JapanDeluxeTours

Japan Deluxe Tours, Inc.
1820 W. Carson St. Suite 224 Torrance California 90501 USA
Phone: 310-327-1111 FAX: 310-329-7609
7 Nights 8 days Essence of Spring | Southern Japan - Cherry Blossom Seasonal Tour
Day 1
Welcome to Japan! We will have transportation services to take you to your hotel. Please refer to your tour handbook for more information.

Rest at the hotel and be ready to start your exciting tour tomorrow.



**INFORMATION**

From KIX Airport to downtown hotel in Osaka - about 70 mins (Bus)

From ITM Airport to downtown hotel in Osaka - about 30 mins (Bus)
Day 2
Our Japan tour begins the day by heading to the Himeji prefecture to invade the remarkable Himeji-jo, or Himeji Castle. Himeji-jo was registered as a UNESCO distinguished site in 1993, representing Japanese castle architecture at its peak. Nicknamed White Heron Castle due to the Japanese castle's graceful white walls, Himeji Castle maintains almost all of it's original structures from its initial construction in the early 1600’s. Unlike some of the country's other castles, this classic Japanese castle has overcome wars, earthquakes, and natural disasters over the last four centuries. The rich history and beautiful location makes the castle grounds are perfect to enjoy scenic views of Japanese flowers and nature!



After our time in Himeji, our Japan tour will move to the Okayama Prefecture to explore the well-preserved Kurashiki district. Kurashiki is a beautiful street scapes of storehouses and merchant homes and is included as an Important Traditional Structures Conservation Area by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. The name Kurashiki can be roughly translated as town of storehouses and the area historically served as an important rice distribution center. The city canal area dates back to the days of the Edo Period and offers enjoyable gondola-style boat rides if time permits. Enjoy this scenic area before we make our way to our hotel.
Breakfast Dinner
Day 3

Our cherry blossom tour will start the day with a short boat ride over to Miyajima Island. Here, you will find the iconic floating torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine greeting you as you enter the shrine grounds. The unique sight is due to the natural sequences of the ocean’s tide and is considered on of Japan’s top three most beautiful sights. The island is also known for its Momiji manju and delicious oysters which you can snack on during your visit.



After our morning in Miyajima, we will head into the city of Hiroshima. Spend the afternoon strolling around the historically important A-Bomb Dome, the only surviving building from the atomic bombing of the city during World War Two. Surrounding the dome is the Peace Memorial Park where you can learn more about the bombing and see famous attractions like Sadako’s statue and the Freedom Bell.



Breakfast
Day 4

Today, we begin our journey into the southern two islands of Japan. Our first stop will be at the city of Kumamoto for a visit to Kumamoto Castle. Kumamoto Castle is one three premier castles in Japan, along with Matsumoto Castle and Himeji Castle which we visited earlier. While we won’t be going inside the castle due to reconstruction, the many views and scenery can still be enjoyed from the castle grounds. The castle grounds also contain Johsaien, a shopping arcade with over 20 shops and the Wakuwaku-za museum featuring the history and culture of Kumamoto.



Next, your cherry blossom tour will travel to the fabled lands of Takachiho. Takachiho Gorge is said to be the hiding spot of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, when Susano-o, the God of Storms, was terrorizing her. The natural greenery in contrast with the volcanic rock that forms the gorge makes for a magnificent scenery. Our last stop of the day will be the Tunnel Station which houses the Kagura Shuzo Brewery. Sample the local sake and shop for potential gifts at this unique destination.



Breakfast Dinner
Day 5

Our Southern Japan tour continues onwards to Yufuin, a charming rural hot spring town where we will stop by Lake Kinrin and the local shopping street. A special feature of Lake Kinrin is that on top of the regular spring water, hot spring water also feeds into the lake, creating a layer of wondrous mist during cool mornings.



After a relaxing morning in Yufuin, we’ll head toward Beppu, a famous hot spring city known for its 8 unique hot spring areas intended for sightseeing only. Today, we will stop by the Umijigoku, or “Sea Hell”, which has beautiful cobalt blue waters due to the various minerals present.



This completes our tour of Kyushu and we’ll hop onto a ferry for ride to the neighboring island of Shikoku. Our destination city, Matsuyama, has one of the oldest hot springs in the world: Dogo Onsen. With a history of over 3000 years, this onsen is famous for welcoming the imperial family as guests in the exclusive Yushinden room. The surrounding area also has plenty to see and do with an optional rickshaw ride through the area or some light shopping at the local stores.



Breakfast
Day 6

Our cherry blossom tour today starts today with an Udon making workshop to learn how to hand-make the popular thick-noodle Japanese dish. While Udon is not as well known as Ramen, it is considered a local specialty of the area loved by all the locals. Enjoy a hearty bowl of Udon while learning the art of crafting your own dish. After filling ourselves with a warm meal, your tour will take a relaxing boat cruise along the Oboke Gorge. Enjoy the nearly untouched beauty of Southern Japan’s natural scenery as you refresh your mind.



The last stop of the day will have the group venturing to the ancient vine bridge of Iya Valley. The bridge is rebuilt every three years and are made from the vines suspended over the Yoshino River.



Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 7

The last stretch of our Southern Japan journey will take us to what is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, Ritsurin Garden. With the gorgeous Mt. Shiun overlooking the garden and specifically designed to seem as if the garden does not end, you are sure to snap a great picture wherever you are in the grounds.



After soaking in some natural beauty, the tour will make its way through Tokushima. We will stop at the Awa-odori Museum, a museum dedicated to the prefecture dance of Tokushima. An annual festival where thousands of spectators will flock to the area to watch the dance being performed during Obon season. Here, we’ll learn about the history as well as learn some parts of the dance.



The tour will end the day by heading to Osaka where you can experience the food destination of Japan for dinner on your own.



Breakfast Lunch
Day 8
Your pleasant and memorable Japan tour ends today. The tour will disband after breakfast. Fly home with cherished memories or enjoy your extended stay in Japan.



**INFORMATION**

From downtown hotel in Osaka to KIX Airport - about 70 mins (Bus)

From downtown hotel in Osaka to ITM Airport - about 30 mins (Bus)
Breakfast