Japan Cherry Blossom Tour

Springtime in Japan is nothing less than magical. From late March to early May Japan’s iconic sakura (cherry blossom) captures the attention of visitors and locals alike as their beautiful pink flowers blanket the country. Every spring, people admire cherry blossoms and have a picnic party under the blooming trees. This picnic party is also called "hanami (cherry blossom viewing)" and it is one of the most popular events of spring in Japan.

Touring style: self-guided tour

Prices are seasonal and start from GBP 2200 per person, minimum of 2 travelling and based on standard hotels. International airfares are extra. Japan experiences dramatic pricing fluctuations based on Festivals, domestic holidays and in some instances on weekends. Please ask us for an individual quote 

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour at a glance
  • Day 1: Depart for Tokyo
  • Day 2: Arrival and transfer to your hotel
  • Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Tokyo
  • Day 4: Kamakura full day sightseeing
  • Day 5: Mount Fuji and Hakone sightseeing
  • Day 6: Travel to Takayama
  • Day 7: Travel to Shirakawago
  • Day 8: Travel to Kanazawa
  • Day 9: Travel to Kyoto
  • Day 10: Kyoto full day sightseeing
  • Day 11: Travel to Osaka
  • Day 12: Day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima
  • Day 13: Departure
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Day 1: Fly to Japan

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Day 2: Arrival into Tokyo Airport.

Make your way to the Airport Limousine Bus Counter. Take the coach to your chosen hotel. Stay 3 nights.

Journey time: Approximately 1.30 to 2 hrs.

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Day 3: Full day Tokyo sightseeing

Full-day guided sightseeing tour of Tokyo by public transportation with an English speaking guide.
Visit Tsukiji Fish Market, Imperial Palace East Garden, Ginza Dis­trict, Asakusa Kannon Temple and Nakamise shopping arcade, Meiji Jingu Shrine and Harajuku fashion street.
Admire the cherry blossoms on the waterfront on a yakata-Bune, a type of Japanese pleasure boat.
From late March through early April, cherry trees reach peak bloom all at once on the certain section of the banks of Sumida River.

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Day 4: Kamakura sightseeing

Full day visit to Kamakura. Visit Hase Kannon Temple, Kotoku-in Temple (Great Buddha), Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

Return to Tokyo for overnight.

Distance and journey time: 60 km, 1.20 hr each way

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Day 5: Mt Fuji and Hakone

Make your own way to Shinjuku station. Take the Romance Car to Hakone.  Stay overnight at a ryokan.

The surrounding area of Lake Kawaguchi, one of five lakes at the foot of Mt. Fuji is a great place to enjoy both Mt. Fuji and the cherry blossoms. When spring comes, the cherry blossoms bloom beautifully on the small cape called Ubuyagasaki. The cherry blossoms around Lake Kawaguchi reach peak bloom in mid-April.

Overnight in Hakone.

Journey time from Shinjuku to Hakone: approximately 1.30 hrs on the RomanceCar

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Day 6: Mt Fuji to Takayama

Make your own way to Odawara station and take the train to Takayama.

Takayama is a treasure chest of Japanese architecture and traditions. Explore the old town and its myriad of narrow streets, shrines and sake stalls. See the Festival Floats Hall, Takayama Jinya, historic wooden houses, and the Takayama History and Art Museum.

Take a local train to Hida-Furukawa and enjoy a walking tour including the white storehouses, old residences, Enkouji Temple and the Saku Brewery.
Wander the streets of the morning market and soak up the atmosphere of the old town before returning to Takayama.

Overnight in Takayama.

Odawara to Nagoya: Hikari Express 1.10 min

Nagoya to Takayama: JR Express Hida 2 hrs

Journey time: Approximately 5 hrs

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Day 7: Day trip to Shirakawa-go

Take a 50 min local bus to World Heritage Listed Shirakawago.
The bus terminal is on your left of the JR station.

When you arrive at Shirakawa-go, get a free map from the tourist centre which is right next to the bus terminal. Take a hike uphill to the Ogimachi Tenbodai Lookout for the postcard view of the village. Visit the museum Wada-ke Jutaku which is area's largest gassho-zukuri farmhouse. This fascinating area is dotted with large thatch roof dwellings which keep out the heavy snow during winter and keep in the cool during summer.

Return by bus to Takayama for overnight.

Distance and journey time: 58 km, 1 hr by bus each way

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Day 8: Travel to Kanazawa

Take the train to Kanazawa.

A former castle town and samurai headquarters, Kanazawa is also home to one of Japan’s most famous gardens – Kenrokuen. Explore the garden as well as partaking in a tea ceremony, before visiting interesting Omicho Market and Bukeyashhhhiki Samurai House.

Overnight in Kanazawa.

Takayama to Toyama: JR Express Hida 1.30 hrs

Toyama to Kanazawa: Hokuriku Shinkansen 30 mins

Journey time: Allow 3 hrs

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Day 9: Travel to Kyoto

Take the train to magical Kyoto, once Japan’s capital for over 1000 years, a myriad of temples, shrines and historical structures adorn this captivating city.

Stay 2 nights. Maruyama Park next to Yasaka Shrine is Kyoto's most popular public park for cherry blossom viewing. Its centrepiece is a large weeping cherry tree that gets lit up in the evenings.

Kanazawa to Kyoto: Thunderbird 

Journey time: Approximately 2.30 hrs

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Day 10: Full day Kyoto and Nara tour

Enjoy a do it yourself day in the ancient capital of Japan. See Nijo Castle and the Golden Temple, a sparkling highlight of any Kyoto visit. Enjoy the bustling atmosphere of Higashiyama district’s old streets and at Kiyomizudera Temple, then walk down narrow ‘Pontocho’, perhaps the world’s quaintest lane and home to local eateries, bars and tea houses.

Afternoon, join a tour to Nara. Nara was the site of Japan’s first permanent capital and is full of treasures, including magnificent Todaiji, the world’s largest wooden building. You also visit multi-storied Kofuju-ji and encounter free-roaming deer.

In the evening, participate in an evening Kyoto tour. See a delightful pageant of seven Japanese traditional arts: koto music, flower arrangement, tea ceremony, gagaku (court music dance), kyogen (ancient comic play), kyomai (Kyoto-style Japanese dance) and bunraku (puppet drama). 

Walk to Gion Corner through Gion area with well-preserved old houses will remind you of the ancient days of Kyoto. You may well have a chance to see a pretty maiko girl there. Be part of an authentic, relaxing tea ceremony. Walk through a Japanese garden and enter a cozy tea room, where a tea master will serve tea and sweets to each guest individually in traditional manners. 

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Day 11: Travel to Osaka

Take the train to Osaka.  Afternoon, wander around Osaka on your own.

Overnight in Osaka.

Kyoto to Osaka: Super Hakuto

Journey time: Approximately 30 mins 

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Day 12: Day tour of Hiroshima and Miyajima

Depart with your guide by train to Hiroshima. Visit Itsukushima Jinja Shrine and the Peace Memorial Park. The beauty and quiet atmosphere of Miyajima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Japan's three most beautiful landscape. Visit the Peace Memorial Park, near the epicenter of A-bomb area, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, featuring exhibitions of items related to the nuclear bomb.
Take the bullet train back to Osaka for overnight.

Journery time by train: approximately 82 mins each way

Day 13: Departure

Take the train to Osaka Airport for your departure flight.

Journey time: approximately 1 hr

Highlights

Hakone: Mt Fuji and hot springs

Set picturesquely within the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, with fine views of Mt Fuji, the celebrated hot spring resort of Hakone is located a short journey by road from Tokyo.

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Hiroshima and Miyajima

Miyajima, a small wooded island offshore from Hiroshima is the setting for one of Japan’s most ethereal and photographed images, the Floating Gate of Torii. The shrine, pier like in structure and dating to the 6th Century, appears to float on the surface.

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Kamakura: Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines

Known as the Kyoto of Eastern Japan, Kamakura’s historic prominence as Japan’s mediaeval 12th Century capital is reflected in the rich abundance of temples, shrines and monuments.

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Kanazawa: City of Crafts and Folk Art

The delightful town of Kanazawa is set on the north coast of Honshu, looking out over the Sea of Japan, and is rich in history, culture and natural beauty.

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Kyoto: Shrines and Temples

Kyoto is home to an astonishing 2000 shrines and temples, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Nara: Ancient temples and Shrines

The ancient city of Nara is celebrated for its fine art and architecture, natural beauty, and wonderfully preserved ancient wooden structures.

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Osaka: Historic city and Castle

Sheltered on three sides by mountains, the historic city, the second most populous after Tokyo, looks out over the broad crescent of Osaka Bay.

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Shirakawago: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Set at the foot of Mt Haku-san, among picturesque rice fields bisected by a winding river, the pretty mountain village of Shirakawa-go is home each autumn to the celebrated Doburoku Festival, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Takayama: Museums and Festivals

Located on the edge of Hakusan National Park, Takayama is a historic and picturesque town famed for its traditions of artistry and craftsmanship, celebrated at the bi-annual Takayama Festival.

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Tokyo: Bustling capital

Japan’s capital is a place of wondrous contrast. A cruise through Tokyo on the Sumida Gawa River reveals Hamarikyu-tien, the fabulous private garden of an Edo lord set now within a canyon of glittering skyscrapers.

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Accommodation

Hakone/Mt Fuji, Deluxe Class
Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa

A fine example of Japanese alpine chalet architecture, the luxury spa resort enjoys sweeping panoramic mountain views of the surrounding Hakone / Mt Fuji National Park.

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Hakone/Mt Fuji, Superior Class
Fujiya Hotel

Dating to 1878, this historic and beautiful property is a stunning example of Meiji era architecture, set around its own thermal springs.

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Hakone Yumoto, Ryokan
Yoshiike Ryokan

Located a short walk from the rail link of Hakone Yumoto, the ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, is set on its own hot spring at the edge of Hakone Gora Park.

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Kanazawa, Deluxe Class
Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Located directly facing the train station, this elegant, 30 storey tower offers unrivalled views across the city towards the mountains and sea.

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Kanazawa, Superior Class
Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel

Located close to the Samurai district, the castle, and Kanazawa’s celebrated Kenroku-en Garden, the hotel enjoys wonderful views from the upper floors.

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Kyoto, Luxury Boutique
The Screen Hotel

Located on historic Teramachi Street just 3 minutes’ walk from Kyoto’s Imperial Palace, and close to the Kamo River, this boutique property is also conveniently placed in terms of public transport.

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Kyoto, Superior Class
Hotel Granvia

Located within the splendid JR Kyoto Station complex, the hotel offers direct and easy links to Kansai International Airport, and metropolitan Japan, together with pedestrian access to a museum, musical theatre, and stunning underground shopping mall.

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Osaka, Superior Class
Hotel Granvia Osaka

Set within the commercial district of Umeda, this stylish, luxury hotel is located conveniently with regard to transport links, and the city’s main attractions.

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Takayama, Ryokan
Sumiyoshi Ryokan Hida

Located a short walk from the colourful and vibrant Miyagawa morning market, the ryokan is a former historic townhouse enjoying a charming riverside setting.

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Tokyo, Deluxe Class
The Keio Plaza Hotel

Located adjacent to Tochomae Station, and only a 5 minute walk to Shinjuku Station, this luxury hotel enjoys an ideal setting at the centre of Tokyo’s main shopping and entertainment district.

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Tokyo, Superior Class
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Located on the site of the old Shinjuku Koma Theatre, the hotel is only steps away from Shinjuku Station’s east exit.

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Tokyo, Standard Class
Villa Fontaine Shiodome

Located conveniently for the Hamarikyu Garden, Imperial Palace, and the Ginza shopping district, this modern hotel is good value for money.

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