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  • Cherry Blossom, Mt Fuji
  • Mount Fuji, Japan
  • Ueno Toshogu Shrine, Ueno Park, Tokyo
  • Rainbow Bridge & Tokyo Tower
  • Heian Shrine, Kyoto
  • Ueno Park, Tokyo
  • Daigo-ji, Shingon Buddhist Temple, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto
  • Japanese Kimono Woman and Cherry Blossom, Japan
  • Minato, Tokyo, Japan
  • Geisha, Kyoto, Japan

Japan Blossom Season

10-day tailor-made journey from £6,000 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Japan's blossom season

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Tokyo
  • 2 Nights Hakone
  • 3 Nights Kyoto
  • 1 Night Tokyo

About

Recommended for:
City | Escorted tour | History & culture | Natural world

This tailor-made itinerary takes in some of Japan's main attractions including Tokyo, Hakone, Mount Fuji and Kyoto, as well affording the best opportunities to see the bloom at its best. Please note that demand is extremely high over this time and visits must be booked many months in advance of travel. Prices are far higher than the cost of visiting at other times of year - please contact us for a quotation based on what is available at the time of booking. 

When is the blossom season?

Typically, the peak is between the last week of March and the first few weeks of April. Although the precise date varies every year, you can usually expect to see strong signs from around 20th March, through until 21st April, although the weather and effects of the previous season can have an impact on the dates.

Where are the best places to see the cherry blossom season?

The most popular spots are undoubtedly Ueno Park and Shinjuku Park – both in Tokyo. Hundreds of trees line the gardens and, when in bloom, it is truly a magnificent sight.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Tokyo

Your adventures in Japan will begin when you're met upon arrival at Narita Airport by our representative. You'll then be transferred by a shared shuttle bus to your hotel. Check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure, either relaxing or exploring Japan's vibrant capital city.

Stay: Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (Standard) or Park Hotel (Superior)

Day 2
Tokyo

If you thought Tokyo was buzzing with life and excitement, then the cherry blossom season takes the atmosphere one step further. Today you'll have the services of a local guide at your disposal Ueno Park is one of the most popular places for Hanami (cherry blossom viewing party) in Tokyo. The park is awash with blossom and food stands allowing people to enjoy blossom to the fullest. Shinjuku Park in the heart of Tokyo has hundreds of cherry blossom trees to complement the beautiful gardens. From Asakusa, you may wish to take a boat trip down the Sumida river which is lined with cherry blossom and disembarking at the serene Hamrikyu Gardens for some more pink blossom.

Stay: Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (Standard) or Park Hotel (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 3
Tokyo

Tokyo is a fascinating city and today you have another full day to enjoy the myriad of sights, sounds and tastes it has to offer. However, you may like to take the opportunity of this free day to take a day trip to one of the many places of interested easily accessible from the capital using the included Japan Rail Pass.

The charming town of Kamakura lies just one hour to the west of Tokyo and can be reached by direct train from Tokyo Station. Kamakura was formally the capital of Japan for a short period in the 12th century and at that time was possibly the world’s largest city with a population of over one million. Today however, it is a sleepy coastal town which attracts large numbers of day trippers to spend time exploring the beautiful shrines and temples. The most famous site if the impressive bronze dai-butsu (Big Buddha) which is certainly a must-see for any trip to Kamakura. Kamkura is also a great place to admire the cherry blossom.

Stay: Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (Standard) or Park Hotel (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 4
Hakone

Travel to Odawara in the beautiful Hakone Region where you'll start using your Hakone Free Pass. The pass is valid for three days from today and entitles you to unlimited use of 6 different forms of transport in the Hakone region. These include the mountain buses and railway, one of the longest cable cars in Japan and a funicular railway as well as a pirate ship which cruises across Lake Ashi! These all criss-cross the region making it easy to explore and enjoy the surroundings as well as some of the many top quality art museums. The pass also gives you small discounts at many attractions in the area so be sure to show your pass when purchasing tickets. And of course, if you are lucky with the weather, you will be rewarded with stunning views of Mt. Fuji.

From Odawara Station you'll use your Hakone Free-Pass to take the bus up into the mountains of Hakone itself and on to your accommodation. The road twists and turns as you head higher passing through several small villages enroute. The scenery is stunning with the steep-sided tree covered mountains rising up on to left and right and the fast moving river tumbling down through the valley below.

Stay: Ichinoyu Honkan (Standard) or Mikawaya (Superior)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 5
Hakone

Hakone is a beautiful national park area around 50 miles west of Tokyo and just to the south of Mt Fuji, Japan’s most sacred peak. The area consists of a handful of small villages and hamlets all connected by a variety of ocal transport, including buses, cable cars and a mountain railway that winds itself through the region’s hills and alleys. Hakone has plenty to see and do, from tasting eggs boiled in volcanic waters to taking a boat trip aross beautiful Lake Ashi.

The outdoor sculpture park and Picasso gallery is a great place to wander around for an afternoon. Or maybe just sit back and relax whilst soaking in one of the many therapeutic hot spring baths that Hakone is so famous for. The other main draw to this area is the proximity to Japan’s most sacred and iconic mountain, Fuji-san with its near perfect symmetrical form soaring skywards and towering over the surrounding hills. From Hakone you have one of the best chances of getting a view of Mt. Fuji from the various view points to be found throughout the area. However, be sure to have your camera at the ready; Fuji is notoriously shy and you do not want to miss that precious photo opportunity!

Stay: Ichinoyu Honkan (Standard) or Mikawaya (Superior)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 6
Kyoto

After your time in Hakone you will use your Hakone Freepass to make the journey by bus down from the mountains to Odawara Station.

The journey from Odawara to Kyoto will see you racing down Japan’s eastern seaboard by Shinkansen and takes 2h10. If the weather is clear be sure to keep an eye open for Mt. Fuji which will be visible out of the windows of the right hand side of carriage shortly after you depart from Odawara. The mountain is notoriously shy though so a glimpse of Fuji-san can not be guaranteed!

Kyoto is one of the most culturally rich cities in Asia. Home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, this ancient city showcases the heart and soul of traditional Japan. Kyoto boasts an array of world-class gardens, majestic festivals and delicate cuisine, all of which make much of the rhythms of nature and the changing of the seasons. On first glance however, visitors will see that like any large Japanese city, grid-like Kyoto has its fair share of neon and concrete. But the discerning eye will soon pick out Kyoto’s treasures: sacred shrines tucked in among shopping arcades, time-honoured teahouses nestling among modern businesses and mysterious geisha scuttling down backstreets among the tourists and souvenirs. Kyoto’s charm lies in these details and whether you’re here for three days or three years, the closer you look, the more you’ll discover.

March and April are also when Kyoto’s geisha quarters stage special, breathtakingly beautiful song and dance performances. This unforgettable spring extravaganza attracts admirers from all over the world. The dances, with their richly decorated costumes and spectacular stage sets, are perfect, living examples of Kyoto-style grace and elegance. Included in your package are the tickets for the dances which are held at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theatre in the heart of Gion.

Stay: Hotel Vista (Standard) or Granvia Kyoto (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 7
Kyoto

As the cultural heart of Japan, Kyoto is the perfect place to enjoy cherry blossom and to assist you today you will have the service of a full time professional guide. The Philosophers Path is a very enjoyable stroll along a cherry blossom lined canal from the Silver Pavilion to Nanzaneji temple. Alternatively, after strolling the streets of Gion, head to Maruyama park in the evening to sit under the trees and take your pick of food and drink whilst locals enjoy the atmosphere, sometimes with a Geisha in tow. A trip on a traditional boat down the Kamogawa river is a great way to spend a few hours drifting down the cherry blossom lined river, admiring the trees and wildlife and ending up in the Arashiyama district of Kyoto. The Arashiyama distict is a pleasant place to enjoy the blossom. The Togetsukyo bridge over the river adds to the romanticism of the season.

Stay: Hotel Vista (Standard) or Granvia Kyoto (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 8
Around Kyoto

Spend a day exploring Kyoto and its surrounds at your leisure. Use your Rail Pass to head to the other cherry blossom hot spots such as the castle towns of Hikone or Himeji and the town of Nara, all approximately 45 minutes from Kyoto.

Hikone castle is one of the few remaining original samurai castles in Japan. Himeji Castle is an extremely well-preserved complex listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is said to be at its most beautiful in this season as it is surrounded by hundreds of cherry blossom trees. Nara is full of cultural heritage and has many reasons to visit, but Nara Park is home to approximately 1700 trees and are about the only thing that out number the sacred deer.

Stay: Hotel Vista (Standard) or Granvia Kyoto (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 9
Tokyo

Today you'll make the journey from Kyoto to Tokyo by Shinkansen. Not long past Shizuoka keep your eyes open for the views of Mt. Fuji from the left side windows of the train.

Stay: Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (Standard) or Park Hotel (Superior)

Breakfast included

Day 10
Departure

Sadly your adventures in Japan are at an end so after breakfast at your hotel, transfer by shuttle bus to Narita Airport. The shuttle bus drops you off right at the door of the departures floor of the airport, so check-in is just a few steps away.

Breakfast included

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

Accommodation rating: Standard Superior

10-day tailor-made journey from £6,000 incl. flights

Guide price: every quotation is individually prepared for travel during cherry blossom season; as a guide expect to pay at least £6,000 per person depending on availability of flights and accommodation at the time of booking; booking at short notice will likely mean higher prices 

Valid for travel: typically from around 20 March to 21 April each year - availability for 2017 is extremely limited and we recommend booking early for 2018 

Package includes: Flights, transfers, 10 nights accommodation, meals, touring and sightseeing as per itinerary and use of an airport lounge in the UK (subject to departure airport and terminal).

Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.


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Adjust your itinerary with our recommended extensions

Robot Restaurant

Evening excursion

Prepare yourself for one of the most baffling, entertaining and weirdest experiences in Tokyo, if not all of Japan. The Shinjuku's Robot Restaurant is home to a truly sensational robot cabaret.

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Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0689 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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