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 - Toba, Japan (Tender)
Toba, located at the northeastern end of the Shima-hanto Peninsula in Mie, flourished as the castle town of the Kuki family who ruled this region from the 16th century. It was also a landing spot for visitors on the sea route to Ise-jingu Shrine and belongs to Ise-Shima National Park.
Day 3 - Takamatsu, Japan
Takamatsu is the capital of Kagawa, Japan's smallest prefecture. The city's port used to be the main entry point to Shikoku Island until the opening of the Seto Ohashi Bridge in 1988.
The Matsudaira Clan, relatives of the Tokugawa Shogun, controlled Takamatsu's former castle town and surrounding area, then known as the Sanuki Province, during most of the Edo Period. The ruling clan is also responsible for the construction of Ritsurin Koen, one of Japan's most beautiful gardens.
Day 4 - At Sea
Enjoy cruise at Sea.
Day 5 - Busan, South Korea
The second largest city in South Korea, Busan is your gateway to a fascinating land whose culture is a unique amalgam of old and new. Modern high-rise towers dwarf ancient Buddhist temples. The city's bustling business district offers a stark contrast to the serene grounds of Yongdusan Park. In short, Busan is a microcosm of South Korea, a nation whose startling economic success often obscures one of Asia's most sophisticated and venerable cultures.
Busan was the scene of bitter fighting during the Korean War. The United Nations Memorial Cemetery marks the final resting place for the troops from 16 nations who gave their lives during the conflict.
Day 6 - Sakaiminato, Japan
Wedged between sea, sky and mountains, this small fishing port has been esteemed for centuries for its superb seafood. Here, the Sea of Japan yields up both crab and hon-maguro, the prized Bluefin tuna esteemed by gourmets around the world. Sakaiminato is also your gateway to a very ancient region of Honshu. West of the city lies Izumo-taisha, one of the oldest and holiest shrines in Shinto. This area is dotted with burial mounds from Japan's Bronze Age. The town of Matsue boasts the celebrated "Black Castle," a six-story, black-walled castle that home to a clan of the mighty Tokugawa dynasty that ruled Japan for over 250 years. And to the east rises the great snow-capped summit of Mt. Daisen, considered one of the four most scenic mountains in all Japan.
Also a common sight ashore are the Yokai - approximately 100 bronze statues of supernatural characters as imagined by famed manga comic author Shigeru Mizuki, who was born in Sakaiminato. The Yokai have become synonymous with the town and delight visitors at every turn.
Day 7 - Kanazawa, Japan
Kanazawa, which means "marsh of gold," draws its name from an old legend in which a Japanese peasant, digging for potatoes, found flakes of gold in the ground. Today, gold leaf is a major art form synonymous with the city, and even has a designated museum. A City of Crafts and Folk Art, Kanazawa is also known for its intricate kaga-nui embroidery and delicate kutani porcelain, among other handicrafts, making it a shopper's paradise! There's also no shortage of history in this coastal city. Once boasting geisha houses and a labyrinthine samurai village, the city was built around Kanazawa Castle. Fire destroyed all but a few small 16th-century castle structures - namely the elegant Ishikawa Gate and some watchtowers that have become a focus of many a photograph today. Just outside the castle park blooms the enchanting Kenroku-en Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and the home of the country's oldest fountain.
Day 8 - Sakata, Japan
Sakatais a medium-sized city in Yamagata Prefecture. Sakata is located in the fertile Shonai Plain that is known for its high-quality rice. The city grew as an important stop along the coastal shipping route that connected Hokkaido with Osaka via ports along the Sea of Japan and Seto Inland Sea during the Edo Period.
A local merchant family, the Honma clan, came to dominate trade in the city and accrued a vast fortune that made them wealthier than some of the country's feudal lords. Due to their power and influence, the clan developed close ties with the local lords and had a number of lavish buildings built. Some of these buildings still stand today along with museums and other attractions.
Day 9 - At Sea
Enjoy cruise at Sea.
Day 10 - Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan
Port arrival and departure times are approximate and subject to change without notice.