Northern Japan Tours in 2022 & 2023

Small Group Northern Japan Tours

Traveling in Northern Japan (Tohoku and Hokkaido) is an extra special experience. It is less developed than the south where tourists traditionally visit.

Because Tohoku and Hokkaido has less infrastructure, the culture and lifestyle in the north of Japan is more authentic and accordingly particularly interesting. This makes Journey to the Easts travel style small group tours  (max 8 guests) ideally positioned to be able to take guests to interface and enjoy the local culture and secrets of the area.

Each Northern Japan tour has been specifically designed to show you Japan acros the year. On each trip the settings are different to take advantage of the season as it rolls by each year. Some example of our Northern Japan tours include

* The Snow Spectacular tours in February has a bucket of quite unique experiences

* The Cherry Blossom tour of Northern Japan runs later in the year to see some of the most beautiful sights after the winter has thawed

* Summer is a wonder to visit Hokkaido and the all popular Hokkaido food tour of Japan runs at that time.

* Walking Northern Japan takes you though the brilliant Dewa Sanzen ('three Dewa mountains') along the pilgrimage trail and through Zao, Yamader, Ginzan Onsen, Matsushima and the fabulous Urabandai. What an experience!

* The Autumn colours of Tohoku have to be seen to be believed. The Autumn Tour of Northern Japan leaves a lifelong memory of the stunning beauty and the coloured Autumn leaves.

2022 Tours to Northern Japan

Many of our guests like to plan well in advance and our 2022 Season tours have been releases and are booking fast, please contact us, we should hate for you to miss-out

Snow Monkeys in Winter
15 days

Ever dreamt of fresh powder snow and perhaps making a snowman on Christmas Day? This Japan winter holiday is designed to travel cities as well as some remote rural villages of Japan in the quieter off-season experiencing a peaceful White Christmas as well as the traditional festive atmosphere towards the New Year in Japan.

Cherry Blossom Tour of Northern Japan
13 days

Japan’s best-kept-secret is Northern Japan (Tohoku) and Hokkaido in spring time. Cherry blossoms here bloom later in the year and they are amazing, especially against the natural and rural settings. On this cherry blossom tour Japan, see Nikko, Matsushima, Kakunodate, Hakodate, Sapporo and Otaru at their best.

Dewa Sanzan steps part of the Journey to the East Walking Tour of Northern Japan
13 days

This remote Japan tour takes you through spiritual mountains, national parks and rural villages ablaze in fall foliage. An ideal opportunity to experience the beautiful Japanese rural landscapes and the warm traditional hospitality of countryside northern Japan. This Japan hiking tour includes comfortable accommodation, authentic cultural experiences, gorgeous meals and superb transport.

Naruko gorge in Miyagi Prefecture in Tohoku (northern Japan) in autumn colours
13 days

This Japan fall trip takes you to Japan’s northern region Tohoku, which is much less visited by international tourists, with its authentic rural traditions and warm relaxed hospitality, intense autumn colours and stunning natural scenery. If you are after the most magnificent fall foliage sceneries in Japan’s countryside, this tour will not disappoint you.

dancing red-crested cranes, hokkaido, kushiro, snow tour of japan, journey to the east
14 days

This is the ultimate winter travel in Japan! This spectacular Japan snow holiday has it all – from snow monkeys and dancing red-crested cranes to the Sapporo Snow Festival and an icebreaker trip. Enjoy the illuminated streets in cities as well as the snow- covered rural villages in countryside Japan.

Private Tours and Tour Extensions

Don't forget we can create your own Private Tour of Japan for your family or group if you prefer. We have many Private Tour Model Itineraries to give you some ideas. The page also includes model itineraries for Tour Extensions which you can add at the beginning or end of your Group Tour.


People in Barry Erridge Private Tour group travelled in April 2016 cherry blossom season in Japan 900 x 600
Fun in Japan
People of Kareela Probus Private Tour Group travelled Japan in April 2017, a group photo at Kanazawa Castle 900 x 600
People of Deb Lambert Private Tour group celebrating 50th wedding anniversary of the parents at Kawaguchiko ryokan in yukata

Had a fabulous time with a great group of people. I loved the country, the culture, the people and everything about the tour – hope to do another tour with JTTE – maybe Hokkaido or Kyushu next time

Vivien Hewitt, Western Australia

 This was my first trip with JTTE and already I am looking at the program for next year thinking about another one. I liked the fact that it was a small group, the organisation was spot on and the food everywhere was outstanding.

Dee Mason – NSW Australia

When and Where Are Japan’s Best Cherry Blossoms?

The time to see the best cherry blossom in Japan is about planning and luck. Luck because an early or late spring is in nature’s control. Good planning because it will increase your luck.

Japan is a long archipelago and the cherry blossom peak is earlier in spring in the south and later the further north you go. A second factor is altitude and the higher you go the later in the year will be the peak there. Two other key factors are the warmer sea winds and the strain (species) of cherry blossom, both of which impact their blooming time. So even in the same city, on any given day, there can be variations in where to see the blooms.

Planning plays a big part in our cherry blossom tours of Japan. Although we aim to show you some of the foremost iconic exhibits in Japan, the sequence is determined by the cherry blossom season. The timing, a cross-section of locations, species etc. all play a part in the planning. Regardless of an early or late spring, the goal is to increase the chance of you seeing all phases of the cherry blossom bloom, from buds to the peak blossom and to the beautiful pink carpets of dropped petals. The final card in our planning is our smaller groups, enabling us to even adjust where we go in a city on the fly to catch the best blooms on the day.

Please have a look at our Cherry Blossom Tours

Cherry Blossom News

Hanami (cherry blossom viewing party) in Japan

Hanami and Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Needless to say, Sakura (cherry blossoms) would be the biggest attraction during spring in Japan for many people. The cherry blossoms usually start fully blooming in the southern part of Japan around the end of March and gradually move up to the northern part of Japan. The blooming time is only for a week or…

Mt Fuji with cherry blossoms

2022 Cherry Blossom Season Forecast

When is the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms? In the high season, late March to April, or January and February or early May with extra planning The Cherry Blossom forecast Each year there is a new Cherry Blossom Forecast because the climate varies every year, affecting the dates. The trees generally only…

Cherry Blossom in Kyoto

Spring in Japan – When To Go and Things to Do

  Mention Spring in Japan and most people immediately think of the cherry blossom (sakura in Japanese). Often however their thoughts don’t go much further. Today I was going to talk about the cherry blossom because it is so beautiful. However, the cherry blossom season doesn’t last for the whole of Spring (Haru) and there…

Our Travel Style

At Journey to the East we are committed to providing authentic, small group tours to Japan – whether standard tours or custom-built for private groups. Our travel style is to immerse you in the culture and landscape of the country and expose you to a rich variety of unique experiences.