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Japan’s Flower Festivals
28 APRIL – 11 MAY 2018



We are thrilled to announce our exciting new tour to Japan’s flower festivals which will embrace events around the country that commemorate azaleas, peonies and wisteria. Our botanical guide Linda Ross will walk you through 200m long multi-coloured wisteria tunnels, 1.1km trellis of wisteria, past an ancient 1000 year old wisteria tree, through a valley of 17,000 azalea and over a lake of 100,000 floating peony. And if we’re lucky we’ll glimpse the last of the cherry blossoms too!
Saturday 28 April 2018
Sydney – Tokyo

Depart Sydney on a Qantas evening flight to Tokyo.

Sunday 29 April 2018
Tokyo – Nikko (L/D)

We’ll travel by coach into the mountains to Nikko today with a stop in Ashikaga to see the famous Wisteria Festival in full swing with tunnels, arbours and arches smothered in weeping wisteria. One plant is now 140 years old; “the Great Wisteria” spreads 1,000 ㎡. Learn the fascinating history of the Hotel Kanaya at lunch today at the Kanaya Cottage Inn. Check into the charming Nikko Kanaya, the oldest western style hotel in Japan. Dinner tonight is western-style, silver service.

Accommodation: Kanaya Hotel, Nikko

Monday 30 April 2018
Nikko (B/D)

Another festival today to celebrate the blue nemophila Miharashi Hill in spectacular fashion at Hitachi Seaside Park.
A treat lies waits for us at Kairakuen Garden in Mito, one of Japan’s three finest; a strolling garden with azaleas and wisteria in full flower. Dinner tonight at the Kanaya. A log fire will be burning in the cosy Bar Dacite for a pre-dinner drink.

Accommodation: Kanaya Hotel, Nikko

Tuesday 1 May 2018
Nikko – Tokyo(B/D)

We’ll climb the last part of the Sacred Way of ancient cedars to Toshogu Shrin. It’s the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868. Next stop is the Imperial Villa that blends traditional Edo Period and early modern Meiji Period architecture throughout its 106 rooms. The Villa was erected in Nikko in 1899, using parts of a residence that originally stood in Tokyo.
On our way back to Tokyo we visit Tokaen Park in Kasukabe City, designated as a Japanese natural treasure in 1928. The wisteria trees here are more than 1,200 years old, one covers 700 sq.m is known as the Silky Wisteria.

Accommodation: New Otani Hotel, Tokyo

Wednesday 2 May 2018
Tokyo (B)

Camera batteries will need to be fully charged today as we travel around Tokyo to see breathtaking azaleas at Rikugien Garden and Nezu Shrine, then cascades of wisteria at Kameido Tenjin Shrine that were planted during the Edo period.

Accommodation: New Otani Hotel, Tokyo

Thursday 3 May 2018
Omiya (B)

First stop today is the Omiya Bonsai Village and Museum. Spot on timing for the Great Bonsai Festival that Omiya Village hosts every year during Japan’s Golden Week. We will see exquisite bonsai from all over Japan, including wisteria and azaleas in full flower. All about peonies this afternoon in Tokyo’s Ueno Park and the Toshogu Peony Garden. The peony’s popularity is clear with references in Japanese haiku and its use as a motif in art, patterns and family. Free afternoon.

Accommodation: New Otani Hotel, Tokyo

Friday 4 May 2018
Tokyo – Matsue (B/D)

Fly into Izumo, Shimane Prefecture this morning. Once a market town, Izumo has been a commercial centre for the surrounding area since the 18th century and well known as a Shintō religious centre. A taste of old Japan at Matsue, a feudal castle nearby that’s one of the few remaining medieval castles built of wood in the early sixteen hundreds. It sits on a hill with commanding views of Izumo below, well worth the climb. Check into Hotel Tokyu, Matsue

Accommodation: Excel Hotel Tokyu, Matsue

Saturday 5 May 2018
Matsue (B)

If you love peonies, you will be transported to Peony Heaven today at Yushien Garden. Just 40 years old, this private garden has a central pond, waterfalls, streams, stone lanterns, rock garden and peonies. Its location on the sparsely populated Daikonshima Island in the middle of the brackish Lake Nakaumi makes it a destination.
The collection of peonies, 250 of them, are meticulously tended. Next stop is the Adachi Museum of Art that houses a collection of modern Japanese art, including paintings by Taikan Yokoyama, and has a celebrated garden. Overnight in Matsue

Accommodation: Excel Hotel Tokyu, Matsue

Sunday 6 May 2018
Matsue – Okayama (B)

We are taking the train to Okayama this morning to visit Kōraku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan (along with Kenroku-en and Kairaku-en). This quintessential Japanese garden was created 300 years ago by Ikeda Tsunamasa, Lord of Okayama, as a symbol of the power of the Samurai.
It centres around Enyo-tei House, which was built as living quarters. See wisteria , zig-zag bridges, mounds of azaleas, streams lined with iris and a tea plantation. With the spectacular backdrop of Okayama Castle, the garden is designed as a circuit to experience the magic of the borrowed landscape, particularly Yuishinzan Hill. We’ll see the famous Japanese cranes that breed here.

Accommodation: Granvia Hotel, Okoyama

DAY 10
Monday 7 May 2018
Okayama (B)

All about wisteria today at Kawachi Wisteria Garden, a private garden in the hills, famous for its spectacular planting of wisteria. Two tunnels each 100 metre long are planted with different species of wisteria, ranging from white to dark purple. We will walk up to the lookout over the sea of wisteria and the surrounding valley.

Accommodation: Granvia Hotel, Okoyama

DAY 11
Tuesday 8 May 2018
Naoshima (B/D)

It’s a ferry ride today to Naoshima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea that is known for its modern art museums, architecture and sculptures. Much of Naoshima’s art was installed by the Benesse Corporation, designed by the well-known Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The complex is intended to blend increasingly into the natural environment of Setonaikai National Park with natural light pouring in through apertures, weaving together the indoors and outdoors. Chichu Art Museum was built, mostly underground, in 2004, not spoil the natural beauty of its setting in the Seto Inland Sea. After decades existing as a sleepy fishing community, Naoshima awoke with a new purpose and became the humble, yet fitting home to an impressive collection of contemporary art, architecture and exhibits.

Accommodation: Granvia Hotel, Okoyama

DAY 12
Wednesday 9 May 2018

Our coach will take us to Ritsurin Garden in the city of Takamatsu on Japan’s fourth main island of Shikoku.
It’s a garden for ‘strolling’, and that’s just what we will do today, across beautiful bridges, iris-lined ponds and through beautiful pavilions. In its exquisite setting, wooded Mt. Shiun serves as great example of borrowed scenery. We’ll have lunch here then travel back to Okayama with the afternoon free Farewell dinner tonight in our hotel.

Accommodation: Granvia Hotel, Okoyama

DAY 13
Thursday 10 May 2018
Okayama – Home (B)

The morning is free with a late check out before we drive to Okayama airport for our homeward flight. Option to visit the lovely old town of Kurashiki that dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867) when the city served as an important rice distribution centre. The name ‘Kurashiki’ means ‘town of storehouses’, where rice was kept. A special teahouse named ‘Kikugetsu-tei’ is built in the elegant sukiya-zukuri style. Sit in the main viewing room of the teahouse with glorious views of Nanko South Pond.

DAY 14
Friday 11 May 2018
Arrive Home

To secure your booking and make your deposit, please complete our online booking form. You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.


Cancellations received 180-120 days prior to departure will incur loss of deposit.
Cancellations received between 119-60 days prior to departure will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Cancellations received between 59-30 days prior to departure will incur a 75% cancellation fee plus any non-recoverable costs incurred.
Cancellations received within 30 days prior to departure will incur 100% cancellation fee.

Cancellations must be sent in writing.
Cancellation fee is based upon the total amounts paid including tours, airfares and all other travel arrangements.
Please refer to the Ross Garden Tours standard terms and conditions

  • Return flights (including taxes) Sydney / Tokyo / Sydney with Qantas, and domestic flights Tokyo / Izumo and Okayama / Tokyo
  • Shinkansen and express train travel
  • Deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach throughout tour
  • Deluxe accommodation for 12 nights
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
  • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 5 dinners
  • English speaking National Japanese Guide
  • Guided tours of Nikko and Tokyo
  • Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing including Ashikaga Flower Park, Kanaya History House, Hitachi Seaside Park, Kairakuen, Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Tokaen, Rikugien Garden, Nezu Shrine, Ueno Toshogu Peony Garden, Lafcadio Hearn Residence, Yushien, Adachi Museum, Korakuen, Kawachi Fuji Garden, Chichu Art Museum, Benesse House Museum, Honmura Art House Project, Ritsurin Park.

Twin Share land only $9,795 per person
Twin Share including air $10,995* per person
Single Supplement $1,095

All prices in Australian Dollars.
Prices based on minimum 15 passengers.
Price is based on departure from Sydney.
Price from NZ and other Australian ports available on application.


Book and pay in full by 1/12/2017 to receive the Early Bird Discount of $300.00 per person off the final instalment.
Previous Traveller Discount $100
Garden Clinic Member discount $50

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