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Grand Tour of Japan: Autumn Leaves & Cherry Blossoms

Fully Escorted

Local Cuisine

Handpicked Hotels

Private Transportation

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2024/2025/2026 CHERRY BLOSSOM TOURS

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Tour Code: GTT2362434

Grand Tour of Japan: Autumn Leaves & Cherry Blossoms

9 Reviews

22 days 21 nights

fromUSD $8898.00

currency

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Single Supplement: USD $1900.00


Explore Japan's all four main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, & Kyushu...plus enjoy the Obara Shikizakura Festival, where fall foliage and cherry blossoms appear at the same time.

Among Japan's incredible seasonal scenes, both spring cherry blossoms and autumn leaves draw visitors to view its nature vistas, landscape gardens, and city parks. But if you are looking to view both in one trip, the city of Obara offers what can only be described as the best of both worlds. Obara is the one place in Japan where, unbelievably, you can experience both autumn leaves and cherry blossoms at once. Special cherry trees known as Shikizakura, or "four-seasons cherry tree", bloom twice: first presenting their beauty to visitors in spring, then blossoming once again in the fall, to a fiery backdrop of autumn maple leaves. Shikizakura first start their fall return in late October, coming into full flower in mid-November; the perfect time for viewing together with the fall foliage. On this tour, we will take advantage of the season to enjoy this rare and incredibly beautiful fantasy scene.

This 22 days Grand Tour of Japan is the longest and most comprehensive escorted group tour of Japan that you will find. Tour starts from the northern island to the far south by a private coach, visiting all 4 main islands of Japan. This tour caters a wide variety of interest about Japan from culture, festival, architecture, nature, rural villages, historic towns and modern city attractions.

This tour will start from Hokkaido, where we will visit Otaru, Sapporo, Shiraoi, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya and Hakodate. Then we proceed to Aomori by crossing the Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu, via the undersea train tunnel. In Honshu Island, we will visit the Nebuta Warasse, a well done museum about the Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori. Then proceed to Lake Towada, Japan's third deepest lake. A volcanic crater lake 44km in circumference and nature walk along the creek through Oirase Gorge. Then we head to Morioka and Hiraizumi for a cultural interlude and stroll around the magnificent Japanese Cedar Trees and photogenic buildings at Chusonji Temple. After that we will visit Matsushima, a picturesque bay full of pine tree covered small islands, where we explore ancient caves once frequented by meditating monks. Allow yourself to also explore the wonderfully ornate temples and shrines which have been designated as World Heritage sites in Nikko.

Next we will continue our journey to one of the busiest city in the world. Let's enjoy a fully guided tour in Tokyo. Visit Tokyo's cultural landmarks, fashionable neighborhoods and diverse shopping districts. Learn how to make your own sushi with a professional sushi chef and savor your delicious creations. Explore attractions like the Asakusa district with an atmosphere of old Tokyo, Japan's largest and busiest fish market, drive by the historical Imperial Palace, and take in the view from the record-breaking Tokyo Skytree’s main observation deck.

Then proceed to the Mt Fuji-Hakone national park. See how impressive Mother Nature is when you are there. Visit the Obara Shikizakura Festival to see both the fiery red and orange autumn leaves and the soft pink cherry blossoms en route to Takayama, located amongst the Japanese Alps. Due to their remote location, these places are beautifully preserved and developed their own culture that is unique from the rest of Japan. Visit the charming village of Shirakawa-go and understand what gassho-zukuri architectural style is. You'll also have a chance to visit the beautiful, but often overlooked by Western tourists, city of Kanazawa. Here, you'll visit the Kenrokuen Garden (one of Japan's top three gardens) and see what six attributes make a perfect landscape.

Visit Osaka and Nara as well as the ancient city of Kyoto, where you will have exclusive access to the city's gardens, temples, shrine, castle and specialty shops. You'll also get the opportunity to experience a traditional green tea ceremony hosted by an apprentice geisha (maiko), and stroll the beautiful Arashiyama, the outskirt of Kyoto, famous for its beautiful autumn leaves.

Visit to Himeji Castle, a splendid example of traditional architecture and one of the few original castles remaining in Japan. Then, we will make our way to the photogenic canal area of Kurashiki, cross the inland sea to Shikoku Island, visit the open air museum of Shikoku Mura Village, and see why Japanese gardens are famous in Takamatsu.

From Shikoku Island, we will drive through the Shimanami Kaido, a 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Shikoku to the island of Honshu, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea, back to Honshu Island. Proceed to Hiroshima where you’ll visit the Peace Memorial Museum and surrounding Peace Park. On Miyajima Island, you will have a chance to view the famed 'floating' Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shrine.

From Hiroshima, we will take a ride on the top speed Shinkansen bullet train to Kyushu Island and visit the Kitsuki Samurai Districts. In Beppu, marvel at the Jigoku 'hell' of bubbling waters and geysers scattered across the town. Then enjoy a scenic drive to Mt. Takasaki Monkey Park where you will get an opportunity to meet with some of the 1,500 wild Japanese monkeys up close. We will also explore Takachiho, a place of myths and legends. In Nagasaki, visit Nagasaki Peace Park, Dejima, Glover Gardens with its romantic turn of the century houses, and Oura Catholic Church, the oldest standing Christian church in Japan.

This itinerary is perfect for those who wish to discover the whole country in one time and see all Japan has to offer.

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Tour Information

Dates & Price

2024

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sat. Nov 2, 2024 Sat. Nov 23, 2024 USD $8898.00 Sapporo Fukuoka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  

2025

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sat. Nov 1, 2025 Sat. Nov 22, 2025 USD $8898.00 Sapporo Fukuoka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  

2026

Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Save Status
Sat. Nov 7, 2026 Sat. Nov 28, 2026 USD $8898.00 Sapporo Fukuoka Deluxe Guarantee / Book Now  

Please Note:

All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!

We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.

Deposit

We require US$200 deposit per person to hold the space at time of booking and the final payment is due 2 month prior to departure.

What's included

  • • 17 nights Western style and 4 nights Japanese style accommodation
  • • Meet and greet upon arrival at Sapporo New Chitose Airport
  • • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • • Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
  • • Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide

  •   Meals
  • • Breakfast everyday
  • • 11 lunches and 10 dinners

  • Admission fees and activities
  • • All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

What's NOT included

  • • International Airfares
  • • Meals that are not included in the itinerary
  • • Travel Insurance
  • • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
  • • Personal expenses such as telephone and laundry bills

Additional Information

Transport

Travel by private coach between destinations, hassle free baggage handling.


Arrival Departure Airports

For arrivals at New Chitose Airport (CTS), this tour starts in Sapporo and ends in Fukuoka, with departures at Fukuoka Airport (FUK).


Meal Requests

Vegetarian or special meals can be arranged.


Meet and Greet

Please note that the meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour after 11 AM. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, we will provide full instructions in advance for you to transfer to your hotel on your own.


Itinerary In Brief

  • Day1   Arrive in Sapporo
  • Day2   Otaru - Sapporo
  • Day3   Sapporo - Shiraoi - Noboribetsu
  • Day4   Lake Toya - Hakodate
  • Day5   Seikan Undersea Tunnel - Aomori - Towada
  • Day6   Morioka - Hiraizumi
  • Day7   Matsushima
  • Day8   Nikko
  • Day9   Tokyo
  • Day10   Tokyo
  • Day11   Mt. Fuji - Hakone - Bullet Train Ride
  • Day12   Obara - Takayama
  • Day13   Shirakawa-go - Kanazawa
  • Day14   Kyoto
  • Day15   Kyoto - Nara - Osaka
  • Day16   Himeji - Kurashiki
  • Day17   Takamatsu
  • Day18   Shimanami Kaido - Hiroshima
  • Day19   Bullet Train Ride - Kitsuki - Beppu - Takachiho
  • Day20   Takachiho
  • Day21   Nagasaki
  • Day22   Tour ends

Click here for detailed itinerary

Tour schedule and prices subject to change without notice

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Sapporo / Otaru / Shiraoi / Noboribetsu / Lake Toya / Hakodate / Seikan Tunnel / Aomori / Towada / Morioka / Hiraizumi / Matsushima / Nikko / Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Obara / Takayama / Shirakawa-go / Kanazawa / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka / Himeji / Kurashiki / Takamatsu / Shimanami Kaido / Hiroshima / Kitsuki / Beppu / Takachiho / Nagasaki / Fukuoka


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Best Itinerary

Planned by experts, based on seasonal favorites and must-see sites.

Budget-friendly

Choose your style and split cost with other passengers

Hand-picked Accommodations

Chosen by our experienced staff

Fully Guided

Guide is available to you 24/7 and sleeps in the same hotel

Unique experiences

Learn to create your own Sushi, meet a geisha or maiko, and more

Connect

Meet locals and visit rural areas of Japan you might miss on other tours