Experience hanami (cherry blossom viewing) across Japan.
Visit Sensoji Temple in Tokyo.
Try indigo dyeing in Asakusa.
Tour the newly restored Himeji Castle, Japan's best.
Reflect at the Hiroshima Peace Park & Museum.
See the majestic floating red O-Torii on Miyajima.
Join a Cherry Blossom Festival in Tsuyama.
Stay at a luxurious onsen ryokan with a kaiseki dinner.
Enjoy a tour of Kyoto with Riki in his home town, and see Miyako Odori (Spring season dance) at Gion.
Visit Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa.
See the world heritage listed village of Shirakawago.
Visit the 7th century Zenkoji Temple in Nagano
See the snow monkeys bathing in a natural hot spring.
Transport and entry to all places described
Accommodation and meals described
The services of Riki Inamura, the tour escort
Airport-hotel transfers in Japan
Hotels & Ryokan
Tokyo - Daiwa Roynet Ginza
Hiroshima - ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel
Yunogo Onsen: Kifunosato (luxury onsen ryokan)
Kyoto - Granbell Hotel Gion
Kanazawa - Holiday Inn Sky Hotel
Yudanaka Onsen - Biyu no Yado (onsen hotel)
Travel to Tokyo Tuesday 2nd April 2019
Arrive at Narita or Haneda by own arrangement with transfers provided into Tokyo.
Visit Sensoji Temple to wish a safe journey, then try indigo dyeing in a local store. We’ll see cherry blossoms and have our welcome dinner at a local izakaya (Japanese style pub).
Tokyo (or optional day-tour) B
Explore Tokyo at leisure. You may want to scale Tokyo Skytree? Or join an optional tour of Nikko to see the World Heritage listed shrines, Hakone for Mt Fuji, or Kamakura.
Tokyo to Hiroshima via Himeji Castle B
Take a Shinkansen west to Hiroshima. On the way, we’ll stop by Himeji Castle, Japan’s best, which should be spectacular in sakura time.
Hiroshima and Miyajima daytrip B
Make a short trip to Miyajima to view the floating red O-Torii, and see great views of the inland sea from Mt Misen. Return to Hiroshima for hanami in the Peace Park and the Museum.
Hiroshima to Yunogo Onsen via
Tsuyama Cherry Blossom Festival BD
We head into the country by Shinkansen and local train for the cherry blossom festival in Tsuyama, where thousands of Sakura trees have been planted in the castle ruins. We’ll stay at Riki’s favourite ryokan, where you can take an onsen and enjoy a kaiseki dinner.
Yunogo Onsen to Kyoto B
Take a local train to Himeji, and then the Shinkansen into Kyoto. At night, we’ll see the Miyako Odori Spring Dance and Maruyama Park.
Join Riki in his home town for a tour of Kyoto including the Golden Pavilion. Then follow the sakura on the Philosopher’s Path to the Silver Pavilion. At night, enjoy local Kyoto cuisine with Riki.
Enjoy a free day in Kyoto. You could visit the Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama, or perhaps just relax under the cherry blossoms by the Kamo River?
Kyoto to Kanazawa B
Take a train north to the delightful city of Kanazawa on the Japan Sea side. In the afternoon, we can wander the samurai district and visit Kenrokuen Garden.
Kanazawa (or Shirakawago day-trip) B
Relax in Kanazawa, or join Riki for a day trip to the World Heritage listed Shirakawago village, where you can see thatched roof houses.
Kanazawa to Yudanaka Onsen BD
Today, we head back into the mountains by Shinkansen to Nagano to visit the 7th century Zenkoji temple. Then it’s a short local train to Yudanaka for an onsen and a kaiseki dinner.
Yudanaka Onsen to Tokyo B
A short stroll through the forests will take us to the snow monkeys bathing in a natural onsen, then we take a local train and Shinkansen back into Tokyo.
Tokyo, then travel home on Monday 15th April 2019 B
Depending on your schedule, enjoy the last of Tokyo before transfering to Haneda or Narita for your flight home.