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Japan Cherry Blossom Odyssey 2023

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,449

FIRST-CLASS | SMALL GROUP TOURING: Travel to Japan during the famous cherry blossom season and enjoy special blossom viewing experiences only offered by Goway. This is a one-of-a-kind trip with limited space available.


Japan’s cherry blossom season is one of Asia’s hottest travel tickets, with accommodation and tours usually booked out months in advance. 2023 offers you the rare chance to take in this only-in-Japan experience on a 12-day first-class small-group tour. Spaces are limited, so don’t miss your chance to see the blossoms in full bloom while enjoying the best of Japan.

Arrive in Osaka for three nights, with day trips to Nara’s Mount Yoshino, and Hiroshima. The latter includes a visit to Miyajima Island and the Itsukushima Shrine, famous for its ‘floating’ torii gate. The rebirth of the blossoms takes on a particular poignancy at Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Dome, in the centre of Hiroshima.

Transfer to Kyoto to see Japan’s most famous temples and shrines framed with dazzling spring colour. Take in the view from Kiyomizu-dera, and see the illuminated blossoms of Heian Shrine and Maruyama Park at night. Your stay here also includes visits to Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, Arashiyama, best known for its evocative bamboo grove, and Fushimi Inari Shrine, where thousands of orange torii gates form a circuit on the mountainside.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Japan without an onsen soak. Stay a night at Kaga Onsen, where you can bathe, relax, and reflect on your discoveries so far. Have another long bath in the morning before a late departure takes you to Kanazawa, one of Japan’s prettiest towns. You’ll explore Kanazawa castle and the Higashi Chawa area, famous for its tea houses and geisha culture.

Finally, arrive in Japan’s megacity, Tokyo for sightseeing and cultural discovery. Begin with a full day exploring like a local at Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine, the Harajuku and Omotesando fashion districts, serene Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple, and Nezu shrine. The following day, head out of town to Hakone, a hot spring resort with stunning views of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji. Another day in Tokyo invites you to explore what remains of the Tsukiji market. The bulk of the once-overworked fish market has moved to a new facility, but fantastic eateries and shops remain. Learn to make your own sushi creations the authentic way, then enjoy a farewell dinner in neon-lit Shinjuku before you depart.


 

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Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,449

Itinerary View Trip Map View Trip Special

Day 1

Arrive Osaka

Arrive at Kansai or Itami airport and transfer to your hotel in central Osaka. The remainder of the day is free to unpack and recover from your flight.

Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Monterey Grasmere

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Location View map
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    Monterey Grasmere



    This hotel has an excellent location and offers good value for a hotel of this category with plenty of restaurants and shops in the surrounding area. (0109YY) The hotel is located in the heart of the entertainment district, Osaka Minami area. It is a few …

    This hotel has an excellent location and offers good value for a hotel of this
    category with plenty of restaurants and shops in the surrounding area. (0109YY) The hotel is located in the heart of the entertainment district, Osaka Minami
    area. It is a few minuets walk from the nearest stations (Nankai, Kintetsu and
    Metro), amidst plenty restaurants, shops, bars and theatres. It is
    approximately one hour drive from Kansai International Airport or 5 minutes
    drive by taxi from Nankai Namba Station, where has easy access to Kansai
    International airport by Express train. The rooms are modern in style with elegant condition and warm tones. Hotels
    offers high-speed Internet access for all rooms.

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Day 2

Full Day Mt. Yoshino Cherry Blossom Viewing

Mt. Yoshino in Nara prefecture is one of the most famous places to see cherry blossoms with over 30,000 cherry trees of various varieties planted there. The cherry blossom trees are planted in layers up the mountain and look like a sea of pink and white flowers during the blossom season. Take a cable car up the mountain and then walk along the blossom-lined streets. Tonight we have a group welcome dinner in Osaka.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Full Day Miyajima Island and Hiroshima

Take a morning bullet train from Osaka to Hiroshima. First, we will visit Miyajima Island to walk around the island and visit Itsukushima Shrine. The name Itsukushima literally means 'island of worship' and from ancient times the island itself was worshiped as a god. After exploring Miyajima, travel back to Hiroshima to visit Peace Memorial Park and Museum. See the Atomic Bomb Dome and other landmarks in the park. For lunch, our guide will take you to a local Okonomiyaki restaurant. Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake) is the most famous regional food and is known as Hiroshima's soul food. Return to Osaka to overnight.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 4

Osaka to Kyoto

This morning we take a stroll in the Dontonbori district, a pedestrian-only restaurant and entertainment street in Osaka's boisterous Namba district. Dotonbori is known as a food paradise throughout Japan. You'll have the chance to sample some food if you like, including the famous and ubiquitous takoyaki (commonly known as 'octopus dumplings') and kushikatsu (skewered meats and vegetables). We'll have lunch in this region and then we take a short train ride from Osaka to Kyoto. In the late afternoon, we begin a Kyoto tour starting with a visit to Kiyomizudera, one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. As the sun begins to set we walk along the Gion, the geisha district. Then we have a very special evening visiting Maruyama Park and Heian Shrine during the nighttime cherry blossom illumination event. The cherry trees and buildings are lit up providing a mesmerizing view.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo

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    Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo



    Located in Kyoto, Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo is close to Rokakkudo Temple, Nijo Castle, and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Also nearby are Kiyomizu Temple and Higashi Honganji Temple. Dining options at this Kyoto hotel include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. There are 278 air-conditioned …

    Located in Kyoto, Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo is close to Rokakkudo Temple, Nijo Castle, and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Also nearby are Kiyomizu Temple and Higashi Honganji Temple. Dining options at this Kyoto hotel include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. There are 278 air-conditioned guestrooms at Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

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Day 5

Kyoto

Today we head to the northwest part of the city to visit Kinkakuji, the golden pavilion. You'll quickly see why this jewel set into the northern hills is one of the most visited sites in Japan. It is covered in real gold leaf and vibrant at any time of year no matter the weather. Then we travel to Arashiyama, where Kyoto's renowned bamboo forest is located. Walk along the pathway through the bamboo forest to admire the groves and capture the perfect photo. Also visit Tenryu-ji temple, one of Kyoto's main zen temples.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 6

Kyoto to Kaga Onsen

In the morning visit Fushimi Inari Shrine famous for its thousands of torii gates that line the mountain trail. The shrine complex spans over the entire Mt. Inari (233m/765ft). On your tour, you will visit the main shrine hall and proceed through the famed vermillion gate tunnel, a visually stunning experience. Then experience a matcha green tea ceremony at Kyo-machiya, a traditional townhouse in Kyoto. Afterwards take the train to Kaga Onsen, a small hot spring town. Relax in your Japanese style room and try the onsen (hot spring) baths. We will have a Japanese kaiseki style group dinner tonight.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Mori no Sumika Resort and Spa

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    Mori no Sumika Resort and Spa



    Spend some luxury time on our vast premises in Yamashiro. The guest rooms are designed for a relaxed atmosphere in natural surroundings. In addition, the guests can enjoy the seasonal changes of the garden.

    Spend some luxury time on our vast premises in Yamashiro. The guest rooms are designed for a relaxed atmosphere in natural surroundings. In addition, the guests can enjoy the seasonal changes of the garden.

    Facilities

    • Gym
    • Hot Spring Bath
    • Meeting Room
    • Pool
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

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Day 7

Kaga Onsen to Kanazawa

We have a later start this morning, so there is more time to enjoy the onsen baths. Then we take a short train ride to Kanazawa and have lunch at Omicho market. Afterwards visit Kenrokuen garden, a large Japanese landscape garden regarded as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan. We also visit Kanazawa castle and the Higashi Chaya area, home of working teahouses where geishas entertain their wealthy clients. Learn about the geisha lifestyle and have the opportunity to visit a gold leaf store, a specialty of Kanazawa.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Mystays Premier Kanazawa

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    Hotel Mystays Premier Kanazawa



    Boasting generously-sized rooms, all of which enjoy more than 30 square meters' floor space, the HOTEL MYSTAYS Kanazawa is a perfect choice for visitors to this historical city in Ishikawa Prefecture. This spacious comfort has not gone unnoticed, and our Kanazawa hotel is the proud …

    Boasting generously-sized rooms, all of which enjoy more than 30 square meters' floor space, the HOTEL MYSTAYS Kanazawa is a perfect choice for visitors to this historical city in Ishikawa Prefecture. This spacious comfort has not gone unnoticed, and our Kanazawa hotel is the proud recipient of TripAdvisor's "Certificate of Excellence" 2016.

    Ideally located, the hotel is reached in under an hour from Komatsu Airport, and taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kanazawa brings you straight to Kanazawa Station, just 5 minutes from the hotel door.

    Facilities

    • Restaurant
    • Restaurant

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Day 8

Kanazawa to Tokyo

Spend the day touring around more sites in beautiful Kanazawa. We visit the 21st Century Museum where we will tour the outside art installations. Also visit the Nagamachi district, where samurais and their families used to reside. We will enter and visit the Nomura house. We cap off our tour in Kanazawa with a special ohanami, a cherry blossom viewing picnic, one of the Japanese ways to enjoy the cherry blossoms. After our picnic we take the bullet train to Tokyo.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration4 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Metropolitan Edmont

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  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel Metropolitan Edmont


    Hotel Metropolitan Edmont has a total of 668 guest rooms in the main building and the East Wing, 14 banquet halls including the large banquet hall "Yukyu" featuring sophisticated glamor, 6 dining facilities, wedding facilities such as a chapel, Convenience store, parking lot, etc.

    Hotel Metropolitan Edmont has a total of 668 guest rooms in the main building and the East Wing, 14 banquet halls including the large banquet hall "Yukyu" featuring sophisticated glamor, 6 dining facilities, wedding facilities such as a chapel, Convenience store, parking lot, etc.

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Day 9

Tokyo

A full day in Tokyo exploring the city like a Tokyoite, by public transportation. We will visit Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine, dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. Then walk around the hip neighbourhood of Harajuku and the trendy high fashion district of Omotesando. After lunch we visit Tokyo's old town area where you can soak in the atmosphere of old Tokyo. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo's oldest temple, and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Last stop today is Nezu shrine to see the beautiful azaleas.

Meal Plan Lunch
Day 10

Full Day Hakone Excursion

Today we head out for a day trip to Hakone about 80 kilometers south west of Tokyo. Hakone is known for its famous hot spring resorts and views of iconic Mount Fuji (weather permitting). We will have a full day of activities including a boat ride around Lake Ashi, a crater lake formed by a powerful volcanic eruption nearly 3,000 years ago. As well as a cable car ride to the Owakudani valley and its boiling sulfur springs. We return to Tokyo in the evening.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 11

Tokyo

Our day starts in Tsukiji where we will explore the outer fish market with its many interesting seafood stalls. Then we gather at a local kitchen for a hands-on sushi making experience. Enjoy your own sushi creations for lunch. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Tokyo as you wish. Our guide can make some suggestions based on your interests. In the evening we visit the vibrant neon light region of Shinjuku for our farewell dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12

Depart Tokyo

Sayonara, farewell, our tour concludes today. You will be transferred to Haneda or Narita airport for your departure flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2023: April 4

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Meet and Greet on arrival in Osaka
  • Airport bus arrival and departure transfers (unguided)
  • 3 nights in first-class accommodations in Osaka
  • 2 nights in first-class accommodations in Kyoto
  • 1 night in first-class ryokan accommodation in Kaga Onsen
  • 1 night in first-class accommodation in Kanazawa
  • 4 nights in first-class accommodation in Tokyo
  • Services of a full-time tour director/guide for the duration of the trip
  • 7 Day Ordinary Japan Rail Pass
  • All other public transportation throughout the tour
  • All entrance fees for sightseeing visited
  • Breakfast daily (excluding day 1), 10 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Luggage transfer from Kyoto to Tokyo (1 piece per person)

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB JAPANWOOSA0123: JPBO
4 Apr 2023
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