March 28: Tokyo/Yokohama. Our cruise departs the cruise terminal at Yokohama at 7:00 PM.
March 30: Aomori. Docked 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This is a day to immerse yourself in Japan’s spectacular beauty and culture. Visit Hiroski Castle, home of the legendary cherry blossom festival then visit parade floats used in the annual Neputa Festival. Nature and culture fuse as one in the nearby World Heritage Shirakami Mountains, which embrace the world’s largest virgin forest of beech trees. Stroll Aomori’s premiere Shinsen Ichiba seafood market where restaurateurs hand-pick fresh produce then slurp up delicious ramen noodles at one of its counter restaurants.
March 31: Hakodate. Docked 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. A port city on the northern island of Hokkaido, Hakodate is best known for the area’s delicious, fresh seafood, sushi, squid, and ramen. Head to the top of Mount Hakodate for a magnificent view of the city surrounded by the ocean. The city’s Goryōkaku Fort, Japan’s first Western style fortress, is now used in as a public park and is a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing. Hakodate is literally a town of hot springs, and it even offers steamy outdoor footbaths to pedestrians.
April 2: Busan, Korea. Docked 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Get ready to shop. Busan is Korea’s premier trading port, famous for its outdoor markets, but its beautiful sea vistas also that make it a charming place to unwind. Head to the markets, or experience the serenity of Beomeo-sa Temple, the Temple of the Heavenly Fish and the Jagalchi Fish Market. Climb the Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park and rejuvenate at Hushimchung Spa.
April 4: Hiroshima. Docked 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. While paying tribute to the nuclear attack that destroyed the city in 1945, Hiroshima is now defined as a beacon of peace and prides itself on its exceptional natural beauty. See more than 300 cherry blossom trees in bloom at Peace Memorial Park, journey to the breathtaking Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island, and take time to sample “okonomiyaki”—a delicious example of Japanese soul food, or take in a Sake tour in nearby Saijo, in the heart of sake-brewing country.
April 5: Kobe. Docked 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Perched on a hillside overlooking the sea, Kobe is one of Japan’s most attractive and cosmopolitan cities. Home of the heralded Kobe beef, this small city is easily navigated. Visit the Hatsukura Sake Brewery Museum for a tour or dine in one of the area’s incredible restaurants. Kyoto and the gorgeous city of Nara with its ancient castles are easily accessible by bullet train.
April 6: Osaka/Kyoto. Docked 8:00 AM to 11:59 PM. Visit Osaka Aquarium, one of the world’s largest aquariums which has over 580 species of sea life on display, or ride the high-speed Shinkansen Bullet Train to mystical Kyoto, the nation’s capital for more than 1000 years, home to 17 different World Heritage Sites including Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Heian Jingu Shrine.
April 8: Shimizu. Docked 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. On clear days get ready for a picture-postcard perfect view of Mount Fuji, one of the best-known symbols of Japan. Spend a day exploring Shimizu’s unforgettable medieval castle ruins, world-heritage-listed ancient pine grove, exquisite traditional gardens, and more.
April 9: Yokohama/Tokyo. Arrival 6:30 AM. We can arrange a city tour enroute to Narita Airport or a complete tour extension.