Cherry Blossoms & The Best of Japan

Cherry Blossoms & The Best of Japan

Join our signature small group tour and get a first hand introduction to the best of Japan’s shrines, sushi, samurais, sake and yes we haven’t forgotten the shopping! Get into a kimono for a traditional tea ceremony and walk through Kyoto’s Gion district looking for geishas. Dive into an Onsen and sleep in a Ryokan before heading to Hiroshima. Walk down streets like the traditional Asakusa-Nakamise, the fashion junkies hotspot of Harakuju, the famous Dontonbori Street filled with karaoke bars and all those parks lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom. Ride bullet trains and admire Mt. Fuji. We guarantee a power packed trip where you’ll soak in all the must see castles and ancient temples but more importantly experience those mind-blowing moments that make Japan a must-do on every travellers list!

Day 1 : (3rd April) Arrive Tokyo

Group transfers have been arranged for the 9 am from Narita Airport where you will be received by Active Holiday Company’s representative and transferred to your centrally located hotel. You have the rest of the day to spend as you like. Today you can opt for a cycling tour of Tokyo or take an optional calligraphy class (both need to be booked prior to your departure). We meet the group at 6 pm and transfer to the restaurant for dinner where you will get to meet your group members as well as your local guide.

Meals: Dinner

Day 2 : (4th April) Culture Vulture & Cherry Blossoms, Tokyo

A long but excitng day, we get our first dose of Japanese culture with the ancient Senso-ji Temple. Senso-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. It is Tokyo's oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism it became independent after World War II Adjacent to the temple is a Shinto shrine - the Asakusa Shrine. We set out on a food walking experience through Asakusa-Nakamise – a 17th century street market dotted with around 90 shops, many run by the same family for generations, that sell snacks and souvenirs to throngs of both domestic and international travellers who visit the area. Sample foods that look interesting to you (at your own expeience) before we head to Chidorigafuchi Park for a walk amidst the stunning cherry blossom trees in full bloom. From here we head to the Samurai Museum for a guided visit. The samurai has been an iconic symbol of courage, power and masculinity for over 700 years of Japanese warfare history. After lunch, we visit the Meji Shrine in Harakuju for an interesting juxtaposition of the ancient with the modern – Harakuju is the center of Japan's most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles, but also offers shopping for adults and some historic sights. Next, we visit Odaiba Park passing through the famous Rainbow bridge. You’ll have some free time and you can shop or visit Toyota City that showcases latest cars or enjoy the sights of Tokyo Bay ined with cherry blossoms. We return to the hotel after dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 : (5th April) Day Excursion to Nikko

A small city to the north of Tokyo, Nikko makesfor a stunning excursion famous for Toshog, Japan's most lavishly decorated Shinto shrine and a lavish memorial to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founding ruler of the Tokugawa shogunate. During the visit we’ll explore the Rinn?-ji, a complex of 15 Buddhist temple buildings established in the year 766 by the Buddhist monk followed by he Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Futarasan jinja Shrine. These make up part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Shrines and Temples of Nikko?". Nikko Tosho-gu was built in memory of Tokugawa Ieyasu the first shogun of the Tokugawa family, which governed Japan over some 250 years from 1603. We return directly to the streets of Ginza in Tokyo, a popular, upscale shopping district popualar for boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity. You’ll have free time to explore as well as to enjoy dinner on your own before we head back to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4 : (6th April) Mt. Fuji & Hakone

Another day of adventure as we head to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, approximately the halfway point of the Yoshida Trail, which leads from Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine at the mountain's base to the summit of Mount Fuji. After soaking in the stunning views of the great mountain we head to our hotel located at one of the most popular areas of Hakone. You’ll have the chance to enjoy traditional Japanese hospitality as well as an open-air hot spring bath in your room overlooking the magnificent mountains. Later in the afternoon, we get on a cruise from Hakonesekisyo to Kojiri. The cable car takes us to ?wakudani – a volcanic valley with hot springs and one of the most popular attractiios where you can witness scenic views, volcanic activity, and enjoy ‘Kuro-tamago’ — a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. Dinner is at the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 : (7th April) Bullet Trains, Miyajima Islands and Hiroshima

A 3.5 hours ride in the bullet train and a change of stations in between will take us to Hiroshima station. Locally referred to as Shinkansen these high speed trains travel in the range of 240-320 kms per hour. As you leave you can enjoy stunning views of Mount Fuji which are likely remain etched in your memory forever. From Hiroshima station, we head to Miyajima Harbour for a ferry tour of Miyajima – among the most scenic spots in Japan and since long regarded as an Island of Gods. It is a romantic and historical island where Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is located, along with the Virgin Forest of Mt. Misen, and numerous preserved shrines, temples and historical monuments. Spend time exploring the Island on your own before we stop for dinner. Check into your hotel in Hiroshima for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 : (8th April) Traditional Trams, More Bullet Trains & Tea Ceremony in a Kimono in Gion, Tokyo

We walk over to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum localed close to the hotel. Established in August 1955 to commemorate the atomic bombing, it stands as a commitment to abolishing nuclear weapons and realizing lasting world peace. We travel to Hiroshima station by traditional Japanese tram to catch a bullet train to Kyoto. An hour and a half later we arrive in Kyoto and stop for a quick lunch before heading to try on a traditional Japanese Kimono. In modern Japan this outfit is reserved for special occasions and today we will be doing exactly that. As we participate in a traditional Japanese Tea ceremony and go through the elaborate and graceful presentation of tea, enjoying the tea in your Kimonos. if you’re feeling bold, you are welcome to enjoy the guided walk around Gion still dressed in your Kimono for an authentic Japanese experience. Known as the home of the geishas Gion, is filled with shops, restaurants and teahoueses where geishas entertain. We stop for dinner at a local restaurant before heading to your hotel in Kyoto for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 : (9th April) Temples, Shrines, Cherry Blossoms & Ebisuya Rickshaw in Kyoto

Having served as Japan's capital and the Emperor’s residence for over a 1000 years, Kyoto is the cultural capital and one of the most visited cities after Tokyo. Our day is packed with visits to temples, gardens, shrines and more. We start with a visit to Fushimi Inari-taisha – an important Shinto shrine famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates. Before lunch we visit the Kinkakuji Temple, one of the most widely-recognized symbols of Kyoto. We then ejoy a Ebisuya Rickshaw ride through the cherry blossom lined Philosophy Road – named for the influential 20th-century Japanese philosopher and Kyoto University professor Nishida Kitaro who is thought to have used it for daily meditation. It passes a number of temples and shrines such as H?nen-in, ?toyo Shrine, and Eikan-d? Zenrin-ji. Post this we visit the Kiyomizu-dera – one of the most famous temples in Kyoto built at the end of the 8th century, known for its location overhanging a cliff. We stop for a lovely dinner at the local Junsei restaurant before returning to the hotel for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 : (10th April) Nara Excursion, Osaka Castle, Dontonbori Street Walking Experience

Nara was Japan’s first permanent capital and it is on the way to Osaka. We set off for after breakfast to explore this historic city. Visit Toudai-ji for Japan's most famous and historically significant temples. Todaiji's main hall, the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall) is the world's largest wooden building, despite the fact that the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original temple hall's size. Follow this up with a visit to Nara Park – home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. We stop for lunch at Machumoto-Ya before heading towards Osaka Castle and Horyu-Ji, one of the country's oldest temples with wooden structures that are among the oldest surviving in the world. After we reach Osaka we enjoy a walk through the famous Dontonbori Street, thronged with an unbelievable number of restaurants and theaters that play traditional puppet shows Bunraku. Before we end the trip, use this walking experience to sample some authentic sake!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9 : (11th April) Departure from Osaka

Morning group transfers have been arranged to Kansai Airport for your onward journey. If you are leaving later please follow our detailed travel documents on how you can get to the airport on your own.

Meals: Breakfast

  • Guided Visits of Tokyo, Nikko, Mt. Fuji Hakone, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka Guided food walking experiences of Asakusa in Tokyo and Dontonbori in Osaka (food sampling at own expense)
  • 8 Nights accomodation as specified in the itinerary – 3 Nights in Tokyo, 1 Night in Hiroshima, 2 nights in Kyoto and 1 Night in Osaka
  • 1 Night in Ryokan style accommodation with Onsen in Hakone
  • Meal: 08 Breakfasts, 06 Lunches & 05 Dinners
  • Bullet train journeys from Hanone to Hiroshima and from Hiroshima to Kyoto
  • Ebisuya Rickshaw Ride in Kyoto
  • Traditional Tea experience and Kimono Dressing up in Gion, Kyoto
  • Touring in a coach privately chartered for our group
  • Services of an experienced English speaking local guide
  • Guided visits with entrance fees included for the following:
  • Samurai Museum in Tokyo
  • Rinno-Ji & Tosho-gu in Nikko
  • Cruise and Cable Car in Hakone (Mt. Fuji)
  • Miyajima Ferry & Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima
  • Kinkaku-Ji & Kiyomizu-tera in Kyoto
  • Todai-ji & Horyu-ji in Nara and
  • Osaka Castle
Return airfare, airport taxes, visa charges, insurance, tips, all items of personal nature and anything not mentioned in the 'Inclusions'. GST 5%.
Cost per person on twin sharing basis. Any Increase in the rate of exchange leading to an increase in land arrangements and high season surcharge if any, will have to be borne by the client. Standard terms and conditions apply.