Stunning Spring Bus Tours from Tokyo

Lily Crossley-Baxter

Take a day off from train schedules and see Japan as it can only be seen in spring: covered in flowers and filled with fresh fruit waiting to be picked! We’ve looked up the best spring bus tours from Tokyo so that you can enjoy a relaxing day out without doing all the research that goes with it!

Spring makes its mark in Japan with flowers—like cherry blossom or weeping wisteria—and since nature needs space, the best parks are usually quite a trek from Tokyo. While most can be reached by public transport, if you haven’t got a car it can time-consuming and expensive trying to reach them. Luckily, there are bus tours to take you from the streets of Tokyo to blue-covered fields with some bonus treats on the way. The buses leave from central locations, often in Shinjuku and at around 7:30am, so be sure to check you can get there in time.

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 Suggested Activity 

Ashikaga and Hitachi flower parks with strawberry picking

Tochigi  |  ¥9,900  |  April 16th – May 11th  |  Lunch not included

spring bus tours from tokyo
Photo by Takashi .M used under CC

Hitting two of the best flower parks in one day, this tour is a great day out, as long as you don’t mind long stints in your seat.

Leaving Tokyo rather early in the morning you’ll be taken all the way to Tochigi to admire the famous wisteria of Ashikaga flower park. This garden, 111 miles away, has six species of wisteria and some of the oldest and largest in all of Japan. Grown onto canopies and tunnels, they have a variety of colors, although the ancient purple trees are the most famous.

Hitachi Seaside Park is a surreal sight in spring, with 4.5 million baby blue eyes (nemophila) carpeting the hills and blending with the blue skies. Located near the Pacific Ocean, the park incorporates sand dunes, forests and grasslands as well as their annual rotation of flowers.

The parks both have food stands and flower-themed treats like ice creams and drinks. The bonus on this tour is an opportunity to do some all-you-can-eat strawberry picking at a family farm—a treat since Tochigi is famous for strawberries!

The tour includes all entry fees and strawberry-picking experience as well as an English-speaking tour guide. No lunch is provided on this tour, but it’s a great opportunity for a picnic! 

Fuji Shibazakura Festival and the Heavenly Tulip Festival

Yamanashi  |  ¥8,586¥9,980  |  April 21st – May 20th  |  Lunch option

spring bus tours from tokyo
Photo by Kumiko Nakashima used under CC

There are two options for this flowery Fuji day trip, the main difference being the inclusion of lunch or strawberry picking and a slight change in price. Both trips include the famous Shibazakura Festival that takes place each year in front of Fuji. With over 800,000 shibazakura blooming is a variety of colors the view in front the famous mountain, you’ll be treated to some amazing views.

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They also both include a trip to the nearby Tulip Festival in Grinpa with over 210,000 tulips and over 150 varieties. If you select this tour, you’ll have a buffet lunch at Mori no eki Fujisan including Japanese and Western-style options.

Alternatively, this tour offers strawberry picking with tastings of sake made with local rice and wine made with local grapes (Yamanashi is a wine producing prefecture). Whichever you choose, the main flower attractions will be the same, although the dates differ a little: while both end on the 20th, the lunch option starts a few days later.

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On both tours, entry tickets are included as are the meals or fruit-picking experiences mentioned. The prices do increase depending on which tour you select, but also which day you select.

Mount Fuji cherry blossoms and strawberry picking

Yamanashi  |  ¥10,900  |  April 1st – April 22nd  |  Lunch included

spring bus tours from tokyo
Photo by Reginald Pentinio used under CC

Killing two birds with one stone, this tour allows you to see Mount Fuji framed with cherry blossom—possibly the most Japanese sight in existence. Taking you from Tokyo to spots near Fuji, you will visit Jinroku Sakura Park which is home to 600 trees and old trains as well as stunning views of Fuji.

Next, you’ll see the hina dolls at Kanzo Yashiki folk houses before heading to Enzan for a lunch of sakura pork and crab hotpot—the local specialty. Erin-ji Temple, Kawaguchiko Lake and Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine are visited depending on the blossom schedule. Arakurayama Park is one of the highlights as it offers a view of Fuji with the famous chureito pagoda AND cherry blossom—you might just pass out with the Japan-ness of it all.

The tour includes all entry fees and strawberry-picking experience as well as an English-speaking tour guide.

Shibazakura, strawberries, sake and a stroll in Kawagoe

Saitama  |  ¥11,500  |  April 15th – May 5th  |   Lunch included

spring bus tours from tokyo
Photo by Ikusuki used under CC

Offering a chance to see the quiet streets of Kawagoe along with a tour of a sake brewery, this tour offers a full day of activities and a BBQ lunch too! With 9 varieties and 400,000 blossoms, the moss phlox carpets the ground in one of the largest displays in the country (but note it is not the one at the foot of Fuji).

The strawberry picking allows you to fill up on some of the best quality fruits Yamanashi has to offer, with an all-you-can-eat session for 30 minutes. There is also a BBQ lunch here so you won’t have to survive just on strawberries.

This becomes even more important at your next stop, the Sake-zukuri-no-mori sake brewery, where you can learn about 270 years of brewing history and taste their creations.

You can end your afternoon exploring the streets of Kawagoe, often known as Little Edo before heading back to Tokyo.

The tour includes all entry fees and strawberry-picking experience as well as an English-speaking tour guide.

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