The Golden Route Japan: Cherry Blossom Tour

Description

Itinerary

Day 1 Narita Airport

Welcome to Tokyo! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an “All Japan Tours” sign.

Hotel Mystays Premier Narita or similar class

Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo or similar class (NOTE 1 & 2)

NOTE 1: If you wish to stay in the center of Tokyo for the first night instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita, we can arrange for you to stay at Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included, but we will provide you directions to get to your hotel in advance.

NOTE 2: If you will be flying into Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita International Airport (NRT), we can arrange for you to stay in the center of Tokyo (Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo or similar class) instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita. In this case, airport transfer and meet- and-greet are not included, but we will provide with full instructions to get to the hotel in advance.

NOTE 3: The meet and greet is ONLY available for flights arriving in Terminal 1 & 2 after 11:00 AM. For guests arriving in Terminal 3, airport pickup is not included, but and we will provide you with directions to get to your hotel in advance.

NOTE 4 : If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.

Day 2 Tokyo (Asakusa Sensoji Temple / Ueno Park / Sushi Making Experience / Tsukiji Outer Market / Imperial Palace / Tokyo Tower)

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 after 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-related goods. Then, we will proceed to the Imperial Palace, the current residence of Japan’s Imperial Family and former site of the Edo Castle. It is surrounded by moats and stone fortifications, located 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 tour 150 meters up to the main observatory deck and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Tokyo.

Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don’t eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.

Breakfast / Lunch

Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo or similar class

Day 3 Mt Fuji, Hakone (Hakone Ropeway / Owakudani), Shinkansen Bullet Train Ride

We will 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.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

The Hamanako or similar class

Day 4 Hikone (Hikone Castle – Genkyuen Garden), Koka (Miho Museum)

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. It is also a national treasure, next to only four other castle keeps in Japan, which is the highest designation a cultural property can achieve. Visitors will 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”.

Breakfast / Lunch

Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto or similar class

Note: If Miho Museum is close, we will visit Kyoto National Museum or Sagawa Art Museum instead.

Day 5 Kyoto (Arashiyama – Tenryuji Temple Zen Garden – Sagano Bamboo Forest / Golden Pavilion / Nishijin Kimono Show / Kiyomizu Temple / Maruyama Park / Gion Geisha District)

Today, we will start our tour of Kyoto, the former capital of Japan that holds priceless historical values. We will first visit Arashiyama, known for its natural scenery and is particularly popular during the spring and fall season. Visit 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 two top floors covered entirely in 18 carat gold leaves. 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.

Breakfast / Dinner

Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto or similar class

Day 6 Kyoto (Green Tea Ceremony with Maiko Interaction / Fushimi Inari Shrine), Nara (Todaiji Temple / Deer Park), Osaka (Dotonbori – Shinsaibashi)

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. After that, 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 4km 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, where we will go 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.

Breakfast / Lunch

Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport or similar class

Hotel Elsereine Osaka or similar class (NOTE 5 & 6)

NOTE 5: If you wish to stay in the center of Osaka for the last night instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included, but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.

NOTE 6: If you will be flying out from Itami Airport (ITM) instead of Kansai International Airport (KIX), we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class) instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport. In this case, airport transfer is not included but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.

Day 7 Tour Ends

After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Osaka Kansai Airport can be reached in a three minute walk.

Breakfast

Dates & Price

2019

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City
Mon. Mar 18, 2019 Sun. Mar 24, 2019 USD $2698.00 Tokyo Osaka
Mon. Mar 25, 2019 Sun. Mar 31, 2019 USD $2698.00 Tokyo Osaka
Mon. Apr 1, 2019 Sun. Apr 7, 2019 USD $2698.00 Tokyo Osaka
Sun. Apr 7, 2019 Sat. Apr 13, 2019 USD $2698.00 Tokyo Osaka

2020

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City
Mon. Mar 23, 2020 Sun. Mar 29, 2020 USD $2698.00 Tokyo Osaka
Mon. Mar 30, 2020 Sun. Apr 5, 2020 USD $2698.00 Tokyo Osaka
Sun. Apr 5, 2020 Sat. Apr 11, 2020 USD $2698.00 Tokyo Osaka
Mon. Apr 13, 2020 Sun. Apr 19, 2020 USD $2698.00 Tokyo Osaka

Please Note:
All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours – this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.

Deposit

We require US$200 deposit per person to hold the space at time of booking and the final payment is due 2 month prior to departure

What’s included

  • 5 nights Western style and 1 night Japanese style accommodation
  • Meet and greet upon arrival at Narita Airport
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
  • Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
  • Gratuities

 Meals

  • Breakfast everyday
  • 4 lunches and 2 dinners

 Admission fees and activities

  • All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

What’s NOT included

  • International Airfares
  • Meals that are not included in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
  • Personal expenses such as telephone and laundry bills

Additional Information

Transport

Travel by private coach between destinations, hassle free baggage handling

Arrival Departure Airports

For arrivals at Narita Airport (NRT), this tour starts in Tokyo and ends in Osaka, with departures at Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX)

Meal Requests

Vegetarian or special meals can be arranged

Meet and Greet

Please note that the meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, please arrange your own hotel transfer

Get A Quote

We can make planning your tour easy – all you need to do is complete the following information. An agent consultant will get in touch with you to provide you a quote on your escorted tour. You can also call us at 281-530-4979 to speak to someone right away.