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Cruise Japan's Pacific Coast and see Tokyo's spectacular cherry blossom display
To see Japan in spring, when the iconic cherry blossom covers the country in beautiful pink blooms, is an experience on many readers' travel bucket lists. This bespoke tour gives readers the chance to appreciate unforgettable panoramic views of some of the prettiest and most-photographed cherry trees in the world which more than a million visitors enjoy each year.
See the sakura in Tokyo
You'll take in the very best of the sakura (blossoms), as well as the rest of Japan by land and sea. You'll stay in the dizzying, neon-lit Tokyo for three nights, in a four-star hotel, and enjoy two exclusive day trips. One will take you from Tokyo to Japan's most iconic mountain. You'll stop for lunch at Mount Fuji's fifth station, 2,300 metres above sea level.
The other day trip will take you to the best spots in the city for hanami (cherry blossom viewing), taking a cable car ride on the Komagatake Ropeway, which boasts great views of the Hakone National Park, and then onwards on a cableway ride up to the spiritual Hakone Shrine Mototsumiya (original shrine) that nestles at the mountaintop.
You'll also enjoy a scenic boat cruise on Lake Ashi, a crater lake along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mt. Hakone that was formed by a powerful volcanic eruption nearly 3,000 years ago, and provides postcard views of Mt. Fuji towering 30 km northwest. Keep an eye out for the bright red torii gates that bestride the lake shore, too.
Cruise Japan's coast
You'll then board luxury ship Diamond Princess in Tokyo's port at Yokohama for a luxury full board nine-night cruise around the coastline of Japan, including stops at Osaka for Kyoto, Kōchi Castle and Busan, the second largest city in South Korea.
With a capacity of 2,670 passengers, the Diamond Princess is small enough to still feel intimate but large enough to support a great choice of restaurants, bars and lounges, a library, spa, four swimming pools and a theatre. You can choose from four different cabin types and upgrade to ocean-view or balcony cabins.
With April being peak cherry blossom season, this perfectly timed tour is simply not to be missed. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic and mystery of Japan at the very best time of the year to go.
Reasons to book
Fabulous floating home
Sail the sights
- Return flights and private airport transfers
- Three nights' four-star accommodation in Tokyo
- Tour of Tokyo taking in the best cherry blossom spots
- Full-day Mount Fuji and Hakone tour including lunch and a Lake Ashi cruise
- Nine-night full-board cruise on the Diamond Princess
- All port taxes and fees
Day1Fly London to TokyoTokyo, JapanIn-flight meals
Fly overnight from London to Tokyo.
Upon arrival in Japan's ultra-modern, bustling capital, transfer to your four-star hotel where you'll be staying for the next three nights.
Day3Mt Fuji and HakoneMt Fuji (Japan), Japan
You can't visit Japan without seeing Mount Fuji, so today we've included a wonderful day trip from Tokyo to Japan's most iconic mountain. You'll be able to enjoy the spectacular spring scenery of rural Japan as you travel to Mount Fuji's fifth station, which sits 2,300 metres above sea level. We'll stop here for lunch.
You'll then take a cable car ride on the Komagatake Ropeway, which boasts great views of the Hakone National Park, and a scenic boat cruise on Lake Ashi. Keep an eye out for the bright red torii gates that bestride the lake shore, too!
Day4Tokyo’s Best Cherry Blossom Spots TourTokyo, Japan
Today you'll take in the fabulous blooms from the best vantage points in the city, stopping by three of the most famous cherry blossom sighting spots. You'll head up to the dizzying heights of the Tokyo Tower to watch the city unfold before your eyes, taking in panoramic views of the blossoms covering the urban centre. Savour a Japanese lunch today at a hotel in the popular Odaiba area, which has its own Ferris wheel and onsen hot springs.
Day5Embark Diamond PrincessYokohama, Japan
Your 10-day full board cruise starts today take a private transfer to Tokyo's port of Yokohama, where you'll board the luxury ship, Diamond Princess.
Gamagori is a seaside sightseeing destination whose natural surroundings and mild climate make for a water-filled wonderland in all seasons. The largest hot spring resort area in the prefecture, it is packed with onsen facilities that soothe and refresh. Gamagori's picturesque waterfront is also perfect for a stroll, and the oceanic theme continues at nearby Takeshima Aquarium, which boasts numerous tanks of weird and wonderful sea creatures.
This atmospheric city also shines with Japanese culture, and you can find many temples and shrines nearby. Climb to the Kongoji Temple to see the 30-meter statue of Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon school of Japanese Buddhism, and sweeping views of the ocean and city below. From sea to mountaintop, the variety of Gamagori's landscapes have inspired poets for generations as well as visitors who grace its shores.
Kyoto is well-known for its many classical Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses as well as well as gorgeous gardens which will look particularly charming at this turn of the season, when many beautiful flowers will be in bloom.
Kochi is a mostly rural area known for its mountains, rivers and Pacific beaches. Its cherry blossoms are some of the earliest to bloom in Japan, among those in Okinawa. You can see beautiful blossoms around Kochi-jo, one of Japan's best preserved castles from feudal times, and over Harimaya Bridge, made famous by a Kochi folk song and now visited as a monumental theme park to the lovers in the song. Cherry festivals are celebrated in many of these spots underneath the trees spotted with pink flowers. You can also admire the blossoms lit up with bonbori paper lanterns at night.
On August 6, 1945 human history was irrevocably altered when the American bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, devastating the city. Today, Hiroshima is a monument to the inspirational ability of the human spirit to overcome tragedy. At the heart of the city lies Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to world peace.
Other sights worth seeing include Itsukushima Shrine, whose stunning red entrance gate or "Torii" over the water welcomes visitors to its beautiful shrine on a pier located on an island known as Miyajima. The Shukkeien Garden, meanwhile, was created in 1620 and is a delightful series miniature landscapes featuring forests, valleys and mountains. Stroll the pathways by trickling streams and serene ponds to its tea houses.
Day10Day at seaBusan, South Korea
Enjoy a relaxing free day at sea, taking some time to explore Diamond Princess's many facilities and activities. Take a dip in the sparkling freshwater pools or relax and rejuvenate with a long soak in a hot tub, perhaps sipping a cocktail as you sail across the Sea of Japan to your next port of call, Busan in South Korea. In the evening, why not enjoy a movie under the stars in the ship's open-air cinema, see a musical in the on-board theatre or dance the night away at Club Fusion.
Day11BusanBusan, South Korea
The port city of Busan is South Korea's second-largest city after Seoul, famous for its beaches, mountains and temples. Explore its majestic mountains and hot springs today and why not savour some of its traditional seafood dishes?
This pretty fishing port boasts centuries of history and its quiet charm. Visit Sasebo's popular Asaichi morning market, where stalls sell fresh produce and fish alongside handmade clothing and pottery. You can also see more of Sasebo's signature Mikawachi white porcelain at the Mikawachi Pottery Museum, while nature lovers might want to pay a visit to Sasebo's Botanical Garden, with 1,200 plant specimens and stunning views of the emerald green Kujuku Islands that lie just off the coast here.
Day13Day at seaYokohama, Japan
Enjoy another day aboard Diamond Princess, making the most of its wonderful facilities on the final full day of your unforgettable trip.
Day14Return homeTokyo, Japan
Arrive back into Tokyo's Yokohama Port, then take a private transfer to the airport for your flight home. Wave goodbye to Japan's incredible pink blossoms from the air as you leave for home.
Built in Japan, the Diamond Princess is a magnificent ship to sail around the Land of the Rising Sun
You will head south-west from Tokyo, before sailing through the Kanmon Straits and sailing along the north coast. It is notable for seeming roomier than other vessels its size, with a good space per person ratio. Beds in the Diamond Princess cabins come with Egyptian cotton as standard and en suite bathrooms.
There is a wide choice of restaurants including a sushi bar, and 24-hour panoramic buffet and bistro; a great programme of entertainment with a theatre, live music; and a whole range of spa options including Japanese baths.
This is an exceptionally comfortable way to travel around this nation of islands.