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 or small group tour

Prices are seasonal and start from GBP 2200 per person, self-guided, minimum of 2 travelling together 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 self 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
Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 1

Day 1: Fly to Japan

Fly with your choice of airline to Tokyo.

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 2

Day 2: Arrival into Tokyo Airport.

On arrival, clear immigration and customs and make your way to the Airport Limousine Bus Counter. Take the pre-booked coach to your chosen hotel. Stay 3 nights.

Journey time: Approximately 1.30 to 2 hrs.

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 3

Day 3: Full day Tokyo sightseeing

Today is a self-guided day. 

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 the Sumida River.

Optional: We can pre-book a sightseeing tour of Tokyo by public transportation with an English speaking guide.

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 4

Day 4: Kamakura sightseeing

Today is a self-guided day.

Take the train to Kamakura. Explore Hase Kannon Temple, Kotoku-in Temple (Great Buddha), Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

Return to Tokyo for overnight.

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

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 5

Day 5: Mt Fuji and Hakone

Today is a self-guided day.

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

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 6

Day 6: Mt Fuji to Takayama

Today is a self-guided day.

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

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 7

Day 7: Day trip to Shirakawa-go

Today is a self-guided day.

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 the 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

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 8

Day 8: Travel to Kanazawa

Today is a self-guided day.

Take the train to Kanazawa.

A former castle town and samurai headquarters, Kanazawa is home to one of Japan’s most famous gardens – Kenrokuen. Explore the garden as well as partake 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

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 9

Day 9: Travel to Kyoto

Today is a self-guided day.

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

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 10

Day 10: Full day Kyoto and Nara tour

Today is a self-guided day. 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 the Gion area with well-preserved old houses that 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. Take a walk through a Japanese garden and enter a cosy tea room, where a tea master will serve tea and sweets to each guest individually in traditional manners. 

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 11

Day 11: Travel to Osaka

Today is a self-guided day.

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 

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour Image 12

Day 12: Day tour of Hiroshima and Miyajima

Today is a self-guided day. 

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 landscapes. Visit the Peace Memorial Park, near the epicentre of the 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. (Or overnight in Hiroshima) 

Journey time by train: approximately 82 mins each way

Optional: we can also pre-book an English speaking guide for the day.

Day 13: Departure

Take the train to Osaka Airport for your departure flight.

Journey time: approximately 1 hr


Not quite right? This itinerary is just to give you an idea of what is possible. Need some more inspiration? Please get in touch at 01473 214305 or email sales@eastravel.co.uk  We welcome your questions. We're here to help!


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