Osaka is the gateway to Kyoto with great street food, bright lights and delightful night life. Its main historic landmark is the 16th century Osaka Castle surrounded by a moat and many flowering trees. Kyoto is famous for its numerous Buddhist temples, gardens, imperial Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It is also known for formal traditions like kaiseki dining (multiple courses of precise dishes) and geisha entertainers.
7:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
The main gateway to Shikoku Island and an important focal point for the island’s rail and road transit systems, Takamatsu, on Japan’s scenic Inland Sea, has been a political and economic center since the Edo period. Among the attractions here is Ritsurin Garden, created during the Edo period, and especially popular during spring for the cherry blossoms and autumn for the fall foliage. Takamatsu Symbol tower has several observation decks providing panoramic views of the sea and landscapes.
8:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during WWII, Hiroshima today is a modern city on the island of Honshu. The Hiroshima Memorial Peace Arch, a UNESCO site commonly referred to as the Atomic Dome, commemorates the 1945 event. One feature is a colorful memorial to Sadako Sasaki, a young woman whose dying wish for peace was told in the story A Thousand Paper Cranes. Also worth seeing is the Hiroshima Museum of Art displaying paintings from Monet, Van Gogh, Fujishima and Asai and the UNESCO red torii of Miyajima.
11:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
Located on the island of Kyushu, Karatsu is one of the closest Japanese cities to the Korean Peninsula. Karatsu Castle is the main attraction here. Built in 1608, it houses a museum of the castle’s history and Karatsu ceramics. Karatsu is also known for its pottery which can be viewed at the Karatsu-yaki Pottery Gallery. Also worth visiting is the Karatsu Hikiyama Exhibition Hall which displays the 14 floats used in the annual Karatsu Kunchi Festival in November.
The second largest city in South Korea is a popular leisure destination due to the nearby hot springs. It is home to many famous beaches that lure visitors from around the world and the UNESCO site of Gyeongju an outdoor museum that was once the capital of the Silla Kingdom and holds many architectural points of interest including ornate temples. Also of interest is South Korea’s largest temple, Tongdosa Temple, renowned for having no outdoor statues.
6:00 AM TO 7:30 AM
day 6 Scenic Cruising: Hashima Island
Cruise around the island of Hashima, abandoned over 50 years ago when the coal mining that flourished there suddenly ran out. The mining company shut the mine down and the island has been a ghost town ever since. (Visibility depends on weather conditions.)
10:00 AM TO 7:00 PM
Notable for the nuclear attack it suffered during WWII, Nagasaki has memorialized the event at the city’s Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Memorial Park. The museum tells the story of the events leading up to the bombing and the park, located at the center of the bomb blast, houses a beautiful 30-foot tall fountain symbolizing peace. Other highlights to see are the Glover Gardens and Dejima Museum, which was originally an artificial island.
9:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
The seaside city of Kagoshima is best known for Sakurajima, an active volcano facing Kinko Bay. Take a tour to the Shiroyama Observatory or to the peaceful Edo-period Sengamen Japanese Garden. Visit the Ishibashi Park and the three Edo-period stone bridges or travel to the nearby village of Chiran to see the well-preserved Samurai Houses and the Chiran Peace Museum, exploring the background of kamikaze pilots.
7:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
For over 1,000 years pilgrims have traveled to the Kumano Region to pray at the three Sacred Kumano Shrines. In Shingu you can see the Hayatama Shrine and the Kamikura Shrine. Both of these shrines are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Sacred Sites of Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. The Kamikura Shrine sits on Mount Kamikurayama and requires climbing 538 steps to reach it.
8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
Most notably known as the city you can see the UNESCO site of Mount Fuji from. This small port city considered one of the three most beautiful ports in Japan has many historical building like Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, Sumpugo Park, and Shizuoka Sengen Shrine. The 65-foot Shiraito Waterfall, located near Mount Fuji looks like it could be silk. Enjoy tuna from Japan’s largest fishery here or a cup of maccha, a Japanese green tea.
7:00 AM TO
day 11 Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan
Yokohama, the gateway to Tokyo, was one of the first Japanese ports open to foreign trade. It contains a large Chinatown with hundreds of Chinese shops and restaurants. It is also known for its botanical park, Sankei-en Garden, containing preserved Japanese residences from different eras, and for the seaside Minato Mirai District, site of the Landmark Tower, standing 971 feet high.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.