Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival is a magical moment in Japan. Every year, Japanese people are celebrating this special occasion with friends, families, and co-workers. Visiting Japan at this time of the year, travellers will enjoy this precious moment along with Japanese people. Visiting in parks and everywhere in the city, immerse yourself in the crown and the beautiful flowers.
Cherry Blossom Festival usually starts sometimes from March to early May of every year. If you book your tickets between that period, you won’t miss the festival. The Cherry blossoms last only 1-2 weeks once the Cherry flowers open, and the weather has a strong effect on the flower season. It is hard to predict the best time, but check Cherry Blossom Forecast and try your luck.
Not all of the Cherry flowers blossom at the same time. You can travel from place to place around Japan during the month from March to May. If you visit Japan for the first time, Tokyo is the first place to start. You can check on this website for Cherry Blossoms Best Spots in Tokyo.
Thousands of visitors are in Japan at this time of the year, do expect some delays at the airport on arrival. Also, budget extra for your accommodation. Even so, it is still worthed to see Japan at this time of the year.
Connecting flights from Australia are available. Qantas, ANA, Japan Airlines, Jetstar, and Air New Zealand. Just remember there are two major international airports in Tokyo: Narita International Airport and Haneda (HND). It’s convenient to catch the train from both airports to Tokyo with JR Rail Pass. Don’t forget to exchange the JR voucher for a JR Pass at the airport.
- N’EX (Narita Express) connects Narita Airport to Tokyo station and other main stations in the suburbs.
- Tokyo Monorail connects Haneda Airport to Hamamatsucho Station, then changes to Yamanote line to Tokyo.
Getting around Japan and Tokyo
Japan Rail network is very reliable and convenient for visitors to travel around Japan. The system connects four majors Islands. Plan your itinerary ahead of purchasing the rail tickets. A few tips you may need to know.
- JR Rail Pass If your plan covers more than one region, JR Rail Pass is recommended. The Pass is available outside Japan. Visitors can purchase a rail voucher from the authorised agent in Australia. See JR Pass Exchange Office in Japan. The fare period is available for 7, 14, and 21 days. It is much cheaper to travel with a JR Pass if you travel across multiple regions. The pass also allows you to access the high- speed train –Shinkansen excluding the NOZOMI and MIZUHO trains, Tokyo Monorail, Yamanote JR Line – the circular line which connects Tokyo with all the major city centres.
- Regional Pass If your itinerary is within one regional area, it is worthwhile purchasing a Regional Pass. The pass is available once you arrive in Japan or you can pre-order outside Japan
- Prepaid travel cards SUICA or PASSMO. There are several prepaid travel cards or rechargeable cards available at the vending machines or convenience stores. It is convenient to use prepaid travel cards for trains, subways or buses in the major cities. The card can also be used to purchase goods at participating shops. If your itinerary focuses on the major cities, for example, Tokyo, it is worth buying one of the prepaid travel cards and a regional pass in order to get around the cities and suburbs. Read the terms and conditions carefully before you make a purchase. The card requires a refundable deposit. However, you must use up your value in the card before you leave.
First -time visiting Tokyo
Mt. Fuji or Fujisan in Japan is the best known Iconic landmark of Japan. The shape of the mountain is nearly symmetrical whether you are watching from a distance or close up. There are many ways to explore Fujisan. Select the one that suits you. Check the weather forecast; then you are ready to go.
Tsukiji Fish Market. It is a great experience trying out fresh sushi and various Japanese street foods. Not only fish are sold here, but there are also fruit, vegetables, desserts to tempt visitors. The market starts as early as 3 am in the morning. Check out the market calendar for Tuna Auction.
Senso-Ji Temple, known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, is the capital’s oldest temple and the spiritual home of Tokyo ancestors. Thousands of visitors come here every day for worship. Visitors also enjoy souvenir shopping at the main entrance – Kaminarimon gate.
Tokyo Sky Tree is one of the World ‘s tallest structures that allows you to view Tokyo from the two observation decks at 350m and 450m. On a clear day, visitors can see Mt. Fuji from here.
Tokyo Tower. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Tokyo at night. Tokyo Tower is an iconic landmark at 333 Metres high; visitors can see Tokyo in a 360° panoramic view from two observation decks at 145M and 250 M.
DisneySea VS Disneyland. It is worth a visit to these two theme parks if you have enough time, especially when you are travelling with children. If your time is limited, pick the DisneySea.
Meiji Shrine. Meiji Shrine and Harajuku are only a few steps apart. Plan to visit on the weekend and you may experience a Japanese traditional wedding. A walking tour is also available. It is a peaceful Shrine right in the middle of Tokyo.
Harajuku. Step out from Meiji Shrine and enter into the extreme culture of Japanese teenagers. Visit the Japanese toy story shop – Kiddy Land and immerse yourself in the busy street shopping and the extreme teen culture.