Japan’s cherry blossom season has become the top-shelf drawcard in a nation already rich in aesthetic tradition, but initiatives to extend tourism into quieter periods and locations are gaining traction.

Nexus Holidays has partnered with All Nippon Airways to offer a 10-day cherry blossom tour in March and April next year. Visiting key blossom sites in several locations, it travels to Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hakone, Mount Fiji and Tokyo, priced from $2,799 per person twin share including flights ex Sydney or Melbourne.

The company also offers regular tours to the always-popular destinations like Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Osaka and Kyoto, but says booming interest in Japan is driving demand for destinations beyond the big ticket cities.

Nexus offers an Authentic Japan tour suitable for repeat travellers or those who would like to explore the country’s natural attractions such as the Kurobe Alpine Route, or the wild snow monkeys which bathe in the hot springs of Jigoku Valley.

It also takes travellers to a traditional onsen to loosen their muscles at a traditional hot spring resort, and experience traditional tatami beds overnight. They visit Shirakawago, a World Heritage site where gassho-style houses (with steeply-pitched A-frame roofs), stand together in a natural setting. It is priced from $4,399 per person twin share including flights from Sydney or Melbourne.

Also on offer are tour-cruise packages in Japan, while in the near future Nexus plans launch a Grand Tour product, taking travellers from Kyushu and Shikoku in the south to Hokkaido in the north.

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