Authentic and cultural experiences are top of the wish-list for incentive planners, and Japan is a destination that’s positively brimming with them. We turn to local experts at DMC Destination Asia to get the inside scoop on three of its top recommended experiences for incentive groups…
An evening of local gourmet
Outside of the high–end restaurants in Tokyo, which boast the world’s highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants, the city has thousands of local venues that really do deserve exploration – and we are just the people to show you. Let us guide you through uncharted streets and alleys, into venues that are quaint and full of character, all with excellent culinary standards.
Discover a whole range of equally delicious Japanese cuisine beyond refined sushi and tempura, as we walk along the food laden streets in the evening with a local guide. We first head to Yurakucho and mix with the office workers, who can be seen relaxing with a beer and a grilled chicken skewer (yakitori) along the yakitori alley. We join them and buy some local delicacies and drinks. Later we hop on the underground and head to Tsukishima, a ‘shitamachi’ (popular) neighborhood just across the river from Tsukiji market. Here we sample the delicious ‘monjayaki’, eaten straight off a hotplate.
Japanese Swordsmith Workshop
Visit the workshop of a respected Japanese swordsmith master on this day trip from Tokyo. Firstly, we stop by at an antique sword shop for a discussion about Japanese swords (and the possibility of purchasing them with the guide’s help).
We then hop onto an express train to nearby Saitama Prefecture and visit an active workshop. The master will be happy to show guests the basics of the sword making process and talk about the importance of swords in Japan’s classic culture. He will then treat guests to a barbecue in his garden (or sake tasting in case of rain).
Heritage of Nara
Discover Nara’s awe-inspiring cultural heritage starting with a transfer from your hotel by train and the assistance of a local guide. For 74 years during the 8th century, Nara was Japan’s capital, with many of the temples and shrines built during this period still standing.
A highlight for many guests is a visit to Todaiji temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Next stop is Nara’s most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshipers.