Japan in Bloom

Experience the Essence of Cherry Blossom Season

  • Date

    MARCH 25-APRIL 4, 2019 | MON / THU – 11 DAYS

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan

Overview

Beautiful pink flowers capture the attention of visitors and locals alike. Covering Japan in soft, colorful splendor, it’s an experience that is nothing short of magical. Discover the essence of Japan from the cultural depths to the heights of Mount Fuji. Immerse yourself into the blooming flowers and history of the Imperial Palace Garden, Osaka Castle, and Temple of the Great Buddha. Numerous shrines and temples fascinate architecture, history, and spiritual fans alike. Travel at 200 mph on a bullet train and take in the sites of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and park – a reminder of the hope for world peace.

Over your days of exploring, browse along some of the oldest shopping streets, take time out and enjoy the healing and restful waters of Kaga Onsen, or hot springs, and focus your intentions and attention at a traditional tea ceremony and Zen mediation session. Allowing for a greater appreciation of cultural wonders, these gardens, trees, sacred mountains, shrines, and temples invite you to delve into the complex, historical, and beautiful land of Japan.

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

  • Imperial Palace Gardens in Tokyo
  • Mount Fuji
  • Osaka Castle
  • Temple of The Great Buddha
  • Shinto Shrine
  • Healing waters of Kaga Onsen hot springs
  • Travel on the Bullet train to Hiroshima
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park
  • Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Roundtrip commercial air from Indianapolis to Tokyo, Japan and from Osaka, Japan
  • Escorted
  • 9 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 8 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Ground Transportation
  • Hotel baggage handling

NOTE:

PASSPORT REQUIREMENT!

A passport is required to travel to this destination and must be valid for at least six months after your return.

This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required

Itinerary

Mon, Mar 25: Depart Indianapolis on flights to Tokyo, Japan. Cross the International Date Line.

Tue, Mar 26: Arrive in Tokyo in the late afternoon or early evening. A local guide will introduce you to the city during the transfer to your hotel. This evening, join the group for dinner in the hotel restaurant. (Meal: Dinner)

Wed, Mar 27: A full day of guided Tokyo sightseeing begins after breakfast. Stroll through 52 acres of flowering trees, gardens, and castle remnants in the Imperial Palace East Garden. Make a wish and set your sights on the colorful and famous 6th century Asakusa Sensoji Temple where a tiny Goddess of Mercy statue is enshrined but not seen. Before reaching the temple, browse Nakamise one of the oldest shopping streets. Focus your intentions during a traditional “cha no yu” or tea ceremony, an integral part of Japanese history dating back to the 16th century, incorporating elements of silence, calming the mind, and regulating the breathing. Take in the view of Ginza, Tokyo Bay, Yokohama, and Mount Fuji atop the observation deck on the Tokyo Tower, reaching 1,092 feet in the air. A special Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant is included prior to returning to the hotel this evening. (B,L,D)

Thu, Mar 28: Today experience Mount Fuji on a tour in Japan’s Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park west of Tokyo Begin learning about one of Japan’s sacred mountains and volcano standing 12,388 feet tall at the Yamanashi Fuji Visitor Center. Ascend to the 5th Station and soak in the scenery of the Fuji Five Lakes, Southern Alps, Northern Alps, Mt. Yatsugatake, and distant Oku Chichibu Mountains. Gaze into the mesmerizing reflection of Mount Fuji on a Lake Ashi Cruise and ride a cable car just over a mile for stunning panoramic views on the Mount Komagatake Ropeway. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. (B,L)

Fri, Mar 29: Spend the day sightseeing in Kamakura and this seaside city’s temples. Kotokuin Temple, also known as Great Buddha, is the second largest Buddhist image and a National Treasure. Unlike the tiny gold Goddess of Mercy, the Hase Kannon Temple honors her in a 27. 5 feet tall carved wooden sculpture. Learn about the history, traditional architecture, gardens, and ponds surrounding one of the most popular and important shrines, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Peruse the traditional Komachi-dorishopping street and enjoy cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and souvenir shops. Your evening is free to continue shopping and have dinner on your own. (B,L)

Sat, Mar 30: A half day tour, takes you to a Shinto Shrine and a well-known shopping area, Shibuya/Harajuku/Omotesando. Surrounded by 100,000 trees donated from around Japan and overseas, this forest is home to the Meiji Shrine honoring the divine souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Emperor Shoken the great-grandparents of the present emperor. Then you’re on your way to Kanazawa via Shinkansen Express train and transfer to Kaga Onsen where traditional style accommodations and hot springs await you. Relax, see the sights, then gather as a group for dinner. (B,L,D)

Sun Mar 31: Spend a full day exploring Kanazawa. Start in Kenrokuen Garden, once a private garden of the Maeda family and Kanazawa Castle rulers, it encompasses around 25 acres and is now one of the three most beautiful and picturesque gardens in Japan. Meandering the paths through thousands of trees and plants, you can learn about the long history and creation of the enchanting ponds, bridges, and gardens. Travel back into feudal times down Higashi-Chaya street, the Geisha District of Kanazawa, where traditional, well-preserved wooden latticed homes line the narrow streets and where you’ll see first-hand the art of gold leafing. Still home to many residents, Higashichayagai is designated by the government as an important historical area of yesteryear. Jump back into the future on an express train to Kyoto (or Osaka) and check in to your hotel. (B,L,D).

Mon, Apr 1: Today, two temples on the UNESCO’S World Heritage List are visited. Originally from the Muromachi period, the Kinkakuji is known as the Golden Pavilion. Covered in gold leaf and surrounded in beautiful gardens, you understand why it has that name. The second Zen Buddhist temple visited is Ryoanji and its famous Zen garden. Large rocks and pebbles create a calm, restful state for you to learn and practice the art of meditation. Next, walk the torii path and visit the god of rice at the Fushimi Inari shrine where current merchants still come to pray for success. (B,L,D)

Tue, Apr 2: Boarding the bullet train Shinkansen Express to Hiroshima takes you back to August 6, 1945. Visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park is a powerful and moving reminder of the destruction left by the atomic bomb and hope for world peace. Journey to Miyajima island and be welcomed by the “floating” torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine, established in 593, the first year of the reign of the Empress Suiko. After returning to Kyoto/Osaka, enjoy an evening of free time. (B,L)

Wed, Apr 3: Osaka castle, cherry trees, moats, and gardens greet you this morning. Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered the construction of this castle to be the strongest and most beautiful in the land. Aboard the Aqua Liner water bus, floating down the Ogawa Riverallows for historic spots and natural scenery. Lunch is a treat with an Osaka traditional pancake or Okonomiyaki. Other delights will be had while considering the many options in the Dotonbori shopping area where its unofficial motto is “cheap but delicious.” (B,L,D)

Thu, Apr 4: Transfer to Kansai International Airport in Osaka and return home. (B)

Hotel

Hotel information coming soon.

PRICING

  • Package with Air
  • Double P/P – $8,169
  • Single – $9,999
  • Land Only
  • Double P/P – $6,959
  • Single – $8,789

Documents Required: Valid Passport

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