Day 1 - Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan
Contemporary Tokyo may be the most astonishing city on earth. It's a paradoxical mix of ancient tradition and postmodern culture. The Ginza - an international shopping mecca - stands near the serene grounds of the Imperial Palace, and the hyper-speed of 21st century consumerism is mysteriously reconciled with the elegance and serenity of traditional culture. Tokyo provides the traveler with a dizzying experience.
With the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Edo was renamed Tokyo, the "Eastern Capital," to distinguish it from the old imperial capital at Kyoto, the "Western Capital."
Day 2 - Ishinomaki, Japan
Ishinomaki is enjoying a period of revitalization after being hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Its lively and colorful urban core showcases its "manga" culture-the art of Japanese comic books and illustrated novels-thanks to famed writer Shotaro Ishinomori, known for his Kamen Rider series. Throughout the city, you'll see comic book artwork and statues. The thriving city of Ishimonaki serves as a gateway to a variety of cultural and historical adventures. Explore exquisite temples from the national treasure Zuiganji Temple, the oldest example of Momoyama architecture in northern Japan, and the decorative paintings, gold-leaf ornamentation and manicured gardens of the Entsuin Temple. Stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hiraizumi, said to once rival Kyoto in its grandeur, or-for unique gastronomic delights-wander along the stalls of the Shiogama Fish Market, where the catch of the day is only the beginning and you can dine on extraordinarily fresh sushi and rice bowl creations. With magnificent vistas around every turn, you'll delight in Japan's natural beauty while soaking in the warm waters of an ancient hot spring surrounded by spectacular forests and mountain views or on a scenic cruise through sparkling Matsushma Bay, studded with more than 200 pine-covered islands and considered one of Japan's three most picturesque views.
Day 3 - Hakodate, Japan
It took Commodore Perry and American gunboat diplomacy to open Japan to the outside world after two centuries of self-imposed isolation. In 1859, the port of Hakodate became the first Japanese city fully opened to Westerners under the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Foreigners soon flocked to Hakodate, and today visitors wandering the cobblestone streets of the city's Motomachi District can view their Western-style frame houses. Hakodate, once a fishing port famed for its high quality fish and shellfish, quickly became Hokkaido's largest city and one of Japan's most important ports. The Great Hakodate Fire of 1934 dealt the city a near fatal blow - a blow from which Hakodate was slow to recover. Today the city is Hokkaido's third largest - surpassed by Sapporo and Asahikawa - but retains its foremost position as the finest Japanese producer of sushi's raw product: the high quality seafood caught in Hokkaido's cold waters.
It may not compare to Tokyo's Tsukiji's Fish Market, but at Hakodate's four-block-long Morning Market, vendors offer a stunning array of fresh fish and shellfish prized for sushi including salmon roe, sea urchin, scallops and crab. Restaurants and food stands prepare a wide arrange of dishes including domburi topped with fresh seafood.
Day 4 - At Sea
Enjoy cruise at Sea.
Day 5 - Vladivostok, Russia
The capital of Primorsky Territory, Vladivostok has served as Russia's bastion in the Far East since Czarist times. Located on the hills above Golden Horn Bay, the city is the terminus for the fabled Trans-Siberian Railroad, the longest continuous rail line in the world. The homeport of Russia's Pacific Fleet, Vladivostok was closed to the outside world until 1992.
Day 6 - At Sea
Enjoy cruise at Sea.
Day 7 - Aomori, Japan
The capital of the Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan, Aomori derives much of its beauty from the apple orchards and cherry blossoms that encompass its landscape and the snow-covered Hakkoda Mountains that look on from a distance. Throughout its history, the city has been stricken with misfortune time and time again - in 1910, a fire destroyed Aomori, and during World War II, the city was left in ruins following an air raid - yet it always prevails.
Aomori is perhaps best known for its renowned Nebuta Festival, an elaborate yearly event in which participants illuminate giant paper representations of samurai warriors, animals, and popular cartoon characters while parading them through the streets.
Day 8 - At Sea
Enjoy cruise at Sea.
Day 9 - Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan
Port arrival and departure times are approximate and subject to change without notice.