It is impossible to think of springtime Japan without an iconic image of a sea of cherry trees awash with perfect pink blooms instantly coming to mind. Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are an integral part of the Japanese cultural fabric and this expedition is designed to explore all its aspects. However, this is not just a trip for flower aficionados. Rather, Arthur Meyerson and George Nobechi have designed a unique itinerary that delves deeper into Japanese culture.
This magical 12-night journey follows the cherry blossom trail north from the Tohoku Region of Honshu Island (the main island) into Hokkaido by train. From Yamadera, a small village in a mountainous location in southern Tohoku, to Hakodate, a beautiful coastal city known for its seafood and sweeping views of two seas, we take advantage of Japan's rail network to cover the most ground through a variety of inspiring locations, including Akita’s famous cherry walk. Heavier bags are transported forward, leaving us free to travel light, and the pacing of our journey is slow enough to give you ample time to photograph at your own pace.
And there is indeed much to photograph beyond cherry blossoms. Our trail leads us to preserved samurai mansions, cliff-top temples, moats and castles, awe-inspiring landscapes, fabulous food, and welcoming people. Hanami is the tradition of “flower appreciation picnics” under the cherry blossoms and typically stoic Japanese people let loose during this special time. We encounter festivals, dancing, impromptu karaoke, and all types and forms of celebration across all ages. Along the way, Arthur and George provide guidance, instruction, feedback, and one-on-one and group critique sessions.
Our itinerary is as follows:
April 18: Tokyo
April 19-20: Yamagata
April 21-22: Iwate
April 23-24: Akita
April 25-27: Aomori
April 28-29: Hokkaido
The cherry blossom is deeply symbolic in Japanese culture: their short-lived existence can represent an appreciation of the beauty and fleeting nature of life. Join Arthur and George for this dazzling journey along the cherry blossom trail. Life is short—photograph it well!