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Amazing sakura blossoming around Odawara Castle

High-quality kuroge wagyu beef with seasonal vegetables

Exclusive lunch in a little-known gem of a restaurant in Kyoto

Sakura Express

7 days

TokyoHakoneIzu NagaokaKyotoKameokaArashiyamaNaraOsaka

Kyoto-style kaiseki lunch in a traditional Japanese restaurant

Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park

Romantic train ride from Kameoka to Arashiyama

The great Todai-ji temple in all its vernal glory

Welcome to your hotel in Tokyo!
The crowded Naka-mise street leading to Senso-ji
Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park
Evening illumination of the cherry trees in Chidorigafuchi
Only the freshest sushi served in Tsukiji Fish Market!
Lake Ashi and Mt. Fuji, the prized panorama of Hakone
The old checkpoint of Hakone, an important station of the Tokaido road
Amazing sakura blossoming around Odawara Castle
A premium hotel with quality hot springs in Izu-Nagaoka
Exclusive lunch in a little-known gem of a restaurant in Kyoto
Heian Jingu, all the more beautiful in spring
A canopy of sakura along the Philosopher's Path
A traditional Japanese ryokan with hot springs in Kameoka
Romantic train ride from Kameoka to Arashiyama
Kyoto-style kaiseki lunch in a traditional Japanese restaurant
The great Todai-ji temple in all its vernal glory
High-quality kuroge wagyu beef with seasonal vegetables
Tour code: CB-04-EN
Sakura Express
Travel style: Active

7 days

TokyoHakoneIzu NagaokaKyotoKameokaArashiyamaNaraOsaka

Theme: Cherry Blossoms
Availability: From March 26 to April 10

Arrival date
    
Group size
    • From¥ 750,000 1,500,000 JPY

    • From$ 6,929 13,859 USD

    • From 6,194 12,389 EUR

    • From£ 5,538 11,076 GBP

    • From$ 10,127 20,254 AUD

    • From฿ 217,065 434,130 THB

    • FromRp 99,247,894 198,495,788 IDR

    • From¥ 568,000 1,704,000 JPY

    • From$ 5,248 15,744 USD

    • From 4,691 14,073 EUR

    • From£ 4,194 12,582 GBP

    • From$ 7,669 23,008 AUD

    • From฿ 164,391 493,172 THB

    • FromRp 75,163,738 225,491,215 IDR

    • From¥ 477,000 1,908,000 JPY

    • From$ 4,407 17,629 USD

    • From 3,940 15,758 EUR

    • From£ 3,522 14,088 GBP

    • From$ 6,441 25,763 AUD

    • From฿ 138,053 552,214 THB

    • FromRp 63,121,661 252,486,642 IDR

    • From¥ 423,000 2,115,000 JPY

    • From$ 3,908 19,541 USD

    • From 3,494 17,468 EUR

    • From£ 3,123 15,617 GBP

    • From$ 5,712 28,558 AUD

    • From฿ 122,425 612,124 THB

    • FromRp 55,975,812 279,879,061 IDR

    • From¥ 387,000 2,322,000 JPY

    • From$ 3,576 21,454 USD

    • From 3,196 19,177 EUR

    • From£ 2,857 17,145 GBP

    • From$ 5,226 31,353 AUD

    • From฿ 112,006 672,034 THB

    • FromRp 51,211,913 307,271,480 IDR

    • From¥ 371,000 2,597,000 JPY

    • From$ 3,428 23,994 USD

    • From 3,064 21,449 EUR

    • From£ 2,739 19,175 GBP

    • From$ 5,009 35,066 AUD

    • From฿ 107,375 751,624 THB

    • FromRp 49,094,625 343,662,374 IDR

    • From¥ 351,000 2,808,000 JPY

    • From$ 3,243 25,944 USD

    • From 2,899 23,191 EUR

    • From£ 2,592 20,733 GBP

    • From$ 4,739 37,915 AUD

    • From฿ 101,586 812,692 THB

    • FromRp 46,448,014 371,584,115 IDR

Overview

By far the most popular travel season in Japan, spring is a great time to be visiting the Land of Rising Sun. For travelers who look for a quick and simple trip to some of the best cherry blossom spots in Japan, we have created an exciting 7-day itinerary that brings you to Tokyo, Hakone, Odawara, Kyoto, Arashiyama, and Nara, each of which delivers different kinds of sakura views.

Tokyo brings you the beautifully lit sakura at night. Hakone is a late-bloomer with a panorama that features Mt. Fuji. Odawara presents a great view of the blossoms around a beautiful castle. Kyoto has a 2-kilometer path full of cherry trees. Arashiyama will be visited on a romantic train, which provides a flowery scenery in motion. And Nara boasts a gorgeous park with sakura and deer in the same picture.

As a whole, Sakura Express is a more compact version of our Classic Sakura tour. However, we have included unique attractions that make this tour special, such as a stay in Izu-Nagaoka or a walk in a botanical garden in Nara. If you feel that a week-long spring adventure in Japan is what you are looking for, then look no further -- the perfect itinerary is right here!

You might be also interested in

Trip name days  
Valentine Sakura Tokyo to Tokyo 7
Festive Sakura Tokyo to Tokyo 10
Classic Sakura Tokyo to Osaka 10

Overview

By far the most popular travel season in Japan, spring is a great time to be visiting the Land of Rising Sun. For travelers who look for a quick and simple trip to some of the best cherry blossom spots in Japan, we have created an exciting 7-day itinerary that brings you to Tokyo, Hakone, Odawara, Kyoto, Arashiyama, and Nara, each of which delivers different kinds of sakura views.

Tokyo brings you the beautifully lit sakura at night. Hakone is a late-bloomer with a panorama that features Mt. Fuji. Odawara presents a great view of the blossoms around a beautiful castle. Kyoto has a 2-kilometer path full of cherry trees. Arashiyama will be visited on a romantic train, which provides a flowery scenery in motion. And Nara boasts a gorgeous park with sakura and deer in the same picture.

As a whole, Sakura Express is a more compact version of our Classic Sakura tour. However, we have included unique attractions that make this tour special, such as a stay in Izu-Nagaoka or a walk in a botanical garden in Nara. If you feel that a week-long spring adventure in Japan is what you are looking for, then look no further -- the perfect itinerary is right here!

Highlights

Outline

Arrival: Narita International Airport

Day 1: Arrival in TokyoTokyo

Arrive in Tokyo. Adventure is about to start!

Day 2: Tokyo TourTokyo

Explore Tokyo, a city where sakura is beautiful day and night

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 3: Hakone and Odawara TourHakone › Izu Nagaoka

Explore Hakone and Odawara, where history meets the vibrance of spring

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 4: Kyoto TourKyoto › Kameoka

Explore Kyoto, where cherry blossoms line your path between temples

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 5: Arashiyama and Kyoto TourArashiyama › Nara

Explore Arashiyama, where flowers give color to the mountains and river

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 6: Nara TourNara › Osaka

Explore Nara, where hundreds of deer roam under the cherry trees

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 7: Leaving JapanOsaka

Leave Japan, and bring home many wonderful memories!

Meals included : Breakfast

Departure: Kansai International Airport

Hotels

What is included?

Tour Accommodation

Western hotel: 5 nights -- Japanese ryokan: 1 night

Meals

6 breakfasts -- 5 lunches -- 3 dinners

Transport

Airport pickup -- Private car: 5 days -- Bullet train: 1 time (Mishima - Kyoto)

Tour guide

Airport pickup -- Guided tour: 5 days

Included activities

Tickets for attractions and rides as defined in the itinerary, where necessary

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the tour

International flights are not included in the tour price, and should be independently arranged by the traveler. This particular itinerary starts in Tokyo and ends in Osaka. Please book a flight to either Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND), and a flight out of Kansai International Airport (KIX). It should be noted that we can arrange the included airport pickup service only if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). We recommend flights that arrive around/after noon, as you can only check into your hotel starting at 3 PM.
An English-speaking guide will accompany you on Days 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The guide will be at your service during the designated tour hours. Please note that the guide will be staying at the same hotel as you on Day 3 for logistical reasons. The guide will also pick you up at the airport if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). In the event that your flight arrives early, we can arrange a half-day tour on the day of arrival at an additional cost.
The tour price includes five nights in 3- or 4-star hotels and one night in a predesignated ryokan (Japanese-style inn). Breakfast is included for each night’s stay in a hotel, whereas both dinner and breakfast are included for every night in a ryokan unless otherwise specified in the itinerary. Lunch is provided on every guided day, but not on days of arrival or departure. Dinner outside of the pre-included ryokan meal is provided on Days 2 and 3. As you can only check into your hotel starting at 3 PM, in the event that your flight arrives early, we can arrange lunch on the day of arrival at an additional cost.
The tour price includes the service of a driver and a private car on every guided day. It also includes a scheduled bullet train transfer between Mishima and Kyoto on Day 4. The driver and car will be available only during the designated tour hours, and only for the included destinations. Please note that the driver will be staying at the same hotel as you on Day 3 for logistical reasons. Airport pickup is also included if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). In the event that your flight arrives early, we can extend the use of the private car for the purposes of lunch or a half-day tour at an additional cost. Please note that airport transfer for departure is not included.
All entrance tickets for destinations defined in the schedule are included in the tour price. Some tickets cannot be pre-booked, and it may be necessary for the guide to procure them on the spot. Please note that some attractions require strict compliance to pre-booked entrance times, and may void the booking if the schedule is not observed. As such, please complete your preparations to leave the hotel by the designated start time of the day.

You might be also interested in

Trip name days
Classic Sakura Tokyo to Osaka 10
Festive Sakura Tokyo to Tokyo 10
Valentine Sakura Tokyo to Tokyo 7

Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo

  Tokyo

Arrival: Narita International Airport

Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western hotel

Activities

The first day is a standard affair. Your guide will pick you up at the airport and assist you with preparations for the tour. A private coach will take you to your hotel in the heart of the city. After the check-in procedures are completed, you will have the rest of the day to yourselves.

Day 2: Tokyo Tour

  Tokyo
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western hotel

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Transfer to Asakusa
  • 10:00 - 11:30 Asakusa and Senso-ji
  • 11:30 - 12:00 Transfer to Ueno Park
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Ueno Park (bento lunch and hanami)
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Transfer to Odaiba
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Sightseeing around Odaiba
  • 15:00 - 15:30 Transfer to central Tokyo / Shinjuku (Mon/Fri)
  • 15:30 - 16:30 Tokyo Imperial Palace (East Garden) / Shinjuku Gyoen (Mon/Fri)
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Transfer to Tsukiji
  • 17:00 - 18:30 Sushi dinner
  • 18:30 - 19:00 Transfer to Chidorigafuchi
  • 19:00 - 19:30 Chidorigafuchi (sakura light-up)
  • 19:00 - 20:00 Return to hotel

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Bento box, to be eaten in the park
Dinner
Sushi set served in Tsukiji Fish Market

Activities

This day is designed around 3 different sakura viewing spots, each a different experience. On the first one, you will enjoy the hanami custom as the Japanese do, eating a light lunch under a cherry tree. For the second, you will visit either the East Garden of Tokyo Imperial Palace or Shinjuku Gyoen, both of which house different types of gardens that offer you great and uncompromised sakura views. Finally, you will see cherry blossoms light up during the evening at Chidorigafuchi.

The sakura appreciation will be interspersed with famous Tokyo spots along the Sumida River, Asakusa and Odaiba. You will see, among other things, the Senso-ji temple, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, a Gundam statue, and Rainbow Bridge over Tokyo Bay. You will also have an early dinner of delicious sushi at Tsukiji, the famous fish market. The best is yet to come, for you will be treated to even more marvelous sights on the next day.

Day 3: Hakone and Odawara Tour

  Hakone › Izu Nagaoka
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Sunvalley Izu-Nagaoka Ryokan

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Hakone
  • 11:00 - 11:45 Hakone Sekisho
  • 11:45 - 12:15 Onshi Hakone Park
  • 12:15 - 12:30 Transfer to restaurant
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Soba lunch
  • 14:00 - 14:30 Transfer to Odawara
  • 14:30 - 16:00 Odawara Castle
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Transfer to Izu-Nagaoka
  • 17:00 - 18:00 Hotel check-in >> free time
  • 18:00 - 19:30 Seafood dinner

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Soba (buckwheat noodles), served with clear broth and various toppings
Dinner
Seafood buffet in the hotel

Activities

Checking out of Tokyo in the morning, you will go on an excursion to Hakone and Odawara, both historically significant, but each with their own brand of sakura view. The main attraction in Hakone is its Mt. Fuji view beyond Lake Ashi, the best spot to see which is the Onshi Hakone Park. You will get a scenic panorama of incredible beauty on clear days, with mountains and the lake within one frame.

In the afternoon, you will visit Odawara Castle, presently the closest standing castle from Tokyo. This place is a popular spot for sakura viewing due to the staggering beauty of the castle rising above the pink clouds of petals. The rows of cherry trees by the moat are also an inspiring sight. Finally, you will be transferred to Izu Nagaoka. You will be staying in a premium hotel with hot springs and a great seafood dinner.

Day 4: Kyoto Tour

  Kyoto › Kameoka
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Keizankaku Ryokan

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Odawara
  • 10:00 - 12:00 Transfer to Kyoto by shinkansen
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Kyo-ryori lunch
  • 13:30 - 13:45 Transfer to Heian Jingu
  • 13:45 - 14:45 Heian Jingu
  • 14:45 - 15:00 Transfer to Ginkaku-ji
  • 15:00 - 16:30 Philosopher’s Path
  • 16:30 - 17:30 Transfer to Kameoka
  • 17:30 - 18:00 Ryokan check-in >> free time, onsen
  • 18:00 - 19:30 Sukiyaki dinner

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet in the hotel
Lunch
Kyoto-style kaiseki set, also known as Kyo-ryori
Dinner
Sukiyaki, a hot pot-esque dish featuring Tamba beef

Activities

A bullet train will take you to Kyoto, a historic city of a thousand temples. Two of them you will visit today: Heian Jingu and Ginkaku-ji. In the former, you will see budding shidare-zakura blossoms, also known as the weeping cherry. From the latter, you will take a walk on the famous Philosopher’s Path, a 2-km stretch of blooming cherry trees. A canopy of flowers will filter the sunlight along the path, creating a breathtaking scene.

Throughout the day, you will experience the classic side of Japan that Kyoto epitomizes. For lunch, you will try authentic Kyoto cuisine, delectable for not only your palates but also all your senses. In the evening, you will enjoy a stay in a true ryokan in Kameoka, a hidden gem just west of Kyoto. In this atmospheric lodging, you can enjoy good food and refreshing onsen. Get plenty of quality rest after the long walk in Kyoto!

Day 5: Arashiyama and Kyoto Tour

  Arashiyama › Nara
Breakfast / Lunch Piazza Hotel Nara Western hotel

Schedule

  • 09:30 - 10:30 Ryokan check-out >> transfer to Kameoka Station
  • 10:30 - 11:00 Sagano Romantic Train (Kameoka - Arashiyama)
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Sightseeing around Arashiyama
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Kyo-ryori lunch
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Transfer to Kyoto
  • 15:00 - 15:45 Kinkaku-ji
  • 15:45 - 17:00 Transfer to Nara >> hotel check-in

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style breakfast set
Lunch
Kyo-ryori with ingredients that accentuate the essence of four seasons

Activities

Today, you will see the highlight of the Sakura Express tour. In the morning, you will board the Sagano Romantic Train from Kameoka Station. The scenic railway runs slowly along the Hozu River, affording you an incredible view of the surrounding nature, including the rows of cherry trees and the beautiful mountains. Stopping at Arashiyama, you will then take in even more unbelievable sights, including the panorama from the Togetsukyo bridge and the bamboo grove.

After a delightful kaiseki lunch, you will return to the city of Kyoto and visit another of its iconic landmark: the golden pavilion. This temple will bedazzle you with its glittering exterior, reflected in the water along with the greens that surround it. It is also home to a less-known 600-year-old pine tree which has grown into a very peculiar shape. After this little revisit, you will bid Kyoto goodbye and leave for Nara, where you will be staying tonight.

Day 6: Nara Tour

  Nara › Osaka
Breakfast / Lunch Washington Hotel Kansai Airport Western hotel

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Nara Park
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Nara Park
  • 11:00 - 12:00 Todai-ji
  • 12:00 - 12:15 Transfer to restaurant
  • 12:15 - 13:45 Irori lunch
  • 13:45 - 14:00 Transfer to Kasuga Taisha
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Kasuga Taisha
  • 15:00 - 15:45 Manyo Botanical Garden
  • 15:45 - 17:30 Transfer to Kansai International Airport >> hotel check-in

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Irori (grilled dishes) featuring many different ingredients, including kuroge wagyu beef

Activities

You will start your day in the scenic Nara Park, where hundreds of deer roam under a forest of cherry trees. Afterward, you will visit the nearby Great Eastern Temple, Todai-ji, which houses the largest Daibutsu statue in the world, and the grand shrine Kasuga Taisha, which is known for its thousands of lanterns. You will also have authentic Japanese grill for lunch.

Your last stop is a botanical garden outside Kasuga Taisha which displays over 300 species of plants. It also has a large pond with many voracious koi fish swimming around that you can feed. This display of nature’s beauty is a fitting final attraction for this vernal adventure. At the end of the day, you will leave Nara for Kansai International Airport, and check into your hotel.

Day 7: Leaving Japan

  Osaka

Departure: Kansai International Airport

Breakfast

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet

Activities

You have completed the Sakura Express tour! We hope that you enjoyed your trip with ILJT! On the last day, you will check out of your hotel and conduct an independent transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight back home, and see you again soon!

 Tokyo

Arrival: Narita International Airport

Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western hotel

Activities

The first day is a standard affair. Your guide will pick you up at the airport and assist you with preparations for the tour. A private coach will take you to your hotel in the heart of the city. After the check-in procedures are completed, you will have the rest of the day to yourselves.

 Tokyo

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Transfer to Asakusa
  • 10:00 - 11:30 Asakusa and Senso-ji
  • 11:30 - 12:00 Transfer to Ueno Park
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Ueno Park (bento lunch and hanami)
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Transfer to Odaiba
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Sightseeing around Odaiba
  • 15:00 - 15:30 Transfer to central Tokyo / Shinjuku (Mon/Fri)
  • 15:30 - 16:30 Tokyo Imperial Palace (East Garden) / Shinjuku Gyoen (Mon/Fri)
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Transfer to Tsukiji
  • 17:00 - 18:30 Sushi dinner
  • 18:30 - 19:00 Transfer to Chidorigafuchi
  • 19:00 - 19:30 Chidorigafuchi (sakura light-up)
  • 19:00 - 20:00 Return to hotel
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Hotel Centurion Grand Akasaka Western hotel

Activities

This day is designed around 3 different sakura viewing spots, each a different experience. On the first one, you will enjoy the hanami custom as the Japanese do, eating a light lunch under a cherry tree. For the second, you will visit either the East Garden of Tokyo Imperial Palace or Shinjuku Gyoen, both of which house different types of gardens that offer you great and uncompromised sakura views. Finally, you will see cherry blossoms light up during the evening at Chidorigafuchi.

The sakura appreciation will be interspersed with famous Tokyo spots along the Sumida River, Asakusa and Odaiba. You will see, among other things, the Senso-ji temple, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, a Gundam statue, and Rainbow Bridge over Tokyo Bay. You will also have an early dinner of delicious sushi at Tsukiji, the famous fish market. The best is yet to come, for you will be treated to even more marvelous sights on the next day.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Bento box, to be eaten in the park
Dinner
Sushi set served in Tsukiji Fish Market

Open previous day

 Hakone › Izu Nagaoka

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Hakone
  • 11:00 - 11:45 Hakone Sekisho
  • 11:45 - 12:15 Onshi Hakone Park
  • 12:15 - 12:30 Transfer to restaurant
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Soba lunch
  • 14:00 - 14:30 Transfer to Odawara
  • 14:30 - 16:00 Odawara Castle
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Transfer to Izu-Nagaoka
  • 17:00 - 18:00 Hotel check-in >> free time
  • 18:00 - 19:30 Seafood dinner
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Sunvalley Izu-Nagaoka Ryokan

Activities

Checking out of Tokyo in the morning, you will go on an excursion to Hakone and Odawara, both historically significant, but each with their own brand of sakura view. The main attraction in Hakone is its Mt. Fuji view beyond Lake Ashi, the best spot to see which is the Onshi Hakone Park. You will get a scenic panorama of incredible beauty on clear days, with mountains and the lake within one frame.

In the afternoon, you will visit Odawara Castle, presently the closest standing castle from Tokyo. This place is a popular spot for sakura viewing due to the staggering beauty of the castle rising above the pink clouds of petals. The rows of cherry trees by the moat are also an inspiring sight. Finally, you will be transferred to Izu Nagaoka. You will be staying in a premium hotel with hot springs and a great seafood dinner.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Soba (buckwheat noodles), served with clear broth and various toppings
Dinner
Seafood buffet in the hotel

Open previous day

 Kyoto › Kameoka

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Odawara
  • 10:00 - 12:00 Transfer to Kyoto by shinkansen
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Kyo-ryori lunch
  • 13:30 - 13:45 Transfer to Heian Jingu
  • 13:45 - 14:45 Heian Jingu
  • 14:45 - 15:00 Transfer to Ginkaku-ji
  • 15:00 - 16:30 Philosopher’s Path
  • 16:30 - 17:30 Transfer to Kameoka
  • 17:30 - 18:00 Ryokan check-in >> free time, onsen
  • 18:00 - 19:30 Sukiyaki dinner
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Keizankaku Ryokan

Activities

A bullet train will take you to Kyoto, a historic city of a thousand temples. Two of them you will visit today: Heian Jingu and Ginkaku-ji. In the former, you will see budding shidare-zakura blossoms, also known as the weeping cherry. From the latter, you will take a walk on the famous Philosopher’s Path, a 2-km stretch of blooming cherry trees. A canopy of flowers will filter the sunlight along the path, creating a breathtaking scene.

Throughout the day, you will experience the classic side of Japan that Kyoto epitomizes. For lunch, you will try authentic Kyoto cuisine, delectable for not only your palates but also all your senses. In the evening, you will enjoy a stay in a true ryokan in Kameoka, a hidden gem just west of Kyoto. In this atmospheric lodging, you can enjoy good food and refreshing onsen. Get plenty of quality rest after the long walk in Kyoto!

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet in the hotel
Lunch
Kyoto-style kaiseki set, also known as Kyo-ryori
Dinner
Sukiyaki, a hot pot-esque dish featuring Tamba beef

Open previous day

 Arashiyama › Nara

Schedule

  • 09:30 - 10:30 Ryokan check-out >> transfer to Kameoka Station
  • 10:30 - 11:00 Sagano Romantic Train (Kameoka - Arashiyama)
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Sightseeing around Arashiyama
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Kyo-ryori lunch
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Transfer to Kyoto
  • 15:00 - 15:45 Kinkaku-ji
  • 15:45 - 17:00 Transfer to Nara >> hotel check-in
Breakfast / Lunch Piazza Hotel Nara Western hotel

Activities

Today, you will see the highlight of the Sakura Express tour. In the morning, you will board the Sagano Romantic Train from Kameoka Station. The scenic railway runs slowly along the Hozu River, affording you an incredible view of the surrounding nature, including the rows of cherry trees and the beautiful mountains. Stopping at Arashiyama, you will then take in even more unbelievable sights, including the panorama from the Togetsukyo bridge and the bamboo grove.

After a delightful kaiseki lunch, you will return to the city of Kyoto and visit another of its iconic landmark: the golden pavilion. This temple will bedazzle you with its glittering exterior, reflected in the water along with the greens that surround it. It is also home to a less-known 600-year-old pine tree which has grown into a very peculiar shape. After this little revisit, you will bid Kyoto goodbye and leave for Nara, where you will be staying tonight.

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style breakfast set
Lunch
Kyo-ryori with ingredients that accentuate the essence of four seasons

Open previous day

 Nara › Osaka

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Nara Park
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Nara Park
  • 11:00 - 12:00 Todai-ji
  • 12:00 - 12:15 Transfer to restaurant
  • 12:15 - 13:45 Irori lunch
  • 13:45 - 14:00 Transfer to Kasuga Taisha
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Kasuga Taisha
  • 15:00 - 15:45 Manyo Botanical Garden
  • 15:45 - 17:30 Transfer to Kansai International Airport >> hotel check-in
Breakfast / Lunch Washington Hotel Kansai Airport Western hotel

Activities

You will start your day in the scenic Nara Park, where hundreds of deer roam under a forest of cherry trees. Afterward, you will visit the nearby Great Eastern Temple, Todai-ji, which houses the largest Daibutsu statue in the world, and the grand shrine Kasuga Taisha, which is known for its thousands of lanterns. You will also have authentic Japanese grill for lunch.

Your last stop is a botanical garden outside Kasuga Taisha which displays over 300 species of plants. It also has a large pond with many voracious koi fish swimming around that you can feed. This display of nature’s beauty is a fitting final attraction for this vernal adventure. At the end of the day, you will leave Nara for Kansai International Airport, and check into your hotel.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Irori (grilled dishes) featuring many different ingredients, including kuroge wagyu beef

Open previous day

 Osaka

Departure: Kansai International Airport

Breakfast

Activities

You have completed the Sakura Express tour! We hope that you enjoyed your trip with ILJT! On the last day, you will check out of your hotel and conduct an independent transfer to the airport. Have a safe flight back home, and see you again soon!

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet

Open previous day

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What is included?

Tour Accommodation

Western hotel: 5 nights -- Japanese ryokan: 1 night

Meals

6 breakfasts -- 5 lunches -- 3 dinners

Transport

Airport pickup -- Private car: 5 days -- Bullet train: 1 time (Mishima - Kyoto)

Tour guide

Airport pickup -- Guided tour: 5 days

Included activities

Tickets for attractions and rides as defined in the itinerary, where necessary

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the tour

International flights are not included in the tour price, and should be independently arranged by the traveler. This particular itinerary starts in Tokyo and ends in Osaka. Please book a flight to either Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND), and a flight out of Kansai International Airport (KIX). It should be noted that we can arrange the included airport pickup service only if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). We recommend flights that arrive around/after noon, as you can only check into your hotel starting at 3 PM.
An English-speaking guide will accompany you on Days 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The guide will be at your service during the designated tour hours. Please note that the guide will be staying at the same hotel as you on Day 3 for logistical reasons. The guide will also pick you up at the airport if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). In the event that your flight arrives early, we can arrange a half-day tour on the day of arrival at an additional cost.
The tour price includes five nights in 3- or 4-star hotels and one night in a predesignated ryokan (Japanese-style inn). Breakfast is included for each night’s stay in a hotel, whereas both dinner and breakfast are included for every night in a ryokan unless otherwise specified in the itinerary. Lunch is provided on every guided day, but not on days of arrival or departure. Dinner outside of the pre-included ryokan meal is provided on Days 2 and 3. As you can only check into your hotel starting at 3 PM, in the event that your flight arrives early, we can arrange lunch on the day of arrival at an additional cost.
The tour price includes the service of a driver and a private car on every guided day. It also includes a scheduled bullet train transfer between Mishima and Kyoto on Day 4. The driver and car will be available only during the designated tour hours, and only for the included destinations. Please note that the driver will be staying at the same hotel as you on Day 3 for logistical reasons. Airport pickup is also included if your flight arrives during working hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM, Japan time). In the event that your flight arrives early, we can extend the use of the private car for the purposes of lunch or a half-day tour at an additional cost. Please note that airport transfer for departure is not included.
All entrance tickets for destinations defined in the schedule are included in the tour price. Some tickets cannot be pre-booked, and it may be necessary for the guide to procure them on the spot. Please note that some attractions require strict compliance to pre-booked entrance times, and may void the booking if the schedule is not observed. As such, please complete your preparations to leave the hotel by the designated start time of the day.