Japan Cherry Blossom Tours 2019
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 email@example.com
March and April 2019 Japan Cherry Blossom Tours
Similar to the 2018 season, for the 2019 cherry blossom (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.)
Most of our cherry blossom tours start and end in Tokyo starting on a Sunday and running through to the Saturday two weeks later. We can normally accommodate early arrivals and later departures as flights often do not line up with these times in every case, so this allows people flexibility to easily join or leave a tour on any one of these days.
The weekend in Tokyo allows us to meet you at the airport, transfers you to your hotel in Tokyo and provide a basic 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 the areas of the city that interest you before we head off on our journey around the country.
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 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 cherry blossom forecast refers to a specific five petal variety, and there are many different types of cherry trees - some that flower earlier and some later, extending the season. Certainly for the 2017 we had cherry blossom viewing across two months. 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
(Currently these link to the 2018 tour brochure and schedules and will be updated to reflect the 2019 dates.)
Early Cherry Blossom Tour during March (Sunday 17th March to Saturday 30th March)
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 (Thursday 21st March to Wednesday 3rd April )
This tour takes in many locations famous for its cherry blossom, including during the expected peak of the season. In addition, visits to Hiroshima, Kanazawa and Nagano provide some additional variation and opportunities to experience more of what Japan has to offer.
Returning to Tokyo after the first weekend of April helps avoid some of the hanami crowds, and also allows for some variation in peak blossom timing.
Classic Cherry Blossom Tour (Sunday 31st March to Saturday 13th April)
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. The end of the tour sees us return to Tokyo for the weekend.
Heritage Cherry Tour (Saturday 6th April to Sunday 21st April)
With a slightly different focus to the "Classic" blossom tour, this tour has a schedule that takes in some of the famous and iconic attractions of Japan including many of Japan's UNESCO World Heritage Sites (nine are included on the route).
Depending on the timing of the season, a late arrival (as little as half a week) would put you firmly in an ideal location peak period for cherry blossom in Tokyo. Then heading to the Alps via Matsumoto stay in the picturesque town of Takayama with a trip to Shirakawa-go. Completing the trip across to the west coast, visit Kanazawa and their famous Kenrokuen gardens and castle grounds.
Head to Kyoto and a selection of its famous sights (Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, Fushimi Inari), a day trip to the first capital of Japan at Nara, before going south to Hiroshima and the island Miyajima with its floating torii gate. Leaving Hiroshima we return to Osaka allowing us to include a visit to Himeji Castle before returning to Tokyo.
Late Cherry Blossom Tour (15th April to 28th April)
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.
We have left our pricing for the 2018 tours the same as 2017. Pricing is takes into account the accommodation rates that we expect to be in place at the time of bookings. We price in Japanese yen, but can quote in your local currency on request.
Early Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for a fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y595,000 per person share twin/double.
Spring Blossom Tour: The price for a fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y695,000 per person share twin/double.
Classic Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for a fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y695,000 per person share twin/double.
Heritage Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for a sixteen days (accommodation for fifteen nights) is from Y695,000 per person share twin/double.
Late Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for a fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y595,000 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:
- Our tour service, including a dedicated guide for the duration of your tour. That includes a meet&greet at the airport and transfers to the hotel in Tokyo.
- Accommodation, averaging 4* - 5* properties and usually including breakfast. We aim to book superior rooms to give additional space and comfort during your trip.
- Transport, all train travel, subways, and transfers. Taxis are also covered during the day for our sightseeing as well as the occasional bus connection. (Not flights to/from Japan.)
- Entrance fees for temples, shrines, castles, parks, gardens, and museums. These are listed in your agreed tour schedule.
- Evening meals at ryokan (Japanese inn) accommodation are normally included as well as breakfast. In general, we do not include lunch and dinner meals because Japan has a huge range of foods and we prefer not to restrict options, especially when food is a significant part Japan.
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.
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