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Cherry Blossoms in Japan: Tokyo to Kyoto

with Osaka & Hiroshima extension
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Springtime beauty blends with ancient history and cutting-edge culture.

Japan seamlessly merges centuries-old history with a modern way of life. On this tour, hues of pink and aromatic scents fill city streets and lush parks as cherry blossoms bring new life to an already vibrant country. See ancient temples alongside modern architecture while experiencing the beauty celebrated each year during the Japanese cherry blossom season.

Your tour package includes
  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 3 dinners
  • 9 guided sightseeing tours
Included highlights
  • Cherry blossoms
  • Meiji Shrine
  • Mount Fuji
  • Hakone Open-Air Museum
  • high-speed bullet train ride
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Day-by-day itinerary
Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Tokyo today.

Tokyo3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Tokyo
Included meal: Dinner

Welcome to Japan! Get settled in to your hotel before meeting your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Tokyo
Included meal: Breakfast

Join your Tour Director and embark on your first tour of Japan’s bustling capital.

• Make a photo stop and view the iconic Shibuya crossing from overhead as you drive through the central part of the city

• View the Imperial Palace and its impressive grounds

• Explore Tokyo’s old town, including the ancient Asakusa Kannon Temple, the city’s oldest and most sacred temple

• Peruse a vibrant variety of handmade crafts and local fare at the centuries-old Nakamise Shopping Arcade

Spend a free afternoon enjoying the views of the cherry blossoms throughout Tokyo or add an excursion.

Culinary Traditions of Japan: Sushi Making & Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 4: Free day in Tokyo
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Tokyo or add an excursion.

Kamakura
Excursion (additional cost)
Hakone1 night
Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Tokyo, Mount Fuji photo stop & transfer to Hakone
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, follow your Tour Director on another guided sightseeing tour of vibrant Tokyo before continuing on to Hakone.

• Set off on a short walk from Yoyogi Park to the Meiji Shrine, final resting place of Emperor Meiji

• Wander through the shrine’s Inner Garden, home to irises that bloom in springtime and the spiritually powerful Kiyomasa’s Well

• Stroll through the colorful Harajuku neighborhood, where Tokyo’s history and present-day pop culture intertwine

• Head to the top of the Metropolitan Government Building to get a bird’s-eye view of the city

Later, make your way to Hakone, a resort town in the Owakudani Valley.

• Make a photo stop at Mount Fuji, which stands an imposing 12,388 feet high

• Take in panoramic views of nearby lakes and villages from the midway-point observatory

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Kyoto4 nights
Day 6: Mount Komagatake, Lake Ashi & train to Kyoto
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, take a guided tour of Mount Komagatake and Lake Ashi.

• Enjoy a ropeway ride up to the top of Mount Komagatake, admiring spectacular views from the cable car as you go

• Embark on a cruise on Lake Ashi, formed after Mount Hakone erupted 3,000 years ago

• Take in surreal views of Mount Fuji looming in the background

• Pay a visit to the Hakone Open-Air Museum, with endless sculptures over its 17 acres and a gallery with more than 700 works by Picasso

• Soak in the annual beauty that the cherry blossoms bring to the city

This afternoon, board a high-speed bullet train to Kyoto.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Kyoto, Zen meditation class & Shunkoin Temple
Included meal: Breakfast

Your Tour Director leads a tour of Kyoto, the city that served as the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years—and is still considered its spiritual capital.

• Tour the 17th-century Nijo Castle, which boasts intricate architecture and a unique alarm system: floors that sound like a nightingale when walked on

• See one of Japan’s most famous temples, the glittering Golden Pavilion

• Travel on to Ryoanji Temple, which houses the country’s finest Zen gardens

• Meet an American-educated Vice Abbot who will lead you in a guided Zen meditation session inside Shunkoin Temple

• Explore the temple on a tour following your meditation

• Sit down to sip Matcha green tea alongside a traditional Japanese sweet

Please note: Today’s guided Zen meditation session may take place in the morning depending on the schedule.

Day 8: Koga & Nara
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Discover Japan’s lush countryside as you wind your way to the town of Koga to visit the I.M. Pei-designed Miho Museum, which boasts an excellent collection of Japanese art and an extensive Egyptian collection.

Please note: If the Miho Museum is closed, you may visit the Kyoto Museum and Sanjusangendo Hall instead.

Then, journey to the former capital city of Nara for a guided tour before returning to Kyoto this evening.

• Enjoy an included lunch

• Tour UNESCO-listed Buddhist and Shinto shrines, including the Todaiji Temple, site of the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue

• Stroll through Nara Park, home to more than 1,200 wild deer considered sacred by locals

Day 9: Free day in Kyoto
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a free day in Kyoto or add an excursion.

Tonight, join your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner in Kyoto, where you’ll sample four kinds of sake and enjoy traditional shabu-shabu (hot pot).

Arashiyama District & Nishiki Market
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Osaka & departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Continue on to Osaka, the birthplace of many of Japan’s well-known arts, such as Kabuki theater and the tea ceremony. Today’s guided tour, led by your Tour Director, offers a look inside the city’s historic sights.

• Visit the massive Osaka Castle, which houses a museum dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the legendary leader who built it

• Stroll through Kuromon Ichiba Market, famous for its selection of fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, and other Japanese specialties

This evening, transfer to the airport to board your flight home or choose to continue your adventure with a visit to Hiroshima.

Extension to Osaka & Hiroshima

Round out your journey in Japan as you explore Osaka and Hiroshima, two dynamic destinations where palpable history mingles with present day. In Osaka, fill up on authentic food and get swept up in the whir of the city's bustling nightlife, when each avenue lights up in vibrant color. Then, step back in time in Hiroshima. This "City of Peace" has been rebuilt from the ground up but still shows moving signs of its infamous past.

Osaka1 night
Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Osaka
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Continue on to Osaka, the birthplace of many of Japan’s well-known arts, such as Kabuki theater and the tea ceremony. Today’s guided tour, led by your Tour Director, offers a look inside the city’s historic sights.

• Visit the massive Osaka Castle, which houses a museum dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the legendary leader who built it

• Stroll through Kuromon Ichiba Market, famous for its selection of fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, and other Japanese specialties

Hiroshima1 night
Day 11: Train to Hiroshima & sightseeing tour
Included meal: Breakfast

Board a high-speed bullet train to Hiroshima and get to know this world-renowned “City of Peace” on today’s guided sightseeing tour.

• Visit Peace Memorial Park to see the Peace Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome, which was the only structure to withstand the infamous atomic bombing of the city during World War II

• Take a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island to view the 12th-century, UNESCO-listed Itsukushima Shrine

Osaka1 night
Day 12: Free day in Osaka
Included meal: Breakfast

Transfer by high-speed bullet train back to Osaka, where you can enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Osaka by Night: Cruise & Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 13: Free morning in Osaka & departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free morning in Osaka. Then, transfer to the airport to board your flight home.

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Dates & prices
Choose your dates to start a quote
4 Departures
Tour prices are per person, before flights, and based on two travelers per hotel room.
Mar 19–Mar 28, 2020
Extension available
$5,249CAD
Mar 26–Apr 4, 2020
Extension available
$5,249CAD
Only 6 spots left!
Mar 18–Mar 27, 2021
Extension available
$5,249CAD
Mar 25–Apr 3, 2021
Extension available
$5,249CAD
Reviews
4.5 average
Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
Beautiful Cherry blossoms
by 4th time traveler 

Great vacation worth going there to see the Cherry Blossom and so many other things.

Very informative tour
by 2nd time traveler 

Our tour guide. Junko, was excellent. Without her the tour would have been average. Too many temples/shrines and too little other sites. Too much free time. Meals were beef which is great if you eat beef. For those who don't eat beef, there were no options Optional excursions were expense for what...

Read more +
Go Ahead Tours replied on 05/13/2019

Dear Patricia, Thank you for your feedback. We reg...

by 4th time traveler 

We hit the jackpot with this tour. Everything went better than expected. The tour leader Junko Ito was outstanding, the cherry blossoms were at their peak and Mt Fuji was clear of clouds. I can’t say enough good things about this trip.

by 3rd time traveler 

Overall a great tour. The tour director was magnificent. He went above and beyond all expectations in making the trip as enjoyable as can be hoped for. The itinerary was very good - mixed the typical highlights in each city with some less-traveled visits to unique sites. Adding a bit more free time...

Delights of Japan
by 5th time traveler 

Junko was an exceptional and extremely organized guide who introduced us to the wonderful sites and culture that Japan offers. She used her free time to take us to Ginza Street and Kyoto Station - both sites not to be missed. The one suggestion that I would make, is that Fushimi Inari should be in...

Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

Hotels

We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.

Kyoto Royal Hotel & Spa

This well-located hotel is located in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto. Guests enjoy free WiFi, a restaurant, and spa. Nearby, you'll find Kyoto Gyoen National Garde...

Palace Hotel Hakone

This scenic hotel is located in the Sengoku-hara Highlands in Hakone. Guests enjoy a hot spring, a spa, and a karaoke lounge. Nearby, you’ll find Hako...

Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

This comfortable hotel is located on Odaiba Island, Tokyo. Guests enjoy a fitness center, restaurant, and room service. Nearby, you'll find Pallete To...

Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.

Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights
Local weather
Kyoto, Japan
Weather averages
Today
High 87°F Low 71°F
 / 
42°44°51°61°72°77°84°86°78°68°57°46°31°31°35°43°52°60°70°71°64°54°44°35°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nara, Japan
Weather averages
Today
High 91°F Low 74°F
 / 
42°45°52°62°72°77°84°86°78°68°58°47°31°32°36°44°53°61°70°71°64°54°44°35°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Osaka, Japan
Weather averages
Today
High 81°F Low 58°F
 / 
42°44°50°59°69°74°81°83°76°67°57°47°35°36°40°47°55°63°71°73°66°57°49°40°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Tokyo, Japan
Weather averages
Today
High 86°F Low 79°F
 / 
47°49°55°63°73°76°84°86°79°70°61°51°36°37°42°51°60°66°74°76°70°61°51°42°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
FAQ
Print FAQ
Passport & visa requirements
  • In order to enter Japan, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact Japan's consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and gravel paths, with few hills.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains and small boats.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Tokyo and depart from Osaka. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • A high-speed train transfer from Hakone to Kyoto is included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes a round-trip high-speed bullet train transfer between Osaka and Hiroshima.)
  • All other included transportation is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance
  • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
  • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit temples or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
Health
  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Japan.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
Cuisine
  • Most Japanese meals are based around rice or noodles with fish, meat, and vegetables flavored with soy sauce and miso. You may recognize popular dishes like sushi, tempura, and hot pot.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • Japan operates on 100 volts and uses a Type A plug, the same as in the U.S.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in Asian hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones
  • Japan is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it's 1am on the following day in Japan.
Currency
  • You will use the Japanese yen in Japan.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
Tipping
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.