Summary : Embark on a semi-circumnavigation of Japan and visit some of the most outstanding natural and man-made sites this ancient and wonderful country has to offer: National Parks, three of Japan’s highest-ranked gardens, and traditional buildings. Encounter the solemn spirituality of the many shrines, temples, and memorials. Your final destination, Shanghai, presents better than anywhere the juxtaposition of Asia’s past and present.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$5,400 to $16,000
Embark the ship and depart on your exciting expedition. This afternoon, after settling in and before setting sail, you will participate in a mandatory safety drill. Familiarize yourself with your new home away from home and meet some of your fellow travelers at the Sail Away Cocktail.
Your Expedition Leader will introduce important members of the crew and the Expedition Team, before the Restaurant Manager and Executive Chef invite you to enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.
Okayama is an important transportation hub and one of the largest cities of the Chugoku Region. It is famous because it has one of Japan’s most significant gardens. Although the “Korakuen” Garden was severely damaged by bombs in WWII, the descriptions and paintings from the Edo period permitted an exact reconstruction. It is one of the “Three Gardens of Japan” and has been designated a “Special Scenic Location”. Known formerly as the center of rice-distribution in the Okayama area, many old warehouses next to the preserved canal have been converted into museums, boutiques and cafes. Another attraction is the Ohara Museum, which was the first Japanese Museum to permanently exhibit Western Art.
Takamatsu city is the capital of Kagawa prefecture which is Japan’s smallest prefecture. This city is a vibrant blend of natural beauty and cosmopolitan functionality with a population of 420,000 people. The port of Takamatsu used to be the main gateway to Shikoku Island until the opening of the Seto Ohashi Bridge in 1988. Takamatsu city has flourished along with the Seto Inland Sea since 17th century when Matsudaira family, the relatives of the Tokugawa Shogun, ruled this area. Matsudaira family has completed the famous Japanese “Ritsurin Garden”.
The small island of Miyajima (“The Shrine Island”) is known for the Floating Torii Gate, which is one of “The Three Most Beautiful Views” of Japan. Built in the water, the Torii Gate leads to the Itsukushima Shrine and at high tide it seems to float. The Torii Gate is one of the most photographed sites in all of Japan. There are many more shrines and paths on Miyajima that are inviting to walk. Mount Misen has a cable car leading partly up to the top with nice views and wild monkeys and deer roaming the trails.
On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 am, an atomic bomb known as Little Boy fell from an American plane, and the sky ignited and glowed for an instant. In that brief moment, however, it became as hot as the surface of the sun in Hiroshima, until then a rather ordinary workaday city in wartime Japan. Half the city was leveled by the resulting blast, and the rest was set ablaze. Rain impregnated with radioactive fallout then fell, killing many that the fire and 1,000-mph shock wave had not. By the end of this mind-boggling disaster, more than 140,000 people died.
Hagi is a former castle town located in the middle of Yamaguchi prefecture along the coast of the Sea of Japan. It is surrounded by the ocean, mountain, and Abugawa River. Early in the 17th century, Terumoto Mori built Hagi Castle at the foot of Mt. Shizuki-yama, and the area served as the seat of the Yamaguchi prefecture government until the middle of 19th century. Around then, Hagi produced many capable men who played a leading role in the construction of modern day Japan, including Hirobumi Ito who became the first prime minister in Japan. You will still see a castle town itself which was built 400 years ago and you can get the feel of how it was like during the Samurai period.
Sakaiminato is a small city almost totally surrounded by water: the Sea of Japan to the east, the Sakai Channel to the north and Lake Nakaumi to the west. Across the lake the towns of Matsue and Yasugi offer interesting experiences. Matsue is known as the “Town of Water” next to scenic Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi. It has one of the very few wooden castles that still remain in Japan. Touring the castle and boat rides on the Horikawa River and the castle’s moat are popular. Yasugi has the Adachi Museum of Art, a private museum that houses one of the finest collections of contemporary Japanese paintings, but also has a large garden with plants and rocks collected by the museum’s founder.
The capital of the Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa once rivaled Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) as a town rich in cultural achievements. Kanazawa escaped destruction during World War II and accordingly has been able to preserve many of the old districts in good shape. The city is famous because of Kenrokuen. Located next to Kanazawa Castle, Kenrokuen is classified as “One of the Three Gardens of Japan”. The garden has an artificial pond, hills, and houses. It has Japan’s oldest fountain using natural water pressure and a tea-house dating back to 1774.
While we're at sea, enjoy wine tastings, designer boutiques, language and dance classes. Take in a matinee movie, check the market or your e-mail in the Internet Point, slip away with a novel from the library to a sunny chaise or with a movie to your suite. Or just take in the sun pool side. The choice is yours.
Vibrant urban activity is juxtaposed with dramatic mountain ridges and beautiful beaches in Sokcho, South Korea. Many tourists come to this city of approximately 90,000 residents to visit Seoraksan National Park, home of the highest mountain in Gangwon-do Province and the third highest mountain in South Korea. The city and mountain range attracts national and internationally visitors year-round, but particularly in autumn, when the foliage is at its height (and considered the most beautiful in Korea). Visitors to Sokcho can also visit hot springs, beaches, or view one of the several well-preserved Buddha statues located in temples throughout the city.
Following breakfast, disembark the ship.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Onboard accommodation; onboard meals; butler service; snorkeling; complimentary beverages served throughout the ship (an assortment of complimentary wines, champagne and spirits); onboard gratuities (except spa); port charges and handling fees; Silver, Medallion, Grand and Owner's Suite guests receive laundry service and dinner at Officer's table; 1 hour of internet access per guest/per day for passengers booked in Adventurer, Explorer, View, Vista, and Veranda Suites; unlimited internet access for passengers booked in Medallion, Silver, Grand, and Owner’s Suites. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; travel insurance; government fees and taxes; visa and passport expenses; gifts and items of a personal nature such as laundry and spa options, fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © Creative Services at Silversea Cruises, © Ray Stranagan