The Ultimate Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan
Modern and ancient at the same time, Japan is a genuinely iconic destination. But one of the unique and most beguiling experiences it offers is that of Hanami - cherry blossom viewing.
Each spring, the nation waits expectantly for the first buds of
the delicate pink cherry blossom - known as Sakura - which usually
appears between March and May. There's even a televised Cherry
Blossom Forecast, giving a petal-by-petal analysis of the advance
of the blooms!
Planning the perfect trip can be daunting so we've teamed up with Wendy Wu, the No 1 tour operator to Asia, to offer our guests the ultimate escorted tour of Japan and Hanami experience.
During this "once in a lifetime" nine-day adventure, you won't
miss a thing - from the unforgettable cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and
Osaka, to the stunning beauty of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi, the
awesome speed of Japan's famous bullet train, the invigorating hot
springs of a Japanese "onsen" and an overnight stay at a
traditional Ryokan inn.
Each day of your trip will be filled with unmissable sights, sounds and flavours. You'll also have the chance to pick your personal favourite from a range of exclusive experiences** - such as practising Zen meditation in Kyoto, learning the art of formal Kimono-wearing in Tokyo or taking part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony - which are offered to each guest as a complimentary part of your trip.
So if seeing the wonders of Japan and the glorious cherry blossom has always been a
dream of yours, this exclusive escorted tour is the ultimate way to make it a reality.
Nine reasons to book now
1 The best time to see the blossom
2 Stay in a traditional Ryokan inn
3 Take the famous bullet train
4 Enjoy a Japanese tea ceremony
5 Dress up as a Geisha
6 Learn Zen meditation
7 Try our Kimono Experience
8 Visit the 'floating' Torii gates
9 Discover Osaka's food markets
- Return flights
- Domestic transport in Japan
- All accommodation
- All breakfasts and four dinners, plus lunches in Nara and Osaka
- Overnight stay at a traditional Ryokan inn
- All activities and excursions listed in the itinerary
- Touring with expert guides and entrance fees
- National Escort for groups over 10
- Your choice of one exclusive experience. **Each guest will be able to choose one of four fabulous optional experiences (see Nine reasons to book, above) they would like to do at the time of booking. Please note that spaces are limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis
- Please note that tipping is not expected nor customary in Japan
Days1-2Fly to TokyoTokyo, Japan
MONDAY 2 APRIL + TUESDAY 3 APRIL, 2018
You will fly overnight to Tokyo, Japan's vibrant and cutting-edge capital. On your arrival, you will
be transferred to your hotel where you have the rest of the day to settle in before a welcome dinner on the evening of Tuesday 3rd April.
Day3See the Cherry BlossomTokyo, Japan
WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL, 2018
Tokyo is a city that's always moving forward. But as modern as it may appear, behind the neon facade is a more traditional side to Tokyo that you'll discover in the old alleyways, temples and shrines of Edo. Today, you will experience both sides of the city: ascending the soaring Tokyo Skytree, exploring the celebrated Senso-ji Temple and vibrant Asakusa district in your
Then wander among the incredible cherry blossoms in Ueno Park - the most photographed cherry blossom scene in the world - and delight in the unusual tradition of Sakura (cherry
blossoms in Japanese). This evening, cruise the waters of Tokyo Bay, with welcome drinks and dinner: it's the perfect vantage point from which to admire the supercharged lights of Tokyo at night.
Day4Mount FujiOdawara, Japan
THURSDAY 5 APRIL
Today you will leave Tokyo and travel by coach to Odawara. From here, you will learn more
about Japan's most iconic landmark at the Fuji Visitor Centre before getting a picture-perfect view of Mount Fuji in all its glory from Oishi Park, with Lake Kawaguchiko in the foreground.
Next, you will take a cruise on spectacular Lake Ashi, keeping an eye out for the bright vermillion
torii gates that bestride both the surrounding hillsides and shallows of the lake itself. You may even catch a glimpse of the cone of Mount Fuji peering over the hills - although once you have flown high above the lake on the Komagatake Ropeway cable car, the views of Mount Fuji will be breathtaking.
W&H EXPERIENCE: You will then travel by coach back to Hakone for an overnight stay in a Ryokan or traditional Japanese inn. This will give you a true taste of traditional Japan. Here you will sleep in a tatami mat room, which has a minimalist style and includes Japanese futon bedding: a comfortable mattress laid directly onto the floor and a warm, down duvet.
Day5Bullet Train to KyotoKyoto, Japan
FRIDAY 6 APRIL
Today you will speed through the countryside in supreme comfort in one of Japan's famous bullet trains to another must-see destination: Kyoto.
On arrival, you'll have the rest of the day free to soak up the incredible history of this unique city. Why not make your way down to the famous district of Gion, where Geisha can be seen shuffling along the cobbled streets in their kimonos and geta (tall wooden clogs)?
Day6Explore KyotoKyoto, Japan
SATURDAY 7 APRIL
The capital of Japan for a millennium, Kyoto was also the heart of the country's religion, philosophy, art and cuisine, making it a treasure trove of Japanese history and culture. Japan's best known cultural arts were born here: the tea ceremony, Kabuki and Geisha to name just three.
Here you will discover the markets and temple of Kiyomizu, enjoy the surrounding gardens
of the haunting Shinto shrine, Fushimi Inari, and the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji. The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish.
Day7Discover NaraNara City, Japan
SUNDAY 8 APRIL
Another former Japanese capital, the compact, picturesque city of Nara also has a wonderful cultural legacy and is endlessly charming. During your visit you will have the chance to see the magnificent bronze statue of Buddha at Todaiji.
The grounds of the temple are occupied by Sika Deer, thought to be messengers of the Shinto gods, and later you will be able to stroll through beautiful Isuien Gardens. Then you will travel by coach to Osaka, where you have the rest of the day free to start discovering the city.
Day8A taste of OsakaOsaka, Japan
MONDAY 9 APRIL
Visit magnificent Osaka Castle before discovering the foodie haven that is the Dotonbori District, where you'll sample delicious local flavours at lunch before taking a cruise on the Yodogawa River.
This evening you will have the chance to toast your unforgettable tour of Japan over dinner in Osaka.
Day9Flying HomeOsaka, Japan
TUESDAY 10 APRIL
Say farewell to Osaka and your "once in a lifetime" adventures in Japan - including the magnificent cherry blossom - before you transfer to the airport for your flights back to the UK, arriving home on the same day.