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Journey to Kyoto with Quay’s Peter Gilmore

Journey to Kyoto with Quay’s Peter Gilmore

HOSHINOYA Kyoto Boat Check in Autumn

A culinary tour of Kyoto with Peter Gilmore and Jane Lawson of Zenbu Tours

Peter Gilmore of Quay and Bennelong
Peter Gilmore of Quay and Bennelong

The secrets of Japan’s Kyoto awaits

An insider’s guide to Kyoto awaits with your hosts Jane Lawson of Zenbu Tours and Executive Chef Peter Gilmore of Quay and Bennelong restaurants.

Explore Kyoto and its culinary heart in late spring.  Elegant traditional eateries through to contemporary gastro temples have been personally selected by Japanophile Jane Lawson.

Culinary Kyoto
Culinary Kyoto

Matcha tea, Japanese Whiskey and Sake

Fondle artisan utensils, textiles, lacquerware and incredible ceramics. Meet local culinary and cultural experts and characters. Wander through blissful spring gardens. Sip Japanese sake, whiskey, phenomenally good local wine and painstakingly-poured-over coffee, or slurp freshly whisked matcha alongside wagashi – as you explore the sublime Kyoto, one of Japan’s prettiest cities.

redd f unsplash Kyoto
Kyoto by Redd F and Unsplash

This sojourn has been chosen to carefully side-step the jostling, peak tourist madness so you can be Immersed in Kyoto’s late spring colours, fragrance and warmth as early summer edges closer enticing a wider range of flowers to show their pretty faces. Think Iris, Azalea, Water Lily, Wisteria and roses – possibly early lotus.

walter mario stein  unsplash bamboo forest Kyoto
Bamboo Forest Kyoto by Walter Mario Stein and Unsplash

Kyoto in late Spring

Delight in the young, lime-green Ginko leaves as they wave breezily at passers and be treated to the lesser-known maples glow in shades of red – rarely seen outside the autumn months. While you will certainly witness a variety of gardens, green spaces and serene mountain vistas, they more-so form a majestic backdrop to the greater cultural experience and, more specifically, the culinary enjoyment.

Culinary Kyoto
Culinary Kyoto

Jane Lawson and Peter Gilmore

About your hosts

Jane, former food publisher at Murdoch Books, first met Peter when she acquired what would become the award-winning QUAY cookbook – around 15 years ago. During the production of both Quay and follow up title Organum, the duo developed significant trust and a strong and binding friendship. They’ve travelled to Japan together previously, but never before as co-hosts of Zenbu Tours (which Jane has been running since 2013) and they cannot wait to share their combined Kyoto and Japan adoration and insight.

Journey with the writer of Tokyo Style Guide and A Little Taste of Japan

Jane who’s been travelling the length and breadth of Japan for almost 40 years, lived in Kyoto for several years where she studied local cuisine and culture for her book Zenbu Zen – finding food, culture and balance in Kyoto. She also wrote the popular Tokyo Style Guide, Yoshoku (her first book!) and A little taste of Japan – all for Murdoch Books.

Japanese cuisine
Japanese table setting

Peter’s deep fascination for Japanese cuisine and aesthetic has a considerable influence on his culinary style. His return to Japan in May ’23 will mark his 3rd Japanese culinary research trip with Jane, and his inaugural venture into co-hosting Zenbu’s luxurious tours. Peter’s expertise and passion for food, design and Japanese ceramics (fun fact, he’s a whizz on the pottery wheel and designs bespoke tableware for Quay) will add another layer of insight and wonder to this itinerary for the cuisine-curious.

Kyoto restaurant

Dates: 13 – 24 May 2023 / 12 days (11 nights)

Hotel: Kyoto Hyatt Regency, King rooms

Price: PP AUD $26,800 (twin share $26,300 pp)

Guests: *8 people max.

To make an enquiry or booking please contact Jane via or email

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