Gardens & Sights of Japan
- Discover the 'Land of the Rising Sun' & its serene gardens on this 12-night guided holiday to Japan.
- Experience the wonderful spectacle of 'Sakura' - the Cherry Blossom Season.
- Visit the fascinating cities of Kyoto, Nara & Toyko.
- Learn about Ikebana (flower-arranging) & enjoy a traditional tea ceremony.
- Explore Hakone National Park and see Japan's famous landmark, Mount Fuji.
- Be accompanied by Frances MacDonald, a qualified and experienced gardener and guide throughout the tour.
- Includes 9 nights on a bed and breakfast basis, 1 night on a half board basis.
Your Guided Group Holiday To Japan
Experience the Cherry Blossom season and discover the awe inspiring country of Japan. The display of the Sakura, or Cherry Blossom, signals the start of Spring and it’s a very special event as the flowers are only in bloom for a couple of weeks. Japan is a must see on any traveller’s list; with its unique blend of high tech modernity and ancient traditions which encompass wonderful gardens and temples, Ikebana and tea ceremonies. On this 12-night holiday, we will see all aspects of Japan including the ancient city of Kyoto with its superb gardens and temples. We'll travel through wonderful mountain scenery for an overnight stay near Mount Fuji, before moving on to the seaside town of Kamakura to view gardens and the Great Buddha. Our last stop will be a visit to the bustling high rise metropolis of Tokyo where, even there, there are oases in which are situated gardens, parks and temples.
Activity Level: Moderate
Travel to Japan
Depart for Osaka
Depart on your overnight flight to Osaka.
Arrive in Osaka
Upon arrival in Osaka you will be met by our local guide before being transferred to your hotel in Kyoto. A welcome dinner with your group is included at a local restaurant.
Guided Tour of Kyoto
Today you will travel to Kyoto and visit the wonderful gardens of the Ryoanji Temple, Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) Gardens and Heian Shrine.
The evening will be free to spend at your leisure but Frances will be on hand to advise or escort you to one of the many fantastic restaurants in Kyoto, and will do this on all free evenings throughout the trip.
Day Trip to Nara
Guided Excursion to Nara
Today you will enjoy an excursion to Nara, the former 8th century capital of Japan. The city is filled with historic treasures including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples. The tour includes a visit to Nara Park and Tōdai-ji Temple, one of the country’s most famous temples. You will also see the ancient Kasuga-taisha shrine, famous for its bronze and stone lanterns and Todaiji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will return to Kyoto in the early afternoon.
Free Time in Kyoto
Today is free to enjoy at your own pace or alternatively Frances will be delighted if you would join her on alternative excursions. One would be to the Philospher’s Walk, a pedestrian path that follows a cherry-tree lined canal in Kyoto. It was named after the influential 20th-century Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro who used it for daily meditation. It passes a number of temples and shrines, small shops and cafes. She will also be visiting other temples and gardens as well as interesting shops in this historic old town.
Kyoto or Visit Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Explore Kyoto at Your Own Pace
Day 6 is free to enjoy at your own pace visiting other temples or the wonderful shops in Kyoto. Alternatively Frances will be delighted if you would join her on an excursion to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.
Hakone National Park & Mount Fuji
Visit the Hakone National Park & Mount Fuji
Day 7 will begin with a journey on the bullet train from Kyoto to the city of Odawara. Upon arrival, you will embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Hakone by coach including a visit to Hakone Open Air Museum, which is fully designed and landscaped with gardens and sculptures. Afterwards, enjoy a boat trip on Lake Ashi, where you can soak up the picturesque surroundings. Our hotel is nestled in the mountains with wonderful scenery and terrific photo opportunities of Mt Fuji. In the evening you will enjoy a relaxing traditional banquet dinner with the group and also there is an option to experience the outdoor hot baths.
Full Day Guided Tour of Kamakura
This morning, depart for Kamakura for a full day guided tour. This fishing village, girded on three sides by steep wooded hills, was the seat of Japan’s first military government in the 12th century. A day here takes in the Great Buddha, the gardens and temples of Hase Kannon and Tsuurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. In the afternoon you will transfer to Tokyo where you will enjoy dinner with your group.
Gardens of Tokyo
Explore the Gardens of Tokyo
Today will be spent visiting the fabulous gardens of Tokyo including the Imperial Palace East Garden, Rikugi-en Garden, Koishikawa Koraku-en Garden and Hamarikyu Garden.
Guided Tour of Tokyo including Tea Ceremony & Ikebana
Today will be spent experiencing the traditional cultures of Japan. You will visit Happo-en for Ikebana (flower-arranging) and a traditional tea ceremony. From here you will move on to the Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of the oldest shopping areas of Tokyo.
This evening you will dine as a group in a Tokyo restaurant.
Free Time in Tokyo
Today will be free to spend at your leisure in Tokyo. Time to take a cruise around Tokyo Bay, shop in Ginza, wander in one of the many beautiful city parks with cafes and temples, see the world famous Ueno Zoo, a wonderful array of museums or art galleries or just people watch in the cosmopolitan area of Harajuku or Roppongi. Frances and the local guide will be happy to advise you on ways to spend your day in this wonderful city.
At Leisure & Return Home
Free Time in Tokyo
There will be free time to explore Tokyo further and indulge in some last-minute shopping before a late check out from your hotel for your transfer to Narita airport in the evening.
Arrive home in Dublin.
Know before you go
Will I be met at the airport?
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Do I need a Visa?
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
What if there is an emergency?
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.