Cherry Blossoms and Culture
(Ex Osaka) Japan - Mon 2nd April 2018

Max Participants:
12
Location:
(Ex Osaka) Japan
Date:
Mon 2nd April 2018
Duration:
11
Meals:
3 Dinners 2 Breakfasts
Non-Member Cost:
$5675.00 per person based on twin share
Member Cost:
$5475.00 per person based on twin share
Deposit Required:
$350.00
Tagged:
cultural
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Client rating: 5/5 from 6 reviews

 

Welcome to Hanami….cherry blossom viewing in Japan. Hanami is a long-standing Japanese tradition of welcoming spring. Also known as the "cherry blossom festival", this annual celebration is about appreciating the temporal beauty of nature. People gather under blooming cherry blossoms for food, drink, songs, companionship and the beauty of sakura (cherry blossoms).  




Gallery

Geisha at Fushimi Inari
Hanami in Tokyo
Many girls wear a Kimino at Arashiyama
Cherry Blossoms
Koya San cemetary
Back street
Koya San cemetery entrance
traditional buildings in Koya San
Osaka castle
Prayers
Many still wear traditional clothing
Lantern in Gian
Rickshaw in Arashiyama

Location

Please note map locations and route are approximate only

Highlights

● Hanami - Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom

● Savour the Japanese Cuisine

● Stay in Temple Lodging & a Traditional Ryokan

● The small mountain top Buddhist community of Mount Koya, one of Japan’s most magical destinations

● Gaze at the famous floating Torii gate in Miyajima

● Kyota - Atmospheric temples, sublime gardens, traditional teahouses & geisha scurrying to secret liaisons.

● Exploring Tokyo’s culinary scene in the evening with a local foodie

Itinerary

Arrive today any time (store luggage if before check in time) and feel free to explore this city before our welcome meeting tonight, but make sure you’re back in time to meet your Adventurous Women host Sue Hile and our Local Japanese Tour Guide. We will conduct intro's, provide you with information about the tour and then take a walk to a nearby restaurant for our first group dinner.

*Guest Note: Your Adventurous Women host Sue, is arriving in Osaka a day earlier and will be available to accompany you to some of the sights in Osaka, enjoy Hanami together, or point you in the right direction should you wish to explore more of this lively city.

**An extra day here is Highly Recommended as Osaka is one of the best places for Hanami during this time.

Meals: None included

Accommodation: Osaka

We depart early today and travel to the centre of Buddhism in Japan, Mt Koya San. The train ride up to the mountain is possibly one of the finest rail journeys in Japan … and for the final steep ascent, we switch to a funicular and then hop on a bus to reach the monastery...quite an adventure!

We explore the temples & moss covered Oku-no-in cemetery (the largest in Japan) in the afternoon and then check into our unique accommodation at one of the Mount Koya Temples, where we witness the routines of the monks and dine on typical fare. In the evening, savour the shojin-ryori vegetarian cuisine and relax in a yukata, or kimono. Breath the fresh mountain air and soak in the beautiful surroundings.

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Temple

Early morning at the temple we have the chance to observe the monks praying, take in the atmosphere of the surrounding mountains, enjoy our traditional vegetarian breakfast, then start the journey back down the mountain. Later we board a bullet train to Hiroshima, we have free time on our arrival in the afternoon to explore the city at our leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

Today we take a walk through the Peace Park and Memorial Museum in the centre of Hiroshima, before boarding a ferry to Miyajima Island, famed as one of Japan’s most scenic spots, with a free afternoon to explore. See the famous floating Torii Gate, take a stroll through the laneways full of souvenirs & tasty treats, explore the island at your own pace - the shrines & temples, deer & monkeys who populate the island ... and numerous hiking trails.

For those who want an extra challenge, set out for the summit of Mt Misen, Miyajima’s highest peak at 500m above sea level. Opt to hike one of three trails through the forest, keeping an eye out for wild deer, or catch a ride on the rope way and walk the remaining distance to the top for rewarding views of the Seto Inland Sea.

Meals: None included

We travel to Kyoto today and start exploring the temples, shrines and gardens that make Kyoto, Japan’s capital of culture. Founded as the national capital more than 1,200 years ago, Kyoto originally developed as a centre of aristocratic culture and is most famous for its Zen gardens and Geisha traditions.

We start our exploration with a visit to Fushimi Inari shrine, located just outside of Kyoto. We walk under the thousands of iconic Torii Gates (as seen in the film Memoirs of a Geisha) and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

In the evening we either take a stroll along the river or around Gion, enjoy a fabulous meal together and see the locals dress in traditional kimono.

Meals: None included

Our day begins with a visit to the Nijo Castle, the residence of the first shogun of the Edo Period, built in 1603… Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then it’s on to explore Kinkakuji or the Golden Pavilion, named for the temple’s two top floors that are covered in gold leaf. The temple is surrounded by trees and sits on a reflective pond, making this a must-see in Kyoto … a perfect place for photos.

Later in the day we take a walk through the gardens around Daisen-in Temple and practice meditation in the Zen rock garden, before finishing out the day with a walk along The Philosopher's Path. The stone path follows a canal lined by hundreds of cherry trees which come to life during this time "Hanami" - The Cherry Blossoms... one of the most famous symbols of Japan and they’re such a beautiful sight to see.

Meals: None included

We’ve built a day of leisure into our itinerary today and have many suggestions on how you can make the most of your time in Kyoto. Options include: Visiting "Ochaya" traditional tea house, Nishiki Food Market, hire a bike to explore the back streets of Kyoto or join a cycling tour…..great way to see this city, explore the Gion district a little more, perhaps it’s time to do a little shopping.

Meals: None included

Today join with your Adventurous Women host Sue and head west by train to Arashiyama, the second-most important sightseeing district in Kyoto, it’s filled with temples & shrines, but the star attraction is the famed Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. We’ll spend a good part of our day here in a relaxed manner, with no set agenda.

First stop will be a pleasant walk in the Bamboo Grove, then we’ve got a few options ….there are some beautiful gardens and parks to explore, plenty of amazing temples & shrines to visit if you’re up for more walking, if not..we can hire a couple of boats and row around the lovely lower Hozu-gawa area, one of the best ways to explore Arashiyama, particularly when the cherry blossoms are out.

During your time here, you may wish to stick with Sue, however If you are happy to wander off on your own that’s totally fine & we’ll ensure that you’re provided with a map, lock in a meeting time/place for everyone to meet, prior to travelling back to Kyoto Station on the train.

Meals: None included

We’re off to Hakone, a town in the hills famous for its onsens, or natural hot springs. It’s here we stay in a traditional ryokan, with its own private onsen.

On our arrival, we board a passenger boat to cruise the waters of Lake Ashinoko and a walk along the Old Tokaido Highway ….if we’re lucky to have a clear day, we’ll capture a view of Mt Fuji. Afterwards we head back to our ryokan, feast on a Japanese multi-course kaiseki meal, soak in the natural hot springs and sleep on a futon.

Meals: Dinner

It's time to head off to Tokyo to do some last-minute shopping!! We arrive before noon, so you may opt to visit Ueno Park and the museums, Harajuku for funky fashions, Ginza for the highest of the high end, visit the Imperial Palace East Garden, or just relax if you’re staying on an extra day.

We re-group in the evening to celebrate our time away together, finishing on a real high as we explore Tokyo’s vibrant food culture. Highlights of our evening include, eating Yakitori at a Street Yakitori Bar, enjoying Monja-yaki in the neighbourhood where it originated - Monja Town (Tsukishima), visiting a confectionery shop in Ginza and learning about wagashi, a traditional Japanese sweet that changes with the season. We’ll check out a local pub and either finish our night at this point, or for those who want more … our guide can recommend other cool local bars in small alleys, or a karaoke place for more fun into the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today the tour officially ends and you may choose to depart or stay on an extra day or two to explore more of Tokyo and surrounding areas. We say goodbye to those who are heading home. Your Adventurous Women host Sue, will be staying on in Tokyo for an extra day to assist you with sightseeing options, if you decide you want more!

Meals: None included

Includes

Fully Escorted by Sue Hile, Owner of Adventurous Women

Tour leader & local guides

Accommodation- Hotels (8 nights), Mountain Monastery (1 nights, shared facilities), Traditional Ryokan (1 nights, shared facilities)

Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum visit

Miyajima excursion with floating torii gate visit

Nijo Castle and gardens visit (Kyoto)

Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion visit

Daisen-in Temple and Zen garden visit

Fushimi Inari shrine visit

Philospher’s Walk

Arashiyama & Bamboo Grove visit

Lake Ashino-ko boat ride (Hakone)

Traditional ryokan stay with kaiseki meal

Japan Rail (JR) pass (7 days)

All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

3 Dinners

2 Breakfasts

Excludes

International airfares - We can assist with this if required

International airport departure tax

Any visas required

Services not mentioned in the itinerary

Late check out at hotels

Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary (Allow USD 400-520 for meals not included.)

Tips for leaders, guide and driver

Expenditure of personal nature

Optional activities

Travel Insurance – Compulsory

What To Bring/Wear

- Trip Notes provided pre-departure to help you plan & prepare for travel

Related Tours

What our Clients Are Saying…

Geisha at Fushimi Inari

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan

by Jill

Lovely group of women & Sue's skills at keeping it all together were amazing !!
I loved our Cherry Blossom picnics in Osaka, hike to Mt Misen, Koyasan, hike to top of the shrine in Kyoto-anything to get away from the incredible number of tourists!!
Overall a great experience although very hectic at times.

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan

Lovely group of women & Sue's skills at keeping it all together were amazing !!
I loved our Cherry Blossom picnics in Osaka, hike to Mt Misen, Koyasan, hike to top of the shrine in Kyoto-anything to get away from the incredible number of tourists!!
Overall a great experience although very hectic at times.

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan Osaka
5 5

Lovely group of women & Sue's skills at keeping it all together were amazing !!
I loved our Cherry Blossom picnics in Osaka, hike to Mt Misen, Koyasan, hike to top of the shrine in Kyoto-anything to get away from the incredible number of tourists!!
Overall a great experience although very hectic at times.

Geisha at Fushimi Inari

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan

by Julie R

I loved the whole trip and enjoyed all the places we went to. A couple of standouts (and it's hard to chose) are, the dinner at Hope, the trip to Nara and the Cherry blossom picnic. I enjoyed meeting the other ladies and appreciated the diversity of the group. Everyone had something different to offer.

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan

I loved the whole trip and enjoyed all the places we went to. A couple of standouts (and it's hard to chose) are, the dinner at Hope, the trip to Nara and the Cherry blossom picnic. I enjoyed meeting the other ladies and appreciated the diversity of the group. Everyone had something different to offer.

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan Osaka
5 5

I loved the whole trip and enjoyed all the places we went to. A couple of standouts (and it's hard to chose) are, the dinner at Hope, the trip to Nara and the Cherry blossom picnic. I enjoyed meeting the other ladies and appreciated the diversity of the group. Everyone had something different to offer.

Geisha at Fushimi Inari

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan

by Judy B

It was a great trip. The itinerary was good and well balanced and I have some wonderful memories. I think there was enough time spent in each place (although another day in Hiroshima would have been good). Thanks for the photos. I have downloaded them - yet to sort them all.

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan

It was a great trip. The itinerary was good and well balanced and I have some wonderful memories. I think there was enough time spent in each place (although another day in Hiroshima would have been good). Thanks for the photos. I have downloaded them - yet to sort them all.

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan Osaka
4 5

It was a great trip. The itinerary was good and well balanced and I have some wonderful memories. I think there was enough time spent in each place (although another day in Hiroshima would have been good). Thanks for the photos. I have downloaded them - yet to sort them all.

Geisha at Fushimi Inari

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan

by Di R

This tour had us covering a lot of territory as there was much to see.So pleased that the tour started in Osaka as nature provided the cherry blossoms a little early and it was our opportunity to see them in proliferation. I was so thankful for the help of our Japanese guide as I am a coeliac and she helped me experience the food which would have been very difficult otherwise.

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan

This tour had us covering a lot of territory as there was much to see.So pleased that the tour started in Osaka as nature provided the cherry blossoms a little early and it was our opportunity to see them in proliferation. I was so thankful for the help of our Japanese guide as I am a coeliac and she helped me experience the food which would have been very difficult otherwise.

Cherry Blossoms and Culture (Ex Osaka) Japan Osaka
4 5

This tour had us covering a lot of territory as there was much to see.So pleased that the tour started in Osaka as nature provided the cherry blossoms a little early and it was our opportunity to see them in proliferation. I was so thankful for the help of our Japanese guide as I am a coeliac and she helped me experience the food which would have been very difficult otherwise.

More Reviews

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