Japan Spring Festival: Cherry Blossoms and Temples

Globotours •

deal over

Escape Kit

  • An Eight-Day Trip to Japan for the Spring Festival ($3,899 to $3,999 per Person)
  • Round-Trip Economy Class Airfare from Los Angeles, New York, or Atlanta via Korean Air
  • Round-Trip Ground Transportation per Itinerary
  • Double-Occupancy Accommodations for One Night in Osaka, Two Nights in Kyoto, One Night in Takayama, One Night in the Yatsugatake Mountains, and Two Nights in Tokyo
  • Seven Breakfasts, Four Lunches, and Three Dinners
  • English-Speaking Guides Throughout
  • Entry Fees to Sites and Activities Listed on Itinerary
  • Priced per Person Based on Double Occupancy (See Fine Print)

The Destination
One of the most beautiful festivals in the world, the Takayama Spring Festival celebrates nature's bounty. It's a time to pray for a productive autumn harvest, but it's also a time to admire the region's mountains, rivers, and cherry trees, which are in full bloom during this mid-April celebration. Fragrant and photo-worthy, the festival is a feast for the senses. It's also a big part of Japanese tradition, dating back to the 15th century. Here, you'll visit incense-laden temples, soak in ancient natural spas, and feast on traditional Japanese cuisine.

And that's just a small taste of what you'll see on this eight-day excursion to Japan, which takes guests from Osaka to Kyoto, Takayama, and Tokyo, visiting some of the country's most- and least-photographed destinations along the way. Experience it all, courtesy of Globotours.

The Itinerary
day 1: Welcome to Osaka! A tour guide will greet you and escort you to the hotel.
Overnight at the Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport or similar.

day 2: In the morning, you'll travel to Osaka Castle by private coach, then onward to Nara, the oldest capital city of Japan. You'll visit Todaiji Temple, then proceed to Uji, where you'll experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and Cherry Blossom Boat Ride on the Uji River. From there, the coach departs for Kyoto, a historical city that was spared during World War II for its cultural and historical value. You'll visit the famous Kiymizu Temple, where you'll get beautiful views from a raised perspective.
Overnight at the Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto or similar. Breakfast and lunch provided.

day 3: The day begins with a visit to the spectacular Heian Shrine, where you'll see an extensive stroll garden of the Meiji period with a grove of weeping cherry trees. Here, you'll also find the largest Torii Gate in Japan, spanning the road leading to the shrine. Then it's off to the Nishijin Textile Center, where you can view displays of kimonos and even watch a kimono fashion show. Next, visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which is covered with 18-karat gold leaf. In the afternoon, you'll enjoy the Miyako Odori, a cherry blossom dancing show performed by the geiko (geisha) and maiko (apprentice geisha). It is one of the main events in Kyoto. Lastly, you'll tour Gion, the old Geisha Quarter, and Pontocho, whose cobblestone alleys vibrate with nightlife.
Overnight at the Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto or similar. Breakfast and lunch provided.

day 4: After breakfast, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride, which can reach speeds of up to 186 miles per hour. Then, transfer to Kanazawa to visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of the three most beautiful strolling gardens of Japan. Here, you'll find the oldest fountain in Japan and Kotoji-toro, the two-legged stone lantern and icon of Kenrokuen and Kanazawa. From Kanazawa, you'll cross the mountains by coach to the rural area of Shirakawa-go. In this photogenic village, you'll walk past thatched-roof farm houses and cultivated fields to see unspoiled Edo-period wooden buildings. You'll continue on to Takayama, where a festival that dates back to the 15th century will be heating up. The highlight of the festival is in the evening, when colorful dashi (floats) are led through the streets amid cheers and drums.
Overnight at the Okada Ryokan or similar. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.

day 5: After breakfast, you'll do some sightseeing in Takayama, from the Morning Market to the Takayama Jinya and Old Town, where you can browse the market stalls for local crafts and fresh farm products. In the afternoon, you'll continue to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Takayama Spring Festival, watching floats as they parade through Old Town. At night, you'll stay at the Yatsugatake Onsen Ryokan, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Overnight at Yatsugatake Royal Onsen or similar. Breakfast and dinner provided.

day 6: After enjoying a Japanese breakfast at the ryokan, you'll head to Mt. Fuji on a private luxury coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands to rolling clouds. You'll stop at Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on weather) to admire the world-famous peak. Next, it's off to Gotemba Peace Park, where you can take in the scenic view of Mt. Fuji and thousands of cherry blossoms. From Gotemba, you'll travel to Hakone and take a 20-minute ropeway from Togendai to Owakundani. There, you can view hot springs and hot rivers. Next stop: Tokyo.
Overnight at the Tokyo Dome Hotel or similar. Breakfast and lunch provided.

day 7: In the morning, you'll be taken to Tokyo Tower, the world's tallest self-supporting steel tower. You'll go up 492 feet to the main observatory deck and get a bird's-eye view of Tokyo. Next is a visit to the Imperial Palace, the former site of Edo Castle. In the heart of the city, you can explore the park, surrounded by moats and stone fortifications. Next, you'll proceed to Ginza, Tokyo's most famous shopping, dining, and entertainment district, which features designer department stores, boutiques, art galleries, cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs. In the afternoon, board a cruise ship at Hinode Pier for a 40-minute ride along the Sumida River to Asakusa. At the Nakamise walkway, you can peruse the many stores that lead to Tokyo's oldest and most famous Buddhist Temple, Sensoji Temple. From there, cross the Rainbow Bridge and be treated to stunning views of Tokyo Bay. You'll also travel to the man-made islands of Odaiba and see cutting-edge architecture, as well as the night view of Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge.
Overnight at the Narita Excel Hotel Tokyu or similar. Breakfast and lunch provided.

day 8: After breakfast, the tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 a.m. and Narita Airport can be reached by hotel shuttle bus.
Breakfast provided.

The Dates
Los Angeles (LAX) departures ($3,899): April 10, 2014
New York (JFK) departures ($3,999): April 10, 2014
Atlanta (ATL) departures ($3,999): April 10, 2014
Priced per person based on double occupancy (see fine print)

  • "This striking festival—lauded as one of Japan’s three most beautiful—offers its spectators a chance to step into the past and be dazzled by the artistry and craftsmanship of the town’s forebears from the Edo period of Japanese history."

    -- HotelTravel.com

escapes 30-day promise

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the fine print

  • Vouchers cannot be combined to extend stay
  • Reservations required and subject to availability; must be booked by December 4, 2013
  • Not valid toward existing or room block reservations
  • Merchants cancellation policy applies. For more information, please see globotours.net/Terms.aspx
  • Upon confirmation of your reservation, vouchers will be considered used and 100% non-refundable 

  • Rates are per person based on double occupancy (two people sharing a room). Each of two guests must purchase an Escape and arrange to stay together at the hotel. Single occupancy requires an additional fee of $650
  • Includes Round-Trip Ground Transportation per Itinerary, Double-Occupancy Accommodations for One Night in Osaka, Two Nights in Kyoto, One Night in Takayama, One Night in the Yatsugatake Mountains, and Two Nights in Tokyo, Seven Breakfasts, Four Lunches, and Three Dinners, English-Speaking Guides Throughout, Entry Fees to Sites and Activities Listed on Itinerary
  • Does not include passport and visa fees (if applicable), meals and beverages other than specified, personal and baggage insurance, gratuities to drivers, local guides and costs for anything not specified on the deal
  • Review the State Department's website for passport/visa requirements and important announcements before traveling to your destination
  • Passports are required for all international destinations with a minimum validity of 6 months beyond the completion of your trip & sufficient blank pages for visas and immigrations stamps. Passengers are solely responsible for all their travel requirements
  • For Non- US passport holders, please contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the country or countries to be visited and obtain the specific requirements for entry
  • Rates for extra nights are available upon request. Standard merchant surcharge applies per way if you deviate from the package
  • Stays must be completed within date range purchased
  • Offer valid for new bookings only and cannot be combined with other discounts
  • Nights must be spent consecutively; all inclusions must be redeemed during one stay
  • The promotional value is valid only for date range purchased and may not be exchanged or redeemed for any other dates
  • Other conditions apply • PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON April 11, 2014 • Enjoy By April 11, 2014