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Sakura Cherry Blossom
Sakura Cherry Blossom

Sakura Cherry Blossom

Sakura Cherry Blossom Holidays

Ancient & Modern Japan

Sakura Cherry Blossom
14 Days from £ 4,795

Guided Group (Excl. Flights)

Explore Zen gardens, temples and the most iconic sights of Japan

Culture

Cycling in Japan

Japan
14 Days from £ 6,199

Guided Group (Excl. Flights)

Cycle the land of the Samurai; temples, geishas and incredible Tokyo and Kyoto

Cycling

Highlights of Japan

Sakura Cherry Blossom
8 Days from £ 3,349
£ 2,999

Guided Group (Excl. Flights)

Uncover the cultural highlights of Japan on this eight-day trip

Culture

Overall positive, a good overview of Japan, covering a lot of ground from Kyoto to Tokyo. The group of 15 bonded well and guide was excellent. Transport on bullet train excellent
Areas for improvement – quality of accommodation fairly basic, around 3*. Strengthen context/tours of big cities to give more of an overview.

Peter Kane Ancient & Modern Japan

I enjoyed my trip. I had not considered the impact of the trip relying on public transport. Also, there were fewer opportunities to eat dinner as a group with the leader which I suspect reflects how busy it is in Japan. On previous trips with Exodus, I have particularly enjoyed learning about the local way of life from a local guide but realistically on this mode of transport there was very little opportunity to have that insight even if the guide had been local.

Sharon Lindsay Ancient & Modern Japan

Japan did not disappoint despite 3* hotel stays, lack of opportunities that purported to be arranged locally by your tour leader and are subject to availability none of which were available, poor planning of travel necessitating tickets bought on the day at the station, basic information provided at tourist sites and lack of organisation that curtailed one of the main Japanese sites.

Noreen Orton Ancient & Modern Japan

5 of the best places to visit during a Sakura cherry blossom tour in Japan

Tokyo: The capital is home to several popular sites brimming with cherry blossom at this time of year. You can soak up cherry blossom on a trip through Ueno Park, then head to the iconic Sensō-ji Temple which becomes even more picturesque with cherry blossom trees framing that sought-after shot for your photographs. Meanwhile, Meiji Jingu Gyoen is home to the Meiji Shrine, as well as the tree-lined Omotesando shopping street which becomes bathed in cherry blossom at this time of year. This area is a must-visit during your sakura holiday.

Nikko: In Nikko, the Shinkyo Bridge is another flourishing site during sakura season. This is one of the most photographed attractions in Japan, made especially charming by the pink and white hues reflected in the Daiya River flowing beneath it. While in the area, you can also see the lavish Toshogu Shrine, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Kyoto: The ancient capital of Japan is a must-see during sakura season. You’ll uncover the Hanami-koji within the famous Gion District – also known as the Geisha District – which becomes awash with cherry blossom. Next up, the Arashiyama is a photogenic spot year-round and deserves a spot on your Japan cherry blossom tour itinerary. Located on the outskirts, the cherry blossom trees are set against a calming mountainous backdrop interspersed with bridges and water. For a spectacular concoction of brazen vermilion and dusky pink, visit the Fushimi Inari with its thousands of torii gates.

Hiroshima: Take in rich history and beautiful sites aplenty in Hiroshima. Perhaps the most iconic attraction in the area, Hiroshima Castle is over 400 years old and is revitalised by almost 500 cherry blossom trees in the surrounding grounds. The 300 cherry blossom trees in Peace Park showcase pink and white tones in abundance. This park was built in memory of those who died as a result of the atomic bomb in World War II. On some tours, you will also head to the early 17th-century Himeji Castle en route to Hiroshima. This UNESCO-listed site boasts a distinctive design and equally stunning grounds, enhanced by 1,000 surrounding cherry blossom trees.

Miyajima: A small island beside Hiroshima’s coast, Miyajima, also known as Itsukushima, is destined to be a special part of your sakura holiday to Japan – not least because it’s home to inquisitive deer that roam the island. There are approximately 2,000 cherry blossom trees across the island, giving you plenty of photo opportunities. It’s well worth visiting the Komyoin Temple, as well as the famous Floating Torii Gate, which looks spectacular with sakura in the frame.

When is cherry blossom season in Japan?

We recommend you book your sakura tour between late March and early April, in line with cherry blossom season in Japan.

How long do cherry blossom trees last in Japan?

Cherry blossom season is said to be between late March and April. However, the breadth of Japan means that the season travels up the country and lasts around four months in total. This is down to the fact that the climate in Japan becomes milder as you travel north. The northernmost parts of the country will experience the latest cherry blossom seasons. We recommend taking this into account if you are planning a more extensive cherry blossom trip to Japan.

Where are the best places in Japan to see cherry blossoms?

Some of the best places to visit during your sakura holiday in Japan include:

  • Nakameguro, Tokyo
  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo
  • Maruyama Park, Kyoto
  • Himeji Castle, Himeji
  • Shinkyo Bridge, Nikko

You can find more suggestions in our guide to sakura season.

What does 'sakura' mean in Japan?

Sakura quite literally means ‘a flowering cherry tree’.

What is the cultural significance of cherry blossom season in Japan?

Adoration of sakura season dates back to the Heian period over 1,000 years ago. A short yet vibrant season, it’s associated with renewal and new beginnings. This time of year is met with great admiration and it’s common for it to be celebrated in Japanese culture. As a result, it is regularly showcased in art and other cultural outlets.

When is the cherry blossom festival in Japan?

Hanami, otherwise known as the cherry blossom festival, has existed for centuries. There are no exact dates for when these festivals take place, however, there will be ongoing celebrations. If you’re planning a cherry blossom festival tour to Japan, be sure to align your trip with when each location will enjoy sakura season.

Where am I likely to find cherry blossom festival celebrations during a tour in Japan?

You will naturally come across celebrations throughout the sakura season, but there are some places in Tokyo with more extensive celebrations. These include:

  • Ueno Park
  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
  • Meguro River

The areas of Kyoto and Tokyo are particularly vibrant at this time of year and are worth visiting to experience cherry blossom festivals during your trip to Japan.

What should I wear on a cherry blossom season trip in Japan?

Many people opt for white and pastel-coloured clothing during sakura season holidays in Japan. Having said this, more practical advice includes wearing a coat or jacket during the earlier stages of the season as it can be a little chilly. As the season progresses, layers are a good idea, allowing you to add and remove clothing where necessary.

Regardless of when you go, we recommend wearing comfortable footwear for your cherry blossom walking tour in Japan.

What can I expect from a cherry blossom walking tour in Japan?

Our cherry blossom walking tours in Japan are guided group trips. Group sizes will range from 6-18 people, plus your expert leader, with travellers aged 16 years or above.

The activity level will be listed in our trip details, but they will generally be in the moderate range, requiring some fitness and an adventurous spirit. You can read our full activity level guidelines for more information.

What is the weather like during a cherry blossom season holiday in Japan?

The weather during your cherry blossom trip to Japan will depend on where you are. During the spring, temperatures range from 2–24 °C, so it is recommended that you check the forecast ahead of your trip. The start of the season is a lot chillier, so make sure you account for this.

Do you offer cherry blossom cycling holidays to Japan?

Yes, you can find out more about our cycling cherry blossom tours to Japan here.

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