Japan is rightfully famous for its abundant and beautiful cherry blossoms. Appearing for three weeks only from late March to mid-April, the emergence of the cherry blossoms in Japan is eagerly awaited by both locals and tourists alike. Visiting Japan during cherry blossom season is not only very popular, but one of the best times to see why Japan captivates so many.
I discovered Japan quite unexpectedly some years ago when a travel associate called to ask if I could leave the next day for Fukuoka. It happened that our local chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association was to receive an award at a meeting there and none of the other officers were able to go. So I boarded a hastily booked non-stop flight from Houston to Narita (Tokyo) with a connection to the southern island of Kyushu. It turned out to be a fabulous and memorable experience.
But I’m not a fan of last minute travel. Your trip can be planned with a lot more forethought than that. You want to head for the airport feeling prepared and assured, documents and plans in hand, having booked it with an experienced and caring travel consultant.
If your heritage is European or African, Japan may seem like a really “foreign” country because of its language and culture. Sure, independent travel could be dicey for a first time visitor—road signs are not in English. That’s why we recommend tours made for English speaking travelers. And cherry blossom tours for 2018 have already opened.
As the symbolic trees bloom, both city and countryside are awash in a delicate pink hue. This magical scenery is a time of celebration, where families gather to celebrate and appreciate the beauty of this fleeting phenomenon.
In my unexpected discovery tour I chose to ride the high speed Shinkansen train rather than fly back to Tokyo. This gave me the opportunity to stop over and explore Hiroshima and Kyoto, two names that stuck out in my mind for their must-see historical significance. I saw Mt. Fuji from the train at 180 mph. Hardy souls with more time could do some hiking there and learn about the spiritual significance of the country’s tallest and most beautiful volcano.
Tell us what you would most like to see and do on a trip to Japan. We might be able to add a few good suggestions. Let’s make it happen!
A special thanks to Holly Bilkie of Wendy Wu Tours who contributed to this article.