See cherry blossoms in beautiful natural settings of northern Japan.
Start your sakura hunt from the Morioka Castle ruins.
Visit the Towada Art Centre.
Stay at two luxurious onsen hotels.
Join the sakura festival at Hirosaki Castle.
Stay and walk in the beautiful Oirase Gorge.
Join the cherry blossom festival at Goryokaku Fort in Hakodate.
Transport and entry to all places described
Accommodation and meals described
The services of Riki Inamura, the tour escort
Airport-hotel transfers in Japan
Tokyo - Mercure Hotel Ginza
Morioka - Daiwa Roynet Morioka
Oirase - Keiryu Hotel (luxury onsen hotel in the forest)
Hirosaki - Smile Hotel
Hakodate - La Jolie Motomachi
Travel to Tokyo by Wed 17th April 2019
Arrive at Narita or Haneda by own arrangement with transfers provided into Tokyo.
Visit Sensoji Temple in old downtown Tokyo to wish a safe journey ahead. You can then spend your afternoon at leisure, or join Riki for a walk through the historic area of Yanaka, Tokyo University and Ueno Park. The weather should have warmed up, so azaleas will be coming into bloom throughout the city. In the evening, we’ll have our welcome dinner at a local izakaya (Japanese style pub).
Tokyo to Morioka B
In the morning, we’ll begin our journey north to catch the blooms of sakura a the Morioka Cherry Blossom Festival. We’ll take the Shinkansen to Morioka by Mt Iwate, where we will start our sakura hunt from the castle grounds.
Morioka and Kakunodate day trip B
Today, we’ll head north-west on the Shinkansen for a day trip to the beautiful town of Kakunodate on the Hinokinai River, which is lined with cherry blossom trees for over 2km. The old samurai residences also make this town one of the best places to experince Japan’s pre-modern era. We will also have time to visit the 17th century Suzuki Sake Brewery.
Morioka to Oirase Gorge BD
We’ll take the Shinkansen further north, then join a local bus to visit the Towada Art Centre, and Oirase Gorge, deep in the forests. You can join Riki for a walk up the gorge. Oirase is a great place to unwind within this beautiful natural setting. Relax in the onsen at the hotel before dinner.
Oirase Gorge to Hirosaki BD
In the morning, we’ll take a local bus up and over the Hakkoda Mountains to Hirosaki. Weather permitting, we’ll spend the afternoon at the cherry blossom festival that takes place around the splendid 17th century castle and its gorgeous grounds and moats. In the evening, we will enjoy our dinner together.
Hirosaki to Hakodate B
We’ll take an early morning viewing of the sakura at Hirosaki Castle again before taking a local train and Shinkansen north for our journey under the sea to Hokkaido.
Today, we'll visit the 19th century Goryokaku Fort, which has about one thousand sakura trees planted around its star shaped moat. Your afternoon will be free at leisure in this delightful port town. We will gather in the evening for our farewell dinner.
Return home on Thu 25 April 2019 B
Today, you can either return to Tokyo with Riki on the Shinkansen or you could arrange for your return flight to depart from Hakodate. Alternatively, you may want to explore more of Japan such as pushing further north into Hokkaido.