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Cherry Blossom Tour
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Mixed Groups,Japan Cherry Blossom,Cultural,Cherry Blossom

12 Days / 11 Nights Trip to Japan

Cherry Blossom Tour

Welcome to a country that fuses the ultra-modern and traditional with ease, a nation that blends the elegance of kimonos and the speed of bullet trains with verve.
Explore a country that will surprise, amaze, delight and completely captivate you in turn. Japan is the  electrifying rush of a crowded street in Tokyo at night. It is  the delicate taste of freshly made sushi. It’s the view of indomitable Mt. Fuji surrounded by quiet lakes. And it’s the exquisite elegance of the everyday – Shinto temples, kimono sashes, and a gracefully poured cup of tea.
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  • Duration
    13 Days
  • Starting From
    $5,151
    /person
    Twin sharing
  • Travel Operator
    Dragonfly Tours
  • Flights
    Not Included
    Flight booking assistance will be provided.

Trip highlights

Cherry Blossom season: a once-in-a-lifetime experience
Highlight #1
Cherry Blossom season: a once-in-a-lifetime experience
This world-famous spectacle is ONLY seen in March-April. See Kyoto, Tokyo + Osaka covered with Cherry Blossom trees, and enjoy all the celebrations with locals!
Kyoto takes you back in time
Highlight #2
Kyoto takes you back in time
Japan's ancient and imperial capital is famous for its elegant temples, tea gardens and markets.
Stay in a ryokan
Highlight #3
Stay in a ryokan
When in Japan, live like the Japanese do. In a traditional ryokan, wear a traditional robe, relax with a cup of tea, and sleep on a futon.
Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial museum
Highlight #4
Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial museum
Visit the incredibly moving memorial to the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack of 1945
Take part in an elegant tea ceremony
Highlight #5
Take part in an elegant tea ceremony
Could there be anything more quintessentially Japanese?
Video

There’s simply no place like Japan (Cherry Blossom Special)

Futuristic cities, quiet bamboo forests, kimonos, sushi, Mt. Fuji and more will guarantee you an unforgettable time. Take a look at this video by Media Hog Productions for a glimpse of what’s in store.

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Itinerary

Tokyo

Day 1 of the Cherry Blossom tour starts in the evening when the group meets up and goes to a local restaurant in Shinjuku. This is an ideal opportunity for everyone to get to know each other and begin their excursion into the world of Japanese food.

Afterwards you take a walk around Shinjuku and the neighbouring area of Kabukicho, the renowned entertainment districts dazzling with neon. These areas are both celebrated and notorious for providing the best of contemporary Japanese urban culture along with big servings of hedonism. These are great areas for people watching, exploring, and observing the city at play.

Tokyo

Today we make our way to Asakusa, a part of the city steeped in the atmosphere of Edo Japan and, once upon a time, the location of the first temple in what is now called Tokyo. Asakusa is also known as the old gateway to the Yoshiwara, “the Floating World”, formerly an area of entertainment and carnal indulgences. Take some time here to browse the market stalls and explore the side streets where the real treasures are to be found.

After a bite for lunch, you catch a boat along the Sumida River towards Tokyo Bay, from which the water-level perspective provides a new angle on the city. At this time of the year you have the spectacle of the river banks lined with hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties — people will be sitting out with friends and elaborate picnics, possibly singing with portable karaoke machines, or simply strolling and absorbing the atmosphere.

You disembark at the Hama-Rikyu landscape gardens. In days of yore, shogun would come here to relax, hunt and entertain guests from Japan’s elite.

On the way back to Shinjuku you have the opportunity to go to Shibuya to finish the day. This is a bustling shopping area whose centrepiece is the much-filmed Hachiko Square scramble junction, which is engulfed whenever the lights change by seeming thousands of people, all apparently intent on a pileup. You can avoid the crush by watching the spectacle from a coffee shop overlooking the junction.

Tokyo

This morning you go to Meiji Shrine at Harajuku the area also famous for Takeshita Street and Yoyogi Park. Here, hidden away in the forest is one of the most prestigious shrines in the city, home to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and consort.  Your guide will explain about the indigenous religion of Japan, Shintoism and the differences to Buddhism which arrived on the shores in the 6th century.  Meiji Shrine is also popular for weddings and visitors can often see processions in traditional dress. 

For lunch we go to the famous foodie’s must-see of Tsukiji Fish Market. In autumn 2018 the wholesale market moved from Tsukiji to Toyosu on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay after years of dispute and setbacks.  The outer market thankfully remains more or less the same as it always was with crowded stalls selling fish, meat, vegetables, knives and tools. There are many restaurants in the area selling some of the best sashimi - the perfect location for lunch!

In the afternoon hop on the subway to the Imperial East Palace Gardens near Tokyo station.  The site is where Edo Castle once stood - the center of power during the latter part of feudal age (Edo era) finally drawing to an end in 1868.  Now only the foundations and some of the defenses of the castle remain, but it’s also famous for having 43 varieties of cherry tree and wide open spaces for strolling and relaxing.

Hakone

This morning you take the “Romance Car” train from Shinjuku to Hakone and the national park neighbouring Mt. Fuji. The region of Hakone is home to many first-rate museums featuring works by the world’s most renowned artists. Your tour leader will take you to the Open Air Museum riding the switch-back train up through the mountains, a beautiful backdrop for art featuring pieces by Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and many Japanese artists.  Alternatively we can give you directions and help you get to one of the many other fantastic museums in the area, explore the town, or soak the day away relaxing in hot springs.

In Hakone we will stay at a traditional ryokan, (Japanese inn) with spacious suites that comprise a bedroom, a tatami (straw mat flooring) room, and a private bath on the balcony. There are also communal onsen (natural hot spring bath), both indoors and outdoors, where you can relax in natural hot spring water. (Male and female baths are separate). The gourmet, dinner which is included, is a traditional Japanese meal designed to highlight the foods of the season. Afterwards take in the entrancing views from the roof terrace.

Hakone

This day is a lot of fun and begins with a scenic trip on the switchback train up the mountain to Gora. A further ascent on a cable car allows superb views of Mt. Fuji, with its snow-capped peak and a sea of pink blossom at its base. At the top here you can eat the famous black eggs cooked in the volcanic waters, each of which is said to lengthen your life by seven years. They are a popular buy. 

You take another cable car down the other side of the pass offering more scenic views of Mt. Fuji to the volcanic lake of Ashiko. After lunch by the lake you board a pirate ship taking you across the water to the site of the sekisho, the reconstruction of the old Tokaido checkpoint. There were many such highway checkpoints during the feudal times, but this one was the most feared. You learn about its history and its significance before walking along a stretch of the original Tokaido highway called the Cedar Avenue lined by 400-year-old cedar trees. The trees, planted by order of the shogun, protected travellers from the icy winds and the snows of the winter, and the intense sun during the summer months.

Later, tired feet can be rejuvenated in one of the region’s excellent onsen.

Kyoto

You take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to the heart of Japan’s cultural legacy, Kyoto.

We have tickets for the Miyako Odori reserved for this evening. The event dates back to 1872 featuring geiko and maiko of Gion in a colourful and mesmerizing series of dances. After arriving in Kyoto and checking in, you have some time to freshen up before going to explore the Gion district prior to the show.

Kyoto

Today you visit three of the best sightseeing spots in Kyoto, each of which enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status. You start with the classical Zen Garden of Ryoanji, perhaps the most famous of these creations that define the Japanese aesthetic of simple, natural elegance.

Not far from Ryoanji is the equally famous Golden Pavilion of Kinkakuji, casting its reflection on the shimmering lake it sits beside. This is without doubt one of the most beautiful scenes in the country.

After lunch you go to Nijo Castle, which was built as a show of power and prestige by the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1603. This beautiful structure is renowned for its elaborate decorations and “nightingale” flooring which “sings” when you walk on it, making the presence of all, including potential assassins, known.

Kyoto

This is a free day set aside for shopping, relaxing and exploring. There is so much to do in Kyoto and the surrounding area. Your tour leader will offer plenty of suggestions and let you in on a few local secrets to help you make the most of your day.

Perhaps you would like to attend a workshop for one of the following:

    Taiko (traditional drumming)
    Ikebana (flower arranging)
    Wearing a kimono
    Cooking class at a local home
    Sake tasting
    Shodo (Calligraphy)
    Paper craft with Washi paper

If interested, please let us know in advance and we’ll get it arranged for you!

This day is also an opportunity to take a trip to one of the neighbouring cities: Nara or Kobe. Nara is another UNESCO trove and a former capital of Japan that predates even Kyoto. Kobe is a fashionable and affluent city with a cosmopolitan tone, derived from its history as one of the first places to admit foreign residents when Japan opened its Chrysanthemum Curtain in the 19th century.

Kyoto

Visit the area of Higashiyama (Eastern Mountains) this morning, home to one of Japan’s most popular temples, Kiyomizudera. This temple is one of the many UNESCO monuments in Kyoto and you find it perched on a mountainside rich in cherry blossom. The temple has stood on stilts for 1200 years and the feat of its construction is made the more remarkable for not using a single nail in its huge frame. People come here from around the world to wish for anything from finding a partner to passing an exam.

From Kiyomizudera you walk through the old, winding cobbled streets to Kodaiji with its mausoleum of the infamous warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  As one of the most influential and feared samurai from the civil wars of the 1500’s, Hideyoshi’s mark has been left in Kyoto and in almost all aspects of the country, from tax to roads, from the caste system to the tea ceremony of which he was a huge fan.  He brought it to the masses holding huge public tea ceremonies and was also a close colleague to the tea master Sen no Rikyu who he later had killed.  It’s only fitting that it is here that you will enjoy the tea ceremony. We’ve all seen this mysterious and beautiful practice in films and photos and read about it in books. Today is your chance to experience it for yourself.

From one famous local beverage to another - today you’ll finish off by visiting the Kinshi Masamune Sake Distillery Museum. 

Traditionally in this area in central Kyoto there were a lot of sake distilleries, as production increased and more space was required for the modern machines of mass production the distilleries moved, many to Fushimi, just south of the city. Craft beer is now made on the premises.  Here you can see and look around the machiya (traditional town house) facing the street where the business was done while in the back the sake production took place drawing spring water from a well – a key ingredient to the process.  You see the well, buildings, tools of the trade, and a short video on the procedure before sampling some of the produce.

Hiroshima

Today you head by bullet train to Hiroshima. Visits to the Peace Park, dome, memorials and museum are moving and take us closer to an understanding of a terrible moment in history. The modern city however is attractive and thriving, offering an intriguing variety of restaurants and cafes.

Tokyo

After spending the night in Hiroshima you take a short trip to another of Japan’s signature sites: Miyajima, Itsukushima shrine and its famous “floating” torii (shrine gate). Both the shrine and the torii are built in a small bay so when the tide is in, both appear to be floating on the water. The views of the shrine and the gate on the water are enchanting, as are the performances of noh on the adjacent stage. Itsukushima is considered to be one of the three most beautiful sights in Japan and enjoys World Heritage status.

You return to Tokyo by bullet train to conclude the tour. On the way you pass Himeji Castle, which re-opened to the public in spring 2015 after five years of extensive renovations. Rather than heading straight back to Tokyo, feel free to break away from the group to visit the castle and its extensive grounds.

Later, why not get together for an end of tour sayonara party in the evening.

End of Tour

This is the last day of the tour and there is no itinerary set. Some guests head to the airport for their departing flight, but if you wish to stay a few extra days Dragonfly Tours is happy to help you with the arrangements!

Inclusions

 All accommodation (11 nights)

 The support of your guide for the entirety of the tour, our guides are government licenced English speaking Japanese.

 All entrance fees while with the guide to temples, shrines and museums as stated in the itinerary. (Additional optional entrance fees at personal expense)

 All city to city transportation including the Shinkansen bullet train

 All local transportation (subways / city buses / boats / taxis) is covered while following the itinerary (any transportation not covered by your rail pass while on the free day or during private time such as in the evenings is at own expense)

 Suica card - An electronic travel card for your convenience (saves fumbling around with tickets especially while in Tokyo!)

 Meet & greet at the airport in Tokyo (either Narita or Haneda) on arrival and transfer (guided) to the tour hotel in the city up to one week in advance

 Tickets for airport transfer (non-guided) at the end of the tour from the tour hotel to the airport (either Haneda or Narita)

 Sumida River Cruise in Tokyo

 First Class Tickets on Pirate Ship in Hakone

 Miyako Odori (Geisha Dance) Show Tickets

 Authentic Tea Ceremony at a tea house in Kyoto

 Baggage forwarding for one bag / case per person, from Tokyo to Kyoto, and Kyoto to Tokyo

 Breakfast every morning

 Group meal on Day 1 in Tokyo (Alcoholic drinks included!)

 Dinners (Traditional Teishoku) on Days 4 and 5 at Hakone

 Tour Info-Pack

 100% payment protection through the TTA (our membership number is U6165)

Not Included

 Additional 5% GST

 Meals, except for the ones mentioned above

 Any coin lockers that you may use

 Travel Insurance. You must take out travel insurance before travelling to Japan, we suggest this is done soon after a booking has been made.

 Flights to and from Japan!

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Dates and prices

Start date

26 Mar 2021

End date

07 Apr 2021

6+ Spots left

13 Days / 12 Nights

$5,821

$5,151

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

Start date

28 Mar 2021

End date

09 Apr 2021

6+ Spots left

13 Days / 12 Nights

$5,975

$5,151

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

Frequently asked questions

Byond Travel is Asia's largest discovery and booking platform for expert-led group tours in over 50 countries. We boast 10,000+ tours by verified experts that offer unique and memorable experiences. We curate expert advice and recommendations from a community of 100k+ travellers, and bring together local operators who offer these services, making the booking of experiences comparable, fast and easy.

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A comprehensive list of inclusions and exclusions is mentioned on each trip page, but across all our trips, we have these in common: unique experiences, handpicked local experts, comfortable accommodation, and a trip leader who’s there to assist you around the clock.

No. We don't include flights and visa costs in our prices unless specified. We, however, will put you in touch with our partners who can help you.

Our travellers are friendly and open-minded. They come from countries all around the world. At the end of your trip with our multicultural groups, you will return with new friends, memorable experiences and incredible stories.

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Yes, you can customize your trips. We help organize solo journeys that are highly personalized.

Our travellers come from all over the world. From India, Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Calcutta are represented the most.

We believe the early-bird catches the best travel worm :) The early-bird discounts are valid for the first few spots on the group and are not time sensitive. Your travel designer will let you know about the number of spots available.

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Your safety is our number one priority and we design our travel journeys keeping this in mind. We collaborate with tourism boards and there will always be access to emergency contacts and medical support throughout the trip.

Requirement of visas whilst travelling depends on your nationality. You are responsible entirely, for obtaining all the documents that you’re required to produce during your vacation. We will provide you with the visa documents related to your booking.

Visas take varying periods of time – sometimes several weeks – to obtain. Do ensure that you plan an experience with us knowing that you’ll have your documentation under control. Failure to obtain visas could cause delays and cancellation that could cost you unnecessary additional expenses and inconvenience, so do plan ahead.

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Byond eTravel & Entertainment Private Limited 164, 9th Cross, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bangalore - 560 038

If you have any queries regarding our trips, please email support@byond.travel or call us on +91 96061 73059

If you are from the press or want to talk to us about partnerships, please email vikram@byond.travel or rishi@byond.travel.

This Trip Is Operated By Dragonfly Tours

Welcome to Dragonfly Tours Japan, where you will find enthralling holidays and tours in Japan brought to you by guides who are passionate about their country and want to share it with you.  In small groups (most of our Japan tours have a maximum of 8-10 people) and with a flexible schedule our escorted tours will show you the best of Japan whilst also giving you the freedom to explore this magical country by yourself.  We have tours throughout the year including incredible last minute Autumn tours to Japan a brilliant winter tour in Japan and fabulous Japan tours in spring 2020.

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