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  • Golden Compass New Zealand Freephone number 0800-132-385
  • 1800-132-385

Japan Cherry Blossom
Commences Tokyo 31 March and ends Kyoto 12 April 2018

  • Japan Cherry Blossom
    Japan Cherry Blossom
  • Japanese Hanging Lanterns
    Japanese Hanging Lanterns
  • Kanazawa - Japan
    Kanazawa - Japan
  • Sakura Cherry Blossom at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa
    Sakura Cherry Blossom at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa
  • Thatched House in Shirakawa-Go
    Thatched House in Shirakawa-Go
  • Heian Shrine, Kyoto
    Heian Shrine, Kyoto
  • Program Status Places Available
  • Price AUD 7,990
  • Program Code TWJCB18
  • Single Supplement AUD 946
  • Program Leader Robyn Laing
  • Activity Rating Moderate

Tour Itinerary

  • 12 Nights
    • 3 - Tokyo
    • 2 - Kanazawa
    • 2 - Takayama
    • 1 - Shiga
    • 4 - Kyoto

Commences Tokyo 31 March and ends Kyoto 12 April 2018

Tour Highlights

  • Celebrate an abundance of exquisite cherry blossoms with the locals
  • Striking modern & traditional architecture
  • High speed 'shinkansen' train travel
  • Cherry blossom festival in Mino
  • Dedicated craftsmanship of local artisans
  • I.M.Pei  Museum
  • Gardens & temples in Kyoto
  • Taste delicious food and soak in traditional spa baths
  • A Miyako Odori Cherry Blossom show in Gion
  • A farewell dinner with a Geisha performance

Tour Overview

The abundance of cherry blossom in spring in Japan is world renowned. Japanese people celebrate the brief appearance of these delicate flowers with 'hanami (flower-viewing)' picnics as the blossoms open at varying times, depending on the weather, across several 'cherry front zones' which are closely followed by daily climate reports.

Our tour is designed for us to experience this phenomenon as we move across the country. Travelling on the new high speed bullet train link between Tokyo and Kanazawa, we are transported to the Japan sea coast. Our route back across Honshu Island takes us through areas rich in tradition: Shirakawago and its thatched roofed homes; Takayama with its morning market; and the spring festival preparation in Mino. 

Close to Kyoto, we have the opportunity to visit the magnificent I.M.Pei designed Miho Museum and, while in Kyoto, see the springtime Maiko and Geisha performance 'Miyako Odori' as well as the many other splendours that this old imperial capital can reveal.

Tour Inclusions

    • 12 nights en-suite 3-4 star hotel accommodation
    • Typical breakfast daily and 5 dinners
    • Touring by high speed train and comfortable coach
    • Transport, field trips and activities as indicated
    • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides
    • Services of a Japanese speaking Program Leader
    • Gratuities and necessary tips
    • Detailed Program Information Booklet



Robyn Laing

Robyn Laing's first contact with Japan came 40 years ago when she was selected to take part in the Japanese Youth Goodwill Cruise programme organized by the Japanese government. This experience proved a major influence for the young Massey University science graduate. Four OE years were spent in Japan, studying in Kyoto. 

Returning to NZ as a fluent speaker of Japanese her skills were sought to teach Japanese in a high school, then by the Embassy of Japan, Wellington where she worked for four years and then by the NZ Dairy Board. During her time with the Board Robyn was seconded to Tokyo, working for six years with a joint venture operation on the market development of specialized dairy products. Next she was asked to work with TV crew from NHK, Japan's public broadcasting organization. Ten exhilarating years were spent on TV documentary projects across the globe.

After her return to NZ, when approached to take on the role of tour leader, Robyn was very reluctant having enjoyed extensive independent serendipitous travel world wide. Having agreed to co-lead a tour to Japan with the marvellous Ann Matheson, she was delighted to learn what a pleasure it is to accompany mature travellers interested in their destination, to facilitate their discovery by sharing knowledge acquired over decades. After that wonderful experience, she happily took on the role. Clients on tours to Japan have found her to be a thoughtful, knowledgeable program leader who has gone out of her way to ensure their interests and needs are fulfilled.

Robyn has also spent considerable periods of time travelling through the European Alps in both Austria and Switzerland.


This program includes placeswhich can only be explored on foot and where walking tours may be a little longer and not always on the flat. Accommodation may have some stairs and or have some rooms which may involve some walking to access.
All our programs naturally involve some walking in order to discover bet­ter the places visited and, although we arrange porterage where this is available, participants are expected to be able to handle their own bags. Our program leaders will always try to make as much of the program as possible available for those who find walking longer distances, uphill or down steps difficult but, in same places, this cannot always be avoided.
If you have any concerns at all about your level of fitness, please do not hesitate to talk to us and discuss further with the experts who know the particular demands of each program.

Register your interest early

Golden Compass’s UK, European, Asian and other educational travel programs are only available by booking direct with Golden Compass Tours. This gives you a cost saving by cutting out the middle-man and dealing direct with the specialist who actually arranges your tour on the ground.

Follow these simple steps to secure your place on one of our unique tours:

  1. Select the program or programs you are interested in joining, make a note of the program code that appears next to the program price (eg: GCTAD17) and call us on 1800 132 385 to check availability and hold an option.
  2. Access the Golden Compass booking form here.
  3. Complete the details you have available (we understand your flights and travel insurance details may not be confirmed when you make your booking).
  4. Print and sign your form, then simply scan and email your form direct to info@goldencompasstours.com.au. If you prefer you can post it to our Australian postal address at:

  Golden Compass, PO Box 163, Keiraville, NSW 2500, Australia.

Please note we require a deposit of AUD500 per person per program with the full balance for each tour being due 70 days prior to the start of your program or programs. Your contract is direct with Golden Compass Tours Australia

Once the deposit payment has been taken you will then be sent your confirmation letter either by email or post (as you prefer). An invoice for the balance will be issued to you 12 weeks prior to the departure of your first tour or tours. Full payment by MasterCard, Visa or electronic bank transfer is required 70 days prior to the start of your tour. Payment will be taken by Golden Compass Tours from you in Australian dollars.

If you need any assistance please call our Freephone number on 1800 132 385.