Visit Japan and see the wonderful cherry blossom blooming whilst taking in some amazing places along the way.  The cherry blossom that paints Japan in pink every April is the most powerful symbol in the nation’s culture. The intimate relationship between natural images and Japan’s philosophy and art is well known and records suggest that the people of Japan have held these pink blooms in high regard right back to the foundation of the country.

If you are looking for a spring tour of Japan, our 2025 Cherry Blossom Tour is the perfect choice. The temples and parks are particularly beautiful during the spring and our Cherry Blossom Tour is timed to ensure you visit when they are at their most resplendent.

The delicate but brightly coloured and short-lived flower has long symbolised the frailty, transience and intensity of life. The flower has inspired countless songs and works of art and its image has adorned everything from fabrics to flags to warplanes to coins to stationery. The association between the cherry blossom and mortality made it an especially potent image in the second world war, when Japan’s rulers suggested that each bloom was the reincarnated soul of a soldier or civilian who had died in the conflict.

It is easy to imagine the emotional impact of the blizzards of pink petals swept from the trees in spring breezes. In today’s Japan, cherry blossom season is an occasion for picnics and parties with friends under the ubiquitous bloom-laden trees, or sightseeing trips with the family, or romantic strolls with a loved one.

The Cherry Blossom Tour captures Japan at its most attractive. It starts in the great capital Tokyo with its many cherry tree-filled parks, takes you to the ancient capital Kyoto and explores Mt. Fuji and Hiroshima too. Dragonfly’s flexible approach to itineraries lets you enjoy both group and independent sightseeing, in order for you to get the most out of your trip in your own way.

Read on for more about the itinerary, available tour dates in 2025, hotels used and other useful information about our Japan Cherry Blossom tour.  Please get in touch to discuss this tour in more detail or maybe you would like to read our reviews and see how other visitors have found our tours.

The Cherry Blossom Tour is fully guided; ALL local accommodation, transportation and entrance fees are included.  For the full list of inclusions, please check the “Other Info” tab above.


Start DateFinish DateNightsPriceMax Group SizeSpaces availableReferenceHotel Level 
23 Mar 202503 Apr 202511 Nights £5,150.00 (GBP) Convert
12 8 0325CB High Make a booking
28 Mar 202508 Apr 202511 Nights £5,150.00 (GBP) Convert
12 Fully booked 0425CB High Make a booking


11 Nights
12 people



Day 1 Group Meal; Walking Tour of Shinjuku and Kabukicho Entertainment District Tokyo / Hotel
Day 2 Asakusa; Sumida River Cruise; Hama-Rikyu Gardens; Shibuya Scramble Crossing Tokyo / Hotel
Day 3 Meiji Shrine; Tsukiji Fish Market; Imperial East Palace Gardens Tokyo / Hotel
Day 4 Hakone; Open Air Museum; Natural Hot Springs; Gourmet dinner Hakone (Mt.Fuji) / Ryokan*
Day 5 Views of Mt.Fuji; Lake Ashi; Pirate Ship; Old Tokaido Highway Check Point; Cedar Avenue Hakone (Mt.Fuji) / Ryokan*
Day 6 Bullet Train to Kyoto; Gion Geisha District; Miyako Odori (Geisha Cherry Blossom Dance) Kyoto / Hotel
Day 7 UNESCO World Heritage Day — Ryoanji Zen Garden; Kinkaku-ji (Golden pavilion); Nijo castle Kyoto / Hotel
Day 8 Free Day to Shop, Relax and Explore - or join a Workshop! How about a daytrip to Nara or Kobe? Kyoto / Hotel
Day 9 Tea ceremony; Eastern Mountains of Kyoto; Kiyomizudera Temple; Traditional Sake Distillery & Sake tasting Kyoto / Hotel
Day 10 Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park; the Atomic Bomb Dome and Museum Hiroshima / Hotel
Day 11 Miyajima Island; Itsukushima Shrine with Famous Floating Gate; Bullet Train to Tokyo; End of Tour Party Tokyo / Hotel
Day 12 End of Tour.

* Ryokan- Japanese style inn with tatami mat flooring.


We recommend arriving in Japan a day or two before the tour starts to help with acclimatization and overcome any jet lag. We can organize any additional nights at the tour hotel and will be pleased to meet you at the airport (at either Narita or Haneda) and transfer with you to the hotel (up to one week before the start of the tour), making your transition as smooth as possible. We’ll also run through the maps with you, answering all your questions and setting you off on your first adventures, here in one of the world’s greatest metropolises..

Full Details

 Day 1 - Tokyo

Day 1 of the Cherry Blossom tour starts in the evening when the group meets up and goes to a local restaurant in Shinjuku. This is an ideal opportunity for everyone to get to know each other and begin their excursion into the world of Japanese food.

Afterwards you take a walk around Shinjuku and the neighbouring area of Kabukicho, the renowned entertainment districts dazzling with neon. These areas are both celebrated and notorious for providing the best of contemporary Japanese urban culture along with big servings of hedonism. These are great areas for people watching, exploring, and observing the city at play.

 Day 2 - Tokyo

Today we make our way to Asakusa, a part of the city steeped in the atmosphere of Edo Japan and, once upon a time, the location of the first temple in what is now called Tokyo. Asakusa is also known as the old gateway to the Yoshiwara, “the Floating World”, formerly an area of entertainment and carnal indulgences. Take some time here to browse the market stalls and explore the side streets where the real treasures are to be found.

After a bite for lunch, you catch a boat along the Sumida River towards Tokyo Bay, from which the water-level perspective provides a new angle on the city. At this time of the year you have the spectacle of the river banks lined with hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties — people will be sitting out with friends and elaborate picnics, possibly singing with portable karaoke machines, or simply strolling and absorbing the atmosphere.

You disembark at the Hama-Rikyu landscape gardens. In days of yore, shogun would come here to relax, hunt and entertain guests from Japan’s elite.

On the way back to Shinjuku you have the opportunity to go to Shibuya to finish the day. This is a bustling shopping area whose centrepiece is the much-filmed Hachiko Square scramble junction, which is engulfed whenever the lights change by seeming thousands of people, all apparently intent on a pileup. You can avoid the crush by watching the spectacle from a coffee shop overlooking the junction.

 Day 3 - Tokyo

This morning you go to Meiji Shrine at Harajuku the area also famous for Takeshita Street and Yoyogi Park. Here, hidden away in the forest is one of the most prestigious shrines in the city, home to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and consort.  Your guide will explain about the indigenous religion of Japan, Shintoism and the differences to Buddhism which arrived on the shores in the 6th century.  Meiji Shrine is also popular for weddings and visitors can often see processions in traditional dress. 

For lunch we go to the famous foodie’s must-see of Tsukiji Fish Market. In autumn 2018 the wholesale market moved from Tsukiji to Toyosu on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay after years of dispute and setbacks.  The outer market thankfully remains more or less the same as it always was with crowded stalls selling fish, meat, vegetables, knives and tools. There are many restaurants in the area selling some of the best sashimi - the perfect location for lunch!

In the afternoon hop on the subway to the Imperial East Palace Gardens near Tokyo station.  The site is where Edo Castle once stood - the center of power during the latter part of feudal age (Edo era) finally drawing to an end in 1868.  Now only the foundations and some of the defenses of the castle remain, but it’s also famous for having 43 varieties of cherry tree and wide open spaces for strolling and relaxing.

 Day 4 - Hakone

This morning you take the “Romance Car” train from Shinjuku to Hakone and the national park neighbouring Mt. Fuji. The region of Hakone is home to many first-rate museums featuring works by the world’s most renowned artists. Your tour leader will take you to the Open Air Museum riding the switch-back train up through the mountains, a beautiful backdrop for art featuring pieces by Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and many Japanese artists.  Alternatively we can give you directions and help you get to one of the many other fantastic museums in the area, explore the town, or soak the day away relaxing in hot springs.

In Hakone we will stay at a traditional ryokan, (Japanese inn) with spacious suites that comprise a bedroom, a tatami (straw mat flooring) room, and a private bath on the balcony. There are also communal onsen (natural hot spring bath), both indoors and outdoors, where you can relax in natural hot spring water. (Male and female baths are separate). The gourmet, dinner which is included, is a traditional Japanese meal designed to highlight the foods of the season. Afterwards take in the entrancing views from the roof terrace.

 Day 5 - Hakone

This day is a lot of fun and begins with a scenic trip on the switchback train up the mountain to Gora. A further ascent on a cable car allows superb views of Mt. Fuji, with its snow-capped peak and a sea of pink blossom at its base. At the top here you can eat the famous black eggs cooked in the volcanic waters, each of which is said to lengthen your life by seven years. They are a popular buy. 

You take another cable car down the other side of the pass offering more scenic views of Mt. Fuji to the volcanic lake of Ashiko. After lunch by the lake you board a pirate ship taking you across the water to the site of the sekisho, the reconstruction of the old Tokaido checkpoint. There were many such highway checkpoints during the feudal times, but this one was the most feared. You learn about its history and its significance before walking along a stretch of the original Tokaido highway called the Cedar Avenue lined by 400-year-old cedar trees. The trees, planted by order of the shogun, protected travellers from the icy winds and the snows of the winter, and the intense sun during the summer months.

Later, tired feet can be rejuvenated in one of the region’s excellent onsen.

 Day 6 - Kyoto

You take the Shinkansen (bullet train) riding in the 1st Class cabin to the heart of Japan’s cultural legacy, Kyoto.

We have tickets for the Miyako Odori reserved for this evening. The event dates back to 1872 featuring geiko and maiko of Gion in a colourful and mesmerizing series of dances. After arriving in Kyoto and checking in, you have some time to freshen up before going to explore the Gion district prior to the show.

 Day 7 - Kyoto

Today you visit three of the best sightseeing spots in Kyoto, each of which enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status. You start with the classical Zen Garden of Ryoanji, perhaps the most famous of these creations that define the Japanese aesthetic of simple, natural elegance.

Not far from Ryoanji is the equally famous Golden Pavilion of Kinkakuji, casting its reflection on the shimmering lake it sits beside. This is without doubt one of the most beautiful scenes in the country.

After lunch you go to Nijo Castle, which was built as a show of power and prestige by the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1603. This beautiful structure is renowned for its elaborate decorations and “nightingale” flooring which “sings” when you walk on it, making the presence of all, including potential assassins, known.

 Day 8 - Kyoto

This is a free day set aside for shopping, relaxing and exploring. There is so much to do in Kyoto and the surrounding area. Your tour leader will offer plenty of suggestions and let you in on a few local secrets to help you make the most of your day.

Perhaps you would like to attend a workshop for one of the following:

  • Taiko (traditional drumming)
  • Ikebana (flower arranging)
  • Wearing a kimono
  • Cooking class at a local home
  • Sake tasting
  • Shodo (Calligraphy)
  • Paper craft with Washi paper

If interested, please let us know in advance and we’ll get it arranged for you!

This day is also an opportunity to take a trip to one of the neighbouring cities: Nara or Kobe. Nara is another UNESCO trove and a former capital of Japan that predates even Kyoto. Kobe is a fashionable and affluent city with a cosmopolitan tone, derived from its history as one of the first places to admit foreign residents when Japan opened its Chrysanthemum Curtain in the 19th century.

 Day 9 - Kyoto

Visit the area of Higashiyama (Eastern Mountains) this morning, home to one of Japan’s most popular temples, Kiyomizudera. This temple is one of the many UNESCO monuments in Kyoto and you find it perched on a mountainside rich in cherry blossom. The temple has stood on stilts for 1200 years and the feat of its construction is made the more remarkable for not using a single nail in its huge frame. People come here from around the world to wish for anything from finding a partner to passing an exam.

From Kiyomizudera you walk through the old, winding cobbled streets to Kodaiji with its mausoleum of the infamous warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  As one of the most influential and feared samurai from the civil wars of the 1500’s, Hideyoshi’s mark has been left in Kyoto and in almost all aspects of the country, from tax to roads, from the caste system to the tea ceremony of which he was a huge fan.  He brought it to the masses holding huge public tea ceremonies and was also a close colleague to the tea master Sen no Rikyu who he later had killed.  It’s only fitting that it is here that you will enjoy the tea ceremony. We’ve all seen this mysterious and beautiful practice in films and photos and read about it in books. Today is your chance to experience it for yourself.

From one famous local beverage to another - today you’ll finish off by visiting the Kinshi Masamune Sake Distillery Museum. 

Traditionally in this area in central Kyoto there were a lot of sake distilleries, as production increased and more space was required for the modern machines of mass production the distilleries moved, many to Fushimi, just south of the city. Craft beer is now made on the premises.  Here you can see and look around the machiya (traditional town house) facing the street where the business was done while in the back the sake production took place drawing spring water from a well – a key ingredient to the process.  You see the well, buildings, tools of the trade, and a short video on the procedure before sampling some of the produce. 


 Day 10 - Hiroshima

Today you head by bullet train in 1st class seats to Hiroshima. Visits to the Peace Park, dome, memorials and museum are moving and take us closer to an understanding of a terrible moment in history. The modern city however is attractive and thriving, offering an intriguing variety of restaurants and cafes.

 Day 11 - Tokyo

After spending the night in Hiroshima you take a short trip to another of Japan’s signature sites: Miyajima, Itsukushima shrine and its famous “floating” torii (shrine gate). Both the shrine and the torii are built in a small bay so when the tide is in, both appear to be floating on the water. The views of the shrine and the gate on the water are enchanting, as are the performances of noh on the adjacent stage. Itsukushima is considered to be one of the three most beautiful sights in Japan and enjoys World Heritage status.

You return to Tokyo by bullet train to conclude the tour. On the way you pass Himeji Castle, which re-opened to the public in spring 2015 after five years of extensive renovations. Rather than heading straight back to Tokyo, feel free to break away from the group to visit the castle and its extensive grounds.

Later, why not get together for an end of tour sayonara party in the evening.

 Day 12 - End of Tour

This is the last day of the tour and there is no itinerary set. Some guests head to the airport for their departing flight, but if you wish to stay a few extra days Dragonfly Tours is happy to help you with the arrangements!


Tokyo - Odakyu Southern Tower Century Hotel, Shinjuku.

A luxury skyscraper hotel in Shinjuku, the dynamic heart of Tokyo and situated beside Shinjuku station. Parks full of blossom, shops, department stores, and restaurants of every kind are all close at hand. The rooms have amazing views over the city.

All rooms have LAN & Wi-Fi

Breakfasts included

Hakone - Setsugetsuka Ryokan

An excellent ryokan serving gourmet food and private baths on the balcony. Soak in the luxury!

All rooms have Wi-Fi

Traditional breakfasts and dinners included

Kyoto - Daiwa Roynet Premium

Modern hotel situated near Kyoto Station; the ideal hub from which to explore the city.

All rooms have Wi-Fi

Breakfasts included

Hiroshima - Sheraton Hiroshima Hotel

Centrally located luxury hotel near Hiroshima Station and close to shops and restaurants, also with pool and spa facilities.

All rooms have LAN & Wi-Fi

Breakfasts included



Please note that the accommodation above is standard for the Cherry Blossom Tour but is at times subject to change to a similar or better hotel.

All hotels have been selected with location and comfort in mind.

Other Information

What's included?

  • All accommodation (11 nights)
  • The support of your guide for the entirety of the tour, our guides are government licenced English speaking Japanese.
  • All entrance fees while with the guide to temples, shrines, gardens and museums as stated in the itinerary. (Additional optional entrance fees at personal expense)
  • All city to city transportation including the Shinkansen bullet train. Bullet train seats are in 1st Class
  • All local transportation (subways / city buses / boats / taxis) is covered while following the itinerary (any transportation used on he free free day or during private time such as in the evenings is at own expense)
  • Suica card - An electronic travel card for your convenience (saves fumbling around with tickets especially while in Tokyo!)
  • Meet & greet at the airport in Tokyo (either Narita or Haneda) on arrival and transfer (guided) to the tour hotel in the city up to one week in advance
  • Tickets for airport transfer (non-guided) at the end of the tour from the tour hotel to the airport (either Haneda or Narita)
  • Sumida River Cruise in Tokyo
  • First Class Tickets on Pirate Ship in Hakone
  • Miyako Odori (Geisha Dance) Show Tickets
  • Authentic Tea Ceremony at a tea house in Kyoto
  • Baggage forwarding for one bag / case per person, from Tokyo to Kyoto, and Kyoto to Tokyo
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Group meal on Day 1 in Tokyo (Alcoholic drinks included!)
  • Dinners (Traditional Teishoku) on Days 4 and 5 at Hakone
  • Tour Info-Pack
  • 100% payment protection through the TTA (our membership number is U6165)

What's not included?

  • Meals, except for the ones mentioned above
  • Any coin lockers that you may use
  • Travel Insurance. You must take out travel insurance before travelling to Japan, we suggest this is done soon after a booking has been made.
  • Flights to and from Japan!


After a booking request has been made through the “Make a Booking” section of this website, your booking will be processed.  We’ll email you back to confirm it along with your invoice and payment details, we accept payments by card or bank transfer.  The deposit of GBP 300 / USD 400 per person is requested within 7 days to confirm your booking.  The balance is due by 12 weeks prior to the tour departure date.  All payment made to us are protected by the TTA (Travel Trust Association).  Our membership number is U6165.


The itineraries in our tours are flexible, and do vary occasionally, sometimes due to weather or on-going events such as festivals which guests may want to see.  In addition if there is something else you’d like to do or see on your trip please mention this to your tour leader and we’ll try our best to ensure you can do it.

Age / Requirements / Fitness

The Cherry Blossom Tour is suitable for all ages but in general most guests on this tour are aged between 40 and 75, it’s ideal for couples and friends alike.

Our only hard and fast requirements are English speaking ability (all tours are conducted in English) and a zest for life!  While Olympic levels of fitness are not necessary, on average we cover between 3 to 5 kilometres per day, and there are at times steps involved at stations and sites we visit.

Having said all that, walking is done at an easy pace, with plenty of stops for ice cream and coffee to absorb the sights. In the unlikely event that an excursion is going to be too taxing or if you have another preference, you are welcome to break away from the group at any time, or hop in a taxi to skip some sections.  No part of the itinerary is compulsory – we like to keep things as fun and flexible as possible!


As with all our Small Group Tours of Japan we use the extremely efficient, clean, safe and reliable public transportation network — it’s the most efficient way to get around, and by far it’s the best way to experience the country and its people. This is not a tour bus holiday with fixed tourist trap set lunches and carpet sales in the afternoon!

Baggage Forwarding

We forward your main baggage ahead from hotel to hotel where necessary during the tour (one case / bag per person). You can enjoy all the pleasures of travel without having to drag you case around with you.

If you bring too much luggage with you, or buy too many souvenirs during the tour; and require additional baggage transfers we can easily arrange this for you.

Minimum Numbers

The minimum number of passengers on the Cherry Blossom Tour is two — we believe it’s unfair to cancel tours when the numbers are not larger.

Single Supplement

Unfortunately we are unable to accept single travellers on this tour due to the accommodation used.  If you are a single traveller and would like to join the tour, please let us know and we will try to arrange for you to share a room with another traveller of the same sex.