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The Golden Route Japan: Cherry Blossom Tour

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  • E-ticket/Mobile voucher
Based on 4 Reviews
days 07 From US$ 2,798
highlights
  • Explore the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo and Kyoto
  • Enjoy volcanic hot springs and stunning views of Mt Fuji in Owakudani
  • Visit majestic feudal era castles, shrines and zen gardens
  • Go around the geisha district of Gion, Kyoto
Think of a place in Japan, and chances are you probably think of streets adorned by cherry blossoms. On this tour, you'll get to see gardens and parks best-known for cherry blossoms as you travel across Tokyo and Kyoto sampling everything Japan has to offer.

March and April are historically the best times to see cherry blossoms around Japan. Gardens are abound with many varieties of flowering cherry trees and are usually filled with Japanese families enjoying a picnic under falling petals.

Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to Japan, we recommend The Golden Route itinerary, our most popular tour. This tour gives you a quintessential Japanese experience, from unique locales to must-see tourist attractions in Tokyo and Kyoto. Our private guides and drivers will help you navigate Tokyo's cultural landmarks, fashionable neighborhoods, diverse shopping districts and of course, the best places for cherry blossom viewing.
customer reviews
4.8 - Excellent Based on 4 reviews
Fun-filled trip!!
Andy From Australia On
5 - Excellent
“Our guide Joyce was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. We packed a lot of activities into every day and were not left wanting more.”
Fantastic!
Shreejit From Canada On
4 - Very Good
“Overall the tour was well organized and the tour guide entertained us all along the way. The group had only 15 people and that was ideal to manage. We also got to know each other making the group activities more fun.”
GREAT TOUR
Girish From India On
5 - Excellent
“It was a great tour with breathtaking viewing of cherry blossoms all the way from Tokyo to Osaka. And the majestic Mount Fuji. We loved the way the itinerary was arranged to introduce us to the Japanese culture, etiquette, and authentic Japanese cuisine. Our guide Ms. Lynn was a great educator about history as well as contemporary Japanese life. She is a great person and a kind human too. Kudos to her for making this trip wonderful. Thank you.”
Best trip!
Ota From USA On
5 - Excellent
“Timing and planning enabled our group to see and experience so much. Our guides, Billy, Kim, and Leah were always there with suggestions and help. The drivers, Nakayama-san and our last driver were excellent. The 24 passengers were also so considerate, it all made for an exciting and yet pleasant experience. Although I have been to the same shrines and temples numerous times, the guides added information of interest and all were vital for our family to understand and enjoy Japan. Unfortunately, one week is not enough, but all that was available for the children (ages 12 and 9) on their spring break.”
1 hours 4 Star Hotel at Hotel Mystays Premier Narita or similar class
Welcome to Tokyo! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.

Please contact AJT for options and alternatives.
8 hours 4 Star Hotel at Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo or similar class
In the morning, you will be taken to Asakusa Kannon Temple, an active place of worship where you can see the largest paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore the Nakamise Market, which is located right outside the temple's outer gates. It is a traditional-style shopping street with several centuries of history.

Continue to Ueno Park, famous for its 1,000 cherry trees that line the central pathways, making it an excellent cherry blossom viewing spot. Next, learn how to create your own sushi with a professional sushi chef. Whatever you make, you will get to eat for lunch! Afterwards, make your way to the Tsukiji Outer Market, filled with shops and restaurants where you can try fresh produce and other food items.

Then, we will proceed to the Imperial Palace, the current residence of Japan's Imperial Family and the former site of the Edo Castle. It is surrounded by moats and stone fortifications while situated in the heart of Tokyo. In the afternoon, we will visit the world's tallest self supporting steel tower, the Tokyo Tower. Here, you can go 150 meters up to the main observatory deck and enjoy a bird's eye view of Tokyo.

Note: For the sushi-making experience, if you're vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Lunch
8 hours 4 Star Hotel at The Hamanako or similar class
Depart from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji on our private coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands and rolling clouds. Stop at Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on weather conditions) to admire the world famous peak.

Next, travel to Hakone, one of Japan's most popular hot-spring resorts. You will also get to view the forested slopes of Hakone National Park. We will take a 20-minute ropeway ride from Togendai to Owakudani. Most of Owakudani is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Visitors will encounter the area's hot springs and bubbling pools, complete with sulfurous fumes and steam vents.

If the weather conditions are in our favor, Owakudani also grants splendid views of Mount Fuji. Then, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride, which can reach speeds of up to 300 km/hr.

We will stay at the Onsen Hotel at Hamanako Kanzaiji Onsen, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8 hours 4 Star Hotel at Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto or similar class
After breakfast at the hotel, our group will visit the Hikone Castle, an attractive hanami (flower-viewing) spot during the cherry blossom season. Hikone Castle is an original castle, surviving the post feudal era without undergoing destruction and reconstruction. The castle is considered a great impression of what a complete feudal castle looks like.

The castle is also a national treasure, next to only four other castle keeps in Japan, which is the highest designation a cultural property can achieve. You'll have the opportunity to climb to the castle's top floor, where you may enjoy views of the castle grounds and city. Then, head next door to the Genkyuen Garden, a serene Japanese landscape garden with views of the castle.

From there, proceed to the Miho Museum, known for its stunning architecture integrated into the surrounding nature. It exhibits works from different ancient civilizations, including the Romans, Egyptians, and Asian cultures. There is also a tunnel that leads from the museum to a road lined with hundreds of cherry blossom trees. It was designed by I. M. Pei, and has been listed as one of the 1000 Places To See Before You Die.

Note: If Miho Museum is closed, we will visit Kyoto National Museum or Sagawa Art Museum instead.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Lunch
8 hours 4 Star Hotel at Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto or similar class
Today, we will start our tour of Kyoto, the former capital of Japan that holds priceless historical value. We will first visit Arashiyama, known for its natural scenery and particularly popular during the spring and fall season. Then head to the Zen garden of the Tenryuji Temple, ranked first among Kyoto's five great zen temples.

Afterwards, enjoy a pleasant walk through the attractive Sagano bamboo forest. Make your way to the Kinkakuji Temple (golden pavilion), known for its 18-carat gold-leaves covered two top floors. Watch the elegant Nishijin Kimono Fashion Show and learn how kimonos are made.

Continue to the famous Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its wooden stage that overlooks the scenic hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below, as well as a beautiful scene of Kyoto in the distance. From Kiyomizu Temple we will head to Maruyama Park, one of the most popular places for cherry blossom viewing in Kyoto.

Lastly, we will tour Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district. It is filled with various restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where maiko and geisha entertain their guests.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
8 hours Hotel
The day begins with a green tea ceremony and a meet- and-greet with maiko. A maiko is simply an apprentice geisha. You will have photo-taking opportunities and a chance to interact with the maiko.

Afterwards, make your way to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The shrine is famous for its thousands of stunning vermilion torii gates that are lined along a 4 km long tunnel, which was even featured in the film Memoirs of a Geisha. This complex wraps around a bamboo wilderness that consists of mountains, streams and ponds, making it the perfect backdrop for a scenic hike.

We will then travel to Nara and to the Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in Japan. The temple also houses one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha at 16.3 meters high. Nearby, explore the surrounding Deer Park, filled with over 1,000 sika deer.

Our final stop of the day will be in Osaka. We will spend some time in Dotonbori, a popular shopping, entertainment and food district. It is known for the hundreds of neon and mechanized signs that line its streets. Our group will also stop by Shinasaibashi, one of Osaka's oldest shopping destinations.

Please contact AJT for hotel options.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Lunch
1 hours
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Osaka Kansai Airport can be reached on foot in a three minutes.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
  • 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners
  • 5 nights' Western-style and 1 night Japanese-style accommodation
  • Arrival pickup at Narita Airport in Tokyo
  • Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
  • Gratuities
  • All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary
what's excluded
  • International airfares
  • Meals that are not included in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
  • Personal expenses, such as phone calls and laundry bills
  • Anything not mentioned in the 'What's Included' section of the itinerary
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Payment

A deposit of 20% is required when booking this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 45 days prior departure. For any bookings within 45 days of departure, the full tour amount will be charged upon booking.

Travel Insurance

We advise to take out Travel Insurance to cover for any unforeseen circumstances. Bookmundi recommends World Nomads' travel insurance.

Cancellation20% Deposit payable upfront. Remaining balance payable 45 days prior to trip departure. Free cancellation up to 45 days prior departure, but the 20% deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applicable within 45 days of departure.
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How our Travel Expert Service Works
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The Advantages of Bookmundi
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