POP CULTURE KINGS OF ASIA

From $ 3,599 pp + Bonus Shipboard Credit
Shore Excursions

Pop Culture Kings of Asia

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From $ 3,599 pp + Bonus Shipboard Credit

Shimizu, Japan



5 HRS

Moderate

outdoors

dining

walking

sightseeing
Shimizu, Miho No Matsubara with Fresh Sashimi Lunch
Your day of traditional art and customs begins with Shizuoka Sengen Shrine, a complex of 7 shrines, the 3 main ones remodeled over a period of 60 years beginning in 1804. Sengen Shrine contains 26 "Important Cultural Assets" and an extensive collection of historical artifacts from the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for 300 years during the Edo Period. Step into the large, two-story worship hall and marvel at the views of Mount Fuji. Your next destination will bring you to Miho no Matsubara, a picturesque pine grove along the eastern coast of the Miho Peninsula, given the distinction of "New Three Views of Japan," a designation of scenic beauty. This inspirational spot for artists offers dramatic views of Mount Fuji, and if you walk deep into the pine grove, you'll spy a 650-year-old Japanese black pine called Hagoromo-no-Matsu.  The tour will conclude with a visit to the Fish Market in Shimizu. Upon arrival, the guide will escort you to the walking tour in the Fish Market, to wander around this busy fish market full of local people. After walking, you will have an opportunity to have lunch at a local restaurant in the market, which serves the Japanese Style Set menu including freshest sashimi (sliced raw fish). Enjoy your local dining experience with this special atmosphere.

Please note:  The path from the parking lot to Miho no Matsubara is about half a mile. It is wheelchair accessible. Mount Fuji can be seen, weather permitting. The order of the tour sites may vary. Wear comfortable walking shoes and conservative clothing. Bring local currency.


price $199
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4 HRS

Moderately
easy

outdoors

refreshments

sightseeing
Shimizu, Mt. Fuji Cultural Experience
You will ride to the quaint fishing town of Yui, home to the Tokaido Hiroshige Art Museum. The museum displays more than 1,300 ukiyo-e exhibits, spotlighting the works of Hiroshige Utagawa (1797-1858), one of the best-known ukiyo-e artists who strongly influenced the genre with his dramatic landscape series. After touring the museum, continue on to a tea ceremony in Miyuki-tei at a "chashitsu," a historic tearoom, in Yui Honjin Park. In the Japanese culture, a tea ceremony is not just about the beverage; it's a cultural ritual that brings tranquility and peace to the participants. You will be served Japanese green tea, called matcha, accompanied by some sweets, which balances out the flavors of the tea leaves. Your host will be gracious, preparing your tea with great care and attention to aesthetics. Complete your day at Miho-no-Matsubara, a picturesque pine grove along the eastern coast of the Miho Peninsula, given the distinction of "New Three Views of Japan," a designation of scenic beauty. This inspirational spot for artists offers dramatic views of Mount Fuji, and if you walk deep into the pine grove, you'll spy a 650-year-old Japanese black pine called Hagoromo-no-Matsu. After a day of beauty and cultural sights and hopefully a camera filled with wonderful memories you'll board your coach for your return trip to the ship.

Please note:  The path from the parking lot to Miho no Matsubara is about half a mile. It is wheelchair accessible. Mount Fuji can be seen, weather permitting. The order of the tour sites may vary. Wear comfortable walking shoes and conservative clothing and bring local currency. You will need to remove your shoes at the tea ceremony.

price $149
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7 HRS

Moderate to
strenuous

outdoors

dining

walking

sightseeing
Shimizu, Mt. Fuji Highlight
You will board your motor coach at the port, and drive to Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine, located in the southwestern foothills of Mount Fuji. Originally built to offer protection from volcanic eruptions, the shrine was one of the grandest in its day. Constructed in the early 1600s, the shrine has been hit by several earthquakes, damaging its structure. The grounds are quite picturesque, and over 500 cherry trees bloom here in March and April. You  will drive to the quaint fishing town of Yui, home to the Tokaido Hiroshige Art Museum next. The museum displays more than 1,300 ukiyo-e exhibits, spotlighting the works of Hiroshige Utagawa (1797-1858), one of the best-known ukiyo-e artists who strongly influenced the genre with his dramatic landscape series. After having lunch at a local restaurant, your final destination of the day will be Miho-no-Matsubara, a picturesque pine grove along the eastern coast of the Miho Peninsula, given the distinction of "New Three Views of Japan," a designation of scenic beauty. This inspirational spot for artists offers dramatic views of Mount Fuji, and if you walk deep into the pine grove, you'll spy a 650-year-old Japanese black pine called Hagoromo-no-Matsu, believed to have mythical origins, its branches spread in every direction, and it is said that an angel bathing in the waters hung her clothes on its branches. A fisherman took the garments, and the angel had to win them back by dancing for him. Beside this legendary tree, there stands a monument of a French ballerina who composed a dance inspired by this legend.

Please note:  The path from the parking lot to Miho no Matsubara is about half a mile. It is wheelchair accessible. Mount Fuji can be seen, weather permitting. The order of the tour sites may vary. Wear comfortable walking shoes and conservative clothing and bring local currency.

price $249
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3.5 HRS

Moderate to
strenuous

outdoors

culture

walking

sightseeing
Shimizu, Sacred Toshogu and Nihondaira Ropeway
Grab your camera and set off on a photographic adventure that will begin with a short drive to Nihondaira Park Outlook. Designated as a prefecture natural park, this scenic spot affords panoramic vistas of sparkling Suruga Bay and dramatic Mount Fuji. From here, you'll board an aerial ropeway for a bird's-eye-view as you're whisked up the mountainside to the Kunozan Toshogu Shrine. Dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the famous leader credited with bringing peace and unity to Japan after a long period of civil war. A climb of 1,000 stone steps is the traditional approach to the shrine, but the addition of the ropeway has made it accessible to many more visitors. Gorgeous vistas of Suruga Bay serve as the backdrop to Kunozan Toshogu, a designated cultural landmark. At the entrance, you will see the beautifully embellished Romon Gate, a wonderful commemorative picture. Look carefully at the framed name plaque hanging from the gate building. It is believed to have been carved by Emperor Go-Mizunoo himself. You'll soon reach Shaden, the main building, a striking wooden complex that is comprised of 3 sections, Honden Main Hall, Ishinoma Interconnecting Hall, and Haiden Worship Hall. All three are architecturally diverse and elaborately decorated. Adjacent to the Shaden building, you can purchase a good-luck fortune written on a strip of white paper, which you then tie to a frame next to the shrine so that your fortune will come true! If you are feeling adventurous, stroll into a wooded area, where you'll find the tomb of Ieyasu. Conclude the day with a ropeway ride back to the station where you'll meet your comfortable motor coach for the drive back to the port.

Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 hour of walking with a number of steps to negotiate. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their ability and stamina. Casual clothing and comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. Bring local currency for shopping. There are 150 steps in Kunozan Toshogu Shrine and guests will have to take the Ropeway between the parking lot and the shrine.

price $149
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Osaka, Japan



8.5 HRS

Moderate

dining

culture

unesco

walking

sightseeing
Osaka, Kyoto Highlight Tour
Explore three of Kyoto's marquee attractions: the impressive Golden Pavilion, Sanjusangendo and formidable Nijo Castle, a quintessential example of Momoyama architecture, which flourished 400 years ago.Depart from the pier and drive inland toward Kyoto, an immensely historical city renowned for spectacular architecture, which includes thousands of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Your first visit is Sanjusangendo, which is the popular name for Rengeo-in, a temple in eastern Kyoto famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The temple was founded in 1164 and rebuilt a century later after the original structure had been destroyed in a fire. Also the temple hall, measuring 394 feet, is the longest Japanese wooden structure. Next you will go to Kyoto's most famous landmark, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion). Built by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu as a villa in 1397, the 3-story home was converted to a temple by Yoshimitsu's son. The Golden Pavilion follows the Shinden style of the Heian Period by being positioned at the edge of a tranquil pond. The Chinese-influenced Golden Pavilion has delicately curving roofs, with the walls and eaves of the 2nd and 3rd stories covered in shimmering gold leaf. View the exterior of the pavilion and walk through the peaceful gardens, marveling at the mirror reflection of the temple on the still pond. You will have lunch at a local restaurant and then head to nearby Nijo Castle, a fortification of cypress wood built in 1603 as the residence of the Tokugawa Clan. An esteemed UNESCO World Heritage Site, the castle is protected by a moat, stone walls, and ingenious nightingale floors, which chirp like a bird when walked upon to alert the guards of potential intruders. 
After touring Nijo Castle, you'll return to the pier in Osaka.

Please note: This tour includes approximately 3 hours of walking with a number of steps to negotiate. There are 30 steps at the Kinkakuji Temple. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Casual clothing and comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. We suggest guests obtain local currency for shopping. Photography and videos are not permitted inside Nijo Castle and Sanjusangendo. Shoes must be removed to enter Nijo Castle and Sanjusangendo.  Nijo Castle is under a 20-year restoration project therefore some parts of castle may be closed. The order of sites visited may vary.

 
price $299
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8.5 HRS

Moderate to
strenuous

dining

culture

unesco

walking

sightseeing
Osaka, Nara & Osaka Highlight Tour
Enjoy the unrivaled charm of Nara and Osaka, two of Japan's most historic cities, on this full-day tour. Following a 2-hour drive, visit Nara, the oldest capital of Japan (710-784), and the cradle of Japanese arts, literature and crafts with temples and shrines that pre-date those found in Kyoto. Nara is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and numerous art and architectural relics classified as National Treasures and Important Cultural Assets by the Japanese government. See the incredible Todaiji Temple, founded in 752, and best known for its Daibutsu, a colossal statue sitting 49 feet tall, making it the world's largest Buddha statue. The 8th century statue is housed in an all-wood building, the Daibutsu-den, considered the largest wooden building in the world. After touring the Daibutsu, stroll through Nara Park, commonly referred to as Deer Park. The tranquil park covers 1,295 acres of woodland and is home to over 1,000 free roaming deer. Considered messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, Nara's deer are a symbol of the city and are designated a National Natural Monument.  Then you will visit the impressive Kasuga Shrine which has 1,800 stone lanterns lining the walkway to its entrance, and another 1,000 bronze lanterns suspended from the eaves of corridors. After lunch at a nearby restaurant, drive to Osaka, with a stop at the imposing Osaka Castle. One of Japan's most famous castles, see the massive stone foundations, wing-tipped roofs with gilded decorations, and comprehensive museum displaying Osaka's most significant historical and cultural artifacts. 

Please note: This tour includes approximately 3-4 hours of walking with a number of steps to negotiate. There are many steps to the Kasuga Shrine. Photography and videos are not permitted inside Osaka Castle (3rd & 4th floors). Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina.  From the parking lot to Osaka Castle is approximately a 15-minute walk. Bring local currency, sunscreen and a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes and conservative clothing for the temple.

price $279
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5 HRS

Moderate to
strenuous

culture

walking

sightseeing
Osaka, Osaka Highlight Tour
Explore Japan's third largest city, Osaka, on this intriguing half-day tour. Following a 30-minute drive from Osaka port, you will see the impressive landmark, Osaka Castle. One of Japan's most famous castles, it is built on a plot of land almost one mile square,  contains 13 structures, and is designated as Important Cultural Assets by the Japanese government. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, built atop a massive stone foundation that protected its occupants from sword-bearing attackers. Of particular interest are the tower's ornamental roof tiles, and bas-reliefs carved in the shape of crouching tigers, all gilded with gold. An engaging museum occupies the interior of the building, tracing the history of the castle from the late 1500s to the present day, and housing Osaka's most significant historical and cultural artifacts.  After a guided tour of the castle, proceed to Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. Built in the 3rd century, Sumiyoshi enshrines the kami (Shinto gods) who protect travelers, fishermen and sailors at sea. It displays a unique style of shrine architecture, called Sumiyoshi-zukuri, which is free of influence from the Asian mainland. Return to Osaka port and the ship following your tour of the temple.

Please note: This tour includes approximately 3 hours of walking with a number of steps to negotiate. Photography and video are not permitted inside Osaka Castle (3rd & 4th floors). Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina.  From the parking lot to Osaka Castle is approximately 15-minute walk. Bring local currency, sunscreen and a hat and wear comfortable walking shoes and conservative clothing for the temple.

price $149
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Hiroshima, Japan



4 HRS

Moderate

outdoors

culture

unesco

walking

sightseeing
Hiroshima, Hiroshima Highlight Tour
In the years just following the atomic bomb blast on August 6, 1945, scientists doubted if Hiroshima could ever live again. Yet modern Hiroshima rose like a phoenix from its own ashes, and less than 5 decades since its obliteration, it is a vital city with a population of one million and growing. This half-day tour highlights the remarkable landmarks of Hiroshima, a self-declared city of peace dedicated to a nuclear weapons-free world. Begin at the poignant Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and its powerful museum. Following the bomb attack, only a few concrete buildings remained standing. Though unusable, one of these ruins is now a symbol of the city and the Memorial Park: the Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall, now known as the Atomic Bomb Dome, located near the epicenter of the blast. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, the Dome remains a stark and powerful symbol of the destructive force created by humankind. See the Cenotaph, shaped like an ancient tomb and holding the names of the dead, as well as the Flame of Peace, visited daily by monks offering prayers and burning incense.  You will continue to the serene Shukkei-en Garden, located near the Hiroshima Castle. Plum trees, azaleas, cherry trees and other plants guarantee a blooming landscape, regardless of the season, and its sculpted gardens, paths, ponds, bridges, waterfalls and bamboo groves make the garden an extremely pleasant and photogenic place for a stroll. You will then be returned to your waiting yacht.

Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking with a few steps to negotiate. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Casual clothing and comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. This tour includes sensitive material including graphic pictures and displays on the atrocities of war.

price $129
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4.5 HRS

Moderately
easy

outdoors

culture

unesco

walking

boating
Hiroshima, Miyajima Highlight Tour
Travel by coach along a scenic route to Miyajima-Guchi, where you'll board the local ferry and cruise to the lovely island of Miyajima. This picturesque island, considered one of Japan's most scenic destinations, is where you'll find the Itsukushima Shrine and its famous large red torii gate that rises up out of the ocean. The shrine was established in 593, the first year of the reign of Empress Suiko and today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The current torii was erected in 1875 after the original one was destroyed. Among the distinctive features of the shrine is the corridor of the main building that, with its beautiful vermillion handrails, stretches into the calm Seto Inland Sea. At high tide, both the torii and the shrine give the illusion of floating on the sea. Interestingly, to give birth, to die or be buried were forbidden on the island and today, there are still no hospitals or cemeteries to be found here.

Please note:  This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking with a limited number of steps to negotiate. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Casual clothing and comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. Bring local currency for shopping.


price $159
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2.5 HRS

Moderately
easy

outdoors

culture

walking
Hiroshima, Panoramic Hiroshima
Depart from the pier, and drive to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in central Hiroshima. The area where the park now lies was ground zero for the Atomic Bomb on August 6, 1945. After the bombing the Memorial Park was created and dedicated to those who lost their lives in the attack. Stroll through the park and discover many memorials, monuments and statues, before heading into the museum itself. The park's main attraction is the Peace Memorial Museum. Consisting of two buildings, the museum surveys the history of Hiroshima and the advent of the nuclear bomb. Its main focus though is on the events of August 6; the dropping of the bomb and its outcome in human suffering.  After the visit to the museum, you will be driven back to the pier.

Please note:   Casual clothing and comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. This tour includes sensitive material including graphic pictures and displays on the atrocities of war.




price $99
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Busan, South Korea



4 HRS

Moderate

culture

sightseeing
Busan, Beautiful Harmony of Nature and Humanity
Explore the unique spirituality of Buddhism on a nearly 4-hour excursion that includes a tour of the renowned Beomeosa Temple followed by a cultural performance. Shrouded in myths and serenity, the temple’s pagodas, gates, temple halls, and shrines are recognized as South Korea's National Treasures and are exceptional sights to behold. Your journey will begin as soon as you board your motor coach for the 50-minute ride through Busan's northern suburbs. You will pass Mount Geumjeongsan. Here, nestled deep in the forest sits the 1,300-year-old Beomeosa Temple, constructed in 678 A.D. Beomeosa once contained over 360 rooms and more than 1,000 monks lived here. The temple was burned to the ground in 1592 and rebuilt in 1602. After crossing an ancient bridge you’ll disembark. The first gate you'll meet is called "One Pillar Gate." With the scent of incense filling the air you’ll continue on past the 300-year-old Gate of the Four Heavenly Kings. Then, you'll have the chance to leisurely wander around the spellbinding grounds. Continue on to your next attraction, the Nurimaru APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) House. Located on Dongbaek Island, it was built to host the APEC summit meeting in 2005.  The island’s lighthouse stands guard proudly in the distance. Inside, an enormous masterpiece of lacquer and mother-of-pearl depicting the 12 Korean symbols of longevity will greet you, and a small museum exhibits items from the countries that attended the summit.  There are interactive displays and videos to further your understanding of the summit’s international significance, and so many thoughtful details will help you to really imagine the summit experience, including a replica of a meal the delegates were served!

Please note: This tour is not wheelchair accessible. Wear comfortable walking shoes.


price $99
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4 HRS

Moderate

culture

walking

sightseeing
Busan, Busan City Highlights
Board your motor coach for the 30-minute ride to the Modern History Museum On the northern side of Yongdusan Park, the Busan Modern History Museum covers the story of Busan City from the 19th  century. There are five excellent exhibitions located at the museum - 1. Busan After 1876 Opening of the Port - 2. Exploitation of Busan by Japan –  3. Busan A Modern City – The transformation of Busan City. - 4. The Oriental Development Company – How the Japanese took control of Busan and paved the way for the control of Korea and most of Asia. 5. Korea – U.S. Relationship – after the Korean War. Next, you will proceed to Yongdusan Park and Busan Tower one of the most popular mountains in Busan. Yongdusan in downtown Busan, is one of the 3 well-known mountains in Busan.  Then  you will head to the wonderful Ja-Gal-Ch'i  Fish Market and Busan International Film Festival Square which was established by women peddlers during the Korean War, and has become known over the years as “Aunt's Market.” Explore this amazing slice of Korean life and admire the fish, shellfish and seaweed displays, before heading back to port.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring local currency.


price $99
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7 HRS

Moderate

dining

culture

walking

sightseeing
Busan, Sea Breeze of Busan
Accompanied by your local guide this enjoyable half day tour will start with a breath-taking journey through glorious countryside and along coastal roads, to the beautiful Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. One of the most striking landmarks in Busan thanks to its unusual location by the sea, you will climb around 108 steps to the entrance, past statues of Buddha and along a dramatic rocky backdrop.  Next you will head to APEC HOUSE.   Located on Dongbaekseom Island, which is noted for its beautiful, natural landscape accented by dense camellia and pine trees, Nurimaru APEC House has been used as a memorial hall and a prestigious international conference hall since the APEC summit meeting. Nurimaru, a 3-story building, is a modernistic expression of “jeongja,” a pavilion in traditional Korean architectural style. Its roof shape symbolizes the ridgeline of Dongbaekseom Island. Its interior design is a visual display of Korea’s creative traditional culture.  The terrace, which has a Korean wooden floor concept, towers over Oryukdo Island, Gwangan Bridge and Dallmaji Hill. Located near Haeundae Beach, it not only offers a spectacular view of the beach, but also has the appearance of a reputable international conference hall featuring both modern and natural beauty. Your lunch will be a delicious seafood buffet and then you will tour the International Film Festival Square and Jaigaichi Fish Market.

Please note:  Wear conservative clothing that covers knees and shoulders, and comfortable walking shoes.  This tour is not wheelchair accessible and not recommended for those with mobility issues. 


price $159
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30 HRS

Moderate

culture

dining

sightseeing
Busan, Seoul Overnight Tour
You will board the high speed train and find your first-class seats for the 160-minute trip to Seoul where you will be met by your waiting guide at the train station to begin your tour of Seoul. Pass by the Blue House with its signature blue tiles.  Then take a stroll around Gyeongbokgung Plaace, built in 1395 before your lunch break  at the local Bibimbab & Kimchi & Pancake restaurant. Next you will visit Bukchon Hanok Village, home to hundreds of traditional houses, many of which today operate as restaurants, tea houses, and cultural centers. You will see much of traditional Korean culture. You will visit Insadong, in the heart of the city where old and precious traditional goods are on display. Then visit the War Memorial of Korea, established to commemorate the noble services of those who fought in the Korean War.  You will have dinner at a local Korean buffet-style restaurant before checking in to your 5* hotel. The rest of the night is at your leisure.  In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel and proceed to the DMZ, the buffer zone between North and South Korea. You will explore the tunnel dug by North Korea, which will be a surreal experience. You will have lunch at the local Bulgogi Restaurant before boarding your train for the return trip to Busan.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and pack for overnight. There is a moderate amount of walking and this tour is wheelchair accessible with the exception of the tunnel at the DMZ.

price $799
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11 HRS

Moderate

culture

dining
Busan, Full Day Seoul City Highlights with High Speed Train
Here is an opportunity to visit Seoul for the day. You will board your high speed train  and find your first-class seats for the 160-minute ride to Seoul where you will meet your guide at the train station. You will board motor coach to begin your tour. Pass by the Blue House with its beautiful blue tiles. You will have time to stroll around Gyeongbokgung Palace, built in 1395. This lovely palace with its many sculptures is the largest of the five palaces of Seoul. You will have lunch at Bibimbab & Kimchi Pancake restaurant., before you explore a Korean traditional village, known as Bukchon Hanok Village which is home to hundreds of traditional houses. Your next stop will be to tour Insadon Antique Street where old but precious and traditional goods are on display. Your last stop will be The War Memorial of Korea, which exhibits and preserves materials related to the Korean War and was established to commemorate the noble sacrifices of patriotic martyrs. Before boarding your train you will have dinner at the local Bulgogi Restaurant.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes as there is a moderate amount of walking. This tour is wheelchair accessible. 

price $232
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8 HRS

Moderate to
strenuous

culture

unesco

walking

sightseeing
Busan, Journey Back in Time, Gyeongju
Gyeongju is known as the Museum Without Walls, as it was once the capital of the Shilla Kingdom. It blossomed into a major cultural center after the Shilla Dynasty unified the Korean peninsula in 676 A.D. Today, Gyeongju is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and your tour of the city will reveal spectacular architectural points of interests, as well as extraordinary museums and ornate temples. Your first stop is at the breathtaking Tumuli Park—home to some 20 Shilla Dynasty royal tombs . Your guide will show you the colorful Flying Horse Tomb. Belonging to an unknown king from the Silla dynasty, it was excavated in 1973 and is believed to date back to the 5th century. The tomb once contained a famous painting of a white horse and a chest full of burial goods, including iron kettles, pottery, bronze vessels, saddles and a sword. Next, you will journey to the wonderful National Museum—a treasure trove of Korean cultural artifacts including gold crowns, Buddhist relics and prehistoric stone instruments. View the Divine Bell of King Songdok—a bronze bell that stands 11 feet tall and weighs an incredible 23 tons. You will visit the serene Bulguksa Temple perched on the slopes of Mount Tohamsan—a quiet oasis that is a superb example of both Shilla architecture and the culture's devotion to Buddhism. Your guide will lead you among this amazing collection of wooden buildings (many of them have been rebuilt many times), stone bridges, stairways and pagodas (all original). After enjoying the temple grounds, re-board the motor coach for the journey back to the port.

Please note: This tour is not wheelchair accessible. Wear comfortable walking shoes and conservative clothing that covers shoulders and knees.


price $179
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Karatsu, Japan



3.45 HRS

Moderately
easy

culture

unesco

walking

sightseeing
Karatsu, Highlights
You will be taken to Mount Kagami (Kagamiyama) to enjoy the panoramic view of Karatsu city. Mount Kagami is 931 feet high and you will be able to see the view of Karatsu Bay, Niji no Matsubara (Pine tree forest) and Iki Island if the weather is clear. The tour will continue to Hikiyama Exhibition Hall. This hall stores the 14 floats of the Karatasu Kunchi Festival which takes place annually from November 2 to 4. These decorated floats are hauled through the streets by participants in Edo Period garb to the accompaniment of drums and flutes. On the second day of the festival the floats, known as Hikiyama are taken to Nishinohama Beach, within view of Karatsu Castle. Karatsu Kunchi Festival was registered as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016. You will continue to the former residence of Koreyoshi Takatori, a coal magnate. Wonderfully restored, it illustrates the lifestyle of the upper middle classes during the Meiji Period. The residence is divided into two parts, one for the family and the other for guests, and includes a Zen garden, tearoom,and  Nô theater. 

Please note: You will be required to take off your shoes at Takatori.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing and bring local currency, sunscreen and a hat.


price $129
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3.45 HRS

Moderate to
strenuous

culture

unesco

walking

sightseeing
Karatsu, Highlights with Castle
Depart from the pier, and drive to Karatsu Castle which was built by the feudal lord, Hirotaka Terazawa, in 1608, and located on a small hill facing Karatsu Bay. After the Meiji Restoration of 1868 the castle was pulled down leaving only the stone walls and foundations as part of Maizuru Park, which opened in 1877. The present 5-story Karatsu Castle is a ferro-concrete structure built in the style of the original 17th century castle in 1966. The yagura (towers) were built at the same time with the Tatsumi yagura added later, in 1990. The tour will continue to Hikiyama Exhibition Hall that stores the 14 floats of the Karatasu Kunchi Festival which takes place annually from November 2 to 4. These decorated floats are hauled through the streets by participants in Edo Period garb to the accompaniment of drums and flutes. On the second day of the festival the floats, known as Hikiyama are taken to Nishinohama Beach, within a view of Karatsu Castle. Karatsu Kunchi Festival was registered as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016. Before heading back the port, you will be taken to Mount Kagami (Kagamiyama) to enjoy the panoramic view of Karatsu city. Mount  Kagami is 931 feet high and you will be able to see the lovely view of Karatsu Bay, Niji no Matsubara (Pine tree forest) and Iki island if the weather is clear.

Please note:  This tour includes approximately 1.5 hours of walking or standing.  There are 231 steps from the parking to the castle garden, but there is one elevator available. The path is mostly gravel. Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing and bring local currency, sunscreen and a hat.


price $129
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3.45 HRS

Moderate to
strenuous

culture

sightseeing
Karatsu, Traditional Experience At Kinshoji Temple
You will enjoy traditional experiences at one of the oldest temples in Karatsu, called Kinjoshi Temple. It is said that the temple was originally built in 1593, and burnt in 1574. You will see a Japanese puppet show called "Ningyo joruri" which is a 500-year-old tradition that combines three Japanese arts; storytelling, music and puppetry.  Ningyo means doll or puppet, and Joruri means narrative. The narrator "Tayu" will introduce the overall story and also will be the voice of each character in what sounds like one long, emotional song. A shamisen which is a 3- stringed instrument can be played during the show.   In this temple, it is said that the remains of the most famous Joruri dramatist, Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725) are buried, so this makes your experience more special. After strolling at Kinshoji Temple, where you can enjoy the small but beautiful garden, you will enjoy the real Tea Ceremony. You will enjoy the proper way of serving, and have a chance to enjoy the taste. Before heading back the port, you will be taken to Mount Kagami (Kagamiyama) to enjoy the panoramic view of Karatsu City. Mountt. Kagami is 931 feet high and you will be able to see the view of Karatsu Bay, Niji no Matsubara (Pine tree forest) and Iki island if the weather is clear.

Please note: You will be required to take off your shoes at the temple.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing and bring local currency, sunscreen and a hat.


price $299
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