Reveal Japan's colourful past, where the Samurai warrior rubs shoulders with the subtlety of the geisha.
Visit Hiroshima, the gateway to Miyajima, home to the majestic Shinto Shrine, whose entrance is guarded by the magnificent vermillion Torii Gate. In Nagasaki, remember the story of Madame Butterfly, the strains of which can still be heard in the narrow city streets, and the tragic events of WWII.
In ancient Okayama, explore the famous Korakuen Gardens, one of the three essential landscape gardens of Japan. From Sakaiminato, discover medieval Japan and the sumptuous dwellings of the Samurai including Bukeyashiki, a marvellous testament to the golden age of the Edo dynasty.
CP719 Operated by Ponant Luxury and Expedition
The Best of Japan Itinerary
Day 1 - Osaka
Arrive in Osaka, Japan's third largest city and embark your luxurious megayacht, L'Austral.
Day 2 - Tamano (Okayama)
From the city of Tamano, there is an optional excursion to Okayama which developed as a castle town during the Edo period. The tour visits the beautiful Korakuen garden before continuing to Kurashiki city best known for its magnificent white buildings. There is a second optional excurison available to Naoshima, a small island with an average population of 3400. Discover unique artwork as you explore. The tour visits the Chichu Art Museum, Benesse House Museum and the Art House Project.
Day 3 - Hiroshima
Hiroshima is the largest city on Honshu Island in Japan and is known as the City of Peace. See the sights of Hiroshima including the Peace memorial Park, Atomic Bomb Dome and Shukkeien Garden on an optional guided tour. Or perhaps travel to Miyajima-Guchi where you will board a ferry to the island of Miyajima, the location of the Itsukushuma Shrine and famous red torii gate.
Day 4 - Uwajima
There is an optional excurison to Uchiko Town about 50km away from Uwajima. See the Kamihaga Residence, explore the historical district and admire Uchiko-za, a full scale kabuki theatre. Alternatively, you can see the sights of Uwajima including the terraced field of Yusu Mizugaura, Doi pearl where you will learn about the era of natural pearls and Uwajima Castle, located in the heart of the city.
Day 5 - Kagoshima
From Kagoshima, take the optional excursion to Chiran with its well-preserved samurai residences, some of which are still being used by samurai descendants. Or perhaps discover the highlights of Kagoshima. See Mt Sakurajima, one of the world's most active volcanoes which sits across the bay from the city. Back on mainland, visit Sengan-en Garden and the Shoko Shuseikan Museum.
Day 6 - Nagasaki
Visit Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park which commemorates the city's destruction by the atomic bomb in 1945. See the collection of statues and sculptures before heading to the Atomic Bomb Museum and Dejima, a man-made island. Alternatively, see the sights of Nagasaki including the Museum of History and Culture and the Oura Catholic Church on an optional historical tour.
Day 7 - Pusan (South Korea)
Pusan is Korea's second largest city. There is an optional excursion to the magnificent Haedongyonggugnsa Temple reconstructed in 1970. You will also visit the Jagalchi Fishery Market established by women peddlers during the Korean War.
Day 8 - Sakaiminato (Japan)
Sakaiminato is located at the tip of the Yumigahama Peninsula. Visit Matsue Castle and Bukeyashiki, a 300-year-old samurai residence on an optional tour. Alternatively, travel to Izumo Taisha Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Japan and the Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo on an optional excursion.
Day 9 - Maizuru
Disembark L'Austral in Maizuru.
The captain reserves the right to modify the itinerary.