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Rumour had it that the cherry blossoms were blooming earlier this year and we’d probably miss them! Well, this was far from the case. On landing at Narita airport, we saw Sakura in full bloom lining the airport fences. A very good omen! From then on, we saw the blossoms everywhere we went. Ueno Park was our first official viewing, along with the masses, finishing the day at the quiet and most beautiful Hamarikyu Garden of the Tokugawa shogun.

We spent 4 nights in Tokyo, living it up in a fine hotel, visiting a variety of restaurants and cafes, with dinner on a traditional Japanese houseboat as our Tokyo farewell. The weather gods smiled on us as we enjoyed balmy spring days. We travelled far and wide, on express trains, private coaches, public buses, taxis and shinkansen (bullet train), our favorite. Doing this, we experienced Japan at the grass roots level. Sleeping on futons in traditional inns, we had private hot spring baths attached to our rooms, at times overlooking vast terrains. Glimpsing Mt. Fuji, we made our way to the Japan Alps still topped with snow and spent time with the amazing snow monkeys in Yamanouchi. We visited galleries and museums, preserved villages and magnificent Japanese gardens. Cultural activities were a highlight, with lessons in ikebana, sushi, washi paper making and screen printing in Kyoto, the ancient capital. Dressing in kimonos was another moment we’ll never forget, with beautiful photos to keep. A night on Miyajima island known for its huge Shinto shrine was the perfect getaway before hitting Osaka and all the excitement of a capital city with a vibrant youth culture. What a wonderful adventure we had. 

Kaarie Stephens - Tour Hostess

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About the Author: Sisterhood Womens Travel

The Sisterhood Womens Travel team consists of experienced tour hostesses with over 70 years combined travel experience throughout 5 continents and we can’t wait to share our passion for travel with you! There really is no better way to travel!

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