Europe & Middle East | Southeast Asia & New Zealand | Japan
Journey through Japan, in the midst of the enchanting cherry blossom season, on an itinerary that showcases the very essence of this unique land. Explore the vibrant cities of Osaka and Tokyo, discover the rich history of Kyoto and Mt Koya, venture into the beautiful Japanese Alps and admire the magnificent Mt Fuji. Several immersive cultural experiences will help you truly soak up Japan's unique culture.
Our Times News Cherry Blossom Tour 2021 tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Experience the unforgettable Cherry Blossom
Explore the sights of vibrant Tokyo
Soak up the beauty of iconic Mount Fuji and tranquil Lake Ashi
Take part in several special experiences to immerse yourself in the local culture
Fly overnight to the lively, fast-paced city of Osaka. On arrival, transfer from the airport to your hotel where, depending on your arrival time, you will have free time to relax or explore before a welcome dinner. (D)
Start exploring by visiting the impressive Osaka Castle and learning about its turbulent history. Continue to the Dotonbori district, a restaurant mecca, where you can sample the local delicacy Okonomiyaki for lunch. Enjoy a short cruise along the Yodogawa River before continuing to explore Dotonbori with a walking tour. Visit Kuromon Market, a lively covered market. (B,L,D)
Transfer to Koya-San, the centre of Shingon Buddhism. See Okunoin, Japan’s largest cemetery and home to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism. Enjoy a Buddhist vegetarian meal for lunch before visiting Kongobuji Temple and the Garan temple complex. Continue to Kyoto. Capital for a millennium, Kyoto was also the heart of religion, philosophy, art and cuisine, making it a treasure trove of history and culture. (B,L,D)
Start the day by visiting the Arashiyama district where you can explore the famous Bamboo Forest and see the Moon Bridge. Discover Kyoto’s rich heritage with visits to the Ryoanji Temple, home to Japan’s most famous zen garden, and Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion due to its gold-like exterior. After lunch, stroll around Gion, the Geisha district, and Maruyama Park, a great spot for viewing Cherry Blossoms. (B,L,D)
This morning, visit the magnificent Fushimi Inari Shrine. Follow the pathway through thousands of vermillion torii gates that leads through a complex of shrines spread over a peaceful, forested hillside. Continue to Gekkeian Okura Sake Museum where you can learn about sake’s history and enjoy some tasters. Next, visit Kiyomizu Temple, a huge complex on a clifftop overlooking the city, and stroll down Philosopher’s path. The path follows a canal which is lined by hundreds of cherry trees. (B,L,D)
Take the train to Kanazawa and wander through the beautiful Kenroku-en, one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’. Stroll down the traditional Higashi Chaya (Eastern Teahouse District), visiting Ochaya Shima – a historical geisha house, before learning about how gold-leaf chopsticks are made. (B,L,D)
Visit the Nomura Samurai House before trying your hand at making washi paper. After lunch, transfer to UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawago, famous for its traditional Gassho-Zukuri farmhouses, to get a glimpse of rural Japan. Continue to Takayama, where this evening you can relax in the hotel’s own hot spring. (B,L,D)
Takayama has an air of old-world Japan, particularly around its wonderfully preserved old town. Browse the local handicrafts and fresh produce at the Miyagawa morning market, wander past some of the lovely traditional houses and visit several of the excellent local museums, including the Festival Floats Museum. In the afternoon, enjoy the rituals of a tea ceremony. (B,L,D)
Depart Takayama and visit a wasabi farm to learn about its cultivation before continuing to Matsumoto. Here you will have time to admire its formidable 16th Century castle and visit a Miso House to learn about the process of making this Japanese seasoning. (B,L,D)
Today, travel to Japan's most iconic landmark - Mount Fuji. Ascend 2,400 metres to the 5th Station for breathtaking views of Fuji (weather permitting). Try your hand at making traditional Japanese soba noodles. Later, embark on a cruise on tranquil Lake Ashi before flying high above the lake on the Komagatake Ropeway to the summit of Mt Komagatake for spectacular views of Mount Fuji and the lake below. (B,L,D)
Transfer to Kamakura, a coastal city south of Tokyo, known for its dozens of unique temples. Visit Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, stroll down Komachi Street and enjoy a Zen Meditation experience at Tokeiji Temple. After lunch, see Japan’s second tallest bronze Buddha statue at Kotoku-in Temple and visit Hase Temple. Continue to Tokyo, Japan’s dazzling capital city. (B,L,D)
Embark on a tour of the city, starting with ascending the Tokyo Skytree and wandering through the old district of Asakusa. Stop to soak up the atmosphere at Senso-ji, Tokyo’s most famous temple, and browse the stalls of Nakamise Shopping Street while wearing a Kimono! After lunch, stroll through Ueno Park, a great spot for Cherry Blossom, and visit the busy market street Ameyoko. This evening, cruise the waters of Tokyo Bay and enjoy dinner from the perfect vantage point to admire the supercharged lights of the city. (B,L,D)
Transfer to the airport and fly home to the UK. (B)
The best time to visit Japan is during spring (March to May) when the cherry blossoms are bursting into life and autumn (September to November) when the scenery is ablaze with colour.
Places Visited: UK - Osaka (2N) - Kyoto (3N) - Kanazawa (1N) - Takayama (2N) - Hakone (2N) - Tokyo (2N) - UK
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
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