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Spirit of Japan (Reverse): Takayama Spring Festival & Cherry Blossoms

Fully Escorted

Local Cuisine

Handpicked Hotels

Private Transportation

No Options Sold

Lights
per person
2024/2025/2026 CHERRY BLOSSOM TOURS

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Tour Code: GTT2688092

Spirit of Japan (Reverse): Takayama Spring Festival & Cherry Blossoms

2 Reviews

15 days 14 nights

fromUSD $6298.00

currency

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Single Supplement: USD $1260.00


Journey through the spiritual side of Japan by visiting centuries-old sites and scenic trails during the cherry blossom season.

While Japan is known by many as one of the leaders in technological advancements, it's long and storied history is still easily seen from the metropolis of Tokyo to the rural villages of Shikoku. This ancient culture is filled with stories of spirits, gods, and demons from a multitude of religions. Many of these are still practiced and some of the most popular sites to visit are Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples. While an abundance of these can be found in Tokyo, some of the more spiritually significant sites are hidden in the forests and backcountry. The hikes, climbs, and long walks to these places of prayer and meditation can be extremely rewarding. These places escort you back to a simpler time. A time which is truly endless; it was here before us and it will be long after.

In addition to these spiritual sites, this tour also visits the Takayama spring festival, which is a great stop for any traveler. You will also experience some of the must-see sights of Japan. By the end of this tour, you will have a much deeper understanding of Japan as a whole than your average tourist.

Start with some of the more iconic landmarks of Japan with Himeji Castle and Miyajima Island. Himeji castle is one of the few original castles that survived the feudal era and provides a window into the past. Miyajima is famous for Itsukushima shrine which, at high tide, appears to be floating on the water. Along the 60- kilometer long Shimanami Kaido that connects the main island of Honshu to Shikoku, there will be many photo- worthy opportunities. The fascinating history of Japan shines through in Shikoku where there are 88 pilgrimage temples and a number of scenic trails. Here, you can visit Shikoku Mura Village where a number of traditional buildings have been preserved in an open- air museum. At Ritsurin Park, marvel at the Japanese techniques of landscaping that are truly unique.

After a ferry ride to Wakayama prefecture, visit the spiritually renowned Koyasan. Here, you will have the unique experience of staying overnight at a temple and see the simple life of Buddhist monks. Do not expect any frills here! Getting in touch with your spiritual side is not a luxurious venture. To further your spiritual journey, you will join the monks in their early meditation and try to connect on a deeper level to their way of life. After returning to the physical world, traverse along the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail where you will see a number of shrines, temples, and perhaps other pilgrims attempting to reach deeper into their spiritual side. This trail has been rightfully named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its long and continued history. At Nachi Grand Shrine, you will see what is said to be the tallest waterfall in Japan. Follow the route along to Ise Grand Shrine. Dedicated to Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, this is one of the most sacred shrines in all of Japan.

Ease back into civilization with a visit to Nara's Todaiji Temple and the surrounding Deer Park. You will then spend 2 days in the "1000 Year Capital" of Japan, Kyoto. Here, the history and culture shrine bright even through the modern city around it. Kyoto has a number of highly ranked Cherry Blossom sites which include gardens and temples, if you are lucky enough to catch them. You will experience a traditional green tea ceremony, interact with an apprentice Geisha(maiko) .

Next, visit the underrated city of Kanazawa, where western tourist normally do not trod. Visit one of the top three gardens in all of Japan: Kenrokuen. Travel further into the Alps region of Japan to Shirakawa-go and Takayama. The towns have a more traditional feeling because of their secluded nature and they have made great efforts to preserve some of their outstanding heritage sites. In Takayama, witness one of Japan's most famous festivals and revel in most Japanese sign of spring: Cherry Blossoms.

Travel to the famous Mt. Fuji, a great landmark and spiritual location in its own right. You will then end in the great city of Tokyo. Here, you can experience making your own sushi with a professional chef. You will also see how the rich heritage of Japan is not forgotten in the urban sprawl of Tokyo. Tokyo has grown around but not invaded areas like the Asakusa district with an atmosphere of old Tokyo. Get a last view of Tokyo from atop the Tokyo Skytree. From this height, reflect on how the Spirit of Japan lives on not only in its hidden temples and shrines but in the very heart of Tokyo.

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Tour Information

Dates & Price

2025

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Fri. Apr 4, 2025 Fri. Apr 18, 2025 USD $6298.00 Osaka Tokyo Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  

2026

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sat. Apr 4, 2026 Sat. Apr 18, 2026 USD $6298.00 Osaka Tokyo Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  

Please Note:

All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!

We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.

Deposit

We require US$200 deposit per person to hold the space at time of booking and the final payment is due 2 month prior to departure.

What's included

  • • 1 night temple lodging, 10 nights Western style and 3 nights Japanese style accommodation
  • • Meet and greet upon arrival at Osaka Kansai Airport
  • • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • • Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
  • • Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide

  •   Meals
  • • Breakfast everyday
  • • 9 lunches and 6 dinners

  • Admission fees and activities
  • • All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

What's NOT included

  • • International Airfares
  • • Meals that are not included in the itinerary
  • • Travel Insurance
  • • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
  • • Personal expenses such as telephone and laundry bills

Additional Information

Transport

Travel by private coach between destinations, hassle free baggage handling.


Arrival Departure Airports
  • • For arrivals at Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX), this tour starts in Osaka and ends in Tokyo, with departures at Narita Airport (NRT).
  • • If you will be flying out from Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita Airport (NRT) on the last day, airport transfer is not included. We will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$60.00 per person per way.

Meal Requests

Vegetarian or special meals can be arranged.


Meet and Greet

Please note that the meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.


Itinerary In Brief

  • Day1   Arrive in Osaka
  • Day2   Himeji - Kurashiki
  • Day3   Hiroshima
  • Day4   Shimanami Kaido - Takamatsu
  • Day5   Naruto
  • Day6   Koyasan
  • Day7   Kumano
  • Day8   Ise Shima
  • Day9   Nara - Kyoto
  • Day10   Kyoto
  • Day11   Bullet Train Ride - Kanazawa - Shirakawa-go - Takayama (Takayama Night Festival)
  • Day12   Takayama (Takayama Spring Festival)
  • Day13   Mt. Fuji - Hakone
  • Day14   Tokyo
  • Day15   Tour ends

Click here for detailed itinerary

Tour schedule and prices subject to change without notice

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Himeji / Kurashiki / Hiroshima / Shimanami Kaido / Takamatsu / Naruto / Koyasan / Kumano / Ise Shima / Nara / Kyoto / Kanazawa / Shirakawa- go / Takayama / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Tokyo


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Best Itinerary

Planned by experts, based on seasonal favorites and must-see sites.

Budget-friendly

Choose your style and split cost with other passengers

Hand-picked Accommodations

Chosen by our experienced staff

Fully Guided

Guide is available to you 24/7 and sleeps in the same hotel

Unique experiences

Learn to create your own Sushi, meet a geisha or maiko, and more

Connect

Meet locals and visit rural areas of Japan you might miss on other tours