Sakura in Springtime Premium Tour: April 2-12, 2017
Roundtrip economy airfare
5-star Hotel accommodations
Meals as specified in the itinerary
Local Tour Guide
Filipino Tour Escort
Travel Bounty giveaway
Sakura in Springtime
We have been doing Sakura Tours regularly but this year, we are making a Premium Edition. Enjoy high-end hotels, authentic Japanese restaurants and a more extensive tour of Japan's Golden Route. Tour includes a bullet train ride to Hiroshima, World Heritage Sites, Food Sample making and more shopping! Join us this year!
Depart Manila for Osaka. Upon arrival, proceed to the famous Osaka Castle (photo stop) which played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century. Later on to the new garden observatory of the iconic Umeda Sky Building where we will be able to have a panoramic view of Osaka City from atop.
Experience the popular “Shinkansen” Bullet Train ride as we glide through the rails averaging 250km/h as we transfer to Hiroshima. Going really Japanese today as an EKIBEN Lunchbox is served while on the train. First stop is the Peace Park –which is dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack, and to the memories of the bomb's direct and indirect victims. Enter the Atomic Bomb Museum where we will see what transpired during the 1945 bombing. We ride the Miyajima Ferry and visit the Itsukushima Shrine before heading to our hotel.
After breakfast head back to Osaka. Pass by the beautifulKurashiki Canal where bridges arch over and willows dip into the water. Here, old black-tiled warehouses have been converted into an eclectic collection of museums. Experience making one of Japan’s famous street foods, the Takoyaki Balls – a popular Japanese dumpling made from batter, baby octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger and green onion. Oishi! Our day ends with free time for shopping at Shinsaibashi District.
After breakfast, proceed to Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan. Although ravaged by wars, fires, and earthquakes during its eleven centuries as the imperial capital, Kyoto was spared from much of the destruction of World War II. Stroll along Gion District (hopefully to get a glimpse of the Geishas as they go to work). Then to Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu Temple and Sanjusangendo Wooden
Temple, all adorned by the beautiful Sakura. The Sakura (cherry blossom) is Japan's unofficial national flower. It has been celebrated for many centuries and holds a very prominent position in Japanese culture. The cherry blossom season is relatively short. Full bloom (mankai) is usually reached within about one week after the opening of the first blossoms (kaika) and then another week later, the blooming peak is over and the blossoms are falling from the trees. No one can predict exact days of bloom, but probable periods can be established. Finally, transfer to Nara, Japan’s capital in 710 to visit the Todaiji Temple. It is the home of one of the 2 Great Buddhas. Try letting your body go through a hole in the temple called the Buddha’s Nostril to have a good after life.
Maximize our sightseeing of Kyoto and visit Arashiyama. Feast your sight as you stroll along the river to the sakura-clad gardens to the
envigorating Bamboo Forest. In the afternoon go to the famous Kinkaku-Ji or Golden Pavillion, a Buddhist Temple with a garden
complex that is an excellent example of the Muromachi Period – a classical age in Japanese garden design. This is considered one of
the most photographed landmarks of the country. Lastly, head for Toyota Kaikan Museum. Located beside the Toyota Headquarters,
one can view Toyota's latest models and new technologies plus an entertaining robot exhibition. Overnight in Nagoya.
After breakfast, we visit quaint Gujo Hachiman. Visit the Old Town then get ready for a highlight food sample making experience – certified enjoyable! In the afternoon, we travel to Mt Fuji area and check-in our Ryokan where we will stay for two nights. Get ready for an authentic Japanese dinner donned in your Yukata and experience sleeping in a tatami mat. You might even want to try their envigorating onsen! With a beautiful view of snow-capped Mt. Fuji behind us, what else is there to ask for?
Have a power breakfast before ascending to the famous Mt. Fuji. Drive up to the 5th station if weather permits to experience the peak of the highest and most beautiful volcano in Japan. This well-proportioned cone-shaped mountain has been worshipped by the Japanese people since ancient times, and is a well-known national symbol of Japan. We then proceed to Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park top ride a cable car going to Owakudani Valley also known as Hell Valley. Observe volcanic activity as you walk your way through a short trail to witness boiling sulfur. Get a chance to buy their hard-boiled eggs which shells are blackened due to the sulfur where they were boiled. End the day with a scenic boat ride on Lake Ashi.
Depart Mt. Fuji district. Head for Yokohama with a visit to Nissin Cup Noodle Museum where we participate in a special hands-on ramen workshop! Photo ops at the modern MM21 area (Minato Mirai 21). Special admission to the traditional Ramen Museum where we will also have our dinner. Overnight IN Yokohama.
After breakfast we head for Tokyo. Start our tour of Japan’s cosmopolitan city by passing the Imperial Palace – the home of Japan’s emperor then ascend the Tokyo Tower and see the cityscape of Tokyo from the observatory. Visit UENO Park for a last glimpse at the cherry blossoms. After lunch more shopping awaits at Ameyoko then to the famous Shibuya Crossing where you will also see the most photographed statue of Hachiko. Free time will be given at Shinjuku.
After breakfast in the hotel, go the famed Tsukiji Fish Market where one may opt to sample fresh sushi or simply enjoy the sight of the days seafood catch. Then on to our last Buddhist Temple, the Asakusa Kannon Temple (Sensoji), one of Tokyo’s most colorful and popular temples. Nearby is the forever festive Nakamise Street, where one can get beautiful hand-crafted Japanese souvenirs.From here we can see the towering Sky Tree, presently the tallest tower in the world (displacing the Canton Tower) and the second tallest structure in the world after Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Later, enjoy free time in GINZA. Dinner in the area and back to hotel
for our last evening in Japan.