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

Japan Cherry Blossom
Commences Tokyo 30 March and ends Kyoto 11 April 2019

  • 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 Guaranteed Departure
  • Price $9,785
  • Program Code GCTJCB19
  • Single Supplement $980
  • Activity Rating Moderate
  • Program Leader Robyn Laing

Tour Itinerary

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

Commences Tokyo 30 March and ends Kyoto 11 April 2019

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

In April, when the cherry trees blossom throughout the country, Japan welcomes the return of mild weather. Excitement mounts as hanami (cherry blossom viewing) picnics are planned in celebration and close attention is paid to the daily 'cherry blossom front' forecasts which are included in the weather forecast. Our tour has been designed to take us through several of the cherry blossom 'front zones', to ensure we will enjoy this beautiful spectacle for which Japan is so well known.

With the backdrop of spring, our tour takes us from modern Tokyo, through beautiful rural districts, to elegant Kyoto. Along the way we will learn about the history and culture both traditional and modern, visit outstanding gardens, enjoy spring festivities, marvel at the architecture, eat delicious food and meet very gracious local people.

Tour Inclusions

    • 10 nights en-suited 4 star hotel accommodation
    • 2 nights stay in a Ryokan (Japanese Inn)
    • 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

This is our first 2018 tour announcement. Combinations will be advised soon.

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

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 and make a note of the program code that appears next to the program price (eg: GCTAD14).
  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.co.nz. If you prefer you can fax your form to +44 (0) 1494 431 144, or post it to our New Zealand postal address at:

  Golden Compass, P O Box 3452 Shortland St. Auckland 1140, New Zealand.

Please note we require a deposit of NZD500 per person per program with the full balance for each tour being due 70 days prior to the start of your program or programs in the UK, Europe, North Africa or Asia. 

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. 

If you need any assistance please call our Freephone number on 0800 132 385.