Japan Cherry Blossom Tours 2023

Plum blossom Shinjuku in Bloom Matsushima Blossom

Cherry blossom season and spring is a beautiful time of year to travel to Japan.  With the changing of the seasons people across the country enjoy the vibrant early plum blossom before the more popular and delicate colours of the cherry come into bloom. 

We have designed our blossom tours to capture some of the best displays the Japan has to offer.  However, our tours include much more than simply the opportunity to enjoy some of the cherry blossom festivals that are held in different parts of the country.  Japan is a country that allows you to enjoy terrific scenery, fascinating castles, temples, shrines, culture, a rich history as well as delicious food as you travel around.

In previous years our cherry tours have seen many early bookings, well in advance.  On occasion we have closed these tours to additional bookings in January meaning we were unable to accommodate inquiries and bookings that arrived during February and March.  As the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons were effectively cancelled (and Japan having closed borders for two years) we expect their to be high demand for these popular trips.  Therefore we recommend that you contact us early to secure your place .  You can either use our simple contact us form or email us directly at admin@japancustomtours.co.nz  For 2024 we are re-offering these popular tours, please go to our 2024 cherry blossom tour page.

March and April 2023 Japan Cherry Blossom Tours

(Bookings for our 2023 cherry blossom tours have closed.  If you are considering the 2024 season, please feel free to get in touch.)

For spring 2023 we are offering two main cherry blossom tours.  For March we do have an additional tour running in the first half of the month to capture some tail end of the late plum/early cherry blossom season.  

Our main tours are based around the core blossom season covering late March and April.  Building on previous years we have made some changes to our schedules based on guest feedback and improvements to the order and travel times in some places.  This has resulted in a reduction in travel times between locations, but also things like an additional scenic journey between Takayama and Matsumoto, and incorporating a visit to the city of Sendai and one of the "three views of Japan, Matsushima Bay.

With most arrivals occurring one or two days prior to the commencement of the tours this allows us to meet you at the airport, transfer you to your hotel in Tokyo and provide an initial introduction to Japan and Tokyo, one of the largest and vibrant cities in the world.  This also gives you some free time to adjust to the time-zone, and explore a few areas of the city that interest you before we head off on our journey around the country.  We understand many guests wish to arriving before the formal start of a tour due to flights and flight pricing, this allows people flexibility to easily join a tour.  Depending on guest arrival times we my also be able to offer an optional Fuji/Hakone excursion that has a popular add-on for many people.

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 average 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 "official" cherry blossom forecasts refer to a specific five petal variety (somei yoshino), and there are many different types of cherry trees - some that flower earlier and some later, extending the season.  Certainly for our previous tour seasons we had cherry blossom viewing across a two month period.  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.


Cherry blossom tours and Schedules

Each year we update our schedules incorporating feedback from guests and to build in improvements over the previous year's tours.  The following provides a brief description of the tours we are planning for spring 2023 and more detailed schedules are available on request.  A tour brochure is available for download using the following link. 

Cherry blossom Kanazawa  

Classic Cherry Blossom Tour (Sunday 2nd April to Sunday 16th April 2023)

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 (considered one of the "three views of Japan".) The end of the tour sees us return to Tokyo for the weekend.

Late Cherry Blossom Tour (Wednesday 19th April to Tuesday 2nd May 2023)

(Unfortunately due to a private tour scheduling clash we are unable to offer this tour.)

Our late cherry tour includes a trip to the north of Tokyo including side trips from Sendai (for Matsushima and Kakunodate depending on the season), and also Aomori for the Hirosaki Castle Park, a site with 2,600 cherry trees and a site of a large and famous 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 famous "snow monkeys" before heading to the western side of Japan and the city of Kanazawa.  Departing Kanazawa we journey back into the Alps and the alpine town of Takayama (including a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago).  Undertaking a scenic mountain road trip we visit Matsumoto and its castle before catching the express train back to Tokyo. 

Price inclusions/exclusions

We price in Japanese yen, but can quote in your local currency on request. 

Classic Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for fifteen days (accommodation for fourteen nights) is from Y745,000 per person share twin/double.

Late Cherry Blossom Tour: The price for the base fourteen day tour (accommodation for thirteen nights) is from Y695,000 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 tours for a solo travellers at Y145,000 above the shared/double/twin rate to partly cover the cost of accommodation.

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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