi district.

Our evening begins with a sunset view — a panorama of Tokyo from the Shibuya Sky Viewing Platform — and a float down to Earth for a cocktail at SG Club, one of “Best 50 Bars” in Asia. Dinner tonight is yakitori — grilled meat, skewered and sauced to perfection — at intimate Nogiguchi, a perfect basecamp for the rest of the evening. What’s in store? It’s technically a surprise, but it has something to do with Angel, a microphone and a karaoke bar…

Day 2: Tokyo Highlights

  • Lunch at Sushi Yuu with Daisuke Shimazaki
  • Cocktails at SG Club
  • Dinner at Nogiguchi
  • Stay at Capitol Tokyu

Day 3: Tokyo

Our morning starts with a visit to Meiji Jingu, a tranquil shrine in the heart of western Tokyo and dedicated to Emperor Meiji, the great modernizer who opened up the country to outside influences in the late 19th century. We’ll exit onto residential streets of Sangubashi and Yoyogi Koen, stop for coffee at Little Nap, and set our sights on an immersive food tour through the backstreets of Yoyogi Uehara and Harajuku. Fried takoyaki filled with octopus and pickled ginger or one of Harajuku’s famous crêpes — we promise you’ll find something delicious.

After lunch, the day is yours to relax — possibly with a spa appointment back at the hotel — or to explore deeper in mesmerizing Tokyo. With its Blade Runner-like highways, towering skyscrapers lording over quiet back alleys and a dazzling kaleidoscope of shops and restaurants, there’s no such thing as a ‘wrong turn’ here.

Day 3: Tokyo Highlights

  • Meiji Jingu shrine visit
  • Street food lunch
  • Stay at Capitol Tokyu

Day 4: Tokyo to Izu

We wake early to the organized chaos of the wholesale fish market in Toyosu. Each day chefs from Tokyo and beyond purchase more than 3,000 tons of fresh fish and seafood. We’ll wander the market floor and select our own sashimi for our lunch in Izu.

After a short Shinkansen (bullet train) journey we’ll arrive in Izu. This is the wettest part of Japan, and the climate is ideal for cultivating wasabi (Japanese horseradish) in uniquely designed water terraces. We’ll tour behind the scenes at a local wasabi farm, and sit down to a family-style meal of sashimi and fresh seasonal vegetables.

The cable car up to Panorama Park gets us one of the finest views of Mount Fuji (assuming the weather is kind). After admiring her sacred summit, we’ll head to our lodging for the night: a traditional ryokan (inn). It’s a stunning 150-year-old architectural museum surrounded by nature, with its own natural hot springs. Here, bathing in the traditional baths, we commit ourselves to pure relaxation. Dinner is a traditional kaiseki meal, each small dish jewel-like in its presentation.

Day 4: Tokyo to Izu Highlights

  • Toyosu fish market
  • Wasabi farm tour & lunch
  • Hot springs & kaiseki dinner
  • Stay at Arai Ryokan

Day 5: Osaka & Kyoto

We’ll board the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Osaka; traveling at 200 miles per hour, it’s a no-hassle, two-hour journey. Osaka’s reputation as the culinary heart of Japan is built on its concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants (99 at last count), its excellent street-food scene, its openness to foreign cuisines, and two delicious indigenous snacks: okonomiyaki (yam-flour pancakes filled with seafood, pork, kimchi) and tako yaki (octopus doughnuts). We’re here specifically for the street foods — our lunch is a delicious movable feast on foot.

In the late afternoon we’ll head out for Kyoto, Japan’s capital from the 12th to 19th centuries and one of the most visually stunning cities in the country. After we settle in to our gracious hotel in the heart of Kyoto, adjacent to Nijo-jo Castle, the evening is ours to explore the city’s graceful waterways and shrines, or to wander the back lanes of the historic Gion district, famous for its geisha culture.

Day 5: Osaka & Kyoto Highlights

  • Bullet train to Osaka
  • Street-food lunch
  • Transfer to Kyoto
  • Stay at Mitsui Kyoto

Day 6: Kyoto

For an overview of Kyoto, we’ll venture just outside the central districts to Fushimi Inari Shrine. There’s time to explore the mountain trails, or simply to admire the thousands of bright red torii (wooden gates), curving in parallel rows along the trails. At this time of year the leaves are turning to autumnal scarlet. It’s a stunning sight.

It’s said that Zen monks first brought green tea from China to nearby Uji some 800 years ago. We’ll explore the history — and taste a variety of traditional teas — at a local tea farm, before a traditional and highly seasonal tempura lunch.

Before returning to Kyoto proper, we’ll make time to explore the stunning grounds of Byodoin Temple, built in the 11th century by Buddhists to mark the beginning of the end of the world. We’ll have ample time to stroll the grounds and contemplate. To cap off our day, we’ll dine at Honka Owariya, Japan’s oldest Soba house. Over plates like stir-fry lotus root and Chinese cabbage and pork belly stew, we’ll reflect on a magical day of quiet inspiration.

Day 6: Kyoto Highlights

  • Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Uji farm & tea tasting
  • Dinner at Honka Owariya
  • Stay at Mitsui Kyoto

Day 7: Kyoto

We’ll explore craft and artisanship in three different forms this morning. First in food, at Honda Miso, exclusive provider to Japan’s royal family since the 1400s and with a miso-brewing program that changes according to the seasons. At House of Hosoo the focus is fabrics and textiles of unequaled beauty. We’ll wrap the morning at Raku Museum, next door to the Raku family home and workshop, with a collection of ceramics made by successive heads of the Raku family for more than 450 years.

The afternoon is yours to explore Kyoto on your own. We’ll reconvene in the early evening for a traditional tea ceremony, considered one of the classical Japanese arts of refinement, and a sacred step on the path to enlightenment.

Our farewell dinner tonight — in the Myoshinji Temple complex, with its manicured pathways and graceful gardens — is equally rooted in tradition: a classic winter nabe (traditional clay hotpot) prepared by Angel, restorative and warming. We’ll share a joyful toast with Angel and celebrate our week of adventure and connection.

Day 7: Kyoto Highlights

  • Meet-ups with masters of craft
  • Traditional tea ceremony
  • Dinner at Myoshinji Temple with Angel
  • Stay Mitsui Kyoto

Day 8: Kyoto

Alas, our journey has come to an end. As we say goodbye to our new friends, we know that we’ll have to return, and soon. In the meantime, the soul of Japanese cuisine and craft will travel home with us, helping us find the beauty wherever we look.

Day 8: Kyoto Highlights

  • Final breakfast
  • Group transfer to Osaka's KIX airport for flights home

Where We Sleep

We blend the luxurious, modern world with ryokan-style rooms with a restoring dose of Japanese shibui, that notion of striking a peaceful harmony with nature.

Capital Tokyu

Tokyo

This skyscraper hotel boasts panoramic views of the city below, with traditional Japanese-style architecture design that lets guests rearrange the sliding doors and shoji paper screens to suit their changing moods. It’s the perfect oasis for resting and recovering from a long flight and the tumult of the buzzing city streets below.

Arai Ryokan

Izu

Ancient traditions are alive and well at this luxurious 150-year-old ryokan, its traditional architecture and sleeping quarters providing an oasis of calm and a respite from the cares of the world. Legend has it that this ryokan's on-site hot spring was brought forth 1,200 years ago to allow a devoted son to wash his ailing father’s back. Today the gentle, mildly alkaline waters continue to soothe the spirit.

Mitsui Kyoto

Kyoto

An ode to ancient Japanese tea ceremonies, each room translates centuries of tradition into quiet luxury—spacious bathrooms carved with stone and artisanal cypress accents flow into the hotel’s majestic courtyard and breathtaking spa. It's a true sanctuary in the heart of Kyoto, with the historic Nijo-jo Castle just across the street.

Unique access to people and places. This was a trip we could not have done without Modern Adventure.
Scott F.
One of the best weeks of my life. I definitely want to do another trip with MO/AD.
Elizabeth Z.
Everything was perfectly planned and amazing. We were able to explore places that most people never see.
Jennifer G.

Book Japan with Angel Barreto

Number of Travelers

Payment

Reserve your spot today with a $2,000 per-person deposit plus room supplements (if relevant). Full payment is due 180 days prior to your trip departure date. We’ll email you a reminder. If your trip departs in less than 180 days, we’ll collect full payment either 30 days from when we receive your deposit, or 60 days prior to your trip departure date, whichever is sooner. For details read our Deposit FAQs

$13,000

Per person based on double occupancy

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+1 (855) 219-8018

Questions?

That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.

  1. What does the price include?

    Seven nights at unique four- and five-star accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; departure airport transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; all gratuities for tour leaders and local guides.

  3. Where does the trip start and end?

    Our adventure begins at the Capital Tokyu Hotel in Tokyo, Japan. There are two airports servicing Tokyo – Narita International Airport (NRT) and Tokyo International Airport, Haneda (HND). Our adventure ends in Kyoto, Japan. Your flight home from Kansai International Airport (KIX) should be scheduled to depart at 2pm or later on our final day.

  4. What travel documents are needed?

    US citizens do not need a visa to visit Japan for Business or Tourism purposes. Requirements are subject to change and we will reach out directly with full details and updates.

  5. Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?

    For solo travelers, there is a $2,950 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. These spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    This adventure has a maximum of 12 guests. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure trip leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel on or before June 21, 2023 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after June 22 2023 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after August 20, 2023 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being cancelled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details). Please note that your cancelation terms may differ if you are being transferred from a prior departure; see your correspondence from Modern Adventure for details.

  9. Do I need Travel Insurance?

    We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for your trip costs; if your trip plans change for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to get medical help, emergency transport, and for theft, loss or damage of items while traveling. For best coverage, always insure the full trip cost within two weeks of your initial trip deposit and note that most ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ policies must be purchased on the date of your initial deposit.

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