March 22-29, 2024
Each spring, sakura (cherry blossom) season signals a time of hope and renewal for the country. WTA’s restorative week-long tour of central Japan features this flowering phenomenon, while diving into the rich culture and history of this prominent archipelago. Our trip starts as we uncover the layers to Tokyo’s ultra-modern façade through a rich city tour conducted by a local tour guide. In the following days, we’ll slow it down by taking in the natural beauty of Mount Fuji’s Five Lakes region. Then, discover Kyoto – the cultural capital of the country where antiquity begs to be discovered! And then onto Kamakura, the “Kyoto of Eastern Japan” where Buddhist statues, temples and shrines tower above you. Complemented with ample free time to explore Japan on your own, this tour is one you surely won’t want to miss!
Note: We recommend leaving the US on March 21 so that your flight arrives the morning of March 22 – early enough to participate in Day 1’s activities. Should you wish to arrive on March 21 instead, pre-trip hotel charges will be added to your final bill.
Day 1 – March 22 – Welcome to Japan! Arrive at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT), and private transportation will bring you to our accommodations in central Tokyo. After settling in, join your new travel companions for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2 – March 23 – After a good night’s rest, a full day of exploration awaits! Your local guide will highlight Tokyo’s old and new as you move across the city. Witness the trees come alive with cherry blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen and Ueno Parks. Relive history as you visit Meiji Shrine and Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple. And experience the scrambling chaos of Shibuya Crossing – the world’s busiest pedestrian intersection.
Day 3 – March 24 – FREE Day. Enjoy a day of shopping, take a tour of the city, visit a museum, or take advantage of a full day to indulge in a few spa treatments.
Day 4 – March 25 – Today, we will venture to Japan’s highest mountain, Mount Fuji, an active volcano which stands at over 12,000 ft tall. After sightseeing at the mountain’s 5th Station, we will continue to the Panoramic Ropeway to enjoy bird’s-eye views of Lake Kawaguchiko. Afterwards, we’ll explore the snowmelt-fed ponds of Oshino Hakkai, a small village that’s perfect for a peaceful afternoon stroll.
Day 5 – March 26 – Catch the shinkansen bullet train this morning as we travel to Kyoto, the historical heart of Japan. Our local guide will take us to see the breathtaking cherry blossoms of Arashiyama district along the Katsura River, followed by the Kinkaku-ji Golden Temple and Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine (the most photographed in Japan). The remainder of the day will be spent wandering the streets of the historical Higashiyama and Gion (geisha) districts.
Day 6 – March 27 – The seaside town of Kamakura is our destination today, home to some of Japan’s most unique shrines and temples. We’ll start our day at the Hokokuji Temple, a Zen Buddhist temple known for its small bamboo grove. Our travels will then take us to Kamakura’s culture center, the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shinto Shrine. Nearby, the Komachi-dori Street offers a modern contrast to the history-filled morning. Peruse the trendy boutiques and enjoy lunch before we end our day at the Hasedera Temple and Great Buddha of Kotokuin Temple, the most iconic symbol of Kamakura.
Day 7 – March 28 – FREE Day. After a week on our feet, take this opportunity to relax. Or perhaps, more adventuring needs to be done – it’s up to you! Tonight at dinner, we’ll toast to a week of discovering a new culture and meeting new friends.
Day 8 – March 29 – A private transfer will take you back to Narita International Airport (NRT) for your connecting flight to the US.
*Please note that this is a tentative itinerary and it is subject to change.
- 8 days & 7 nights’ accommodations
- Single occupancy hotel
- Airport transfer
- Local Japanese tour guide
- Local transportation tickets
- Entrance fees to temples and shrines
- Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway tour
- FREE DAYS to explore
- Daily breakfast
- Daily lunch (excluding FREE DAYS)
- Daily dinner (excluding FREE DAYS)
- COVID antigen testing for USA re-entry, if applicable
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
- Roundtrip airfare from US to Narita International Airport (NRT)
- Travel insurance
- Items of personal nature
- Meals not listed above
- Optional excursions and tours not listed above
- Gratuities and tips for personal services
Your trip is a BIG investment. If you cannot afford to lose the money you have invested to travel, for whatever reason, WTA strongly recommends you consider travel insurance. We encourage you to do your due diligence by researching and finding the best plan for YOU.
Suggested Travel Insurance companies are below. Ensure you inquire about a “Cancel For Any Reason” plan.
Traveler must make a NONREFUNDABLE deposit payment of $400 at time of registration to secure her spot.
Monthly minimum payment of $400 is required every month until paid in full to keep your reservations current.
Trip balance must be PAID IN FULL by December 22, 2023.
Penalty of $250 will be assessed on any balance due after the December 22, 2023 final payment deadline.
Cancel by January 22, 2024 for a 50% refund (not to include your non-refundable deposit).
NO REFUNDS after January 22, 2024.
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