How to strategy a much less expensive visit to Japan in cherry blossom year

Japan is a dream desired destination for many travellers. Neon-flooded towns, various foods scenes and sights of purely natural wonder all add to its charm. The 3rd most significant tourist location in Asia, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation, is also the world’s third major economic system. Right after its Government lifted all Covid-associated entry restrictions in Oct, tourism helped Japan return to development in the final quarter of 2022.

It may not be a low cost holiday break prospect, but Japan can be visited on a budget. Even throughout the common cherry blossom (or sakura) year, which operates from late March–early May perhaps, it is possible to program a charge-helpful split.

When to book

Chelsea Dickenson, finances vacation specialist and founder of Inexpensive Holiday Expert, indicates your initially concentration should really be flight savings. “If you are difficult locked into dates and a desired destination, you need to have to believe about the parts in which you can nevertheless be versatile,” she tells i.

“Can you catch an early, significantly less well-liked flight? Can you choose an indirect flight? Can you fly to a nearby airport and use another method of transport to access your place?”

A small versatility could shave hundreds off your journey to and from Japan.

Now that cherry blossom period is underway, charges for flights to Japan have spiked. Information from travel application Hopper exhibits that a past-minute flight to Tokyo could cost as significantly as £8,229.

As a substitute, approach a crack for spring 2024, but wait to reserve a ticket. According to Hopper, the ideal time to safe flights for next calendar year is concerning Could and August 2023. Buying tickets more than this time period could preserve you hundreds of lbs ., based mostly on the app’s facts. If you buy all through this window, the ordinary flight to Tokyo for peak year (mid March–April) 2024 is £690, although the average flight to Kyoto is £789.

Acquiring close to

Scheduling a Japan Rail Go in progress is an crucial part of any excursion to the state. You can make considerable cost savings by travelling with this ticket, which is only available to order outside of Japan.

“If you program to take the educate to take a look at the region, work your vacation around your rail go. When I frequented, we saved £100 for every individual by opting for the 7-day pass alternatively of the 14-day a person,” Dickenson states.

How to save when you arrive


Public park in springtime during cherry blossom season, Tokyo, Japan
Head to Chidorigafuchi Moat for cost-free views of the cherry blossom (Photograph: Getty)

Abide by in the footsteps of countless pilgrims by approaching Sensō-ji, Tokyo’s most-recognisable Buddhist temple, for cost-free. It is also no cost to wander the Imperial Palace East Gardens at any time of the 12 months. On the other hand, the palace’s Chidorigafuchi Moat is the location for cherry blossoms. Yoshino cherry trees and wild cherry trees are planted alongside the financial institutions.

Absent from the blossom, Dickenson presents a dollars-conserving tip for the capital: “One of the most effective value points I did in Tokyo was, incredibly, visit a 5-star hotel (Park Hyatt Tokyo),” she claims.

The residence featured in the 2003 Sofia Coppola movie, Lost in Translation.

“What it genuinely ought to be acknowledged for is its excellent ‘happy hours’, which allow you to get pleasure from seasonal dishes and unlimited drinks for two several hours for £42 for every man or woman,” adds Dickenson.

Lodging-intelligent, capsule lodges are the finest price range possibility in the funds city. The Nine Hours chain has a branch in Narita airport, which is useful for early morning departures. In the meantime, 9 Hours Otemachi Imperial Palace is in the centre of Tokyo and rooms commence at about £45 per evening.


Japan’s third premier city is much more inexpensive than Tokyo, but even now has some of the most effective stay new music venues, record retailers and avenue foodstuff in the country. A lot of of Osaka’s vacationer points of interest free the neon lights of the Dotonbori Glico Indicator, the colourful alley of food stuff stalls on Shinsekai and the numerous cherry blossom spots.

Swing by Osaka Castle Gardens or walk the Cherry Blossom Passage at Osaka Mint Bureau. The Authorities agency opens to the public for a 7 days throughout spring, with yae-zakura among its collection of additional than 300 cherry trees. Tickets to see the Osaka Mint Bureau cherry blossom are no cost, but you should sign up in progress.

It is also enjoyable to cycle all around Osaka and it is around 500 Yen (£3) to lease a bike for the working day.

For accommodation, Hotel Toyo has a helpful environment and its twin rooms start off from £32 for every night time.


Miyajima is one of Japan's three most celebrated scenic sights. The main buildings of Itsukushima shrine rest directly in front of the island.. (Photo by: Hartmut Pohling/Japan Stock Photo/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Miyajima island (Image: Getty)

Rebuilt all-around Hiroshima Bay, you would be remiss to skip this coastal town in the south of Japan. Each the Atomic Bomb Dome and nearby Peace Memorial Park are absolutely free to visit. Enable time for tranquil contemplation in the park and on the equally meditative Miyajima Island, which is a short ferry experience away from the city centre. It is free to walk all-around the island’s temples, including the Itsukushima Jinja Otorii (Grand Torii Gate) – this is just one of Japan’s finest-known shinto sites and it appears to be like it is floating on h2o when the tide is in. The island has a variety of cherry trees, like yamazakura, somei yoshino, shidare (a weeping variety) and Oshima zakura.

Just take the very low-cost trams all-around Hiroshima the 6 traces make up the country’s largest streetcar network. The metropolis is complete of great finances lodging selections the Hiroshima version of the budget guesthouse chain J-Hoppers has double, Japanese-fashion rooms from £35 per evening.


The cash of north island Hokkaido, Sapporo is just one of the country’s most economical cities in which to vacation or dwell. Identified for its snowboarding and snowboarding in the winter months, Sakura year comes later on below with the 1,900 cherry blossom trees in Moerenuma Park coming into bloom any time from mid to late May well.

The city’s huge, straight boulevards are excellent for cycling and the community mountains are cherished by hikers Mount Maruyama is significantly less than 20 minutes from the city centre and smaller Mount Moiwa is terrific for cultural web-sites, these as its Shinto temple Torii gates and cable auto. Both mountains have panoramic views of the town from their peaks.

Sapporo Beer Museum is also free of charge to take a look at and Ganso Ramen Yokocho, an primary ramen alley from the 1950s, sells low-priced bowls. SappoLodge, an urban mountain hut, is between the spending budget sites to stay: personal rooms commence from £40 for each evening.


Philosophers path of the stream near the Ginkakuji Temple. Kyoto, Japan, 2015
Philosopher’s Route (Photograph: Getty)

Japan’s previous cash city is not regarded for staying low-priced, but some of its most-visited web pages and pilgrim’s trails are free of charge. The Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine, with its 1000’s of shiny orange torii gates that line the hillside, is no cost to stop by, for example.

A different cost-free attraction is the Philosopher’s Path, a cherry blossom lined walkway that hyperlinks the metropolis centre to the university with temples dotted together the way. And, a brief train ride out of the town centre, you will come across Arashiyama Bamboo Grove (also free).

Journey close to by bicycle or by the regional trains, which are also provided in a JR Move.

There are some cost-effective accommodation solutions, this kind of as swanky capsule resort The Millennials, where prices start out from £35 for every night time (but can go up to £100-in addition in cherry blossom time).


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