Spring has arrived in Japan which means EVERYTHING IS IN BLOOM! As Australia creeps slowly into winter, we can all live vicariously through those who are posting photos about the blooming flowers in Japan. 
Kitakami Tenshochi Park in Iwate Prefecture with the sakura (cherry blossoms) in full bloom
Hi ,

Though spring in Japan usually means blooming sakura, there are many other things you can consider doing in Japan around this time. Some examples include hiking recently re-opened trails, going to festivals like the Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri, wisteria gardens such as Ashikaga Flower Park, visiting some tea plantations to see the leaves before they're picked, or visiting the Tateyama Alpine Route. 

Of course spring also means sakura flavoured food and drinks, so take this opportunity to binge on all things pink!

To stay on top of weather warnings and other major notifications, please download apps such as the Japan Official Travel App for alerts on natural disasters, to find your nearest free wi-fi and many more features when travelling in Japan. 

6 Amazing things in Western Japan

Blogger Helen Foster recently visited Western Japan and is sharing her favourite things to do just a little bit away from the Golden Route. From Fukuoka to Matsue, Helen gives the best tips for getting off the beaten track. 

Paddleboarding in Oku Nikko

SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) is now available at Lake Chuzenji in Oku Nikko (Tochigi Prefecture). Enjoy the calm surface of the lake as you soak in the local atmosphere and landscape. 
Sandanbeki Cave

Take a trip down to visit the Sandabeki Cave in Wakayama Prefecture. It is hidden at the bottom of the Sandanbeki cliffs where Kumano pirates hid their boats in the Heian Era. 
Niseko: Not just a ski destination

Our good friends at Luxury Travel recently put together a great article about things to do in Niseko outside of winter. Take a look and see what you can see in Niseko's quiet seasons. 
Bicchu Matsuyama Castle appoints new lord

Sanjuro, the stray cat that recently moved into the castle, has been appointed the new Cat Lord of "the mountain castle in the sky". 
JR West starts online train bookings

JR West has launched their new online booking service which can help travellers reserve both standard tickets and special products (JR West Rail Pass holders). This includes the shinkansen (bullet train) and limited express trains. 

Kansai Japan in 8K HDR

Learn more about the greater Kansai Area (including prefectures such as Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Mie, Shiga, Fukui, Tottori and Tokushima) through ULTRA HIGH DEFINITION!
Watch Kagura in Hiroshima Prefecture

Have you heard of Kagura? It is a form of music and dance to show thanks to the gods. Come to the Hiroshima Prefectural Citizen's Culture Center to experience first hand a traditional Japanese art. 
Tanabata at Tokyo Disney Resort

Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, is a festival where people write their wishes on a piece of paper and tie it to special trees. This year Tokyo Disney Resort will be celebrating the festival with their guests. 

It's a new era!

The 1st of May 2019 brings in the new 'Reiwa' era, when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends to the throne. According to some, the name signifies the importance of the country's culture and harmony of its citizens. 

Deals and Campaigns

Cherry Blossom & Garden 2020 with MW Tours

Picturesque Cherry Blossom season is the perfect time to journey through Japan, visiting ancient temples and castles, flourishing gardens, and all the highlights this beautiful country has to offer. 

JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass expanded

From April, Toyama Line bus routes between Shirakawago and Toyama are now available for use on the pass at no additional cost. 

Festivals and Events

New Zealand: Mountain Expo 2019

Visit Japan is coming to Christchurch and Auckland to help you plan a great Japan holiday! Held on Thursday 9 May for Christchurch and Saturday 11 May for Auckland. Drop by to say hi and get the latest Japan updates!
Australia: Snow Travel Expo 2019

Visit Japan AU will once again be bringing our smiles and information to the Snow Travel Expo on 19 May for Melbourne and 26 May for Sydney. Come on down and you might even get some freebies!

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