With Japan easing its travel restrictions for international tourists, now is the perfect time to plan your next visit.
This delightful country has something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, a history buff or just want to immerse yourself in a new culture, Japan can certainly soothe your wanderlust. But, perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to visit Japan is to see the breathtakingly gorgeous cherry blossom trees in season.
Cherry blossom, or the more locally known term, sakura season is certainly one for the bucket list. You’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale as you wander amongst the ethereal trees. Despite blooming for just one week, seeing the blossoms after its key blooming week is still a sight to be seen. It’s a photographer’s dream with so many picturesque opportunities every where you turn.
While the best time to see these delicate flowers is April, due to the climate differences throughout the country, you could be lucky enough to see the enchanting blossoms bloom more than once while travelling through the country. And one of the best ways to take in the beauty of this time of the year is to explore Japan on a cruise.
We’ve compiled some of our favourite cruise holidays where you have the opportunity to see over 1,000 cherry blossom trees in a dozen different varieties at Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo; walk under the blossoms along the river and see the testament of peace at Hiroshima’s Peace Park or; admire the beauty of the blossoms on the picturesque lawns of Osaka Castle.
Beginning and ending in Yokohama, this two-week cruise is a charming experience from the minute you set foot on the MS Westerdam. This spectacular, award-winning ship will take you to ten stunning ports where you can see the magnificent cherry blossom trees, and even includes a stopover in South Korea.
Walk through captivating temples and discover the cultural gems each city has to offer. On board, you’ll be treated to live entertainment for those days at sea, including B.B King’s Blues Club and Billboard Onboard. You’ll even feast like a king with regional cooking demonstrations and Port to Table food and wine tastings.
Experience Japanese culture to its fullest, and see the country in a dynamic and colourful way. With a unique mix of ultramodern and conventional, this cruise will quench your thirst for globetrotting as it takes you on a rich journey around the country.
The highlight of this 19-night voyage aboard the Diamond Princess is the memorable opportunity to participate in a number of Japan’s summer festivals. See the impressive feat of the Kanto Matsuri (pole lantern festival) as performers wander the streets balancing paper lanterns on poles and experience Japan’s courage and might in the Nebuta (Aomori summer festival), as glorious floats are pushed through the streets accompanied by lines of taiko drummers, flutes, hand cymbal players and hundreds of dancers.
For $7,110, this cruise will also give you the opportunity to see Japan’s largest dance festival the Awa Ordori, as well as a dazzling firework show in Kumano, and is inclusive of return airfares from Brisbane or Sydney.
If you prefer to take things slow and enjoy the ride, then this 19-night voyage from Brisbane to Tokyo is for you. For $2,455, you can hop aboard the Royal Princess and sit back and relax as you drift through the Top End, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southern Japan.
See the two sides of Japan as you experience the peaceful gardens and traditional temples and shrines in the Harajuku district, to the bright and colourful cityscape of technologically savvy Tokyo.