In Japanese, cherry blossom is Sakura. In 2022, cherry blossoms are expected to open around March 15 in Tokyo. Cherry blossom usually bloom between mid-March and early May in Japan. So this amazing Japan cruise tour is available in every year. You can book for 2023, 2024 or 2025, The only little difference will be the departure dates of the cruise.
Experience interesting Japan throughout springtime with the chance to witness the nation's iconic cherry blossoms alongside a professional photographer. Extending five islands, this comprehensive cruise ship discovers Japan's culturally abundant shoreline. The floral-themed shore excursions will give you a unique glimpse of the spectacular cherry blossoms, as well as the country itself.
What to Expect:
Meet your tour guide and transfer to your ideally located hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Cherry blossoms are found everywhere in Kyoto—along canals and streets and in parks and temples. They are a truly magical sight. On a full-day excursion to Kyoto, visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji Temple), attend a talk about Zen Buddhism at Tenryuji Temple, and explore Nijo Castle. You can find cherry blossom trees scattered throughout its grounds at Nijo Castle. You can also enjoy a historic voyage to Nara, the first Japanese capital, including Horyu-ji, the country’s oldest temple. For an incredible overview, take a scenic drive to Uji, possibly enjoying the sight of cherry trees blossoming along Uji River. Gather with fellow guests this evening for a welcome reception and dinner, complete with a Kabuki performance.
Osaka is a surprisingly good place to check out Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. In an average year, the cherry blossoms start blooming on 21 March in Osaka. First, enjoy the morning at leisure or join a panoramic tour of Osaka that includes a visit to the Dotonbori district and the imposing Osaka Castle. The park around the castle is filled with cherry trees and they make for some excellent photos with the castle in the background. Enjoy lunch followed by a stroll through the wandering paths of Taiko-en Garden, admiring its ponds and stone bridges. This afternoon, transfer to Kobe where you board your luxurious expedition cruiser and home for the next 11 nights.
Wake up in charming Takamatsu, the gateway to Shikoku Island. Your day starts with a visit to picture-perfect Ritsurin Park, one of Japan’s finest gardens. The park provides a spectacular view of cherry blossoms almost anywhere you go. Next, explore the Kinashi area of Takamatsu, among the country’s main bonsai production centers, where you learn about traditional methods of growing and caring for these meticulously cultivated little trees. A few others may travel to Naoshima Island, known for its contemporary art galleries and outdoor sculptures, by ferry for a full-day excursion. Visit the hillside Chichu Art Museum and stop at Benesse House, a 15-minute walk from Chichu with sea views, art installations, and cherry blossoms to enjoy along the way.
Hiroshima and the nearby island of Miyajima are fantastic places to enjoy Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. Peace Park and Hiroshima Castle are the best cherry blossom spots. Start the day with a visit to the beautiful Peace Park and Museum. Then, take a speedboat ride to Miyajima Island, the iconic Torii Gate site, and the Daisho-in Buddhist temple. Or enjoy a full-day excursion through Hiroshima, visiting the Hiroshima Castle and namesake Peace Park and Museum. Ascend Mount Misen by cable car for a hike, admiring the Shinto shrine and Torii Gate from above.
Spend the day in Uwajima, situated on the west coast of Shikoku and home to Japan’s primary producers of pearls, for a glimpse of small-town living. Continue to the samurai-era gardens of Tensha-en, with their spectacular mountain backdrop. Alternatively, explore Nanraku-en Garden, the largest on Shikoku, and enjoy a scenic hike in the picturesque Yakushidani Canyon. Another option is a historic stroll to Yoshida along a cherry tree-lined lane. Every year in spring, along the riverside, an alley of cherry trees in full bloom beautifully accompanies Yoshida’s old town image.
This afternoon, your luxury expedition vessel arrives at the port of Karatsu. Once an early trading post between Japan and mainland Asia, Karatsu still maintains its medieval heritage. Visit Karatsu Castle, known as the “flying crane castle.” During Cherry Blossom season, it is truly spectacular. The grounds surrounding the castle have many cherry trees and lovely view planes to capture the castle thru the blooms. Head to the city of Imari to visit the Mifuneyama Rakuen garden, where 2,000 cherry blossom trees bloom in late March.
Disembark and spend a whole day exploring Gyeongju, South Korea, the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gyeongju’s cultural heritage dates back to the first millennium. South Korea is a picture of beauty, with an abundance of cherry blossoms blooming throughout the country. The Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates this time in style. Enjoy a lunch of Korean delicacies and witness a traditional dance performance.
Return to Japan and disembark at Sakaiminato to visit Matsue, the “town of water.” Explore the countryside, pausing to wander through the picturesque Yuushien Garden. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting historic Matsue Castle. The castle was constructed in 1611 and is one of the only 12 original castles intact in Japan. The Matsue Castle Grounds is recognized as one of the 100 best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan. During the cherry blossom season, visitors can enjoy a sight of the marvelous combination of Matsue Castle and over 200 cherry trees, including a wide variety of species.
Spend the day in Kanazawa, known for well-preserved Edo-era districts, art museums, and regional handicrafts. A visit to Edo-period Kenrokuen Garden is enriching. Not only is Kenrokuen Garden included in Japan’s top 100 spots to view cherry blossoms, but also one of three noted gardens in Japan. For a more active alternative, take a hike in Kakusenkei Gorge with a soothing onsen(spa) experience in the Yamanaka Onsen district. Wander Omicho Market, which features everything from fresh flowers to fish, strolls in the Higashi Chaya-gai geisha district, with its well-preserved historic geisha houses.
Arrive at pastoral Sado Island, with its rice paddies, bamboo groves, and surf-pounded seacoasts. Beautiful Sakura flowers that are in full bloomin the first week of April. Not only cherry blossoms, but there are also many different kinds of wildflowers blooming all over the island. Enjoy an exclusive, private performance by the Kodo taiko drummers. Then, visit the Hakusanmaru Exhibition Hall and Ogi Folk Museum, followed by a farmer’s talk at the rice paddies.
Enjoy a relaxing day on board while cruising toward Hokkaido. Share stories and photographs with newfound friends and take advantage of the ship facilities, including relaxing lounges, the panoramic fitness room and sauna.
Arrive in Otaru, your gateway to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. Hokkaido cherry blossoms create a simple scenery of spring emanating a rustic beauty. Go for a historical and cultural tour of the city, once a prosperous fishing village. Discover Otaru’s storied glassmaking and visit a sake distillery, where you may sample the rice wine. Whiskey lovers can learn about Japanese whiskey during a visit and tasting at Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery.
Disembark luxury ‘Le Soleal’ in Otaru. Transfer to the airport in Sapporo and board your homebound flight or continue on the Tokyo extension.