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Experience cherry blossom 2024
Travelling during one on the most popular times in Japan, the Best of Japan experiences this magnificent destination during cherry blossom season. Due the popularity of cherry blossom, we are thrilled to be able to offer new dates. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure your place as availability is limited.
This itinerary is based on our most extensive tour of Japan including all the classic sights and key cultural activities. Featuring modern cities, historical sights and beautiful landscapes, Our Best of Japan tour ensures you get the most out of your trip to this fascinating land.
Our Best of Japan tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Take time to reflect the city's past in Hiroshima and also visit Miyajima Island.
Visit three of Kyoto's greatest temples - Kinkakuji, Ryonaji and Kiyomizu.
Spend time travelling through the Japanese Alps and visitng many of its towns and villages.
If you're lucky, you will have the opportunity to see snow monkeys on this tour.
Our most popular tour of Japan includes all the classic sights and key cultural activities. Featuring modern cities, historical sights and beautiful landscapes.
Fly overnight to the dazzling metropolis of Tokyo, Japan's capital city. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture
Begin today with a stroll through the Imperial Palace East Garden. Continue to the Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken, before heading to the trendy district of Shibuya where you will have the opportunity to walk on the world’s most famous pedestrian crossing. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore as you wish. End the day with a dinner cruise onboard a traditional yakata on Tokyo Bay and witness the city lit up at night.
Stroll through the vibrant Asakusa district and soak up the ambiance of Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. Next, walk along the famous Nakamise Street which is lined with souvenir shops on both sides. In the afternoon, ascend to the observation deck of the 634-metre Tokyo Skytree.
Journey by road through the foothills of the iconic Mount Fuji to its base where we find the Fuji Five Lakes. The region is spectacularly dotted by the calm waters of five lakes, formed by past volcanic eruptions, reflecting Mount Fuji’s picture-perfect cone. Enjoy a boat trip on Lake Ashi for spectacular panoramas of this beautiful area before venturing up the Hakone Ropeway to the volcanic Owakudani Valley.
Ascend by road over 2,000 metres up Mount Fuji to the 5th Station (weather permitting) and take in the breathtaking views over the Fuji Five Lakes area below. Also visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum to view the elaborate dyed silk creations of artist Kubota Itchiku. Continue by road to Nagano.
Travel deeper into the Japanese Alps, to the small town of Yudanaka. Here, enjoy a light hike through the forest to the Jigokudani Monkey Park, where if you’re lucky, you may see the Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) bathe and play in their hot spring pool at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. After lunch, visit Zenkoji, one of Japan’s most prolific Buddhist temples.
Begin the day with a visit to the Daio Wasabi Farm to learn about its cultivation, before continuing to the town of Matsumoto. Here, visit the Ishii Miso House to learn all about this essential Japanese seasoning, before exploring the formidable 16th-century Matsumoto Castle. Continue by road to Takayama and relax in the hotsprings at your hotel.
Spend the day exploring the town of Takayama. Browse the local handicrafts and fresh produce at the Miyagawa Open Air Market and wander past some of the lovely traditional houses. Also visit several of the excellent local museums, including the Yatai Kaikan – a museum which displays traditional Japanese floats used in many festivals and Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum. Your last stop today is and Takayama Jinya, a former Government office for 300 years.
Begin the day travelling by road to the rural village of Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site, renowned for its thatched roof houses. Here, explore a 300-year-old Gassho-style Wada House. Next, it’s off to Gokayama for a hands-on washi paper making experience before continuing by road to Kanazawa, stopping enroute at the Nomura Samurai House.
Begin the day strolling through Kenrokuen, one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’, which is dotted with waterfalls, ponds and charming tea houses. Next, continue by road to Kyoto. Capital for 1,000 years, Kyoto is an enchanting city is the epitome of traditional Japan with over 2000 temples and shrines and exceptionally preserved wooden buildings.
Spend the day exploring some of the city’s highlights Enjoy one of Kyoto’s most delightful spots, beginning at Kiyomizu, a 8th-century Buddhist temple. Also experience the age-old rituals of a traditional tea ceremony with a tea master. End the day with a visit to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for its 10,000 vermilion torii gates.
Start the day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple, also known as ‘Golden Pavilion’. Continue to Ryoanji, the ‘Peaceful Dragon Temple’, which boasts the most famous rock garden in Japan. End the day with a journey on the impressive bullet train to Hiroshima.
Hiroshima is a vibrant, forward-thinking city that is a pleasure to explore. Reflect on the city’s tragic past at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum paying homage to the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. Next, take the ferry to the holy island of Miyajima to visit the Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy some time at leisure.
Depart Hiroshima, stopping en route to explore the magnificent 17th-century Himeji Castle, also known as the ‘White Heron Castle’ due to white exterior and elegant appearance. Also take a stroll through Kokoen, a traditional-style garden. Continue by road to Osaka.
Spend the morning in Nara, the small, history-filled city that was Japan’s first capital. Stroll through Nara Park to Todaiji Temple and admire the traditional Isuien Garden. Return to Osaka for lunch at the famous Dontonburi Street, followed by a visit to the impressive Osaka Castle.
Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the following day.
Places Visited: Tokyo (3N) - Hakone (1N) -Nagano (2N) - Takayama (2N) - Kanazawa (1N) - Kyoto (2N) - Hiroshima (2N) - Osaka (2N)
If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs or you prefer travelling with your own personal guide, contact us to arrange this as a Private Tour.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
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