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Home Cruises Japan Explorer Westerdam 2024-03-30

Japan Explorer - W422 MS Westerdam departing 30 Mar 2024

Call now 01246 819 819 to book

MS Westerdam
  • Carefully crafted journeys
  • Spacious-mid-sized ships
  • Exclusive onboard activities
  • Family friendly
Ship
Cruise Line
Embark
30 Mar 2024
Duration
14 Nights
From / To
Yokohama (Tokyo) / Yokohama (Tokyo)
Ports of call
Yokohama (Tokyo) - Osaka - Kochi - Hiroshima - Busan

Inside from £2,060pp

Outside from £1,725pp

Balcony from £2,722pp

Suite from £3,357pp

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Itinerary

Show sea days

Date Date
Location Location
 
In In
Out Out
Date 30/03/2024
Location Yokohama (Tokyo)
In
Out 19:00

Until the mid-19th century, Japan lived in isolation, closed off from the rest of the world, and Yokohama was a mere fishing village. But in 1853, American naval officer Matthew Perry demanded the country open to foreign trade, and Yokohama was changed forever. The city quickly emerged as an international trading center, and while today it is often overshadowed by nearby Tokyo, it continues to be one of Japan’s liveliest, and most international, destinations. With its microbreweries and international restaurants, Yokohama has a decidedly different feel from many other Japanese cities.

From Yokohama, it’s a quick trip to peaceful Kamakura, home to Daibutsu, Japan’s second-largest bronze Buddha, and to the important Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Head to Hakone National Park on a clear day and you’ll be rewarded with picture-postcard views of majestic Mt. Fuji.

Tokyo is the largest city on earth and packed with some of the world’s best shops, museums and restaurants, big and small. While the bright neon lights and the bustle of contemporary Tokyo may be what comes to mind when you think of the city, there is another side. Tokyo’s historic gardens and neighborhoods of traditional homes on narrow lanes speak to a timeless Japan that has survived into the 21st century.

Date 31/03/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 01/04/2024
Location Osaka
In 08:00
Out 19:00

Think of Osaka, Japan (accent on the O), as a combination of Los Angeles and Chicago. It very definitely has L.A.’s second-city complex, but its attitude is pure Chicago. The only business that matters is business, and so what if the Hanshin Tigers, the local baseball team, are frequently the worst professional athletes in the world? They’re the home team. People in Osaka laugh louder, play harder and drink more than Tokyo’s most decadent dreams. Osaka even has its own dialect, one the rest of the country calls “dirty Japanese,” one entirely different than even Kobe’s—and Kobe is an Osaka suburb.

Nothing is old in Osaka. The place was flattened during the war (and then again in 1962 and 1989, by Godzilla). During the reconstruction, they forgot to include much in the way of parks or green space, and the sheer amount of concrete and steel sights can get overwhelming.

But Osaka has its attractions and interesting things to do. Sumo wrestlers wait for trains, reeking of chanko-nabe (traditional sumo food; pure energy and calories), just daring the official railway pushers to push them. Yakuza (Japanese gangsters) get train cars to themselves, but if you get on with them, it’s like you’re invisible. Busy markets, the visual noise of neon and nonstop action on shopping streets offer insight into the energy and ambition of Osaka.

And if all that isn’t enough, Osaka is less than an hour from some of the most beautiful temples, shrines and ancient Japanese tourist attractions in the world—a thousand years of Japanese history—waiting in the old capitals of Kyoto and Nara.

Date 02/04/2024
Location Kochi
In 08:00
Out 17:00

High atop a hill in Kochi sits 17th-century Kochi Castle, once the seat of the Yamauchi lords. Explore this historic site and enjoy panoramic views of the city, then dine on sushi at Hirome Market.

Date 03/04/2024
Location Hiroshima
In 08:00
Out 16:00

Located in the southwest of Japan, Hiroshima, the main city of the Chugoku region, is set within a striking natural landscape of mountains, sea and rivers. Home to more than one million inhabitants, it’s famous as the site of the explosion of the world’s first atomic bomb, dropped by the U.S. in August 1945. This cataclysm is sensitively documented at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and associated Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The city offers visitors a great deal more than the tragedy of the recent past. In addition to the memorials to the events of World War II, there are an array of shrines and temples, as well as the city’s reconstructed castle, which was originally founded in the 16th century.Nature lovers will be charmed by the historic Shukkei-en Garden, commissioned in 1620, and Miyajima island, one of the most scenic spots in Japan. The city is home to a number of art institutions, including the Hiroshima Museum of Art, which houses a collection of Impressionist and Japanese oil paintings, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art and the quirky Mazda Museum. There is also an array of excellent restaurants and bars—the city is known for its okonomiyaki, a type of savory pancake—as well as a popular oyster festival each year.

Date 03/04/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 04/04/2024
Location Busan
In 10:00
Out 18:00

South Korea’s second-largest city (after the capital, Seoul), Busan is located in the southeastern corner of the country along the Sea of Japan. It combines a vibrant, big-city atmosphere with a famously laid-back attitude and subtropical landscapes. Often described as the “San Francisco of Korea,” thanks mainly to its hilly terrain and close-knit neighborhoods, it offers visitors a little of everything: fashionable boutiques, dynamic culture and buzzy nightlife, as well as sandy beaches, hot springs and nearby mountains crossed with hiking trails and dotted with temples. Cultural highlights include the Gamcheon Cultural Village; the spectacular Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, built into the side of a cliff; and Art Street in Sinchang-dong, which hosts art competitions, exhibitions and cultural events such as the annual Busan International Film Festival. Those who enjoy hiking can explore the famed cliffs of Taejongdae Park, while the white sand beaches at Gwangalli and Haeundae are ideal places to relax by the seashore. Foodies will love Busan, too, not just for its excellent restaurants but also for the many atmospheric markets: the low-key Millak Hoe Town Market, tourist spots like Jagalchi Fish Market and the market at Haeundae with its ramshackle stalls selling gukpab (a traditional rice soup).

Date 05/04/2024
Location Sakaiminato
In 08:00
Out 17:00

Sakaiminato is home to Shigeru Mizuki, creator of GeGeGe no Kitaro (a character who’s everywhere in contemporary Japan), and gateway to the ancient region of Honshu, site of the famous “Black Castle.”

Date 06/04/2024
Location Tsuruga
In 08:00
Out 17:00

This sleepy little port city is home to the intimate Kehi Shrine, with its red-lacquered Torii gate and koi pond. Learn about the fascinating history of the town at the Tsuruga Museum. Dine on grilled seafood like a local at Nihonkai Sakana Machi.

Date 07/04/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 08/04/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 09/04/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 10/04/2024
Location Otaru
In 07:00
Out 16:00

Located on the Sea of Japan just north of Sapporo, Otaru is one of Japan’s most picturesque cities. Stroll along the historic Otaru Canal built in 1914; visit Herring Mansion, the lavish home built in 1922 for a wealthy herring fisheries owner; and explore Sapporo’s Nijo Ichiba Market for a glimpse of the local lifestyle and enthusiastic trade negotiations. Sample shore excursions: Otaru & the Herring Mansion; The Otaru Gourmet: Sushi & Sake; The Best of Sapporo.

Date 11/04/2024
Location Hakodate
In 08:00
Out 23:00

From the lively morning market of Asa-ichi, to the unparalleled views from Mount Hakodate, discover the history of the first Japanese port opened to international trade. Walk the ruins of the star-shaped Fort Goryokaku, the first of its kind in Japan, learn about local Ainu culture or simply feast on the abundance of fresh seafood this city is famous for.

Date 12/04/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 13/04/2024
Location Yokohama (Tokyo)
In 06:30
Out

Until the mid-19th century, Japan lived in isolation, closed off from the rest of the world, and Yokohama was a mere fishing village. But in 1853, American naval officer Matthew Perry demanded the country open to foreign trade, and Yokohama was changed forever. The city quickly emerged as an international trading center, and while today it is often overshadowed by nearby Tokyo, it continues to be one of Japan’s liveliest, and most international, destinations. With its microbreweries and international restaurants, Yokohama has a decidedly different feel from many other Japanese cities.

From Yokohama, it’s a quick trip to peaceful Kamakura, home to Daibutsu, Japan’s second-largest bronze Buddha, and to the important Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Head to Hakone National Park on a clear day and you’ll be rewarded with picture-postcard views of majestic Mt. Fuji.

Tokyo is the largest city on earth and packed with some of the world’s best shops, museums and restaurants, big and small. While the bright neon lights and the bustle of contemporary Tokyo may be what comes to mind when you think of the city, there is another side. Tokyo’s historic gardens and neighborhoods of traditional homes on narrow lanes speak to a timeless Japan that has survived into the 21st century.

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