2019 Japan Spring Tours

We are back from our 2019 Japan Spring Tours. We had so much fun with our guests and sharing everything we love about Japan. The weather was great and the cherry blossoms were beautiful! Here are some photos of the people and places from our Spring Tours. Enjoy!

Tokyo

Sensoji in Asakusa

Asakusa Outside Sensoji

Our Intro to Japan Tour just outside the first gate of the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. Sensoji is believed to be the oldest temple in Tokyo. The original temple was built in 645 AD.

Tsukiji Outer Market

Tsukiji Outer Market

In Tokyo we also visited the Tsukiji outer fish, vegetable and fruit market. Although the wholesale market has been closed since October of 2018, the bustling outer market is still going strong.

Yakitori Alley

Walking Yakitori Alley in Shinjuku

Another big favorite with all of our Japan spring tours was Shinjuku’s Yakitori Alley. This narrow alley is lined with small mom & pop shops selling grilled meats and vegetables on sticks. Many of these shops only have seating for 8 to 10 customers.

Fuji

Chureito Pagoda

Fuji with Chureito Pagoda

On the way to our Ryokan at the foot of Mt. Fuji, we stopped off at Arakurayama Sengen Park to capture some amazing photographs of Japan’s iconic volcano.

Mt. Fuji Ryokan

Fuji at Kawaguchi Lake

One of our favorite experiences is the rooftop views of Mt. Fuji, while soaking our feet in a nice hot spring bath. I can’t think of a better way to start the day.

Hiroshima & Miyajima

Atomic Bomb Dome

Atomic Dome in Hiroshima

The cherry blossoms were in full bloom at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial park. This is a picture of the river that runs between the Atomic Bomb Dome (left) and the Peace Park (right).

Itsukushima Shrine

Vermilion Torii Gate Miyajima

Miyajimi is another favorite of our tour groups. Every visit to Hiroshima includes a relaxing day on this peaceful island to see the vermilion floating Torii Gate and Itsukushima Shrine.

Matsumoto

Matsumoto Castle

Group in front of Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle, also known as Crow Castle because of its black color, is a preserved wooden castle from the Samurai era. This is a photo of our Highlights of Japan Tour group with the famous red bridge crossing the castle’s moat.

Naoshima Island

Benesse Art Site

Discover Japan Tour Naoshima

We visited the Benesse Art installations on Naoshima Island with our Discover Japan Tour this spring. The island is home to many contemporary art museums, including the Chichu Art Museum which houses paintings by Claude Monet. There are also several outdoor art installations including this yellow polka-dotted pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama.

Takayama

Takayama Spring Festival

Takayama Spring Festival

Takayama’s spring festival was absolutely beautiful this year. The weather was sunny and warm, and the cherry trees were just beginning to bloom. We had a great time watching the processions, strolling around the preserved mountain village, and tasting delicious sake at the breweries.

Tokoname

Off the Beaten Path

Tokoname Path

Tokoname is a small hidden gem, just south of Nagoya. The town is very famous in Japan for high quality pottery. They’ve been making high grade ceramics since before the Edo period. Our tour groups had a chance to meet local artisans and buy their unique, one of a kind ceramic pottery.

The Welcome Cat

Tokoname Welcome Cat

Tokoname is also famous for making the ceramic Welcome Cat and the Money Cat statues. They have a giant cat with its left paw up to welcome all visitors to their small town.

Himeji

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle Cherry Blossoms

Himeji Castle is a World Heritage Site and a National Treasure of Japan. This well-preserved original structure is over 400 years old and made up of 83 buildings. This year our Explore Japan Tour got to see the castle surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms.

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