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The black Matsumoto Castle, one of the top three castles in Japan

Sushi in Ginza. Classy place, classy meal!

Kanazawa Castle, seat of the powerful Maeda Clan of Kaga Province

The petite Kohigan-sakura blooming all over Takato

Festive Sakura

10 days

TokyoKanazawaShirakawa-goTakayamaMatsumotoTakatoKofuFuji Five LakesKawaguchikoTokyo

Myoryu-ji, also known as Ninja-dera, ever full of surprises

A serving of tofu kaiseki in an atmospheric restaurant

Stopping by the famous Niju-bashi bridge of Tokyo Imperial Palace

Historic Village of Shirakawa-go, a remote village in the mountains

A cozy hotel by Tokyo Tower -- where better to start?
Cherry blossoms in Zojo-ji, with a familiar tower in the background
Sushi in Ginza. Classy place, classy meal!
Hokuriku bullet train, bound for the other side of Honshu
Kaga ryori, a traditional kaiseki course of the region
Kanazawa Castle, seat of the powerful Maeda Clan of Kaga Province
A luxurious ryokan in the suburbs of Kanazawa
Myoryu-ji, also known as Ninja-dera, ever full of surprises
Historic Village of Shirakawa-go, a remote village in the mountains
Lunch in a quaint gassho-zukuri house, Shirakawa-go
Sannomachi Old Town, Takayama, full of preserved merchant houses
Festival performers at Takayama Matsuri
The black Matsumoto Castle, one of the top three castles in Japan
The petite Kohigan-sakura blooming all over Takato
What makes a view iconic? Cherry blossoms and Mt. Fuji!
A luxurious ryokan overlooking Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji
Stopping by the famous Niju-bashi bridge of Tokyo Imperial Palace
A serving of tofu kaiseki in an atmospheric restaurant
Tour code: CB-03-EN
Festive Sakura
Travel style: Boutique

10 days

TokyoKanazawaShirakawa-goTakayamaMatsumotoTakatoKofuFuji Five LakesKawaguchikoTokyo

Theme: Cherry Blossoms
Availability: Departs on April 10 every year

Arrival date
    
Group size
    • From¥ 1,222,000 2,444,000 JPY

    • From$ 10,775 21,551 USD

    • From 9,497 18,994 EUR

    • From£ 8,560 17,120 GBP

    • From$ 14,941 29,882 AUD

    • From฿ 353,218 706,437 THB

    • FromRp 157,295,057 314,590,115 IDR

    • From¥ 929,000 2,787,000 JPY

    • From$ 8,192 24,575 USD

    • From 7,220 21,660 EUR

    • From£ 6,508 19,523 GBP

    • From$ 11,359 34,076 AUD

    • From฿ 268,527 805,581 THB

    • FromRp 119,580,285 358,740,855 IDR

    • From¥ 782,000 3,128,000 JPY

    • From$ 6,896 27,582 USD

    • From 6,078 24,310 EUR

    • From£ 5,478 21,912 GBP

    • From$ 9,561 38,245 AUD

    • From฿ 226,037 904,147 THB

    • FromRp 100,658,539 402,634,157 IDR

Overview

Spring in Japan is all about celebrations. Throughout the country, events are unfolding that draw visitors from around the globe. In keeping with the spirit of the season, ILJT presents Festive Sakura, an exclusive tour that only departs on April 10 every year, to bring you to the various festivals that highlight Japan’s nature and culture!

Unlike our classic vernal offerings, which start at the end of March or very early April, this itinerary focuses on the relatively harder-to-access spots in the heart of Honshu. The precise timing of this tour does not allow for much sakura appreciation in Tokyo, which we more than make up for with a day tour tailored around the celebrated Tokyo Tower, including one unique dining experience of tofu kaiseki as the closing meal.

The meat of this trip features the long line of classic attractions from the northern end of the main island to the sacred mountain in the south. Explore the renowned Kenroku-en, impeccably curated by nature and mankind alike in the peak of spring. Join the lively crowds in celebrating Takayama Matsuri, and watch the cultural performances and processions. Catch the rare Kohigan-sakura in full bloom, reputedly the most beautiful variant of cherry blossoms in the whole world. There is so much going on in Festive Sakura -- see for yourself the wonders that await you in Japan!

You might be also interested in

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

Overview

Spring in Japan is all about celebrations. Throughout the country, events are unfolding that draw visitors from around the globe. In keeping with the spirit of the season, ILJT presents Festive Sakura, an exclusive tour that only departs on April 10 every year, to bring you to the various festivals that highlight Japan’s nature and culture!

Unlike our classic vernal offerings, which start at the end of March or very early April, this itinerary focuses on the relatively harder-to-access spots in the heart of Honshu. The precise timing of this tour does not allow for much sakura appreciation in Tokyo, which we more than make up for with a day tour tailored around the celebrated Tokyo Tower, including one unique dining experience of tofu kaiseki as the closing meal.

The meat of this trip features the long line of classic attractions from the northern end of the main island to the sacred mountain in the south. Explore the renowned Kenroku-en, impeccably curated by nature and mankind alike in the peak of spring. Join the lively crowds in celebrating Takayama Matsuri, and watch the cultural performances and processions. Catch the rare Kohigan-sakura in full bloom, reputedly the most beautiful variant of cherry blossoms in the whole world. There is so much going on in Festive Sakura -- see for yourself the wonders that await you in Japan!

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 and its blend of past and present, revolving around Tokyo Tower

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 3: Kanazawa TourKanazawa

Explore Kanazawa and its prized Kenroku-en garden at its very best

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 4: Shirakawa-go TourShirakawa-go › Takayama

Explore the Historic Village of Shirakawa-go, a remote mountain settlement

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 5: Takayama FestivalTakayama

Participate in one of the most beautiful Japanese festivals in Takayama

Meals included : Breakfast

Day 6: Matsumoto TourMatsumoto

Explore Matsumoto, home to one of the best castles and wasabi farms in Japan

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 7: Takato TourTakato › Kofu

Explore Takato Castle Ruins Park in Ina, where the best sakura in the world blooms

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 8: Mt. Fuji TourFuji Five Lakes › Kawaguchiko

Explore the scenic beauty of Mt. Fuji and a remarkable kimono museum nearby

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 9: Return to TokyoTokyo

Return to Tokyo, and enjoy a great lunch near Tokyo Tower

Meals included : Breakfast / Lunch

Day 10: Leaving JapanTokyo

Leave Japan, and bring home many wonderful memories!

Meals included : Breakfast

Departure: Narita International Airport

Hotels

What is included?

Tour Accommodation

Western hotel: 6 nights -- Japanese ryokan: 3 nights

Meals

9 breakfasts -- 7 lunches -- 4 dinners

Transport

Airport pickup -- Private car: 7 days -- Bullet train: 1 time (Tokyo - Kanazawa)

Tour guide

Airport pickup -- Guided tour: 8 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 and ends in Tokyo. Please book flights to/from either Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND). 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, 6, 7, 8, and 9. 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 Days 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 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 six nights in 3- or 4-star hotels and three nights in predesignated ryokan (Japanese-style inns). 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 Days 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Dinner outside of the pre-included ryokan meal is provided on Day 7. 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 Tokyo and Kanazawa on Day 3. 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 Days 6, 7, and 8 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
Sakura Express Tokyo to Osaka 7
Valentine Sakura Tokyo to Tokyo 7

Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo

  Tokyo

Arrival: Narita International Airport

The Prince Park Tower Tokyo 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 The Prince Park Tower Tokyo Western hotel

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Transfer to Odaiba
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Sightseeing around Odaiba
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Toyota Mega Web
  • 12:30 - 13:15 Board the Yurikamome Train toward Shimbashi >> transfer to Ginza
  • 13:15 - 14:45 Sushi lunch
  • 14:45 - 15:15 Transfer to Tokyo Tower
  • 15:15 - 16:30 Tokyo Tower (observation deck)
  • 16:30 - 17:30 Shiba Koen and Zojo-ji
  • 17:30 - 18:00 Return to hotel

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Hokkaido-style sushi set in an upscale restaurant in Ginza

Activities

More than ten days into April, most of the cherry blossoms in Tokyo will have been past their peak. However, the city of Tokyo is still not one to be missed! As the only metropolitan city in the itinerary, Tokyo offers modern attractions that complement its rich culture from the olden Edo days. Your first destination is thus the appropriately futuristic Odaiba, where you will find the showroom for a respected and storied Japanese carmaker.

The celebrated Tokyo Tower is the centerpiece of today’s tour, as it is visible from every place of interest. You will get an impressive bird’s eye view of the city’s skyline from atop its observation deck. From the nearby temple Zojo-ji, which honors the legacy of the shoguns of Edo, the bright red visage of the majestic landmark will complete the harmony of past and present that defines Tokyo. And in the evening, you will see the illuminated tower from your hotel window.

Day 3: Kanazawa Tour

  Kanazawa
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Kanazawa Takitei Ryokan

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 13:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Kanazawa by shinkansen
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Kaga ryori lunch
  • 14:30 - 15:00 Transfer to Kanazawa Castle
  • 15:00 - 17:00 Kanazawa Castle and Kenroku-en
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Transfer to ryokan
  • 17:30 - 18:30 Ryokan check-in >> onsen, free time
  • 18:30 - 20:00 Kaiseki dinner

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Kaga-ryori, a kaiseki course with roots in the old Kaga Province
Dinner
Seasonal kaiseki course served in the ryokan

Activities

From the bustle of Tokyo to the refinement of Kanazawa -- your bullet train transfer today brings you from one end of Honshu to another. Thus begins a week of festivity, where your journey southward to slowly make your way back to Tokyo will be colored by a fantastic explosion of colors and crowds. This former samurai city is your starting line, and what a strong start it is!

Kanazawa is perhaps most known for Kenroku-en, and you will understand why as you explore the garden at its absolute best. The entirety of Kenroku-en is a dreamlike experience, from the beautiful Hisago-ike and Kasumiga-ike ponds to the romantic Hanami-bashi bridge, from the mysterious half-uprooted pine tree to the old stone tablet carved with haiku poetry. During the sakura season, the garden is especially lively with the many stalls selling festival goods and food.

Day 4: Shirakawa-go Tour

  Shirakawa-go › Takayama
Breakfast / Lunch Associa Western hotel

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Ryokan check-out >> transfer to Ninja-dera
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Ninja-dera
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Transfer to Shirakawa-go
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Hida beef lunch
  • 14:00 - 16:00 Historic Village of Shirakawa-go
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Transfer to Takayama >> hotel check-in

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style breakfast set
Lunch
Grilled Hida beef, along with a set of other dishes local to Shirakawa-go

Activities

The unassuming but deceptively tricky Ninja-dera is a hallmark of Kanazawa that you cannot miss -- it will be your first stop of the day before leaving the city. Afterward, you will head south to the famed Historic Village of Shirakawa-go, a remote mountain settlement with some of Japan’s most cherished architecture, where you will spend a pleasant vernal afternoon.

You will be served the illustrious beef of the Hida region for lunch before continuing with your sightseeing around the village. The serene landscape surrounded by mountains is especially picturesque in spring, where the buds of a fresh beginning meet the barely thawed snow. Late in the afternoon, you will continue your journey onward to Takayama, the venue of the festival tomorrow.

Day 5: Takayama Festival

  Takayama
Breakfast Associa Western hotel

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet

Activities

The elusive, exclusive event that takes place every 14th and 15th of April in Takayama is a story of excitement that writes itself. You will be joining the crowd of thousands in celebrating one of the most beautiful festivals in the country, the Takayama Matsuri. Ornate yatai floats, karakuri puppet performances, and a Shintoist procession across the town liven up this remarkable spring festival. Expect an unforgettable cultural experience as you interact with the locals in this highly anticipated occasion.

Day 6: Matsumoto Tour

  Matsumoto
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Hotel Asama Tamanoyu Ryokan

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 12:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Matsumoto Castle
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Matsumoto Castle
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Transfer to wasabi farm
  • 14:00 - 15:30 Wasabi-don lunch
  • 15:30 - 17:00 Daio Wasabi Farm
  • 17:00 - 17:45 Transfer to ryokan
  • 17:45 - 18:30 Ryokan check-in >> onsen, free time
  • 18:30 - 20:00 Kaiseki dinner

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Wasabi-don, a bowl of rice with bonito flakes and fresh horseradish stem
Dinner
Local kaiseki course served in the ryokan

Activities

Leaving the still lively Takayama in the morning, you will be taken to one of the most important cities in Nagano Prefecture. Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains, and is best known for its ironically flatland castle. Also known as the “black raven fortress”, Matsumoto Castle is one of the top three castles in Japan, its wooden structures having survived since its construction in the 16th century. It is also one of the most popular cherry blossom spots in the country.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy lunch in a wasabi farm just outside Matsumoto. The Daio Wasabi Farm is the largest in the world. The Japanese horseradish in this farm is grown with clear water flowing from the mountains, and it is a great example of mountain harvest. Apart from trying out and buying different wasabi products, the farm also offers very scenic walking trail along the river and between the fields.

Day 7: Takato Tour

  Takato › Kofu
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Kofu Fujiya Ryokan

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:00 Ryokan check-out >> transfer to Ina
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Soba lunch
  • 12:30 - 15:00 Takato Cherry Blossom Festival (hanami session)
  • 15:00 - 17:00 Transfer to Kofu
  • 17:00 - 18:30 Hotel check-in >> onsen, free time
  • 18:30 - 20:00 Teppanyaki dinner

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style breakfast set
Lunch
Original soba of the region served with the spicy kara-tsuyu broth
Dinner
Koshu beef teppanyaki served in the hotel

Activities

Bidding goodbye to Matsumoto, you will drive straight to the Takato district of Ina city. Putting both the “festive” and “sakura” in the name of this tour, Takato’s Castle Ruins Park is said to be one of, if not the best cherry blossom spot in the whole of Japan. The unique Kohigan-sakura that blooms in abundance in this area is said to be the best variety of cherry blossoms in the world.

The Cherry Blossom Festival takes place throughout the month of April, and as such there is no shortage of activity in the vast grounds of the park. Explore the entirety of the castle ruins and appreciate the dainty, deep-pink petals that blanket the landscape. Also experience a picnic under the cherry trees with snacks and drinks. Later in the afternoon, you will be taken to your hotel in Kofu, where you can enjoy a good rest and a relaxing hot spring bath, and an especially delicious serving of Koshu beef.

Day 8: Mt. Fuji Tour

  Fuji Five Lakes › Kawaguchiko
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Kozantei Ubuya Ryokan

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Arakura Sengen Shrine
  • 11:00 - 12:00 Arakura Sengen Shrine
  • 12:00 - 13:00 Transfer to restaurant
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Hoto udon lunch
  • 14:30 - 15:30 Drive around Lake Kawaguchi
  • 15:30 - 16:00 Transfer to Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Transfer to ryokan
  • 17:30 - 18:30 Ryokan check-in >> onsen, free time
  • 18:30 - 20:00 Kaiseki dinner

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Hoto udon, Fuji Five Lakes’ signature thick noodles with vegetarian miso broth
Dinner
The signature kaiseki course of the ryokan

Activities

The venerated Mt. Fuji is always beautiful -- and doubly so in spring, when the snow is still fresh but the scenery warm thanks to the bright colors of the cherry blossoms. The best place to view this combination is undoubtedly by the Chureito pagoda of the Arakura Sengen Shrine. Just a little past its peak, the sakura is nonetheless very picturesque on the 17th to 18th of April as it forms an apparent sea of pink, above which the great mountain seems to float.

You will enjoy the signature dishes of the area, hoto udon, for lunch. Afterward, you will be driving around the beautiful Lake Kawaguchi to see Mt. Fuji from another impressive angle. Your last stop of the day, the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, displays an intricate form of kimono art that epitomizes the Japanese culture. At the end of the day is another stay in a ryokan near Mt. Fuji, where the view is superb and the onsen divine.

Day 9: Return to Tokyo

  Tokyo
Breakfast / Lunch Crowne Plaza ANA Western hotel

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:30 Ryokan check-out >> transfer to Tokyo
  • 11:30 - 12:30 Drive around Ginza, Marunouchi/Otemachi and the Imperial Palace
  • 12:30 - 13:00 Transfer to Tokyo Tower
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Tofu kaiseki lunch
  • 14:30 - 16:00 Transfer to Haneda/Narita >> hotel check-in

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style breakfast set
Lunch
Tofu kaiseki course, featuring the special tosui tofu

Activities

Checking out of your ryokan, you will return to Tokyo in the morning of your second last day in Japan. Arriving in Tokyo just before noon, you will use this opportunity to drive around the spots you might have missed on your first two days. Afterward, you will celebrate the completion of the guided tour in Shiba Tofuya Ukai, again in the vicinity of Tokyo Tower. Finally, you will be transferred to your hotel in Haneda/Narita, from which your airport of choice can be easily accessed.

Day 10: Leaving Japan

  Tokyo

Departure: Narita International Airport

Breakfast

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet

Activities

You have completed the Festive Sakura 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

The Prince Park Tower Tokyo 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 Odaiba
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Sightseeing around Odaiba
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Toyota Mega Web
  • 12:30 - 13:15 Board the Yurikamome Train toward Shimbashi >> transfer to Ginza
  • 13:15 - 14:45 Sushi lunch
  • 14:45 - 15:15 Transfer to Tokyo Tower
  • 15:15 - 16:30 Tokyo Tower (observation deck)
  • 16:30 - 17:30 Shiba Koen and Zojo-ji
  • 17:30 - 18:00 Return to hotel
Breakfast / Lunch The Prince Park Tower Tokyo Western hotel

Activities

More than ten days into April, most of the cherry blossoms in Tokyo will have been past their peak. However, the city of Tokyo is still not one to be missed! As the only metropolitan city in the itinerary, Tokyo offers modern attractions that complement its rich culture from the olden Edo days. Your first destination is thus the appropriately futuristic Odaiba, where you will find the showroom for a respected and storied Japanese carmaker.

The celebrated Tokyo Tower is the centerpiece of today’s tour, as it is visible from every place of interest. You will get an impressive bird’s eye view of the city’s skyline from atop its observation deck. From the nearby temple Zojo-ji, which honors the legacy of the shoguns of Edo, the bright red visage of the majestic landmark will complete the harmony of past and present that defines Tokyo. And in the evening, you will see the illuminated tower from your hotel window.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Hokkaido-style sushi set in an upscale restaurant in Ginza

Open previous day

 Kanazawa

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 13:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Kanazawa by shinkansen
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Kaga ryori lunch
  • 14:30 - 15:00 Transfer to Kanazawa Castle
  • 15:00 - 17:00 Kanazawa Castle and Kenroku-en
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Transfer to ryokan
  • 17:30 - 18:30 Ryokan check-in >> onsen, free time
  • 18:30 - 20:00 Kaiseki dinner
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Kanazawa Takitei Ryokan

Activities

From the bustle of Tokyo to the refinement of Kanazawa -- your bullet train transfer today brings you from one end of Honshu to another. Thus begins a week of festivity, where your journey southward to slowly make your way back to Tokyo will be colored by a fantastic explosion of colors and crowds. This former samurai city is your starting line, and what a strong start it is!

Kanazawa is perhaps most known for Kenroku-en, and you will understand why as you explore the garden at its absolute best. The entirety of Kenroku-en is a dreamlike experience, from the beautiful Hisago-ike and Kasumiga-ike ponds to the romantic Hanami-bashi bridge, from the mysterious half-uprooted pine tree to the old stone tablet carved with haiku poetry. During the sakura season, the garden is especially lively with the many stalls selling festival goods and food.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Kaga-ryori, a kaiseki course with roots in the old Kaga Province
Dinner
Seasonal kaiseki course served in the ryokan

Open previous day

 Shirakawa-go › Takayama

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 10:00 Ryokan check-out >> transfer to Ninja-dera
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Ninja-dera
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Transfer to Shirakawa-go
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Hida beef lunch
  • 14:00 - 16:00 Historic Village of Shirakawa-go
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Transfer to Takayama >> hotel check-in
Breakfast / Lunch Associa Western hotel

Activities

The unassuming but deceptively tricky Ninja-dera is a hallmark of Kanazawa that you cannot miss -- it will be your first stop of the day before leaving the city. Afterward, you will head south to the famed Historic Village of Shirakawa-go, a remote mountain settlement with some of Japan’s most cherished architecture, where you will spend a pleasant vernal afternoon.

You will be served the illustrious beef of the Hida region for lunch before continuing with your sightseeing around the village. The serene landscape surrounded by mountains is especially picturesque in spring, where the buds of a fresh beginning meet the barely thawed snow. Late in the afternoon, you will continue your journey onward to Takayama, the venue of the festival tomorrow.

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style breakfast set
Lunch
Grilled Hida beef, along with a set of other dishes local to Shirakawa-go

Open previous day

 Takayama
Breakfast Associa Western hotel

Activities

The elusive, exclusive event that takes place every 14th and 15th of April in Takayama is a story of excitement that writes itself. You will be joining the crowd of thousands in celebrating one of the most beautiful festivals in the country, the Takayama Matsuri. Ornate yatai floats, karakuri puppet performances, and a Shintoist procession across the town liven up this remarkable spring festival. Expect an unforgettable cultural experience as you interact with the locals in this highly anticipated occasion.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet

Open previous day

 Matsumoto

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 12:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Matsumoto Castle
  • 12:00 - 13:30 Matsumoto Castle
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Transfer to wasabi farm
  • 14:00 - 15:30 Wasabi-don lunch
  • 15:30 - 17:00 Daio Wasabi Farm
  • 17:00 - 17:45 Transfer to ryokan
  • 17:45 - 18:30 Ryokan check-in >> onsen, free time
  • 18:30 - 20:00 Kaiseki dinner
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Hotel Asama Tamanoyu Ryokan

Activities

Leaving the still lively Takayama in the morning, you will be taken to one of the most important cities in Nagano Prefecture. Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains, and is best known for its ironically flatland castle. Also known as the “black raven fortress”, Matsumoto Castle is one of the top three castles in Japan, its wooden structures having survived since its construction in the 16th century. It is also one of the most popular cherry blossom spots in the country.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy lunch in a wasabi farm just outside Matsumoto. The Daio Wasabi Farm is the largest in the world. The Japanese horseradish in this farm is grown with clear water flowing from the mountains, and it is a great example of mountain harvest. Apart from trying out and buying different wasabi products, the farm also offers very scenic walking trail along the river and between the fields.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Wasabi-don, a bowl of rice with bonito flakes and fresh horseradish stem
Dinner
Local kaiseki course served in the ryokan

Open previous day

 Takato › Kofu

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:00 Ryokan check-out >> transfer to Ina
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Soba lunch
  • 12:30 - 15:00 Takato Cherry Blossom Festival (hanami session)
  • 15:00 - 17:00 Transfer to Kofu
  • 17:00 - 18:30 Hotel check-in >> onsen, free time
  • 18:30 - 20:00 Teppanyaki dinner
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Kofu Fujiya Ryokan

Activities

Bidding goodbye to Matsumoto, you will drive straight to the Takato district of Ina city. Putting both the “festive” and “sakura” in the name of this tour, Takato’s Castle Ruins Park is said to be one of, if not the best cherry blossom spot in the whole of Japan. The unique Kohigan-sakura that blooms in abundance in this area is said to be the best variety of cherry blossoms in the world.

The Cherry Blossom Festival takes place throughout the month of April, and as such there is no shortage of activity in the vast grounds of the park. Explore the entirety of the castle ruins and appreciate the dainty, deep-pink petals that blanket the landscape. Also experience a picnic under the cherry trees with snacks and drinks. Later in the afternoon, you will be taken to your hotel in Kofu, where you can enjoy a good rest and a relaxing hot spring bath, and an especially delicious serving of Koshu beef.

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style breakfast set
Lunch
Original soba of the region served with the spicy kara-tsuyu broth
Dinner
Koshu beef teppanyaki served in the hotel

Open previous day

 Fuji Five Lakes › Kawaguchiko

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:00 Hotel check-out >> transfer to Arakura Sengen Shrine
  • 11:00 - 12:00 Arakura Sengen Shrine
  • 12:00 - 13:00 Transfer to restaurant
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Hoto udon lunch
  • 14:30 - 15:30 Drive around Lake Kawaguchi
  • 15:30 - 16:00 Transfer to Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Itchiku Kubota Art Museum
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Transfer to ryokan
  • 17:30 - 18:30 Ryokan check-in >> onsen, free time
  • 18:30 - 20:00 Kaiseki dinner
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Kozantei Ubuya Ryokan

Activities

The venerated Mt. Fuji is always beautiful -- and doubly so in spring, when the snow is still fresh but the scenery warm thanks to the bright colors of the cherry blossoms. The best place to view this combination is undoubtedly by the Chureito pagoda of the Arakura Sengen Shrine. Just a little past its peak, the sakura is nonetheless very picturesque on the 17th to 18th of April as it forms an apparent sea of pink, above which the great mountain seems to float.

You will enjoy the signature dishes of the area, hoto udon, for lunch. Afterward, you will be driving around the beautiful Lake Kawaguchi to see Mt. Fuji from another impressive angle. Your last stop of the day, the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, displays an intricate form of kimono art that epitomizes the Japanese culture. At the end of the day is another stay in a ryokan near Mt. Fuji, where the view is superb and the onsen divine.

Meals

Breakfast
Western-style buffet
Lunch
Hoto udon, Fuji Five Lakes’ signature thick noodles with vegetarian miso broth
Dinner
The signature kaiseki course of the ryokan

Open previous day

 Tokyo

Schedule

  • 09:00 - 11:30 Ryokan check-out >> transfer to Tokyo
  • 11:30 - 12:30 Drive around Ginza, Marunouchi/Otemachi and the Imperial Palace
  • 12:30 - 13:00 Transfer to Tokyo Tower
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Tofu kaiseki lunch
  • 14:30 - 16:00 Transfer to Haneda/Narita >> hotel check-in
Breakfast / Lunch Crowne Plaza ANA Western hotel

Activities

Checking out of your ryokan, you will return to Tokyo in the morning of your second last day in Japan. Arriving in Tokyo just before noon, you will use this opportunity to drive around the spots you might have missed on your first two days. Afterward, you will celebrate the completion of the guided tour in Shiba Tofuya Ukai, again in the vicinity of Tokyo Tower. Finally, you will be transferred to your hotel in Haneda/Narita, from which your airport of choice can be easily accessed.

Meals

Breakfast
Japanese-style breakfast set
Lunch
Tofu kaiseki course, featuring the special tosui tofu

Open previous day

 Tokyo

Departure: Narita International Airport

Breakfast

Activities

You have completed the Festive Sakura 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

Prices And Dates

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Arrival date

    

Peak season

High season

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  • Apr 2019

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    • From¥ 1,222,000 2,444,000 JPY

    • From$ 10,775 21,551 USD

    • From 9,497 18,994 EUR

    • From£ 8,560 17,120 GBP

    • From$ 14,941 29,882 AUD

    • From฿ 353,218 706,437 THB

    • FromRp 157,295,057 314,590,115 IDR

    • From¥ 929,000 2,787,000 JPY

    • From$ 8,192 24,575 USD

    • From 7,220 21,660 EUR

    • From£ 6,508 19,523 GBP

    • From$ 11,359 34,076 AUD

    • From฿ 268,527 805,581 THB

    • FromRp 119,580,285 358,740,855 IDR

    • From¥ 782,000 3,128,000 JPY

    • From$ 6,896 27,582 USD

    • From 6,078 24,310 EUR

    • From£ 5,478 21,912 GBP

    • From$ 9,561 38,245 AUD

    • From฿ 226,037 904,147 THB

    • FromRp 100,658,539 402,634,157 IDR

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What is included?

Tour Accommodation

Western hotel: 6 nights -- Japanese ryokan: 3 nights

Meals

9 breakfasts -- 7 lunches -- 4 dinners

Transport

Airport pickup -- Private car: 7 days -- Bullet train: 1 time (Tokyo - Kanazawa)

Tour guide

Airport pickup -- Guided tour: 8 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 and ends in Tokyo. Please book flights to/from either Narita International Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND). 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, 6, 7, 8, and 9. 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 Days 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 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 six nights in 3- or 4-star hotels and three nights in predesignated ryokan (Japanese-style inns). 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 Days 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Dinner outside of the pre-included ryokan meal is provided on Day 7. 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 Tokyo and Kanazawa on Day 3. 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 Days 6, 7, and 8 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.