Kobe is the 6th largest city in Japan and famous for its signature marbled beef. The Ikuta Shrine there is among Japan’s oldest shrines, dating back to the 3rd century. Kobe is also the gateway to Mount Rokko, accessible by antique cable cars, and the outdoor hot springs of Arima Onsen. Other sites include the Sake Breweries, the Earthquake Museum, and Sorakuen Garden.
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 5:00 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 5:00 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.
There are so many interesting things about Tokyo it is not possible to list them here and you will want to plan to extend your stay. This is the place for excellent and unlimited shopping choices and from where new fashion trends seem to spring. It offers excellent cuisine and has earned mention on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Even though Tokyo’s neon-lit streets make it seem modernistic, it also prides itself on retaining its shogun past, carrying on sumo tournaments and kabuki productions. Tokyo is also committed to providing green spaces in the city or on the outskirts, quickly reached by train.
Sitting right on the ocean, Oarai has some wonderful, pristine beaches like the Oarai Sun Beach and the Ajijaura Beach, white sand beaches with shallow waters. The seafood here is excellent and the Nakminato Fish Market offers fresh seafood at reasonable prices. Other sites to see include the Oarai Aquarium, home to 45 species of sharks and the Oarai Isosaki-jinja Shrine with its iconic Kamiiso-no-Torii.
10:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Miyako is now starting to look like a city again. It has been rebuilding since the 2011 tsunami that devastated the city when it was hit with a 125-foot wave. Over 4,000 buildings were destroyed and over 900 fishing boats. Visit the rebuilt city whose highlights include the Jodogahama Beach, part of the Rikuchu Kaigan National Park, nationally designated a "Place of Scenic Beauty."
7:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Located on the southern tip of the island of Hokkaido, Hakodate will offer you breathtaking views, excellent seafood and a delightful natural environment. Visit Goryokaku, a star-shaped fort designated a special historic site with a tower observatory that commands an amazing panoramic view of the fort. While you're there find a place to have a Sapporo, since Hokkaido is home to this famous beer.
12:01 AM TO 11:59 PM
Crossing International Date Line
day 19 Crossing International Date Line
Cross the International Date Line, the imaginary line of navigation that runs down the middle of the Pacific Ocean from the North Pole to the South Pole roughly following the 180⁰ Longitude north-south line. The IDL was established in 1852 in Greenwich, England.
7:00 AM TO 3:30 PM
day 21 Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Unalaska, home to the port of Dutch Harbor, has been continuously occupied by Aleuts for about 9,000 years. It is the only deep water port in the Aleutians and the main delivery port for king crab as featured on the Discovery Channel’s “The Deadliest Catch” reality show. The island provides opportunities for many types of outdoor activities such as bird/wildlife watching, hiking, skiing, sport fishing, and kayaking. The museums here are full of interesting artifacts from archaeological digs and the impact of WWII in the Aleutians.
1:00 PM TO 8:00 PM
Kodiak is noted as being one of the top three fishing ports in the country and home to over 650 boats. Alaska Marine ferries dock here and Kodiak is also home to the largest U.S. Coast Guard base. This renowned fishing destination offers a variety of sport fishing including halibut, rockfish, cod, trout and five species of salmon. But Kodiak is best known for the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and the over 3,500 brown bears residing there. Bear viewing is the main attraction and male bears weigh in between 800-1,500 pounds and stand over 10 feet tall. Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park is the best place to learn about Kodiak’s WWII history.
Two hundred miles south of Anchorage and home of the Discovery Channel’s “The Last Frontier,” Homer is a small city on beautiful Kachemak Bay. The geological landform known as Homer Spit is the main attraction here. This 4.5-mile-strip of land with its variety of shops, art galleries, seafood restaurants and beaches was named one of the best 100 beaches in the U.S. Less than 10 miles from the Spit is Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park, the only designated wilderness park in Alaska. Homer is also known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World” and is the homeport for the Time Bandit of “Deadliest Catch” fame.
8:00 AM TO
day 25 Seward (Anchorage), Alaska
Seward, (Anchorage’s gateway) is sandwiched between the Kenai Mountains and the Kenai Fjords National Park. It is one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic communities, with Mount Marathon rising majestically behind the town. Even though Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, it is also home to 1,500 moose, surrounded by national parks full of wildlife.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.