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Japan at Cherry Blossom Time

plus a nine night Cruise

This CHERRY BLOSSOM coach, rail and cruise tour will give you a thorough insight into the Japanese way of life. The myriad of colour will astound.

Japan is a mixture of modern and traditional, conventional but progressive, bustle and serenity, colour and culture.

Visit iconic Mt Fuji – Japan’s distinct landmark, ride bullet trains, sample seafood, sushi and sake – the famous rice wine, wander castles and historic sites from the 1500s. Experience Tokyo with its neon lights, Osaka in the south, Hiroshima – the country’s symbol of peace, Nagoya and Kyoto also await. The cruise from Tokyo includes the South Korean city of Busan, fishing ports, cities and towns, markets, medieval cities, temples and museums. 

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Your travel itinerary

Wednesday 27 March

Auckland – Tokyo - Osaka

A morning departure from Auckland on Air New Zealand for Osaka via Tokyo. Arrive in Osaka early evening. Transfer to hotel.


Thursday 28 March

Osaka – Kyoto

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After breakfast a half-day city tour includes Osaka Castle and Umeda Sky Building. Depart mid-afternoon for Kyoto. Transfer to hotel for a three-night stay. Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

Friday 29 March

Kyoto – Nara – Kyoto

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Depart for a full day sightseeing tour of nearby Nara with eight UNESCO sites including the Tôdai-ji Temple with its 15m high bronze Buddha and Japanese Garden. Return to Kyoto. Dinner at local restaurant.

Saturday 30 March


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Depart by coach for a morning sightseeing tour of Kyoto including the Golden Pavilion and a rickshaw experience in the Arashiyama Area. Mid-afternoon enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in a typical Japanese thatched farmhouse.

Sunday 31 March

Kyoto – Hiroshima

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Travel by Bullet Train (2h 45m – 360km)  to Hiroshima. Visit the Hiroshima World Peace Memorial and park, plus the A Bomb Dome Museum – the only structure left standing near the bomb’s hypocentre. Listen to a talk by a Hiroshima survivor. Transfer to hotel for a two-night stay.

Monday 01 April

Hiroshima - Miyajima Island – Hiroshima

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Morning travel to Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Bay by tram and ferry for half-day sightseeing tour to see the forests, temples and a nostalgic street where you feel you have stepped back in time. Return to hotel late afternoon.

Tuesday 02 April

Hiroshima – Takayama

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Early departure by bullet train to Takayama (5h30m) via Nagoya, arriving just after mid-day. Enjoy an afternoon tour of Takayama a mountainous city with narrow streets, merchants’ houses and known as the ‘City of Festivals.’ Dinner at local restaurant.

Wednesday 03 April

Takayama – Matsumoto

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Today’s travel takes you through a remote mountainous region to Shirakawago – a village with traditional farmhouses, some up to 250 years old. Lunch at a local restaurant. 


Thursday 04 April

Matsumoto – Mt Fuji – Hakone

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Travel to the Mt Fuji Visitor Centre with time to experience the national park and surroundings. Also visit Matsumoto Castle.

Friday 05 April

Hakone – Tokyo

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Enjoy a morning cruise on the crater Lake - Ashi, the Hakone Cablecar Ropeway with views to Mt Fuji on a fine day before travelling to Tokyo by Romance Car (train). 

Saturday 06 April


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A half-day sightseeing tour of Tokyo including the Kings Palace, Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street. Afternoon free before dinner at a local restaurant tonight.

Sunday 07 April

Tokyo – Cruise Ship

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This morning we take in the views of Tokyo City on top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building before a midday transfer to Yokohama Port to board the ‘Diamond Princess.’  Sail out of Tokyo late afternoon.

Monday 08 April

At Sea

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Cruising at Sea

Tuesday 09 April


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Today we explore Aomori which derives much of its beauty from the apple orchards and cherry blossoms that encompass its landscape and the snow-covered Hakkoda Mountains that look on from a distance. Late afternoon departure. 

Wednesday 10 April


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After breakfast step ashore in Sakata which is known for its high-quality rice. The city grew as an important stop along the coastal shipping route that connected Hokkaido with Osaka. Sail away late afternoon.

Thursday 11 April


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Why not take an optional shore excursion today and marvel at the gold leaf that is a major art form synonymous with the city. Just outside the castle park blooms the enchanting Kenroku-en Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan and the home of the country’s oldest fountain.

Friday 12 April


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Step ashore and enjoy a day in Sakaiminato found wedged between sea, sky and mountains. This small fishing port has been esteemed for centuries for its superb seafood. 

Saturday 13 April

Busan ( South Korea )

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Busan, South Korea’s second largest city. Prepare for a contrast of countries as mountains, beaches, fish markets, high-rise towers alongside ancient Buddhist temples - an amalgam of old and new, will make for an interesting afternoon.

Sunday 14 April


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The city lies at the top of the Satsuma Peninsula, a mountainous, geothermal wonderland of hot springs and geysers. Return to the ship for an evening departure.

Monday 15 April

At Sea

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Cruising at Sea

Tuesday 16 April


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While Shimizu may have the reputation as being bustling and modern, its cultural and spiritual side is on display in the form of ancient and enthralling shrines. Of course, it may be the sacred and snow-capped Mount Fuji that grabs the most attention. 

Wednesday 17 April


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Disembark and transfer to the airport for your Air New Zealand flight to Auckland.


Thursday 18 April


Morning Arrival Auckland



• Economy air travel on Air New Zealand    Auckland – Osaka // Tokyo – Auckland

• Accommodation as per itinerary

• All transfers on tour

• Sightseeing as per itinerary

• Meals as specified

• Two journeys by Bullet Train

• Traditional tea ceremony

• Tram / Ferry to Mijajima Island

• Cruise on Lake Ashi

• Nine night cruise on board ‘Diamond   Princess’ - Tokyo – Tokyo

• Cruise Port taxes and government fees   (NZD213)

• Cruise gratuities (USD16 per person, per   day)

• Pukekohe Travel escort subject to 15   persons travelling


Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle
 Balcony  $18,495   $25,840
 Oceanview  $16,797  $22,761
 Inside  $16,195   $21,627
Business Class Upgrade


Premium Economy Class Upgrade


Early Booking Discount (31 August 2023) $150
Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount $100

*This is a cash price. Credit cards will incur a 1.5% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment


• Travel Insurance – compulsory (please ask us for a quote)

• Items of a personal nature

• Items not specified

• Airport and airline taxes (approx. NZD150)

Booking Conditions

• A non-refundable deposit of $2000 per person will secure a place on this trip

• Full payment is due no later than 11 December 2023


• From the date of booking until 11 December 2023 – loss of deposit

• After 11 December 2023 - no refund

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

General Information

Temperatures Max ˚c Min ˚c    

Tokyo        23˚c       10˚c

Osaka      19˚c       11˚c

Busan      18˚c     10˚c

Takayama   15 ˚c       5 ˚c


• On board Diamond Princess, daytime – comfortable touring clothes and walking shoes

• Nightime – smart casual


• Japanese Yen 

• On board ‘Diamond Princess,’ account to   be paid in USD at the end of the cruise

Health and Fitness

Walking tours are an important part of the itinerary and a good standard of health is required with the ability to walk on uneven surfaces and negotiate stairs


Ship Information

‘Diamond Princess’ “A laid-back ship with lots to do at a slow pace” 

  • Passengers 2670
  • Crew 1100
  • Decks 18
  • Length 290m
  • Max Speed 22 knots / 41k/h
  • Art Gallery
  • Theatre
  • pools / tubs
  • Sports Court
  • Lotus Spa
  • Internet / Café / Library
  • Casino


Terms and Conditions

• For full terms and conditions please visit our website www.pukekohetravel.co.nz/termsandconditions or please ask our tour consultant for a copy

• If this tour is cancelled/postponed due to Covid-19 Government travel restrictionsPukekohe Travel reserves the right,in addition to any supplier imposed amendment and cancellation fees, to charge a service and administrative fee of $500 per person.

• Pukekohe Travel accepts no liability for any additional costs incurred.

• You cannot begin or continue to travel if you have received a positive Covid-19 test in the last 7 days

Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change