Palaces, Shrines and spring flowers of Japan - TJCC20
Number of Days: 16
Japan palaces, pavilions and cherry blossom tour and cruise of Japan 2020.
A wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and history of this ancient land. Visit Kyoto to walk along the Philosopher's Path and see the Golden Pavilion as the cherry blossoms explode with colour. Includes the bullet train to Tokyo where we visit the Imperial Palace before embarking on Celebrity Millennium for your cruise around Japan.
- Sightseeing tours of Kyoto, Tokyo, Shimizu, Osaka, Kobe, Kochi, Fukuoka, Busan and Aomori
- The Philosopher’s Path
- The Golden Pavilion
- Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district
- Ginkakuji, consisting of the famous Silver Pavilion and Nanzenji Temple
- The Imperial Palace
- Bullet Train ride on the famous Shinkansen train to Tokyo
- Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain and the focal point of the sprawling Hakone National Park
- A majestic cruise across Lake Ashinoko
- Osaka Castle
- Shin-Kobe Cable-car ride
- Kochi Castle
- Chikurinji Temple on Godaisan
- Fukuoka Castle in Maizuru Park
- The ancient Silla capital of Busan, Gyeong-Ju, a place UNESCO designated as one of the world’s top 10 historic sites
- Asakusa district, well-known as Old Tokyo
- Cruising onboard Celebrity Millenium
Palaces, Shrines and spring flowers of Japan Itinerary
Day 1 Monday 6 April 2020 Kyoto, Cherry Blossom*
On arrival we meet our guide and transfer to Kyoto for an overview sightseeing tour before transferring to our hotel. We will visit the Philosopher’s Path, a pleasant stone path through the northern part of Kyoto’s Higashiyama district that follows a canal, lined by hundreds of cherry trees*. This afternoon is at leisure, then join us for our included Welcome Dinner this evening.
Day 2 Tuesday 7 April 2020 Kyoto
Today our sightseeing of Kyoto commences at Kinkakuji, better known as the Golden Pavilion, a Zen temple in northern Kyoto with the top two floors completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will, it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. We then visit the Ryoanji Temple, the site of Japan’s most famous rock garden. Originally an aristocrat’s villa during the Heian Period, the site was converted into a Zen temple in 1450 and belongs to the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. Later we visit Gion, Kyoto’s famous geisha district featured in the novel and film Memoirs of a Geisha. It is filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where geisha and maiko (geisha apprentices) entertain.
Day 3 Wednesday 8 April 2020 Kyoto
Today we will visit Ginkakuji, consisting of the famous Silver Pavilion and Nanzenji Temple, whose spacious grounds are located at the base of forested Higashiyama Mountains, and is one of the most important Zen temples in all of Japan. In 1482, shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa built his retirement villa on the grounds of today’s temple, modelling it after Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), his grandfather’s retirement villa. The villa was converted after Yoshimasa’s death in 1490. Later we visit the Imperial Palace, a residence of the Imperial family until the capital was moved to Tokyo in 1869. Within the Imperial Palace grounds enclosed by a roofed earthen wall, are the Seiryo-den (Palace Hall) and the Kogosho (Minor Palace) – reminiscent of the dynastic age.
Day 4 Thursday 9 April 2020 Tokyo
Today we transfer to the railway station for our exciting Bullet Train ride on the famous Shinkansen train to Tokyo, travelling up to 270 kph. Upon arrival in Tokyo we have an orientation tour of the city. We visit the famous Ginza shopping district, renowned as the most expensive real estate in the world. We then visit the Imperial Palace East Gardens, which is part of the Royal residence, and a superb example of traditional Japanese landscape design.
Day 5 Friday 10 April 2020 Tokyo
The morning is free for individual sightseeing and shopping. Early afternoon we are transferred to the port of Yokohama to board the Celebrity Millennium. Make sure you’re up on deck as the Celebrity millennium slips her moorings and we start our cruise around Japan.
Day 6 Saturday 11 April 2020 Mt Fuji
Today we visit Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain and the focal point of the sprawling Hakone National Park. This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of this special area followed by a cruise across Lake Ashinoko - formed by a volcanic eruption over 3000 years ago.
Day 7 Sunday 12 April 2020 Osaka
Today we take a visit to the city’s cultural highlight Osaka Castle to admire traditional Japanese architecture style, see a panoramic view of the entire city from the Floating Garden Observatory standing in the top of Umeda Sky Building, and stroll the bustling Dotonbori shopping area.
Day 8 Monday 13 April 2020 Kobe
Today we arrive in Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and one of Japan’s ten largest cities. Located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, Kobe is also considered one of Japan’s most attractive cities. On our sightseeing tour enjoy an orientation tour of the city including a cable-car ride in the Shin-Kobe Ropeway up the southern slopes of the Rokko mountain chain. As it ascends, it passes the Nunobiki Waterfall and Nunobiki Herb Garden. The highlight of the ride is the observation deck which offers spectacular views over Kobe.
Day 9 Tuesday 14 April 2020 Kochi
This morning we arrive in Kochi, the capital of Kochi Prefecture on the southern coast of Shikoku and we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. We visit Kochi Castle, one of just 12 Japanese castles to have survived the fires, wars and other catastrophes of the post-feudal age. The castle used to be the seat of the Yamauchi lords, who ruled over the surrounding region, then known as Tosa, during the Edo Period. The castle buildings have since been designated “important cultural properties”, and now house local treasures and historical objects. We then visit the Chikurinji Temple on Godaisan, one of the 88 temples along the Shikoku Pilgrimage.
Day 10 Wednesday 15 April 2020 Fukuoka
A unique blend of a harbour city and a castle town, Fukuoka is a fascinating melting pot of history, culture, modernity and food, making the city a fantastic destination for visitors. Being close to the Asian mainland and an important region for centuries it includes many castles, shrines and temples scattered. We visit some of the more famous attractions including the ruins of Fukuoka Castle in Maizuru Park, Dazaifu Temmangu shrine and Kushida Shrine.
Day 11 Thursday 16 April 2020 Busan, South Korea
We call into the port of Busan, South Korea where we have a sightseeing tour and visit the ancient Silla capital, Gyeong-Ju, a place UNESCO designated as one of the world’s top 10 historic sites. We explore the royal tombs at Tumuli Park and then experience the serenity of an 8th-century Bulguksa Temple.
Day 12 Friday 17 April 2020 At sea
A day at sea is the perfect opportunity to explore the fabulous facilities of this magnificent ship. Perhaps visit the Spa for a relaxing massage.
Day 13 Saturday 18 April 2020 Aomori, Honshu
This morning we arrive in Aomori, in the northernmost prefecture on Japan’s main island Honshu. On our tour today, we will visit Hirosaki, once the political and cultural capital of the Tsugaru Region, the western section of present-day Aomori Prefecture. The city remains one of the culturally richest cities in the northern Tohoku Region. We visit Hirosaki Castle, built in 1611 with its three-storey keep the only one in the Tohoku Region that was not rebuilt in the modern era, amongst only a handful in all of Japan.
Day 14 Sunday 19 April 2020 At sea
Another day at sea to explore the fabulous facilities of this magnificent ship.
Day 15 Monday 20 April 2020 Tokyo
Our ship arrives in Yokohama, Tokyo this morning. There aren't many places on Earth that blend ancient tradition and the ultra-modern as well. Centuries-old gardens and cobblestone laneways live in harmony with soaring skyscrapers and dazzling neon displays. We will visit the Asakusa district - a region of Old Tokyo, the Asakusa Kannon Temple, a Buddhist temple also known as Sensoji, built in 645 AD. Later we return to the ship for our final night in port.
Day 16 Tuesday 21 April 2020 Tokyo
We disembark this morning. There will be free time for last-minute sight-seeing and shopping before we transfer to the airport for onward travel.
*Please note: Although the main cherry trees bloom time is in late April, we may experience some early blooms, however as with anything involving nature there are no guarantees.
- All meals, entertainment and service charges on Cruise
- Private activities on board the vessel
- 3 nights’ 4-star centrally located accommodation in Kyoto including breakfasts
- 1 night’s 4-star centrally located accommodation in Tokyo including breakfasts
- Sightseeing tours of Kyoto, Tokyo, Shimizu, Osaka, Kobe, Kochi, Fukuoka, Busan and Aomori
- Welcome Dinner
- From $6,895 per person share twin (based on inside cabin).
share twin (based on inside cabin)