Japan Cherry Blossom Cruises
Come springtime in Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun is shrouded in the pink, vibrant flowers of the sakura, or cherry blossom trees. Recognising this natural phenomenon as one of the country’s most famous attractions, cruise lines are beginning to offer special voyages that allow guests to experience the beauty of the cherry blossom season along with the many highlights of Japan.
The Cherry Blossom Season
Cherry blossom trees begin flowering at different times, depending on their location. Generally, the first cherry blossoms appear in southern Japan, on the island of Okinawa, in March. By early May, they have started to appear in Hokkaido, in the country’s north. Forecasts for sakura blooming are subject to changes in weather conditions, including rain, wind and temperature. The forecasts often vary slightly from year to year.
While cherry blossoms can be seen throughout the country, many local and international visitors flock to Kyoto, Kobe, Nara and Osaka. In particular, Osaka Castle Park transforms into a colourful wonderland, boasting an amazing floral backdrop unlike any other.
Filled with skyscrapers, Tokyo also has several hidden green spaces in which cherry blossoms can be viewed, including the picturesque Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. Hanami, which roughly translates to mean ‘looking at flowers’, is a highly popular pastime in Japan and the hanami season boasts several festivals and celebrations both during the day and at night.
- Princess Cruises’ Grand Spring Flowers Cruise – Kicking off on April 13th 2018, this 15-day itinerary includes stops at 12 ports. Beginning in Tokyo, passengers aboard the Diamond Princess will visit Busan in South Korea and a wide variety of Japanese locales, including Aomori, Akita and Hakodate. In Aomori, guests will have the opportunity to explore Hirosaki Castle, a 17th century structure that features a moat, tower and five gates, and is surrounded by 2,500 cherry blossoms.
- Celebrity Cruises’ Japanese Explorer Cruise – Leaving from Tokyo on April 15th 2018, this 11-night voyage aboard the Celebrity Millennium is sure to provide guests with lifelong memories. Stops include Kobe, Kochi, Nagasaki, Aomori and South Korea’s Busan. Situated in Kobe, right near Mount Hachibuse, serene Sumaura Park is the perfect place to go to enjoy the sight of thousands of cherry blossoms. Views of the sea below will also delight visitors.
- Tauck’s Cruising the Land of the Rising Sun – Beginning on the 22nd April, 2018, this 14-day voyage takes passengers to Japanese destinations such as Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Kagoshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo. In Nara Park, the resident deer (which themselves attract tourists in their droves) are surrounded by 1,700 cherry blossom trees during the spring season
Can’t wait to witness the inimitable beauty of Japan’s iconic cherry blossoms? Enquire now about the different cherry blossom cruises available by calling 1300 954 661. When you’re ready to take the plunge, our experienced cruise consultants are here to help you make a booking and arrange your trip from start to finish, leaving you with nothing to do but count down the days till your voyage!
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