Japan Tours Itinerary

Cherry Blossom Tour

Tour to Japan – 18 days, 17 Nights

21 March – 7 April 2023

Day 1 – Australia/Tokyo

Morning:  Depart Australia for Japan
Afternoon: Arrive Tokyo
Evening: At your Leisure

Fly direct to Tokyo from Australia. Once we have arrived at the hotel and settled in, 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.

Day 2 – Nikko Edomura

All day: Nikko Edomura
Evening:  Free time

Step back in time to 17th century Japan as we take our private minibus and explore the beauty, culture and history of this magnificent historic township recreated exactly how it was during the Edo Period (1603-1867).  This working village hosts seven theatres, street performances, parades, seasonal festivals and special events. With a range of visitor experiences including ninja workshops, Japanese traditional archery and shuriken throwing. Enjoy delicious food, fun activities and a variety of entertaining performances as you explore the village and interact with the friendly locals, they love to chat and have their photo taken.

Day 3 – Fukuoka

Morning: Fly to Fukuoka

Afternoon: Yusentai Garden & Maizuru Park

Evening: Free time 

Today we fly down to Fukuoka, Kyushu’s largest city. We drop our bags at the hotel before we make our way to Yusentei Garden, an amazing traditional Japanese Garden with Tea House on the lake. Relax on the Tatami and enjoy a traditional Green Tea and Japanese sweet while you look out over the lake, basking in the serenity of this beautiful spot. From here we head to Maizuru Park, the grounds of the Fukuoka Castle ruins, with its hundreds of Cherry Blossom trees. Here we will relax under the trees and have an afternoon nibble and drinks to experience ‘hanami’ the traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of the Cherry Blossom flowers.

Day 4 – Kita-Kyushu

Morning: Toto Toilet Museum

Afternoon: Canal City

Evening: Free time 

We take the train to the Toto Toilet Museum for an interesting insight into the development of the essential commodity – the toilet. The museum leads visitors through the history of TOTO, showing the evolution of toilets (and other TOTO products) over the decades. These include toilet bowls, washlets, urinals, bathtubs and fittings beginning with the first ceramic flush toilet, developed in 1914, to washlets, arguably TOTO’s most famous product. From baby toilets to Sumo toilets, this museum will impress you. See the latest in toilets that wash and dry you, have heated seats, automated flushing capabilities, play sounds to mask toilet noises and automatically open and close lids. You can even try out TOTO toilets first-hand at the museum’s bathrooms. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore the local area.

Day 5 – Beppu

All Day: J
Free time

Today we take the train to Beppu, the largest hot spring town in Japan. We will take our own private bus to explore Jegoku, the Beppu ‘Hell holes, boiling volcanic springs and mud pits (of various colours and sizes) before you can try your hand at cooking using the steam from deep underground.  You can even just sit and relax with a hot-spring foot bath. Later, we will try out a traditional Japanese onsen (public bath) or for those a little shy, a private onsen. Either way, you will find it most relaxing and a great experience. The evening is yours to explore the local area.

Day 6 – Furen & Takachiho

Morning: Furen Cave

Afternoon: Takachiho Gorge

Evening: Free time 

Today we board our private bus and head for the incredible Furen limestone cave, famous for its limestone walls, stalagmites and stalactites, and has been called one of the most beautiful caves in Japan. From here we head to Takachiho Gorge, formed some 270000 years ago by an eruption of nearby Mt. Aso. Over time, the Gokase River cut a narrow chasm through the rock creating sheer cliffs of volcanic basalt columns which resemble the scales of a dragon where the stone twisted and flowed as it formed. Take a rowboat up the gorge to the Manai Falls and experience the beauty of nature in this magnificent gorge.

Day 7 – Hiroshima

Morning: Train to Hiroshima
Afternoon: Peace museum
Peace garden evening stroll

We leave Beppu and head to Hiroshima, most well-known for the events of 6 August 1945. On arrival, we will drop our bags at the hotel and then head to the Peace Museum for an insight into what happened on that fateful day and the aftermath. From here we will take a twilight stroll through the peace gardens to the Atomic Bomb Dome, the only existing reminder of that day. From here, we will walk through the undercover shopping street with its many shops and restaurants, where you can enjoy many of the local foods.

Day 8 – Itsukushima Island

Morning: Itsukushima Island

Afternoon: Itsukushima Island

Evening: Free time 

Today we will drop our bags at reception for forwarding on to Kyoto before we take the train, and a ferry, to Itsukushima (commonly known as Miyajima) a small island off the coast of Hiroshima most famous for the Itsukushima Shrine (built 1166) with its giant orange torii gate which, at high tide, seems to float on the water as do the shrine’s main buildings. Here you can wander the pathways amongst the wild deer, enjoy stunning views of the Seto Inland Sea from Mount Misen or visit the temples and shrines set in the hills. A good day to relax and unwind in a beautiful setting.

Day 9 – Kyoto

Morning: Shukkeien Garden
Afternoon: Train to Kyoto
Free time

Today we head to Shukkeien garden for a relaxing stroll, and picnic lunch, before we take the bullet train some 380km to Kyoto. After checking into the hotel, your time is yours to relax or explore the local area.

Day 10 – Kyoto explorer

Morning: Kiyomizudera

Afternoon: Higashiyama & Gion

Evening: Free time 

Today we will make our way to the Higashiyama district and Kiyomizudera (founded in 778) the most celebrated temple in Japan. Over the years, most of the buildings, of this magnificent wooden structure have been destroyed by fire however, they were rebuilt time and again, and were last reconstructed in 1633. Take in the magnificent architecture and building techniques used or try your hand at lifting the ‘punishment’ objects. Wander the streets of the old district with its traditional buildings housing shops and restaurants. You can even dress in a kimono if you want.

Day 11 – Nara

All day: Nara


Today we visit Nara, home to some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples. 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, 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) where you can feed the deer that 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 before heading back to our hotel.

Day 12 – Kyoto explorer

Morning: Nijo-jo & Kinkaku-ji

Afternoon: Hands-on craft experience

Evening: Free time 

Today we check ut of our hotel and forward our luggage to Tokyo. Then we start at Nijo Castle (built in 1603) the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867). This amazing residance has the first known intruder alarm built in to the outer floors, has hidden rooms and secret doors. From here we will head to Kinkaku-Ji, the golden pavillion, set overlooking a Koi-filled pond in breautiful gardens, that is famous for its pagoda covered in real gold leaf. Later, we will head to a small workshop wherte you will have a choice of making your own chopsticks or traditional stencil painting on a choice of cloths. We will the make our way to our Ryokan, traditional Japanese inn complete with natural hotspring baths for a relaxing evening and wander around the area.

Day 13 – Himeji

Morning:  Himeji Castle
Afternoon: Osaka Umeda area
Evening:  Free time

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 a collection of original samurai armour and get a close-up view of the fish-shaped roof ornaments, believed to protect the building from fire.  

Day 14 – Arashiyama

Morning: Arashiyama
Afternoon: Arashiyama
Evening: Train to Tokyo

Today we Check out of our accommodation and stroll around Arashiyama with it’s beautiful pathways of cherry blossoms to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. There will be plenty of time to look around, grab some lunch (and maybe a hot spring foot bath) before we take a walk along the riverbank where you can take a traditional Japanese boat ride and bask in the unspoiled natural beauty of the thickly forested mountainsides that drop steeply to the Oi River beneath. 

Later, we take the bullet train 894km back to Tokyo (in just over 4 hours) and check in to our hotel. The rest of the evening is yours to explore the local area.


Day 15 – Tokyo

Morning: River Cruise
Afternoon: Asakusa
Evening: Tokyo Skytree

After a leisurely breakfast, we head out to ther Odaiba seaside pier to catch our scenic Sumida river cherry blossom cruise to the centre of Tokyo where we make our way to the historic area of Asakusa and the senso-ji temple, Tokyo’s oldest (c 954) and still operating, temple. This is a great spot for souvenir shopping and a bite to eat. There will be plenty of time to look around before we head to the 634m high Tokyo Sky Tree to catch the magnificent views of all of Tokyo – even Mount Fuji (on a clear day). 

Day 16 – Mount Fuji

All day: Mount Fuji area
Evening: Train to Tokyo

Today we take our own private minibus on a day trip to the majestic Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. We will start with a cablecar ride to the top of Tenjozan for an overview of Mount Fuji before we head up the mountain to the Fuji 5th station to take in the breath-taking views, and have lunch,  before going to visit the famous ice cave, a 70-foot-deep ice cave carved out by lava from an eruption of 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.

Day 17 – Tokyo

Morning: Imperial palace
Afternoon: Ueno Park & Museums
Evening: Shibuya

First up we head to the Imperial Palace and gardens for a leisurely stroll. 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. From here we will go to the beautiful cherry blossom area of  Ueno park and the Tokyo National Museum for a look back in time at Japan’s history through the ages. This evening we will explore the neon-lit restaurant and shopping jungle of Shibuya, home to the famous ‘scramble crossing’. We’ll stop for dinner as a group before heading back to the hotel for some free time.

Day 18 – Tokyo

Morning: Last minute shopping
Afternoon: Depart for the 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

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What is included in the Cherry Blossom Tour 


All Accommodation


All picnic-style Light Lunches


All Breakfasts


All transportation (excluding taxis)


Entrance Fees as listed


Travel Card


Chopstick making experience


Luggage forwarding (as listed)


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