Japan Cherry Blossom Tour

In Japan, these blossoms symbolize the fragility and beauty of life as a reminder of the fact that life is short and should be lived to the fullest

12 days
Miyajima, Nara, Himeji, Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo

Highlights

  • Witness the beauty of the famed 'sakura' across top destinations in Japan
  • Explore in depth historical and cultural sites while enjoying cherry blossoms
  • Stay in well-located, quality hotels

Description

Appreciate the beauty of the country's best-known and loved symbol of the elegant, delicate sakura in Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Tokyo.

Details

This carefully designed 12-day tour takes you on a "sakura"-inspired journey across Japan's best-loved destinations: from Osaka, the country's gourmet center, to Nara and Kyoto, nation's ancient capitals, spotted with tranquil, serene temples and shrines, over Hiroshima and the charming island of Miyajima, Himeji and its elegant castle, all the way to Tokyo - the colorful, bustling metropolis.


Tour Itinerary


Day 1 (Tues 28 Mar): Osaka - Arrival

Following your arrival at Kansai International Airport (KIX), you will be met by our tour representative and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to either rest or explore Osaka. 
Accommodation: Osaka Granvia Hotel or similar class


Day 2 (Wed 29 Mar): Osaka

Spend a full day in Osaka, with guided sightseeing: visit Osaka Castle - the first of numerous landmarks of the city, Shitennoji Temple - one of the oldest in Japan, founded in the 6th century AD, and Kema Sakuranomiya Park for some magnificent landscape filled with cherry blossoms. Proceed to visiting Floating Garden Observatory for absolutely fantastic views of the city, prior to spending some time in the hectic, colorful Dotonbori area of Osaka. Afterwards, return to your hotel to refresh before dinner. 
Accommodation: Osaka Granvia Hotel or similar class
Meals: Breakfast, dinner


Day 3 (Thur 30 Mar): Excursion to Nara

After breakfast, take a day-trip to Nara with your guide, and visit the first capital of the nation, where abundance of traditional Japanese literature and other art forms originated. See Todaiji Temple and the Great Buddha Statue inside, a truly impressive sight to behold. Take a stroll in the famous Deer park, where friendly deer roam freely and can be petted and fed. You will not be leaving Nara, without paying a visit to Kasuga Shrine and Isuien Garden, another two landmarks of this old city, rich with history. After returning to Osaka, you will have time to freshen up before heading to a local restaurant for dinner. 
Accommodation: Osaka Granvia Hotel or similar class
Meals: Breakfast, dinner


Day 4 (Fri 31 Mar): Osaka to Hiroshima

After breakfast and check out, transfer to Shin-Osaka with your local assistant and board the train bound for Hiroshima. Following your arrival and meeting up with your guide, check into your accommodation and freshen up. In the afternoon, the tour will take you to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, and you will go for an evening stroll in the city with your guide. Dinner will be at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel. 
Accommodation: Hiroshima Granvia Hotel or similar class
Meals: Breakfast, dinner


Day 5 (Sat 01 Apr): Hiroshima & Miyajima Excursion

On the morning of your fifth day, make sure you have packed your luggage, as it will be dispatched to your Kyoto accommodation. After breakfast, head out for a full day of exploring Miyajima - a picturesque island off the coast of Hiroshima. You will reach Miyajima by both coach and ferry, and have plenty of time to visit the Itsukushima Shrine, and the famous 'floating' 'torii' gate. Go for a stroll, browse souvenir shops and try the tempting 'momiji manju' - maple pastry, local oysters and other delicacies. After returning to Hiroshima by ferry and coach, you will have dinner and another overnight in Hiroshima. 
Accommodation: Hiroshima Granvia Hotel or similar class
Meals: Breakfast, dinner


Day 6 (Sun 02 Apr): Hiroshima to Himeji to Kyoto

After breakfast and check out, transfer to Himeji by train with your guide. Visit Koko-en Garden featuring nine separate walled gardens that represent various landscape styles from Edo Period.  The gardens are situated near Himeji Castle, which is registered both as National Treasure as well as UNESCO World Heritage site. This area will surely be abundant in lush cherry blossoms. After lunch, continue on to the city and port of Kobe and a walk in the Motomachi area, where various Asian influences meet and mix. Proceed afterwards to Kyoto, and check into your accommodation. The evening is at leisure. 
Accommodation: Mitsui Garden Shinmachi or similar class
Meals: Breakfast, lunch


Day 7 (Mon 03 Apr): Kyoto

Today is a full day guided tour. Visit Kinkakuji - Temple of the Golden Pavilion, undoubtedly the most iconic site of Kyoto, shimmering in gold, and reflecting in the surrounding pond. Pay a visit to Nijo Castle, Heian Shrine, and see the art of kimono exhibited in the Nishijinori Kaikan Textile Center. Later in the day, take a stroll through the famous Gion area of Kyoto, a well-known entertainment district and the center of traditional arts. Dinner is at a local restaurant in Gion, prior to returning to your hotel. 
Accommodation: Mitsui Garden Shinmachi or similar class
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner


Day 8 (Tue 04 Apr): Kyoto

Today you visit Kiyomizudera Temple which offers excellent views of the city from its wide wooden deck,  and the mystical Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, both situated northwest of Kyoto city center. Afterwards enjoy some time among the delicate cherry blossoms along the famous Philosopher's Path, lined with quaint shops along a canal. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, after which you will have the opportunity to experience a traditional tea ceremony in the afternoon. Rest of the day is at leisure, and you can set out to explore Kyoto by yourself. 
Accommodation: Mitsui Garden Shinmachi or similar class
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch

 

Day 9 (Wed 05 Apr): Kyoto to Hakone

Today, prior to an early morning check out of your Kyoto hotel, make sure you have your luggage ready for a separate transfer to Tokyo. You will head to Kyoto Station with a local assistant, and travel to Hakone with an overnight bag only, having boarded the bullet train. After a two-hour train ride, you will be met by the local guide in beautiful Hakone area, and visit Hakone Shrine located on the shore of Lake Ashi. Once you have had lunch at a local restaurant, take a cruise on the lake, ride the Owakudani cable car and marvel the view of Mt. Fuji on a clear day. Once you wrap up your day and transfer to the hotel to check in, the evening is at leisure. 
Accommodation: Sengokubara Prince Hotel or similar class
Meals: Breakfast, lunch


Day 10 (Thu 06 Apr): Hakone to Tokyo

Following breakfast and check out, together with your guide you will proceed to the Hakone Open Air Museum and blossoming sakura in Gora Park, before transferring to Tokyo by train. After arriving in Tokyo, your luggage will have already been delivered and available at check in. Once you refresh, it is time for dinner at a local restaurant and the first of two overnights in the country's bustling capital. 
Accommodation: Hotel New Otani or similar class
Meals: Breakfast, dinner


Day 11 (Fri 07 Apr): Tokyo

Your full day tour of city sights starts with the visit to Edo Tokyo Museum - a vast, colorful display of Japan's history and traditions. From the Museum area you will proceed to SkyTree and take in the views of the sprawling metropolis. Afterwards take a walk through cherry blossom-lined streets alongside the Meguro River. Enjoy a stroll in the historic entertainment district of Asakusa, a typical 'shitamachi' - downtown area of Tokyo, where centuries ago merchants lived and traded. You will have free time for lunch, before taking a cruise on the Sumida River while enjoying lush cherry blossoms seen on the riverbanks. Later, it is time for shopping in the famous Ginza district prior to returning to your hotel. Once back in your accommodation, freshen up and get ready for the farewell dinner at a local restaurant. 
Accommodation: Hotel New Otani or similar class
Meals: Breakfast, dinner


Day 12 (Sat 08 Apr): Tokyo - Departure 

Depending on your departure flight time, you may have some free time for last minute shopping in the city. Check out of your accommodation by noon and transfer to the airport for your outbound flight. 

Important information

Minimum number of persons required for the tour to run is 6. 
Maximum number of persons per group in a tour is 16. 

This tour includes: 

  • 11 nights in well-located 3.5 and 4-star hotels as listed (or similar class)
  • Meals as listed
  • 7-day Japan Rail (JR) Pass
  • Transfers* and internal transportation
    * Included airport transfers apply for arrival flights between 12.00 to 14.99 on March 28, 2018 and departure flights between 18.00 and 20.00 on April 8, 2018. Arrival and departure flights requested outside these times are subject to additional costs.
  • English-speaking, experienced guides and local English-speaking assistants
  • Sightseeing and attraction entrance fees

This tour does NOT include:

  • Travel to and from Japan
  • Travel insurance
  • Unscheduled travel
  • All other meal expenses
  • Personal shopping expenses

Meeting point

The meeting point is at Kansai International Airport. Details regarding the meeting point and hotel transfer will be sent to tour participants via email several days prior to arrival in Japan.

Organised by Japan Travel KK

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