Japan in Bloom

Experience the Essence of Cherry Blossom Season

  • Date

    March 30-April 9, 2020 | Mon / Thu – 11 Days

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan

Overview

Discover the essence of Japan from the cultural depths to the heights of Mount Fuji during cherry blossom season. Tour vibrant, modern cities as well as tranquil spiritual hideaways shrouded in beautiful flowering landscapes, ancient history, and architecture. See the Imperial Palace Gardens in Tokyo, and visit Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Marvel at stunning Osaka Castle, and cruise the Okawa River past numerous cherry blossom sites. Stand in awe of the colossal Great Buddha, and discover famous sacred shrines and temples with fascinating architecture and intriguing gardens. Rest in the healing, peaceful waters of Kaga Onsen and participate in a Zen meditation, allowing for a greater appreciation of cultural wonders.  Admire the views from the Tokyo Tower, learn the art of making sushi, sip traditional sake, and attend a hands-on gold leafing workshop. Listen to the sounds of a Maiko playing her shamisen while Japan slowly lures you into its eclectic culture and charm, revealing incredible experiences at every turn.

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

  • Imperial Palace Gardens in Tokyo
  • Mount Fuji and Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
  • Ride the Mount Komagatake Ropeway for stunning panoramic views of Osaka Castle
  • The Great Buddha of Kamakura at Kotoku-in Temple
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Healing waters of Kaga Onsen hot springs
  • Travel on the bullet train to Hiroshima
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park
  • Traditional dinner with Maiko experience

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 covers areas of higher altitudes and includes activities where a considerable amount of walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required. Some of the most unique sightseeing can be restrictive to motorcoaches, especially in historic areas.

Mon, Mar 30: Depart Indianapolis on flights to Tokyo, Japan.

Tue, Mar 31: Arrive in Tokyo, Japan in the late afternoon or early evening. A local guide will introduce you to the city during the transfer to the Hotel New Otani Garden Tower, your home for the next four nights. This popular hotel is an international favorite and feels like a city inside of a hotel. You’ll enjoy their cafes, shops and boutiques, and endless amenities, but probably most of all, the spectacular 400-year-old, four-hectare garden with ponds, waterfalls, and bamboo groves. This evening, join the group for a Welcome Dinner in the hotel’s revolving roof top restaurant, The Sky. (Meal: Dinner)

Wed, Apr 1: A full day of guided Tokyo sightseeing begins after breakfast. Stroll through flowering trees, gardens, and castle remnants in the Imperial Palace East Garden. See the 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. Lunch will be a fun, hands-on culinary experience with a local Sushi chef, a position that requires years of training and apprenticeship in Japan. 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 dinner at a local restaurant is included prior to returning to the hotel. (B,L,D)

Thu, Apr 2: 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, Yatsugatake Mountains, and distant Okuchichibu Mountains. 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, Apr 3: Spend the day sightseeing in Kamakura and this seaside city’s temples. Kotoku-in Temple, also known as Great Buddha, due to the 37-foot, 121-ton copper statue of Amida Buddha, which is one of the most famous icons of Japan and considered 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, and gardens surrounding these important shrines. Peruse the traditional Komachi-dori shopping street and enjoy cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and souvenir shops. Your evening is free and dinner is on your own. (B,L)

Sat, Apr 4: A half day tour takes you to a Shinto shrine surrounded by a forest of 100,000 trees donated from around Japan, and home to the Meiji Shrine honoring the Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress 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. Relax, see the sights, then gather as a group for dinner. (B,L,D)

Sun, Apr 5: Spend a full day exploring Kanazawa. Start in Kenrokuen Garden, once a private garden of the Maeda family and Kanazawa Castle rulers, it 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 learn first-hand the art of gold leafing. Still home to many residents, this neighborhood is designated by the government as an important historical area of yesteryear. Jump back into the future on an express train to Kyoto and check in to your hotel, the posh Hotel Granvia Kyoto, located just above the station. (B,L,D)

Mon, Apr 6: 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 by beautiful gardens, you’ll understand why it has that name. Have a traditional monk’s lunch and Zen meditation experience. 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. Have fun learning about the process of how sake is made at Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum, and enjoy the samples. Tonight’s dinner will be accompanied by traditional Meiko arrangement; dancing and playing the folkloric shamisen. (B,L,D)

Tue, Apr 7: 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. Have dinner as a group prior to returning to Kyoto. (B,L,D)

Wed, Apr 8: 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 River allows for views of historic spots and natural scenery. Lunch is an experience, making your own Osaka traditional pancakes or Okonomiyaki. Consider topping off lunch with a treat in the Dotonbori shopping area where its unofficial motto is “cheap but delicious.” A Farewell Dinner of Kyoto and Western fusion cuisine will be the perfect send off. (B,L,D)

Thu, Apr 9: Transfer to Kansai International Airport in Osaka and return home. (B)

Hotel New Otani Garden Tower, Tokyo. Tokyo’s most established property, known to most as a city inside of a hotel with a spectacular 400-year-old, four-hectare garden with ponds, waterfalls, and bamboo groves. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker • mini bar refrigerator • Japanese Yukata bathrobes and slippers • restaurants • bars/lounges • shops/boutiques • fitness center • outdoor pool • indoor pool • spa.

Rurikoh, Yamashiro Onsen. Rurikoh is an onsen ryokan (traditional Japanese inn featuring communal baths), well-known for its charming environment and proximity to great restaurants and attractions. Highlights: Japanese Yukata bathrobes and slippers • complimentary WiFi • restaurant • bar/lounge • communal baths • spa.

Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Kyoto. Ideally located just above Kyoto Station, this luxury hotel features over 100 displayed works of art, spacious rooms with chic decor, and modern facilities. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea kettle • mini bar refrigerator • complimentary WiFi • restaurants • indoor swimming pool and fitness center (fees may apply).

Pricing

  • Package with Air
  • Double P/P – $8,859
  • Single – $10,699
  • Land Only
  • Double P/P – $7,429
  • Single – $9,269

Documents Required: Valid Passport

Reserve Your Spot

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