Japan Cherry Blossom Tours 2019

Plum blossom Shinjuku in Bloom Matsushima Blossom

Cherry blossom is a busy time of year in Japan.  In previous years our cherry tours saw strong bookings well in advance and tours for the 2018 blossom season were closed to new bookings at the end of 2017.  As this is a very popular time of year it is best to contact us to secure your place well in advance.  You can either use our simple contact us form or email us directly at admin@japancustomtours.co.nz

As of 1st March 2019 we have closed our bookings for the March and April tours.  We are taking bookings and inquiries for the 2020 season.  We intend to re-run a similar set of trips and schedules again for spring 2020.

March and April 2019 Japan Cherry Blossom Tours

Similar to the 2018 season, for the 2019 sakura season in Japan we have put together a sequence of cherry blossom tours covering the main cherry blossom festival season. These commence early in March and run through to the end of April and are designed to maximise the opportunities to view the different types of sakura (blossom) as it progresses from south to north. (More information on the forecast blossom timing can be found here.)

For spring 2019 we are offering six main cherry blossom tours.  As in previous years we are continuing to offer a set of two week tours starting on a Sunday and ending back in Tokyo on the Saturday two weeks later.  In addition, we have designed a set of shorter trips based around a ten day schedule.  These shorter trips include the flexibility to add additional days at the start or end of the trip for those wanting additional free time in Tokyo or extra time to explore nearby locations.

With most arrivals occurring on the weekend days this allows us to meet you at the airport, transfer you to your hotel in Tokyo and provide an initial introduction to Japan and Tokyo, one of the largest and vibrant cities in the world.  This also provides you with free time to adjust to time-zone, and explore a few areas of the city that interest you before we head off on our journey around the country.  We can normally accommodate guests arriving before the formal start of a tour as flights often do not line up with the tour dates in every case, this allows people flexibility to easily join a tour.

We have designed the cherry blossom tour schedules taking into account the dates for the Japanese cherry blossom festivals and viewing in each location. These dates are based on the average flowering times from the last ten years and are a guide only. (The actual dates are out of our control.) However, there are a couple of things that make chasing the cherry blossom a little easier.  Firstly, the early part of the season is when plum trees are flowering, providing an alternative offering of spectacular colours.  Secondly, the "official" cherry blossom forecasts refer to a specific five petal variety (somei yoshino), and there are many different types of cherry trees - some that flower earlier and some later, extending the season.  Certainly for our previous tour seasons we had cherry blossom viewing across a two month period.  We also take pride in finding tranquil and uncrowded spots for our guests to enjoy the blossom season across the full March and April season

Joining a tour:  We try to meet you at your preferred arrival airport, but due to different schedules, that might not always be possible. If we are unable to meet you at the airport we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to join the tour.  

Departing a tour:  Activities on a day where you are departing a tour will be adjusted to take into account travel time to the airport. 

Cherry blossom tours Brochure and Schedules

Our 2019 tour brochure is available for download using the following link. 

Cherry blossom Kanazawa 

Early Cherry Blossom Tour during March (Sunday 17th March to Saturday 30th March 2019)

Starting in Tokyo, before heading to the Japanese alps and the onsen town of Togura. After an overnight stop in Kanazawa travel south to Hiroshima and the beautiful Miyajima.

From our most southern point we head back to the old capital of Kyoto, before heading back into the mountains to the picturesque town of Takayama. From here the two weeks is completed with the journey back to Tokyo.

Japan Spring Blossom Tour (Saturday 16th March to Friday 29th March 2019)

This tour is based on our "Best of Japan" schedule.  With the first half more focused on history and scenergy, the latter portion begins to capture the approaching blossom season around the end of March, and with the return to Tokyo.

Across the two weeks days after departing Tokyo this tour visits Hiroshima, Kyoto, Kanazawa and Takayama before returning to Tokyo.  This trip provides good variation for sightseeing and travelling across the country and many opportunities to experience what Japan has to offer.

Classic Cherry Blossom Tour (Sunday 31st March to Saturday 13th April 2019)

The peak period for cherry blossom viewing starts in Tokyo at the beginning of April, including some of the famous and popular viewing locations around the city before heading south to Hiroshima and the island Miyajima with its floating torii gate.

Leaving Hiroshima we head to Kyoto and a selection of its famous sights before heading west to Kanazawa and its famous Kenrokuen Gardens and castle.

We then head to the mountains for a stay at a traditional Japanese inn and onsen before chasing the cherry blossom festival in the area around Sendai city, including a cruise around Matsushima Bay (considered one of the "three views of Japan".) The end of the tour sees us return to Tokyo for the weekend.

Heritage Blossom Tour (Monday 1st April to Wednesday 10th April 2019)

Departing Tokyo this tour visits Kyoto for a selection of its famous sights (Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, Fushimi Inari), and a few of the famous cherry blossom locations well known to the Japanese including one of the longest running annual festivals in Japan.  We include a day trip to the first capital of Japan at Nara, before completing the southward journey to Hiroshima and the island Miyajima with its floating torii gate. 

Leaving Hiroshima we return to Kanazawa on the west coast of Japan for its gardens and castle before spending a night in the alps in Nagano prefecture.

Late Cherry Blossom Tour (15th April to 28th April 2019)

Our late cherry tour includes a trip to the north of Tokyo including side trips from Sendai (for Matsushima and Kakunodate), and also Aomori for the Hirosaki Castle Park, a site with 2,600 cherry trees and a beautiful cherry blossom festival.

Returning to the centre of the country, we stay in the mountains at an onsen near Nagano and a visit to the snow monkeys before two days in the western city of Kanazawa and the mountain town of Takayama.  From Takayama we take the scenic bus and train route via Matsumoto back to Tokyo. 

(Note: For our Late Cherry Blossom Tour in 2018 we included an optional extension to Kyoto for our guests with a delayed return to Tokyo.  We will offer this again for this tour in 2019, but are aware that "Golden Week" is likely to be more disruptive due the planned change in Japanese Emperor.)

Late Spring Blossom Tour (16th April to 25th April 2019)

Our late spring tour is more focused on locations north of Tokyo and some of the interesting locations that have cherry blossom in late April including Sendai, Kakunodate (Akita), Hirosaki (Aomori) and Hakodate in southern Hokkaido. 

Price inclusions/exclusions

We price in Japanese yen, but can quote in your local currency on request. 

Early Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y595,000 per person share twin/double.

Japan Spring Blossom Tour: The price for fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y595,000 per person share twin/double. 

Classic Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y695,000 per person share twin/double.

Heritage Blossom Tour: The price for ten days (accommodation for nine nights) is from Y525,000 per person share twin/double.

Late Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y595,000 per person share twin/double.

Northern Blossom Tour: The price for ten days (accommodation for nine nights) is from Y495,000 per person share twin/double.

For solo travellers (one person, without a shared room), the cost of accommodation is unable to be shared, but we have a policy to limit the extra cost and have priced our tours for a solo travellers at Y125,000 above the shared/double/twin rate to partly cover the cost of accommodation.

The price includes:

Exclusions are generally items such as theatre performances, sporting or other special events, theme parks, lunch and evening meals, snacks/drinks and other incidental costs such as hotel room service/laundry. 

Bookings and Inquiries

If you are interested in joining one of these tours, please contact us or email us directly at admin@japancustomtours.co.nz.

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