JOURNEYS and guide Byung Kyu Park have designed something almost unheard of in Japan -- a creative itinerary for a very small group at a competitive price. Join this special trip during Cherry Blossom Festivals in April, during the Shichi-go San and Autumn Foliage Festivals in November, during the beautiful Oeshiki Festival of lanterns in October, or on your own dates. Witness the Japanese culture's unabashed and effusive homage to the seasons.
Visit the country's most exquisite landmarks, and meet locals off the tourist paths. Overnight in a few different traditional-style Japanese ryokans. Experience the hot springs baths so beloved by the Japanese.
Begin with vibrant Tokyo and breathtakingly beautiful Nikko National Park. View Mt. Fuji and enjoy scenic walks at Lake Kawaguchi. Travel back in time in the traditional villages at Matsumoto, Hida Takayama, and Shirakawa. Perhaps best of all, spend time in the old capital of Kyoto where the the simple elegance of the temples and gardens defy description.
If your schedule permits, add a day-long or multi-day extension. Visit Nara or Hiroshima. Consider an overnight stay on monastry grounds.
"The Japanese go all out when it comes to honoring the seasons. In springtime, there are cherry blossoms on everything -- train stations, shop fronts, streetlights, banquet setting, gift wrap, everything. And in autumn, it's red and orange leaves, everywhere." - Joan Weber
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