Early Cherry Blossom Japan Tour: 12-days in March 2023

We had a wonderful time on our 12-day Early Cherry Blossom Japan Tour starting March 15, 2023. This was our first tour of 2023, and it was fabulous!

Early Cherry Blossom Japan Tour: 12-days

March 15-26, 2023

Day 1

Everyone arrived in Japan, and we made our way to the center of Tokyo.

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing | ©JAPANandmore.com

Day 2

Our adventure started out with a subway ride to Asakusa Station in the great metropolis of Tokyo, Japan. Our first stop was Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple.

Sensoji in Asakusa

Sensoji in Asakusa | ©JAPANandmore.com

Afterward, we visited a Sumi-e painting master to learn the ancient techniques of black ink painting.

Day 3

The following day, we took a scenic train ride to one of the five lakes that surround Mt. Fuji. We visited the Tsujigahana kimono museum, enjoyed an authentic Kaiseki dinner, and stayed in a Japanese ryokan with beautiful views of Mt. Fuji.

Ryokan at Mt. Fuji

Ryokan at Mt. Fuji | ©JAPANandmore.com

Day 4

We took our first ride on the Japanese bullet train Shinkansen to Nagoya and visited Inuyama Castle.

Waiting for Shinkansen

Waiting for Our Shinkansen | ©JAPANandmore.com

This castle is the oldest surviving structure in Japan and is among the five castles that have been designated as national treasures.
Inuyama Castle

Inuyama Castle | ©JAPANandmore.com

Day 5

We headed into the mountains for a day trip to visit the beautifully preserved post-towns of Magome and Tsumago in the Kiso Valley.


Magome, Kiso Valley Post Town | ©JAPANandmore.com

Day 6

Next, we traveled to Hiroshima to see the Atomic Bomb Dome, visit the Peace Memorial Park and museum, and eat Hiroshima Okonomiyaki.

Atomic Bomb Dome

Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima | ©JAPANandmore.com

Day 7

On the following day, we took a ferry to Miyajima to see the famous floating torii gate and the World Heritage Site of Itsukushima Shrine.

Floating Torii Gate

Floating Torii Gate | ©JAPANandmore.com

Day 8

We walked through the Higashiyama District in Kyoto with its old wooden houses and shops, and then visited the World Heritage Site of Kiyomizu Temple.

Kiyomizu Dera

Kiyomizu Dera, Kyoto | ©JAPANandmore.com

Day 9

This was a big day! We began by exploring the thousands of red torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha, one of the oldest and most popular shrines in Kyoto.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto | ©JAPANandmore.com

After that, we went to a private Zen meditation session with a Zen Buddhist monk.

Zen Meditation Group Photo

Zen Meditation Group Photo | ©JAPANandmore.com

Finally, we ended the day with a Kaiseki dinner and a geisha performance.

Day 10

We explored the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kinkakuji, home to the Golden Temple, and Ryoanji, Japan’s most famous Zen Rock Garden.


Kinkakuji (Golden Temple), Kyoto | ©JAPANandmore.com

Later that afternoon, we headed back to Tokyo.

Day 11

On our last day of touring, we experienced the beauty of Tokyo’s cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park.

Ueno Park

Ueno Park, Tokyo | ©JAPANandmore.com

We finished the day off with a farewell dinner of Wagyu and ice cream at a Japanese Yakiniku restaurant.

Day 12

Group Photo with Geisha

Group Photo with Geisha | ©JAPANandmore.com

On the final day, we all departed from the hotel and headed to the airport, laden with a plethora of memorable experiences and a smartphone brimming with extraordinary photographs.

You may also be interested in our 10-day Best Cherry Blossoms Japan Tour in March 2023.

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