JAPAN CHERRY BLOSSOM

16 Days – Japan

Highlights

See the magnificent cherry blossoms at Kenroku-en gardens in Kanazawa

Marvel at spectacular Mt Fuji and Fuji Hakone National Park

Wander the historic streets of Takayama, one of Japan’s most atmospheric townscapes

Discover the oldest existing Japanese castle, Matsumoto Castle and wander the grounds which come alive in colour with the blooming cherry blossoms

Enjoy a walk through the Geisha districts of Kyoto, including Gion

Explore the beautiful island of Miyajima, famous for its floating shrine and stunning scenery

Visit the peace park, atomic dome and museum at Hiroshima

Travel in style by private coach and Japan’s world-famous bullet trains

Refine your culinary skills at a sushi-making class

Inclusions

AIRFARES INCLUDED

FULLY ESCORTED HOLIDAYS

VISAS, TRANSFERS & TIPPING INCLUDED

SMALL GROUP TOURING

INCLUSIVE SIGHTSEEING

2020 DATES & PRICES

DATES

TWIN

SOLO

27 March – 11 April  2020

Available

$11,795*

$14,695*

For additional information on this trip, including tour suitability and activity levels, please refer to the detailed trip notes below. *Prices are per person. Our departures are planned around the small window of opportunity to see the Cherry Blossoms. They are a natural event and the date does vary from year to year, so sightings can never be guaranteed.

Japan 2020 Map

Click map to enlarge

DAY 1

AUSTRALIA – TOKYO, JAPAN

Our Escorted Escape begins today as we fly from Australia to Tokyo.

DAY 2

TOKYO, JAPAN

We arrive into Tokyo early this morning. On arrival we will be transferred to our hotel where you can enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. You may wish to relax or head out and explore the local area.

Accommodation: Asakusa View Hotel

DAY 3

TOKYO, JAPAN

This morning we begin at Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular temples. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the market stalls lining the street for over 200m as you make your way to the temple. We then enjoy a river cruise along Tokyo’s Sumida River, allowing an opportunity to see the city from a different perspective. In the afternoon we’ll visit Tokyo’s most attractive and historic landscape garden, Hamarikyu Garden.

Accommodation: Asakusa View Hotel

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 4

TOKYO, JAPAN

Today starts at Tokyo Tower where we take the elevator to the observation decks – if its a clear day you may catch your first sight of Mt Fuji! Later we will explore the Ginza district and stroll through Tsukiji Fish market. We then head to Ameyoko Market, Tokyo’s charismatic shopping paradise and Ueno Park which features more than 1000 trees along the street leading to the National Museum and around Shinobazu Pond. We’ll broaden our culinary skills with a Sushi making lesson and then enjoy the fruits of our labours for lunch! Your afternoon is free to further explore the neighbourhoods of Tokyo.

Accommodation: Asakusa View Hotel

Breakfast

Lunch

DAY 5

HAKONE, JAPAN (MT FUJI)

This morning we depart Tokyo for Hakone and the best views of Mt Fuji! We board a Pirate Boat which will take us to Togendai, a port on the shores of the volcanic crater lake, Lake Ashi. Experience the Hakone Ropeway ride, enjoying views of the active sulfuric hot springs of the Owakudani Valley, as well as Lake Ashinoko and Mount Fuji if visibility allows. Later we enjoy a group dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Kagetsuen

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 6

MATSUMOTO, JAPAN

After breakfast, we head via Oshino Hakkai, to Lake Kawaguchi, the most beautiful of Fuji’s Five Lakes. We board the the Kachikachi-yama Ropeway which climbs to the panoramic Fuji Viewing Platform at 1104m. After lunch we continue to picturesque Matsumoto where we explore the town’s most famous landmark, Matsumoto Castle, built in 1594. After checking into our hotel you are free to spend the evening at your leisure. For dinner, perhaps you might like to try the local soba noodles – some of the best in the country!

Accommodation: Matsumoto Hotel Kagetsu

Breakfast

DAY 7

TAKAYAMA, JAPAN

Today we visit Yatai Kaikan, Takayama’s famed Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, housing four resplendent floats decorated with intricate weavings, carvings and metal adornments. We also visit Takayama Jinya, the only surviving governor’s office from the Edo Period in Japan, and Kusakabe Folk Museum, a deeply traditional and unforgettable merchant’s house. Takayama is a charming town located in the Japanese Alps, where you can relax in the afternoon before our traditional Japanese dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Associa Takayama Resort

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 8

KANAZAWA, JAPAN

This morning we will take a walking tour to Miyagawa-town morning market which has numerous stalls selling local crafts and produce, before travelling to Kanazawa. Enroute, we will stop in Shirakawago, where you will enjoy strolling around a small village visiting the observatory and a Wada or Kanda old thatched house. On arrival in Kanazawa enjoy the afternoon at leisure before we regroup for dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 9

KANAZAWA, JAPAN

Today we explore the Samurai quarter with its restored residences displaying the lifestyle and artefacts of the prosperous Samurai era. This afternoon we visit the breathtakingly beautiful Kenroku-en garden, one of Japan’s top three most beautiful gardens, where we can marvel at the magnificent cherry blossoms. We continue on to explore Kanazawa Castle Park and Higashi-ro Shima, built in 1820 and the only tea house in the country to be designated an Important National Treasure. Visit Ohmi-cho Market, Kanazawa’s largest fresh food market since the Edo Period. You are free for the rest of the day to explore at your leisure.

Accommodation: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa

Breakfast

DAY 10

KYOTO, JAPAN

Today is our introduction to the magnificent Japanese Rail system, as we board an express train to Kyoto. On arrival you’ll enjoy some free time for the afternoon, before the group takes a short walk to a local restaurant for dinner.

Accommodation: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 11

KYOTO, JAPAN

This morning we enjoy the sights of Kyoto, the traditional capital with a rich history and less Western influence. Our highlights include Nijō Castle, once the residence of the Shogun of the Edo period and Emperor of Japan, Ginkaku-ji Temple (also known as the Silver Temple) with its magnificent hall and stunning Zen gardens, and Tetsugaku-no-michi, the Philosopher’s Path. Then head to Gion, the heartland of geisha culture for a walking tour, and the Miyako Odori dance show at Minamiza Theatre, before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 12

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN

Travel on one of Japan’s iconic bullet trains this morning as we make our way to Hiroshima. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, which stands on the former political and commercial heart of the city which was the target of the World War II attack. The memorial park now serves as a poignant reminder of the past and a stirring symbol of peace. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Accommodation: Hiroshima Washington Hotel

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 13

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN

Today we take a short ferry ride to the serene island of Miyajima where you will have free time to explore. The island is home to the Shinto shrine of Itsukushima, with its famous orange gate that rises majestically out of the sea. There is also the lovely Momaji Park, from where you may wish to take the cable car up to the top of Mount Misen. On return to Hiroshima enjoy the evening at leisure.

Accommodation: Hiroshima Washington Hotel

Breakfast

DAY 14

OSAKA, JAPAN

This morning we depart Hiroshima for the bullet train journey to Osaka. On arrival, you’ll have the rest of the day to spend however you please. You may choose to visit the renowned Osaka Castle and its Museum and see the cherry blossoms at Nishinomaru Garden; enjoy the observation deck at iconic Tsutenkaku Tower; get a taste of old Osaka at Hozen-ji Yokocho; indulge in Osaka’s spiritual side at Shitenno-ji; or dispense with your yen in Shinsaibashi, Osaka’s top shopping destination. This evening we head to a local restaurant for our farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Monterey Osaka

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 15

OSAKA, JAPAN – AUSTRALIA

This morning is your chance to do any last minute sightseeing or shopping before we check out of the hotel and head to the airport in the afternoon for our flight home.

Breakfast

DAY 16

AUSTRALIA

Our Escorted Escape concludes today. On arrival, farewell your new friends and tour host as you head home.

Enquire About this Tour