Small Group Japan Tours 2019, 2020 | Premium South Korea Vacation Packages
- Best Time of Year to Visit Japan
- Why a Trip to Japan during the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival Is Recommended
This journey of cultural discovery showcases the best of the Land of the Rising Sun!
From Hokkaido to Nagasaki – the city that hosted the first wave of European traders, you will be amazed by Japan’s perfect blend of super modernity and ancient traditions. Special features include a full course Japanese dinner banquet, a traditional cultural show and a sushi making lesson.
Trip visits Sapporo, Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Kanazawa, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Nagoya.
The meticulously designed Japan travel package offers the guest a comprehensive overview of Japan from a broad historical perspective. To augment insight by expert local guides, an experienced leader will present well researched and organized commentaries throughout the trip covering a wide range of subjects to help you gain a deep understanding of this ancient country.
Trip visits Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Kanazawa, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka.
The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, is an East Asian nation on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula and shares one of the world’s most heavily militarised borders with North Korea. South Korea is famous for its high-tech industries and equally known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, plus its coastal fishing villages and sub-tropical islands.
Trip visits Seoul, Gyeongju, Busan, Jeju Island
Join us on this exciting journey to experience the essence of the Land of Morning Calm and the Land of the Rising Sun. Designed by Korea and Japan travel experts, this small-group tour gives special attention to history, politics and good food.
Trip visits Seoul, Gyeongju, Busan, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Tokyo.
The extraordinary journey of discovery features expert local guides and an experienced tour leader well versed in both Japanese and Korean cultures. The well crafted itinerary showcases the best of the Lands of Rising Sun and Morning Calm.
Trip visits Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Kanazawa, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Busan, Gyeongju & Seoul.
This grand tour of East Asia combines the best of Japan, South Korea and China. Conducted by an experienced tour leader and expert local guides, the masterfully crafted tour itinerary gives you a deep insight into the three powerhouses of Asia.
Trip visits Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Kanazawa, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Busan, Gyeongju, Seoul, Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai.
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Japan Tours Reviews and Testimonials
After exhaustively researching tours to Asia we decided to book a trip to China with Laurus. Several months prior to the trip we added on the 13 day Japan tour as it was a short flight away. This back to back was a leap of faith as we booked with Laurus based on reviews, the website and our interactions with Laurus. We made the right decision! The tours exceeded our expectations.
The tour of Japan was wonderful. Our guide Addy stayed with us for the entire tour and she was terrific. She didn’t just provide information, she kept us interested and even used sang with a samurai puppet. We were on the go all day long. The hotels were quite nice and centrally located. Most of the restaurants were small local places and the food was delicious. Highlights of the trip included meeting with a geisha, who spoke perfect English, visiting Nara and seeing the sika deer and going to Shirakawa-go.
Without any reservation I would highly recommend Laurus. They are genuinely concerned that you are given the best quality tour available at a reasonable price.
Maureen S and Larry L
Boynton Beach, Florida
As repeat customers (first to China, and now Japan), we recommend Laurus to other people interesting in exploring Asia. We have found the guides to be well-informed; the accommodations, excellent; and the service, high-quality. We were very fortunate to have met Julius Yan, the owner and founder of Laurus, on both of our tours. He traveled with us in Japan, and greatly enhanced our experience there. He is extremely dedicated to providing an outstanding and personal experience for his clients. He is well-versed in Asian history, and provided cultural and historical perspectives that added depth to our experience.
Suzanne B and Mark S
We arrived home yesterday safe and sound. Thank you for a wonderful tour in Japan!
Based on what we heard from our friends about their trip to Japan with your company last year we knew we had picked the right company in choosing Laurus Travel for our own Japan vacation. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Your company delivered as promised and then some. There is no doubt in our mind that we received superior value for our money. Upon checking with the others in the group, we learned that our fellow travelers all felt the same. Laurus Travel should be proud of itself because this is the opinion from a bunch of seasoned travelers who have gone on tours with a large number of tour companies.
Thank you again for a wonderful trip!
Janice and Sheldon R
more testimonials to come…
Japan Tour – When is the best time to visit Japan?
Climatic patterns in Japan are diverse ranging from subtropical islands in the south to sub-arctic winter temperatures in northern Hokkaido.
Like neighbouring Korean Peninsula and most of China, Honshu (literally “Main Island” or “Main Province”), the island we travel across, has cool and cold weather in winter (Jan-Mar). June and July is rainy season across Japan except Hokkaido – a popular destination for Japanese to escape summer heat. Autumn (September to mid-December) is usually cool and clear on Honshu. Cherry blossom season from late March to early April and the autumn foliage season (November) see huge influx of international visitors to join the large number of local vacationers on the move.
If you have a choice, you should stay away from Japan during their Golden Week holiday (end of April to early May) when hotels and air flights get incredibly expensive. For the high prices, you’d be rewarded with overcrowding at all the tourist sites – a phenomenon that rivals China’s National Day holiday week (Oct 1-6).
Winter (Jan-Mar) is supposed to be low season for Japan’s tourism industry, not anymore. The rapid rise of middle class throughout Asia and the decline of the Japanese Yen against so many currencies in the past few years ensure Japan is overrun with international visitors all year round. That said, in winter hotels, the single biggest budget item for many, can be had for less than half of the price of high season.
Japan Tours – when is the best time to see cherry blossoms?
People interested in our Japan tours often ask when is the best time for cherry blossom viewing. The popular sakura (cherry blossom) festival is a reason for many to take a trip to Japan.
The answer depends on where one wants to go. Japan is a country with a very diverse climatic pattern ranging from subtropical weather in southern islands to sub-arctic winter temperatures in northern Hokkaido. In general, the milder the climate, the earlier the cherry trees bloom. In subtropical Okinawa you’ll see cherry blossoms opening up as early as January while in Hokkaido you’ll have to wait till May.
Our regular Japan tours visit neither Okinawa nor Hokkaido. Instead, we spend all our time on the main island of Honshu, where we visit the most popular cities which include Tokyo, Kanazawa, Koyto and Osaka. The tours usually start in Tokyo and end in Osaka or Kyoto (Kansai region). In most of these cities, the cherry blossom season lasts from late March to early April for about two weeks. However, in the mountainous areas listed in our trip itineraries such as Mt. Fuji and Hakone outside Tokyo, Shirakawa-go near Kanazawa, and Arashiyama on the western edge of Kyoto, cherry blossoms are still abundant in late April due to cooler climate.
Japan Tours – where are the best spots for cherry blossom viewing?
Naturally, visitors going to Japan during the cherry blossom festival want to know the best spots for cherry blossom viewing. Although cherry blossoms are visible almost everywhere during the season, some particular spots do attract bigger crowds due to the high concentration and large varieties of cherry trees. In case you wonder, there are over one hundred types of cherry trees in Japan. As public service, Japan Weather Association maintains a list of National Top 20 Sakura Viewing Spots. The Top 5 are:
- Ueno Park, Tokyo 上野恩賜公園
- Osaka Castle Park, Osaka 大阪城公園
- Meguro River Park, Tokyo 目黒川
- Inokashira Park, Tokyo 井の頭恩賜公園
- Arashiyama (Storm Mountain), Kyoto 嵐山
Our Japan tour itineraries take in Osaka Castle and Arashiyama regardless of season. During the cherry blossom festival season, we would either add Ueno Park to our schedule or tell the guests how to get there on their own by public transit.
Japan Tours – where is the cherry blossom festival in Japan?
If you are reading this paragraph, you should have realized that sakura (cherry blossom) festivals are held throughout the country in springtime. On the main island of Honshu, this would be from middle March to late April depending on where you go. You don’t have to pick a single spot or city to revel in the festivities.
Japan Tours – why should I visit Japan during cherry blossom season?
We often hear from people in cities like Vancouver and Washington, DC telling us they don’t need to fly all the way to Japan to see cherry blossoms. It may be true that your city has enough cherry blossoms for your visual pleasure, but what is missing is the cultural aspect of it. Hanami (花見, “flower viewing”) is a time-honoured tradition in Japan and the Japanese celebrate their cherry blossoms with a gusto that has no rival. They dress up in traditional garb for the festival. Families and friends get together under cherry trees and they play traditional music or sing beautiful songs passed down from generation to generation in praise of their national flower. It’s the cultural aspect of the festival that makes a trip to Japan at that time exceptionally rewarding.