Japan Cherry Blossom Tours 2018

Plum blossom Shinjuku in Bloom Matsushima Blossom

Cherry blossom is a busy time of year in Japan.  Our 2016 and 2017 cherry tours all saw strong bookings more than six months before the scheduled departure dates so if you would like to reserve a spot on one of our Japan cherry blossom tours for 2018, please get in touch using the contact us form or email us directly at admin@japancustomtours.co.nz

Please note that as at the beginning of February 2018 there are only a few places available on the tours that we currently have scheduled for 2018 (listed below).  We are in the early planning stages for 2019 if you wanted to secure an early spot for next year.

March and April 2018 Japan Cherry Blossom Tours

For the 2018 cherry blossom (sakura) season in Japan we have put together a sequence of cherry blossom tours covering the main cherry blossom festival season. These commence early in March and run through to the end of April and are designed to maximise the opportunities to view the different types of sakura (blossom) as it progresses from south to north. (More information on the forecast blossom timing can be found here.)

Most of our cherry blossom tours start and end in Tokyo starting on a Sunday and running through to the Saturday two weeks later.  We can normally accommodate early arrivals and later departures as flights often do not line up with these times in every case, so this allows people flexibility to easily join or leave a tour on any one of these days. 

The weekend in Tokyo allows us to meet you at the airport, transfers you to your hotel in Tokyo and provide a basic introduction to Japan and Tokyo, one of the largest and vibrant cities in the world.  This also provides you with free time to adjust to time-zone, and explore the areas of the city that interest you before we head off on our journey around the country.

We have designed the cherry blossom tour schedules taking into account the dates for the Japanese cherry blossom festivals and viewing in each location. These dates are based on the flowering times from the last ten years and are a guide only. (The actual dates are out of our control.) However, there are a couple of things that make chasing the cherry blossom a little easier.  Firstly, the early part of the season is when plum trees are flowering, providing an alternative offering of spectacular colours.  Secondly, the cherry blossom forecast refers to a specific five petal variety, and there are many different types of cherry trees - some that flower earlier and some later, extending the season.  Certainly for the 2017 we had cherry blossom viewing across two months.  We also take pride in finding tranquil and uncrowded spots for our guests to enjoy the blossom season across the full March and April season

Joining a tour:  We try to meet you at your preferred arrival airport, but due to different schedules, that might not always be possible. If we are unable to meet you at the airport we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to join the tour.  

Departing a tour:  Activities on a day where you are departing a tour will be adjusted to take into account travel time to the airport. 

Cherry blossom tours Brochure and Schedules

Cherry blossom Kanazawa Cherry blossom Tokyo Cherry blossom Kyoto

Cherry blossom Hiroshima Cherry blossom Kyoto Cherry blossom Hirosaki

Early Cherry Blossom Tour during March (18th March to 31st March - two spaces available)

Starting in Tokyo, before heading to the Japanese alps and the onsen town of Togura. After an overnight stop in Kanazawa travel south to Hiroshima and the beautiful Miyajima.

From our most southern point we head back to the old capital of Kyoto, before heading back into the mountains to the picturesque town of Takayama. From here the two weeks is completed with the journey back to Tokyo.

Japan Spring Blossom Tour (Friday 23rd March to Tuesday 3rd April - no additional spaces available. )

This tour takes in many locations famous for its cherry blossom, including during the expected peak of the season.  In addition, visits to Hiroshima, Kanazawa and Nagano provide some additional variation and opportunities to experience more of what Japan has to offer.

Returning to Tokyo after the first weekend of April helps avoid some of the hanami crowds, and also allows for some variation in peak blossom timing.

Classic Cherry Blossom Tour (1st April to 14th April - no additional spaces available.)

The peak period for cherry blossom viewing starts in Tokyo at the beginning of April, including some of the famous and popular viewing locations around the city before heading south to Hiroshima and the island Miyajima with its floating torii gate.

Leaving Hiroshima we head to Kyoto and a selection of its famous sights before heading west to Kanazawa and its famous Kenrokuen Gardens and castle.

We then head to the mountains for a stay at a traditional Japanese inn and onsen before chasing the cherry blossom festival in the area around Sendai city, including a cruise around Matsushima Bay. The end of the tour sees us return to Tokyo for the weekend.

Heritage Cherry Tour (5th April to 19th April - no additional spaces available)

With a slightly different focus to the "Classic" blossom tour, this tour has a schedule that takes in some of the famous and iconic attractions of Japan including many of Japan's UNESCO World Heritage Sites (nine are included on the route)

Depending on the timing of the season, a late arrival (as little as half a week) would put you firmly in an ideal location  peak period for cherry blossom in Tokyo.  Then heading to the Alps via Matsumoto stay in the picturesque town of Takayama with a trip to Shirakawa-go.  Completing the trip across to the west coast, visit Kanazawa and their famous Kenrokuen gardens and castle grounds.

Head to Kyoto and a selection of its famous sights (Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, Fushimi Inari), a day trip to the first capital of Japan at Nara, before going south to Hiroshima and the island Miyajima with its floating torii gate.  Leaving Hiroshima we return to Osaka allowing us to include a visit to Himeji Castle before returning to Tokyo.

Late Cherry Blossom Tour (15th April to 28th April - no additional spaces available)

Our late cherry tour includes a trip to the north of Tokyo including side trips from Sendai (for Matsushima and Kakunodate), and also Aomori for the Hirosaki Castle Park, a site with 2,600 cherry trees and a beautiful cherry blossom festival.

Returning to the centre of the country, we stay in the mountains at an onsen near Nagano and a visit to the snow monkeys before two days in the western city of Kanazawa and the mountain town of Takayama.  From Takayama we take the scenic bus and train route via Matsumoto back to Tokyo.

Price inclusions/exclusions

We have left our pricing for the 2018 tours the same as 2017.  Pricing is takes into account the accommodation rates that we expect to be in place at the time of bookings.  We price in Japanese yen, but can quote in your local currency on request. 

Early Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for a fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y595,000 per person share twin/double. 

Classic Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for a fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y695,000 per person share twin/double.

Heritage Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for a fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y595,000 per person share twin/double.

Late Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for a fourteen days (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y595,000 per person share twin/double.

For solo travellers (one person, without a shared room), the cost of accommodation is unable to be shared, but we have a policy to limit the extra cost and have priced our tour for a single person at JPY695,000.

The price includes:

Exclusions are generally items such as theatre performances, sporting or other special events, theme parks, lunch and evening meals, snacks/drinks and other incidental costs such as hotel room service/laundry. 

Bookings and Inquiries

If you are interested in joining one of these tours, please contact us or email us directly at admin@japancustomtours.co.nz.

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