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This exciting and luscious small group journey led by chef Michael Ryan, takes you through a fascinating culinary and cultural discovery of Japan with time spent in the vibrant cities.


This exciting Japanese food tour led by chef Michael Ryan will take you on an exploration of this dynamic country’s cuisine. Michael is one of regional Australia’s most respected and highly awarded chefs. His passion for Japanese cuisine is evident in his culinary style at Provenance and regular pilgrimages to Japan.

Concentrating on revealing the culinary and cultural highlights in the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa, the tour will be also include some relaxation time at delightful Arcana on the Izu Peninsula.

We will dine in a variety of fabulous restaurants chosen by Michael from traditional local bars to Michelin star restaurants and modern cutting-edge establishments that are expanding the boundaries of traditional cuisine.

We spend time exploring local food markets and the extraordinary food halls in Tokyo’s most elegant department stores. We learn the pleasures of home style cooking at a private cooking class in the comfort of a relaxed environment.

In Kyoto visit the Nishiki market, the Gion District of old Kyoto and enjoy a day at riverside Arashiyama exploring the stunning gardens.

Accommodation includes the Mandarin Oriental and Park Hyatt Hotels in Tokyo and The Screen in Kyoto.  We’re whisked around the country using the hi-speed Shinkansen or bullet trains, enjoying the exemplar system Japan is world renowned for.

This is an enchanting journey of luxury, culinary adventure and cultural encounter; a complete immersion into Japanese culture and cuisine and not to be missed.

Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan is one of regional Australia’s most respected chefs. With his partner Jeanette Henderson, Michael is the owner of Provenance Restaurant in Beechworth, in north-east Victoria. Provenance, in its first year of operation, picked up a chef’s hat in the Good Food Guide and was awarded Best New Country Restaurant in the same publication. The restaurant has since gone on to receive two hats every year. In 2013, Provenance won Best Regional Restaurant and Michael Ryan was named Chef of the Year. In 2014, Provenance was awarded Regional Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller.

Michael initially studied Science at Adelaide University and after several years working in the field of chemistry, was drawn to cooking. After a six-month break travelling in Japan and developing a passion for the food, Michael commenced restaurant work in his home town of Adelaide. His experience since then has spanned the Greville bar in Melbourne, The King River Café in Milawa, The Milawa Cheese Factory and his first venture with partner Jeanette, Range in Myrtleford where he won two chefs hats from the The Age Good Food Guide, as well as Country Restaurant of the year in 2008.

At Provenance, Michael has expanded his culinary style by exploring textures and investigating different techniques of food preparation. While continuing to balance the aspects of the culinary traditions in which he has worked, Michael has also proceeded to incorporate more Asian influences in his food, always remaining respectful of the cuisines from which they are drawn. In particular, regular trips to Japan have proved a constant source of new inspiration. Aside from maintaining the integrity of his food, Michael states that his aim is to avoid stagnation, and to keep moving forward through experimentation.

Meet your Guide:

Michael Ryan – Japan

Michael Ryan is one of regional Australia’s most respected chefs. With partner Jeanette Henderson, he is the owner of Provenance Restaurant in…

Meet more of our guides

Meet your Guide:

Jennifer Wilkinson Owner / Director

Jennifer has a life-long passion for food, wine and travel. Following a successful career in economics and industrial relations, she left…

Meet more of our guides

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GuestStories

  • From the initial booking to the farewell drink at the New York Bar in Tokyo at the Park Hyatt, we could not of hoped for a better experience. A pleasure to travel with Jennifer, who lead us on a journey of a lifetime, to places and restaurants we could not imagine. New friends made and incredible memories forever.

    Danny and Cindy Gilbert – A Culinary Journey to Japan with Michael Ryan May 2018

  • Despite having lived in Japan for 2 years, the trip was a fantastic cultural experience that exceeded my expectations. Michael Ryan was a warm and engaging host, he was very generous in sharing his deep knowledge of and passion for Japan. We were privileged to meet his network of local food and sake experts, who showcased the best of modern and traditional Japan. Overall, the trip was great value!

    Stephen Jones – A culinary journey to Japan with Michael Ryan

  • Michael Ryan is an excellent host and provided his guests with insight into Japanese customs and culture as well as enabling us to enjoy outstanding restaurant experiences which would not otherwise have been available to us. His gentle, insightful comments and willingness to share his deep knowledge of Japanese cuisine were much appreciated and it was clear that he is held in very high esteem by the top Japanese chefs who welcomed us warmly. Tour Leader Jennifer ably managed all logistics and was charming company in addition to having chosen outstanding accommodation. This was a really special tour experience.

    Jane Garvey – A Culinary Journey to Japan with Michael Ryan May 2017

  • A great way to sample the food and culture of an amazing country.

    David Baker – A Culinary Journey of Japan with Michael Ryan May 2018