Japan Escorted Tours 2022/2023
In Japan, the start of spring is signalled by wisps of delicate white and pink petals floating in the breeze. The cherry blossom, or sakura, has begun – and it’s a magical sight not to be missed.
Not only do avenues of cherry trees in full bloom make for a fantastic photo, this time of year has a deep social and cultural significance for Japanese people. Join the locals in a nationwide celebration with hanami flower-viewing parties and picnics beneath the trees on our Essence of Japan tour in 2020.
One of the most incredible destinations in the world, Japan is the land where ultra modern meets deep tradition and is rich with epic natural beauty, futuristic cities, ancient traditions and delicious cuisine.
Explore innovative, futuristic cities, epic natural beauty and delicious cuisine in a country where ultra modern meets deep tradition.
Make this the year you embark on the trip of a lifetime to Japan.
Forests of maples glowing fiery red. Immaculate gardens erupting in a blaze of burnt orange. Roadside rows of ginkgo trees covered in brilliant yellow leaves. Japan’s cherry blossom season might get the headlines, but we think autumn is just as spectacular.We’ve still got a few spaces on our autumn departures of ‘Essence of Japan’ – plus savings of £200 per person on selected dates. It’s the perfect excuse to make 2019 the year you take the plunge and experience this fascinating country for yourself.
Japan Escorted Tours
Enjoy spectacular views at the base of Mt. Fuji, explore the magnificent Matsumoto Castle, see the roaming deer at the picturesque Nara Park, visit Hiroshima's peace memorial and more.
From £4,099pp - 14 day Escorted Tour
Japan is famed for its samurai castles, Zen Buddhist temples, bullet trains & neon-tinted futuristic cityscapes. Enjoy city tours of Tokyo & Kyoto, visit Hakone - home to Mount Fuji, explore Miyajima Island, the 'Island of the Gods' and more.
From £3,399pp | 11 day Escorted Tour
Explore high-paced cities and hushed shrines, attend a traditional tea ceremony and learn a little about geisha and samurai culture.
17 excursions & visits • 13 meals • VIP door-to-door transfers • Return flights from Heathrow
14 days from £4,899pp
Our most extensive Japan tour includes all the classic sights and key cultural activities. Featuring modern cities, historical treasures and beautiful landscapes, this tour ensures you get the most out of your trip to this fascinating land.
17 days from £7,099pp
Journey across the Japanese Alps to the cultural centres of Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa on this extensive tour of Japan. You will of course see modern Tokyo and beautiful Mount Fuji as well as historical Kyoto and Nara.
13 days from £5,790pp
Discover Japan's essential highlights on this great-value tour. Explore the historical cities of Kyoto and Nara, be awestruck by the beauty of Mount Fuji and experience the bright lights of Tokyo and Osaka. You'll also get the chance to take part in the ancient rituals of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, as well as learning the beautiful art of calligraphy.
8 days from £4,290pp
Explore the island of Kyushu, renowned for its active volcanoes, hot springs and beaches. Visit Kumamoto Castle before discovering the wonders of Hiroshima,
Kyoto and Toyko.
Journey south from Hokkaido uncovering the beauty of Sapporo, Otaru and Hakodate and the vibrant cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, visiting the stunning Mt Fuji and the 'Golden Pavilion' temple.
Discover the unforgettable highlights of Japan including an incredible high-speed ride on the Bullet Train.
13 days from £4,349
Soaring samurai castles. Pin-drop peaceful temples. Steaming hot springs. Neon-lit skyscrapers. Japan is an utterly captivating country.
It’s a place that offers up unforgettable experiences at every turn, whether you’re heading for the snowy scenery of Hokkaido, the buzzing streets of Tokyo or the temples and twisting lanes of Kyoto.
If you’ve been dreaming of discovering Japan for yourself, why not join us in 2020? We feature a trio of tours, each showing a slightly different side to this wonderful country.
Each tour has been designed to make your time away as easy as possible. You can expect a carefully planned itinerary and accommodation in handpicked hotels, plus a knowledgeable tour manager and local guide on hand the entire time – they’ll ensure you really get the most out of your time in Japan.
Japan's Cherry Blossom v Autumn Leaves
Cherry blossom, or sakura, fever takes hold of Japan at the start of spring every year. It's so highly anticipated, that the Japanese Meteorological Agency even forecasts its arrival. From late March to mid-April Japan's millions of cherry trees spectacularly bloom with beautiful shades of white and pink carpeting the country, this fleeting event is hugely sought after.
About 70% of Japan is covered in forests of deciduous trees and as the autumn sweeps south through the nation, the country becomes ablaze and explodes into a tapestry of fiery reds, golds and oranges. The season lasts longer than cherry blossom does - around two months - starting in September in Hokkaido and reaching Tokyo and Kyoto in November.
The art of watching the cherry blossoms is known as hanami. As the season approaches there is great fervour in Japan as locals prepare for large picnic parties beneath the beautiful blossoms with their friends and family. The Japanese will then drink sake and feast on bento boxes and pink themed sweets such as sakura flavoured KitKat chocolate bars! You'll even find a limited edition sakura flavoured Coca Cola to try during the season.
The art of following the autumn leaves is known as momijigari. It's a celebration of the start of autumn, and one which is now ingrained into Japanese culture; many wearing kimonos with maple leaf patterns while enjoying Momiji tempura - delicious deep-friend maple leaves. It may not be anticipated as frenziedly as the cherry blossoms, but don't underestimate the beauty of the leaves - they've been the subject of many Japanese poems and novels.
The furore around cherry blossom stretches back 1,200 years where its appearance signified the start of the rice-planting season. As time passed, its popularity grew alongside the philosophical beliefs of the Japanese, where appreciation of nature is rife. Today, the few weeks where cherry blossoms bloom are the most popular time to visit Japan.
The tradition of momijigari has its roots in the Heian Period (794 - 1185 AD) where noble families and scholars would enjoy nature's shift from green to gold. It only became more widely popular much later, in the Edo Period (1603 - 1868 AD) when avid leaf spotters would travel vast distances to admire a particularly spectacular displey. A tradition that continues today!
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Disclaimer: All prices are 'from' prices, they may not be available on every date. *Please refer to the tour itinerary regarding excursions and entry fees. Lead-ins are based on the best value flight and airline available at pricing and include all available discounts. Prices are per person. Other durations, dates and departure airports are available at a supplement. All prices are subject to availability and can be withdrawn without notice due to airline availability. Single traveller supplements may apply. Terms and conditions apply