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 cherry blossom tour will begin by heading to the Himeji prefecture to visit the magnificent Himeji Castle. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, it is considered one of Japan’s three premier castle. Nicknamed the White Heron Castle due to the castle’s brilliant white walls, the castle maintains almost all of its original structures since its construction in the early 1600’s. After overcoming war, natural disasters, and going through restorative work, enjoy exploring around the stunning castle grounds.



After spending time in Himeji, your group will make its way to Shimane prefecture to spend time at the Adachi Museum of Art. Art collections include works from illustrious Japanese artists including Yokoyama Taikan, Takeuchi Seiho, Hashimoto Kansetsu, and Sakakibara Shiho. The true gem, however, lies in the museum’s impressive array of Japanese gardens. With 6 gardens to explore, each one provides a distinct feel and atmosphere unique from each other. The impressive gardens have been recognized not only in Japan (Best Garden in Japan since 2003), but also received a three-star rating by the Michelin Green Guide.



Before we head to the hotel, the tour will visit Izumo Taisha, also known as Izumo Grand Shrine. Believed to have been around since the early 700’s, it is one of Japan’s oldest and most important shrines. Okuninushi no Okami, the creator of Japan as well as the god of marriage and relationships, is said to be enshrined here, making it a popular destination for couples. One of the most recognizable structures at the shrine is the shimenawa (sacred straw rope), the largest in Japan with a length of 13.5 meters and weight around 5 tons.



TBA or similar
Breakfast Dinner
Day 3

Our 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.



The group will make a quick stop in Iwakuni to visit the Kintai Bridge before heading to the hotel. First built in 1673, Kintai Bridge is recognizable for it’s distinctive five arches made of wood and is considered one of Japan’s most famous bridges. The surrounding area provides picturesque backdrop regardless of the season.



Breakfast
Day 4

Today, we’ll head make our way to Nagasaki to spend time at the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park. The park is situated at the site of the epicenter of the blast from the atomic bomb and contains a commemorative tablet, museum containing exhibits about the bombing, the Fountain of Peace, and the famous peace statue signifying the need for peace and to stand up against war.



From there, our tour will head to Glover Garden which exhibits Western style mansions with Japanese influences due to influences from foreign trade in Nagasaki before isolationism ended in Japan. After viewing the gorgeous mansions, we will continue to the Oura Catholic Church, Japan’s oldest standing Catholic church. With foreign trade came new religion and Nagasaki became the main city for Japanese Catholics.



Breakfast Lunch
Day 5

Our first stop today will be 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 6

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 Dinner
Day 7

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 visit 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