Essence of Japan 2021

Book early if you want to see cherry blossoms! Looks like 2021 is your first opportunity unless you can get on a 2020 waitlist. We went in late March 2018 and just about nailed it...anything later would have been too late.
Try to get the Maiko drinking game back in your lineup--so charming and fun. The sumo demonstration is sad to anyone who has ever seen the real deal. If the headphones aren't any better-you can always go on your own-just make sure you know where the bus is parked and the departure time. If you are in Japan during any holiday or the cherry blossoms-be prepared for hordes of people. We learned very quickly how to navigate a country with so many people...just do it. Everybody 'stays in their lane'--especially when in the subways! We arrived early and used the subway to go many places, and never experienced any problems by just going with the flow. The people are so special. Never an insulting/rude/problem-anywhere we went. The culture is amazing to have survived--lucky for us!
Go to Miyajima after the Peace'll need the beauty and peacefulness that you will find there if you just explore the island after such a emotional experience.
Happy trails!

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