Japan travel has bloomed this cherry blossom season, InsideJapan reports

Asian woman wearing japanese traditional kimono and cherry blossom in spring, Japan.

Having closed its borders for two-and-a-half years and with no international travel, Japan seems to have begun post-pandemic life, where it left off, following a very successful 2019 which included the Rugby World Cup and InsideJapan’s biggest-ever year of travel.

Japan’s cherry blossom season has always been the most popular time of year for travel to the Land of the Rising Sun with travellers looking to experience the country awash in pink. This year was the first since spring 2019 that international travellers have been allowed into Japan to enjoy ‘Hanami’ season and it was certainly in full bloom.

InsideJapan’s Brisbane-based trade manager Harry Sargant said: “Despite some challenges around flight availability and some services, 2023 to-date has equalled InsideJapan’s busiest ever blossom season.

“It’s been a team effort to get us back to where we are, and we are so grateful to all our agent partners for their support. We’ve been fortunate to have had a great mix of returning loyal agents along with some new agencies and advisors too, all looking for a Japan specialist travel company who know their stuff, offer something a bit different, as well as that tried and tested experience for added reassurance.”

Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Himeji Jo Castle (Image source: iStock/Eloi_Omella)

InsideJapan hosted more than 2,000 guests on a combination of self-guided adventures and small group tours during the peak blossom period, which takes place annually from mid-March into early April.

InsideJapan’s Japan-based head of operations, Tyler Palma said it feels like Japan has been more popular than ever this year.

“Specific areas in Tokyo and Kyoto have been very busy with what seems to be mainly international tourists.

“We are fortunate that we’re our own DMC, so we’re able to diversify and move away from the crowds and the guidebooks when needed to ensure that our guest’s Japan experience isn’t impacted and remains special.

“Spring really is a beautiful time of year, but Japan’s appeal doesn’t stop in there. The tour operator is seeing an increasing amount of adventurous family travel bookings for the summer. Japan’s second most popular travel season is autumn, for its impressive display of red leaves that cover mountainsides and temple gardens during this clement season.”

Sargant added: “Bookings for travel in October are already forecasted to exceed that of 2019. However, the most impressive ‘Koyo’ autumn leaves are usually captured from November into early December even, so we are expecting to see strong numbers over these months as well.

“We are very confident that Japan’s popularity is not going to be a short-lived trend as spring-timed small group tours and self-guided adventures are already selling for 2024 and beyond. We want to be able to give incredible trips and the best service that we are known for and to encourage all agent partners to start having the ‘Japan in cherry blossom’ conversations with their customers as soon as possible to ensure that they have the best trip possible”.


Featured Image: iStock/tawatchaiprakobkit

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