Best Spring Spots in Japan

Let's go around Japan in spring well
in 5
nights and 6 days!


Today, on the first day of your adventure, you'll make your way from the airport over to the city of Nagoya, in Aichi Prefecture. There, you'll take in the iconic Nagoya Castle before heading to Gifu Prefecture for the night.

Nagoya Castle

The symbol of Nagoya. Surrounded by acres of beautiful parkland, including a small teahouse in a traditional Japanese garden, it is the first stop for most visitors to the city. Spring is particularly beautiful when the 2,000 cherry blossom trees on the grounds are in bloom. The Honmaru Palace has been beautifully restored in cypress, just as it was in the past, so watch carefully!

※Note that the main castle tower is closed until the end of 2022 due to reconstruction from earthquake damage, and the castle itself will be entirely dismantled in 2023. Now's your chance to see it before it's gone!

Walking around Kawara-machi District

Once alighting at Gifu Park, make your way towards the river and you'll quickly find yourself stepping back in time. The Kawara-machi District, on the banks of the Nagara River, is famous for becoming rich off merchants hundreds of years ago and the area still retains that feeling today. If you're truly lucky, you'll get to catch a glimpse of the locals cormorant fishing, a rare technique today indeed.

◉ Nagoya Castle
Address: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi
Opening hours: 9am-4pm
◉ Kawara-machi District
Address: Gifu, Minatomachi, Motomachi, Tamaicho
Opening hours: -
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Upon awaking on your second day of this journey, you'll be in for a mixture of history, culture, and train rides through picturesque countryside as you make your way, ultimately, to the Shirakawago World Heritage site. Along the way, you'll make a brief stop at Mino City (famous for its washi paper) and also spy some cherry blossoms at one of the most famous viewing spots in the country.

Mino city, Udatsu Wall Historical District

Mino City is a historic city famous for two things: the old merchant's district with its authentic architecture and ornate "udatsu" fire walls, and their washi paper making skills. If you're looking for a unique, very Japanese gift or souvinir, definitely take a look at the famous washi paper the local craftsmen make. Using techniques passed down through the centuries, buying authentic washi paper here is almost like buying a small piece of history!

Limited express Hida

The ride of Limited Express Hida is pure bliss. The scenery on this leg of the journey, as seen from inside the train, is truly breathtaking. The crags of the mountains and the rivers snaking beside the train are unforgettable, so be sure to have your camera ready!

Garyu Zakura

Speaking of unforgettable sights along the way, be on the lookout for Hida-Ichinomiya Station. Though your Hida Express train won't stop there, you're going to want to have your camera ready anyway. Next to Hida-Ichinomiya Station is one of the most hidden cherry blossom spots in the area, and one of its best. You'll see a warren of cherry trees shaped like the body of a sleeping dragon, hence the name "Garyu". Those trees are host to a brilliant variety of cherry blossom known as Ido Sakura, and the trees are over 1,100 years old!

World heritage site Shirakawa-go

With techniques developed over generations, the Shirakawa-go villagers designed unique gassho-zukuri buildings: farmhouses, barns and sheds with steeply pitched, thatched roofs designed to withstand the heavy winter snowfall.
Gassho-zukuri means "like praying hands", as the tall triangular roofs are said to resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in worship. Arriving in time with the cherry blossoms, Shirakawago is one of the best places to be during this time of the year.

◉ Mino city, Udatsu Wall Historical District
Address: Mino city, Gifu
Opening hours: -
◉ Limited express Hida
Address: 275-1 Ichinomiyamachi, Takayama, Gifu
Opening hours:
◉ World heritage site Shirakawa-go
Address: Ogimachi, Shirakawa, Ono District, Gifu
Opening hours: -
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Variety is the name of the game on your third day. Today you will visit a beach, take a ride on the famous shinkansen bullet train, and view millions of tulips. All this and some mouthwatering sushi to cap it off. As always, you'll travel to all these places in style with your Tourist Pass.

Portolam Toyama to Iwasehama

You'll start today off with a 25-minute journey via light rail to Iwasehama. Along the way you will be able to see dramatic landscapes out of both sides of the train. On one side you'll be gliding silently along the seaside, with Toyama Bay a stone's throw away. From the comfort of your train you can see the Sea of Japan out in the distance. Opposite, you'll see the Tateyama mountain range.


Iwasehama is the closest beach to the Toyama City center. The Port of Toyama serves as a gateway to the city, and the area itself has some well-preserved, historic streets. As a port city, Toyama became a busy stop for merchant ships, most notably the Kitamaebune, or Northern Boats. This merchant ships braved the harshest conditions on their stops along the coast of Japan.

Sushi Lunch

For lunch today, why not indulge in Japan's most famous dish - sushi? Being a port city of the Sea of Japan, Toyama offers up some of the freshest, most delicious seafood in the country. You won't even have to go far, as there are a number of excellent sushi restaurants near (and within!) the station itself. For a casual, fun experience, try Hama Zushi. This eatery offers up a kaiten experience; this is, your sushi will come, once ordered, on a conveyor belt! Don't let the relaxed atmosphere fool you, however. This sushi is seriously good!

Tonami Tulip Park

Feast your eyes on over three million tulips during the Tonami Tulip Fair. This fair began all the way back in 1918 when cultivation of the first tulip bulb began in the area. With almost 300 different varieties produced, Tonami is Japan's largest producer of the colorful flower. Taking place over two weeks in April, the Tulip Fair is held in homage to the long history of flower cultivation in Tonami.

Hokuriku Shinkansen

Shinkansen ride! A trip to Japan is never complete without a ride on the crown jewel of public transport - the bullet train.

◉ Iwasehama
Address: Iwasetenjinmachi, Toyama
Opening hours: -
◉ Tonami Tulip Park
Address: 1-32 Hanazonomachi, Tonami, Toyama
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
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Today you'll experience some quintessential Japanese culture: geisha, tea, cherry blossoms, and hot springs. Add in a few train journeys, and you've got a very Japanese day. You'll be walking a bit today, so put on your most comfortable shoes and let's get going!

Kazue-machi Chaya District

Kanazawa is a very easy place to get around in. Three chaya (Teahouse) districts (Higashi, Nishi, Kazue-machi) will transport you into another world where you can slip into a teahouse and enjoy a few moments' rest and relaxation. Kazue-machi is the smallest of the three, but definitely the quietest. It only has a few streets, but definitely check out the main street, as it runs parallel to the Asano River. You can get some great photos of some architecturally stunning houses, shops, and alleways.

Rojo Park

Another incredible cherry blossom viewing spot, Rojo Park is home to thousands of blossoms of all different varieties. In addition, the park also boasts notable displays of wisteria, irises, and azaleas, among other plant life. The park has a number of landscaped gardens with some very impressive water features. It's at night, though, that Rojo Park really comes alive as the trees are illuminated with hundreds of lights. This gives the park an almost festival-like atmosphere. Definitely one not to be missed!

Stay in Awara Onsen

A stay in a true onsen, or hot springs, town is a must on many itineraries. Awara Onsen is reknowned for its local cuisine, quaint townscapes, and, of course, their geothermal baths. A soak in one of Awara Onsen's baths is just what the doctor ordered after the amount of walking you did today. Pair your soothing dip with local Echizen crab for dinner, and you've got a great night!

◉ Kazue-machi Chaya District
Address: 3 Kazuemachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
◉ Rojo Park
Address: 19 Marunouchikoenmachi, Komatsu, Ishikawa
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
◉ Awara Onsen
Address: Harumiya, Awara, Fukui
Opening hours: -
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Gear up for your last day on this journey. Today you'll be walking a bit around the charming Awara area, before taking a train over to Fukui. Once there, you'll eat a local delicacy, sauce katsu, and understand why it's one of the most reknowned dishes in Japan. Cap it all off with a visit to quirky Dinosaur Plaza before catching one last glimpse of cherry blossoms heading to Kansai Airport.

Awara Onsen

How about taking one last soak before breakfast? You're on holiday, after all! Upon eating your fill at the onsen hotel breakfast, why not enjoy a leisurely stroll around the area? This enchanting little town has a number of historical buildings to see, a retro ashiyu (foot bath) to dip your toes.

Katsudon Lunch

Normally, katsudon consists of a golden colored pork cutlet, bowl of rice and a cooked egg. However, Fukui takes this legendary dish and adds its own unique, local spin by covering the pork in a special tonkatsu sauce. Equal parts sweet and rich, this sauce katsudon as it is known is one of the most famous dishes unique to the Fukui area.

Fukui Station Dinosaur Plaza

After an amazing lunch of sauce katsudon, you will probably want to take a bit of a walk to sort yourself out. A very short walk away is the Fukui Station Dinosaur Plaza, where you can come face to face with life-size animatronic dinosaurs indigenous to the Fukui region. Fukui is home to Japan's largest, most prominent dinosaur fossil site and the dinosaurs on hand are recreations of those excavated in the recent past.

Row of cherry trees along the Asuwa River

The Asuwa River cuts right through the center of Fukui City and has thus played a prominent role in the history of the area for centuries. Lined along the banks on both sides of the Asuwa are hundreds of cherry trees hugging the walking paths. The striking sight has been hailed as one of the top places to see cherry blossoms in the entire country. High praise for such a blossom-crazy country!

Limited Express Thunderbird

Your journey has come to an end, but you can still use your Tourist Pass to get to Kansai Airport from Fukui Station. You should have time to start planning your next trip in the meantime!

◉ Awara Onsen
Address: Harumiya, Awara, Fukui
Opening hours: -
◉ Fukui Station Dinosaur Plaza
Address: 1-1 Takayama, Odaka-cho, Midori-ku, Nagoya
Opening hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 8:30AM–7PM
Wednesday 8:30AM–7PM
Thursday 8:30AM–7PM
Friday 8:30AM–7PM
Saturday 7AM–7PM
Sunday 7AM–7PM
◉ Row of cherry trees along the Asuwa River
Address: 1 Chome-11 Tsukumo, Fukui
Opening hours: -
Tap here for useful tickets!

Click here for the tour MAP!