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Click here to download the brochure: Timeless Japan 2017 Brochure
Click here to download the reservation form: Timeless Japan Cruise 2017 Reservation Form
Join us for an unforgettable cruise as we explore the beautiful islands and coastline of Japan. Discover castle towns, stunning gardens, invigorating hot springs and the lovely Inland Sea on this 11-night trip. Begin your journey from the bustling city of Osaka. On your cruise you will pay moving visits to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, thriving cities devoted to peace. Explore Yakushima Island, Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its ancient cedar trees and also Uwajima one of Japan’s largest pearl cultivation centres. In the ancient castle town of Okayama, home to Korakuen garden – one of Japan’s three most famous gardens you will get to experience a traditional tea ceremony. Your last stop on the is Kanazawa where you can enjoy exploring the town and its many arts and crafts with the highlight being the glorious Kenrokuen garden. After Kanazawa you will transfer by Bullet Train to the buzzing metropolis of Tokyo.
Japan is a fascinating balance of unique heritage and culture contrasting with the sprawling metropolises of the world’s most advanced technological civilisation. Made up of 6,852 islands, the perfect way to explore the Land of the Rising Sun is by sea. On our journey we will voyage around the stunning coastline and offshore islands of the archipelago, and discover ancient castles, serenely beautiful gardens and opulent temples and shrines. Although we will visit the awe inspiring contemporary landscape of Tokyo, what makes our itinerary truly unique is our visits to parts of Japan where tourists rarely set foot.
Day 1 – London to Osaka
Day 2 – Osaka
Day 3 – Okayama & Kurashiki
Day 4 – Hiroshima & Miyajima
Day 5 – Uwajima
Day 6 – Yakushima
Day 7 – Nagasaki & Dejima
Day 8 – Ulsan for Kyongu
Day 9 – Hagi
Day 10 – Matsue
Day 11 – Kanazawa
Day 12 – Kanazawa to Tokyo
Day 13 Depart Japan
Our vessel, the 114 passenger MS Caledonian Sky, allows us to visit out of the way destinations and remote stretches of coast that would not be practical on a land tour. In addition to our circumnavigation of Japan, our course takes us past the south eastern tip of Korea, where we will spend a day in Kyongju, the ‘Museum Without Walls’. Here, history comes vividly to life among the tombs, temples, shrines and pleasure gardens. Join us on this voyage of discovery and venture along the historic shores and off the well beaten tourist paths. May is the ideal time to see the countryside at its most verdant and whilst temperatures are still pleasant.
Day 1 – London to Osaka.
Fly to Osaka, flight arranged by you.
Day 2 – Osaka.
Arrive Arrive this morning in Osaka and transfer to the MS Caledonian Sky and embark.
Sail this evening.
Day 3 – Okayama & Kurashiki.
Thismorning we will visit one of Japan’s most famed gardens, Koraku-en. This 17th Century formal garden has 28 acres of walking trails, ponds, plum and cherry trees, and a classic teahouse where we will experience a traditional tea ceremony. After a local lunch we will continue to Kurashiki where we explore the old merchant quarter and its fine 17th century wooden warehouses painted white with traditional black tiles, along a canal framed with weeping willows and filled with koi.
Day 4 – Hiroshima & Miyajima.
Arrive in Hiroshima to visit the compelling Peace Memorial Park. The park is dotted with memorials, including the cenotaph that contains the names of all the known victims of the A-bomb. Return to the ship for lunch and then continue to Miyajima. Considered one of Japan’s top scenic wonders, Miyajima provides a picture-postcard vista of the scarlet Torii gate, the giant camphor wood gates at the entrance to the Shinto Shrine. We will go ashore to explore the Itsukushima Jinja Shrine, founded in the 6th century and dedicated to three sea goddesses. The shrine is a designated World Heritage Site.
Day 5 – Uwajima.
Arrive in Uwajima situated deep inside the saw-toothed coast of Uwajima Bay. The city of Uwajima is emerging as the nation’s largest pearl cultivation centre. Learn the process of implanting, harvesting, extracting and sorting pearls on a visit to a pearl farm. We will continue to Sakiiya Square and Dairakuji Temple.
Day 6 – Yakushima
Japan’s This afternoon we arrive on the island of Yakushima which became Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. Its natural wonders will astound you as Yakushima has a particularly diverse flora. We will spend our time here on nature walks through Yakusugi Land, a nature park populated by a number of the island’s ancient cedar trees, such as the Buddhasugi, Futagosugi and Sennensugi.
Day 7 – Nagasaki & Dejima
After a morning at sea we arrive in Nagasaki, the second city destroyed by an A-bomb in World War II. We will tour the Peace Memorial Park, Atomic Bomb Museum and Glover Garden. We will continue to Dejima Island which was built during the Edo Period to accommodate Portuguese Christian missionaries and prevent the propagation of their religion. It also used to be the residential quarters of the Dutch, the only foreigners allowed to trade in Japan during the Sakoku (isolation) period. For 200 years, until Japan reopened the country in the 19th century, Dejima was its only window to the world.
Day 8 – Ulsan for Kyongju.
Today embark on a full-day excursion to magnificent Kyongju, a World Heritage Site which is often described as the world’s finest open-air museum. As the ancient capital of the Shilla Dynasty, Kyonju’s cultural heritage dates back to the first millennium. Today, as we stroll though some of the hundreds of excavated monuments, temples, tombs and pagodas, there will be time to explore the National Museum. At lunch sample Korean delicacies and enjoy a cultural performance of traditional dance.
Day 9 – Hagi
Japan’s revolution began here in Jokamachi’s old samurai residential quarter, where we will tour a samurai’s home. Also visit Daisho Temple, the resting place of the two first Mori daimyo and all the even numbered daimyo. We will also take time to explore Hagi Castle, Shizuki Park and Tokoji Temple.
Day 10 – Matsue.
Matsue, called the ‘town of water,’ nestles between a scenic lake and a large lagoon. We will visit the cultural attractions of the town including Matsue Castle. This afternoon is free to relax or explore the town at leisure. Alternatively join an optional excursion to the
Adachi Museum. Set in a beautiful natural environment, Adachi Museum of Art is well known for both its superb Japanese gardens and its collection of contemporary paintings, comprising approximately 1,500 of the country’s most highly regarded paintings produced after the Meiji period. There may also be the opportunity to visit Yushi-en, a beautiful Japanese landscape garden famous for its peonies.
Day 11 – Kanazawa
Kanazawa is a thriving centre of the arts, long known for its lacquer ware, outstanding collectible pottery of the Kutani style, gold-leaf workmanship, and delicate handpainting of silk for kimonos and Noh theatre dramas. The narrow and winding cobblestone streets have a quaint photogenic charm. Around each bend is a traditional house, museum, art gallery, crafts shop, historic samurai residence and even a geisha house to explore. The fascinating open-air market displays a vast variety of items from flowers to fish to local handicrafts Next to the Kanazawa Castle ruins is one of Japan’s premier highlights – the famed Kenroku-en Garden, ranked among the country’s top gardens.
Day 12 – Kanazawa to Tokyo.
Disembark this morning and take the bullet train to Tokyo. On arrival we enjoy an afternoon city tour including Meiji Shrine, Sensoji Temple and the Imperial Palace Plaza. We then transfer to the New Otani hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay.
Day 13: Tokyo to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to Narita International Airport for your flight home, arranged by you.
Formerly known as the Hebridean Spirit, the MS Caledonian Sky began her life with Noble Caledonia in May 2012. Accommodating a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites, she is more akin to a country hotel than the big cruise ships of today. The vessel is the ideal partner to our MS Island Sky, both were built in the same yard and at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them two of the finest small ships in the world and we are very proud to have them as our flagships.
Onboard the MS Caledonian Sky there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites, 23 of which have private balconies located on the Promenade or Bridge Decks. Each suite exudes great character and grandeur with wood panelling and brass features found throughout.
The large suites all measure between 20 and 23 square metres and the balconies range in size from 4.2 to 5.6 square metres. Suites are arranged over four decks and all have outside facing views. All suites feature a sitting room area complete with coffee table, armchairs and flat screen televisions (DVD players and DVDs can be borrowed from reception for use in your suite). The beds in each cabin offer exceptionally comfortable mattresses and pillows and can be configured as large double beds or twins. Each suite affords considerable comfort with an en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, a hot towel rack, shaver outlet and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or corner bath tub. Towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Further facilities in the suites include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, minifridge, cabin to cabin telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, bottled water replenished daily, as well as extra blankets and pillows.
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge featuring comfortable seating and classic winged armchairs to enhance the modern country-style furnishings throughout. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and talks from Guest Speakers and Expedition staff take place in the main lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. Also featured in the Lounge is an elegant bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition to the main lounge on the Caledonian Deck, there is the Lounge on the Panorama Deck which features a bar, library and two computers and further spacious seating arrangements, ideal for watching the world go by as you cruise to your next destination. The travel library is the perfect place to relax with a good book. The main dining room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Castle Deck. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Bridge Deck which is complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Further to this on the Panorama Deck towards the front of the vessel there is a further observation deck, complete with bar service and comfortable cushioned deck furniture for sun bathing, relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. On the Promenade Deck there is also a small gymnasium featuring a treadmill, bicycle and cross trainer, and a hairdressers with appointments made on request.
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine onboard is of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapes take place every day in either the comfort of the lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. In keeping with the informal atmosphere onboard, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other like minded passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are an à la carte five course affair, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals.
The atmosphere onboard is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader and of course good food, all contribute to make any voyage aboard this wonderful vessel a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.The daily programme onboard is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress onboard is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.
The MS Caledonian Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimise the ship’s motion. During your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessel’s progress by charts and learn more about your journey. Onboard you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking onboard is restricted to deck 4 aft.
Price Includes: Overnight hotel accommodation in Tokyo on breakfast only basis, 10 nights aboard the MS Caledonian Sky on a full board basis with house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, cruise director, guest speaker, shore excursions, gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions, transfers, port taxes, airport taxes.
Not Included: Travel Insurance, flights, optional excursions, visas.
Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens.
Japan Journeys in association with Holiday Extras, is now able to offer excellent low cost cover to their customers.
Please click on the image below for a quote.