Sword-wielding samurai, kimono-clad geishas, bullet trains, and state-of-the-art electronics -- all in a land comprised of islands. So why not travel by water to see it best? Imagine cherry blossom time or the fall foliage spectacular in Japan. We can take you there!
Discover Japan by Small-Ship
With the luxurious Spirit of Oceanus 5-star small-ship, carrying a maximum of 120 guests and with over 60 years of travel history, Cruise West has perfected a better way to see Asia. Take the Japan journey with Cruise West and give yourself the trip of a lifetime.
We would like to extend a special Japan cruise saving invitation to you to join Cruise West aboard the 5-star small-ship Spirit of Oceanus. Visit an exotic & intriguing world of stunning gardens, ancient and serene architecture and bustling cosmopolitan cities during the day, and return to the comfort of your onboard suite each night. You'll be on an unforgettable voyage of discovery.
|DAY 1 Arrive in Japan
Transfer from Osaka airport where you'll spend the night at the luxurious harbor-front Hotel Okura Kobe.
|DAY 2 Kobe
Perched between the coast and the mountains, Kobe is one of the most attractive cities in Japan. Visit Himeji (White Egret) Castle, Japan's most beautiful stronghold. Board the Spirit of Oceanus in the late afternoon.
|DAY 3 Okayama / Kurashiki
The ancient castle town of Okayama is home to Korakuen Garden, one of the three most famous gardens in Japan. Stroll past the garden's picturesque shrines, hills, tea fields and ponds, looking for red-crested white cranes. Kurashiki's 300-year-old rice warehouses, Meiji-era factories and homes of samurai and wealthy merchants have been preserved and converted into museums, craft shops and art galleries.
|DAY 4 Uwajima
This city is emerging as the nation's largest pearl cultivation center. Learn the process of implanting, harvesting, extracting and sorting pearls on a visit to a pearl farm and explore the rarely visited Tenshaen Garden, boasting over 20 species of bamboo.
|DAY 5 Yakushima
This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, is blanketed in nearly 2,000 Yakusugi, or Japanese cedar, that are at least 1,000 years old. Keep a lookout for monkeys and the dwarfed Yakushima deer. See countless waterfalls and visit the Natural History Museum for an IMAX film viewing on the island's unique ecosystem.
|DAY 6 Kagoshima
Feel the rich texture of a piece of hand-woven silk and the smooth glaze of a piece of Satsuma, an earthenware pottery dating back to the 16th century. Explore a green-tea farm, the Kamikaze Museum and the coastal town of Ibusuki.
|DAY 7 Nagasaki
This city was the second city to be destroyed by an atomic bomb in World War II. Tour the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Peace Memorial Park with its sculpture garden. Explore Nagasaki on your own or visit Glover Garden, an open-air museum exhibiting Victorian mansions and gardens built by an enterprising Scotsman.
|DAY 8 Ulsan / Kyongju, South Korea
Soak up Korea's sights, sounds, history and tastes alongside local guides as you explore colorful Korean Buddhist art, pagodas, temples like Bulguksa, palaces and markets. A Korean barbeque lunch includes a Korean dance performance. You'll also see Kyongju Market and Tumuli Park, a 7-story-tall burial park.
|DAY 9 Hagi
This city is considered one of the most beautiful in Japan and is a pottery center. Your morning tour includes a samurai home and a walk around Hagi's traditional streets. Visit the Yoshida Shrine and the Tokoji Temple.
|DAY 10 Miyajima / Hiroshima
Bright orange torii (gates) welcome you to Miyajima. Use inflatable excursion craft to transfer to the island where you'll witness an exclusive Bukaku dance performance in front of the shrine. Hiroshima is now thriving and devoted to peace. Tour the Peace Park, Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Museum. Back onboard ship see a kimono program and volunteer to try on a full-dress kimono.
|DAY 11 Takamatsu
Takamatsu's most famous site, Ritsurin Koen, is one of the most outstanding gardens in Japan, set against the beautiful backdrop of Mt. Shiun. Stroll the garden, admire the bonsai and koi. See Yashima Temple's mountaintop view of the Inland Sea and Shikokumura Village, a mockup of a rural village. Try a taste of the popular and distinctive sanuki-udon noodle and perhaps witness a lion dance on the pier.
|DAY 12 Kobe
Transfer to Kansai International Airport for your return flight home.
Many Spring 2008 Japan-By-Land-and-Sea itineraries are already sold out! So contact us immediately to book Fall departure dates remaining for 2008 OR reserve your preferred space for 2009.
Journeys Around The World
Portland, OR 97224
(503) 620-8700 in Oregon