Tour Japan Itinerary

Cherry Blossom Tour

Tour to Japan – 17 days, 16 Nights from 28 March – 13 April

 

$7275 pp T/S

 

 

 

Japanese Cherry Blossom Tour

Japan’s Cherry Blossom or Sakura, is a truly magnificent sight to behold.  All the parks, gardens and landscapes come alive with a gorgeous soft pink hue and the air is filled with the lovely scent of cherry blossoms.  Sakura is a wonderful time of celebration ‘Hanami’ all over Japan.  The upbeat party atmosphere and stunning pink landscapes draws people from across the globe, and this is one of the most popular times to visit Japan.  With only a small window of opportunity, from late March to early April this tour is designed to take you to some of the most iconic places in Japan whilst allowing you to appreciate the breath-taking pink landscapes only visible in the Cherry Blossom season.

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Included in the Cherry Blossom Tour

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All Flights & Taxes

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All Accommodation

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8 Light Lunches

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8 Breakfasts

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All transportation within Japan

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All Tour Guides & Entrance Fees

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24/7 Help and support whilst in Japan

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 1 – Tokyo

Morning:  Depart Australia for Japan
Afternoon: Arrive Tokyo (Narita) at 5:40pm
Evening: At your Leisure

Fly direct to Tokyo from Australia (arriving approx. 5:30pm). Once you have arrived at the hotel and settled, feel free to explore the area and sample the delights on offer at the local eateries.  Your guide is always on hand to give ideas and tips on where to eat in the local area.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 2 – Tokyo

Morning: Tokyo Sky Tree, Sensoji Temple, Asakusa
Afternoon: Shinjuku Gyoen (sculptured garden)
Evening:  At your Leisure

Today we start by taking in the jaw-dropping views across Tokyo from the world’s tallest tower the Tokyo Sky Tree.  From the observation deck and restaurant at 450 metres (1480 feet) above sea level, you can marvel at the panoramic views across Tokyo and on a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji. Next, we take a leisurely walk through Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) into the Asakusa Shopping Street (Nakamise).  A bustling street filled with typical Japanese fare, where you can pick up a souvenir or taste some of the local Japanese snacks on route to visit Tokyo’s oldest temple, the Sensoji Temple built in 645AD.  To round off the day we visit the gorgeous landscaped gardens of Shinjuku Gyoen.  With three different garden landscapes it is home to over a dozen different types of Cherry Blossom trees. Serene, relaxing and visually beautiful this is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks and it is one of the best places to view the sea of pink cherry blossoms.  

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 3 – Nagoya

Morning: Bullet train to Nagoya

Afternoon: Noritake factory & Garden, Tsuramai park

Evening: At your Leisure 

Today starts with a ride on the super-fast bullet train (Shinkansen) to Nagoya. On arrival, we will drop the bags at the hotel before visiting the world-famous Noritake porcelain factory.  Here you’ll get to see the porcelain being hand crafted by the experts and visit the onsite museum to see the magnificent collection of porcelain from the early 1900s through to the modern day.  Next, we visit the Tsuramai Park gardens. With over 1200 soft pink cherry blossoms in full bloom, the park is a delightful landscape showcasing both Japanese and European style gardens.  From tranquil Japanese style gardens with tea houses, ponds and delicate bridges to European style rose gardens, flowerbeds and fountains, the afternoon at Tsuramai park is relaxed and rejuvenating.  We will stop for afternoon tea underneath the trees and join the locals in ‘Hanami’ – the peaceful appreciation of the flowers, before heading back to the hotel.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 4 – Nagoya

All Day: Day trip to Mikimoto Pearl island
Evening: At your Leisure

Today we catch a local train to a small town of  Toba, in Ise Shima, to visit Mikimoto Pearl Island the home of the famous Mikimoto pearls. Toba was the first place in Japan to cultivate pearls as jewellery and Kokichi Mikimoto, the founder of Mikimoto pearls created a whole industry around this small village. You can watch pearl diving performances by traditional female divers who tell the story of the ‘ama’, ladies whose job it was to dive into the sea to collect oysters and protect the seeded pearls by moving the oysters out of harm’s way when a typhoon was looming. As well as a huge plaza where you can see and buy some of Japans finest pearls, there’s also a museum and memorial hall where you can learn all about cultivating pearls and marvel at some of the most elaborate pearl sculptures you will ever see. 

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 5 – Nagoya

All Day: Korankei
Evening: At your Leisure

Today we take a day trip to Korankei to discover some of the age-old Japanese traditions from the Meiji period.  Our day starts with a scenic journey through the beautiful landscape of the Gifu region.  Then we’ll take a leisurely stroll up along the scenic winding track alongside the Horaiji river and over the gorgeous red Taigetsukyo Bridge on our way to Sanshu Asukeyashiki historic Village.  The village is made up of old buildings with traditional thatched roofs and even has a working water mill.  Here local villagers go about daily life raising livestock, milling rice or hand crafting traditional goods.  From bamboo weaving, washi paper making, traditional sandal making through to blacksmiths you’ll get an authentic feel of rural Japan and you can try your hand at any number of the local craft workshops on offer.  

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 6 – Kyoto

Morning: Bullet train to Kyoto, Fushimi-Inari shrine
Afternoon: Arashiyama
Evening: Kyoto by night

Today we take the bullet train and travel 150km in just 40 minutes to the historic city of Kyoto. After dropping the bags, we head to the Fushimi-Inari shrine, where we will take a stroll through the gorgeous trail made up of thousands of bright orange Tori bamboo gates up to the top of the hillside where we will enter the shrine. Next, we travel to the historic site of Arashiyama. Here we will wander along the pathways of cherry blossoms and through the amazing Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.  There’s plenty of temples and shrines to see whilst taking a leisurely stroll around the town’s numerous souvenir and second-hand kimono shops.  After lunch, we take a walk along the riverbank to see a selection of traditional Japanese boats before heading back to the hotel for a brief rest.  Later we meet up for a night walk around Kyoto’s main district with restaurants, shops, night clubs and bars.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 7 – Kyoto

Morning:  Ginkaku-ji, Philosophers path
Afternoon: Kiyomizudera
Evening:  Gion

Today we visit the beautiful Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) temple which sits in magnificent landscaped gardens at the foot of Kyoto’s eastern mountains. The garden consists of a number of islands surrounded by tranquil ponds and curved bridges and creates a real sense of calm and zen.   After leaving Ginkakuji, we take a leisurely stroll along the Philosopher’s Path.  This beautiful pathway follows the canal and is lined with hundreds of Cherry Trees, creating a explosion of pink colours.
Next, we visit the Kiyomizudera Temple, one of the most famous and celebrated temples in Kyoto. Perched on the edge of a hill the stunning wooden temple provides you with an amazing view over Kyoto and the surrounding hillsides which are awash with pink colours from the cherry blossom. Here you can take a drink from the sacred water at the Otowa no Taki waterfall. After some free time at the hotel to refresh and relax we make our way out to Gion corner.  Here you’ll see a number of short performances including a Tea Ceremony, Ikebana, Bunraku, Kyogen comic plays and authentic Maiko performing dancers.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 8 – Kyoto

All Day: Todai-ji Temple, Nara Park, Kasuga-taisha Shinto Shrine, Nara town
Evening: Izakaya dinner with Japanese host (Nara)

Today we visit Nara, home to some of Japans oldest and largest temples. Here we’ll meet up with our local guide who will show us around the many temples, shrines and pagodas in the area. We visit the Todai-ji Temple which is the largest wooden structure in the world built to enshrine ‘Great Buddha’ – a 15m high bronze buddha.  From there we stroll through the beautiful Nara Park which is awash with pink cherry blossoms and you can feed the deer which roam freely in the park.  Next, we visit the Kasuga-taisha Shinto Shrine before heading back into Nara to see the motchi pounding demonstration and visit souvenir alley.  To finish off the day we will have a traditional Izakaya dinner with our Japanese host.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 9 – Kyoto

All Day: Himeji Castle
Evening: At your leisure

Today we travel to the world heritage listed Himeji Castle – the largest, and one of the only original castles in Japan.  This stunning white castle is surrounded by a moat with high walls and a wide-open area full of gorgeous cherry blossoms.  We will explore the inside of the castle, navigate the narrow passageways and steep steps where you can see  collection of original samurai armour and get a close-up view of the fish-shaped roof ornaments, believed to protect the building from fire.  

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 10 – Hiroshima

Morning: Hiroshima
Afternoon: Shukkeien Garden, Peace Museum, Peace Park
Evening: Shopping street and dinner

Today we take our reserved seats on the bullet train and head down to Hiroshima.  We start with a light picnic style lunch in the magnificent Shukkeien Garden. Here you can stroll around the beautiful gardens complete with ponds, bridges tea houses and pagodas before we head off to the Peace Museum. Next, we take a leisurely stroll through Peace Park to the UNESCO world heritage listed Atomic Bomb Dome building.  The dome building is the only building that was not totally destroyed by the atomic bomb blast on 6 August 1945. Then we finish the day with a walk past the ground-zero plaque before wandering to the undercover shopping street to stop for dinner on the way back to the hotel.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 11 – Hiroshima

All Day:  Iwakuni
Evening:  At your leisure

Today we head further south to Iwakuni to see the landmark Kintai-kyo Bridge.  The bridge is made up of 5 wooden arches that span across the Nishiki River.  Next, we’ll visit Kikko Park to relax and picnic under the trees, followed by a leisurely walk amongst the 3,000 plus Cherry Trees in full bloom.  To end the day we cross the ropeway up to Iwakuni Castle, a stunning, four-story castle known for its spectacular scenic views across Iwakuni and its collection of samurai swords and armour.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 12 – Hiroshima/Tokyo

All Day: Miyajima Island
Evening: Shinkansen to Tokyo

Today we visit one of the most scenic islands in Japan – Miyajima, on the Seto Inland Sea.  Famous for its giant ‘Great Torii’ Gate that hails the entrance to the Itsukushima Shrine. The ‘Great Torii’ represents the boundary between the physical world and the spirit world and when the tide comes in, it looks like the ‘Great Tori’ is floating on the water. On the island, we take a stroll around the Itsukushima shrine, walk the virgin forest of Mt Misen and visit the Miajima history and folk museum.  Next, we’ll head back to Hiroshima to collect our bags before taking our reserved seats on the bullet train to travel back to Tokyo.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 13 – Tokyo

Morning: Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchico, Fuji caves
Afternoon: Saiko Iyashi no Satoneba Historic Village
Evening:  At your leisure

Today we take a day trip to the majestic Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. We will start with a ride to the mountain’s 5th station to take in the breath-taking views before going to visit the famous ice cave, a 70-foot-deep ice cave carved out by lava from Mt. Fuji.  Next, we’ll travel around to the Saiko Iyashi No Satoneba Historic Village which is like stepping back in time where you can marvel at the original thatched roof shops and homes all with a backdrop of Mount Fuji.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 14 – Tokyo

Morning: Sumida River, Sumida Park
Afternoon: Sumo Museum, Tokyo Edo Museum
Evening:  Harajuku, Shibuya Crossing

After a leisurely breakfast, we head out to the centre of Tokyo where we will wander through the beautiful Sumida Park for a great view of the 880m high Tokyo Sky Tree before moving onto see the cherry blossoms lining the Sumida River for a picnic lunch. Next, we head down to the Sumo Museum and look at the history of Sumo before heading over the road to the Tokyo Edo Museum. Tonight, we venture out to the famous Harajuku shopping street known for its weird and wonderful fashions where young people are often dressed up in anime or cosplay costumes. From there we move on to the bright neon lights of the world-famous Shibuya Crossing. The Shibuya Crossing is the world’s busiest crossing and a popular shopping, dining and entertainment area.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 15 – Tokyo

Morning: Imperial Palace surrounds, Ginza shopping area
Afternoon: Ginza shopping area, Akihabara
Evening: Akihabara

Today we start the day with a leisurely stroll around the outer grounds of the Imperial Palace. The Imperial Palace has its original castle walls and gates which date back to 1603, and its perfectly manicured gardens are filled with beautiful pink cherry blossoms. Next, we walk over to the Ginza District – Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping and dining area for a look around.  Then we finish with an afternoon trip to Akihabara or “Electric Town”, with the roads closed to traffic on Sundays, you will see hundreds of electronics shops, duty free shops, anime and manga shops.  Here we will take a stroll around the vibrant shopping area, clubs, bars and many restaurants.

Bushido travel japan tour cherry blossom japan holiday

Day 16 – Tokyo

Morning: Last minute shopping
Afternoon: 3.30pm depart for Narita airport and flight home

Today you can spend at your leisure packing and getting any last-minute souvenirs before we head out to the Airport at 3:30pm.  At the airport, we will check in as a group, after which you are free to wander the shops and restaurants or go straight through to the duty-free shops in the departure hall.  We will all meet up again at the departure gate 40 minutes before take-off to board the plane