Arrive in Osaka. Embark L'Austral and settle into your cabin. Familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew.
Okayama is the capital of Okayama Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chugoku Region after Hiroshima. The city developed as a castle town during the Edo Period (1603-1867) and became a significant regional power. Join an optional excursion to enjoy a panoramic tour of the best of the city, including Korakuen gardens and Kurashiki City, known for the lovely, white walls of its buildings. Next, see the Ohashi family old merchant house. Located near landscape preservation area, this 200-year-old merchant's house was appointed as an Important Cultural Property in 1978. The Ohashi family built their wealth by salt farming and financial business in the Edo period (1603 - 1867).
In the years just following the atomic bomb blast on August 6, 1945, scientists doubted if Hiroshima could ever live again. Yet modern Hiroshima rose like a phoenix from its own ashes, and less than five decades since its obliteration, it is a vital city with a population of one million and growing. From this port choose from two optional excursions. Visit the highlights of Hiroshima or travel to the lovely island of Miyajima and the historic Itsukushima Shrine.
Uwajima is located deep inside Uwajima Bay with a coast facing the Bungo Channel in southwestern Ehime. Since the early 17th century, the city has flourished as a castle town of the Date family. From the port of Uwajima, join an optional tour of Uchiko Old Town, a vestige of traditional, rural Japan. Alternatively, stay in the port city for a panoramic tour of the area's highlights.
The symbol of Kagoshima City and one of the world's most active volcanoes, Mt. Sakurajima sits across the bay on an island that was turned into a peninsula by the lava flow of 1914. Join an optional excursion southbound to Chiran, sometimes called "Little Kyoto" for all the samurai residences that have been preserved there. Several of the 250-year-old residences are still being used by samurai descendants, but seven gardens are open to the public. Though small in size, each garden is a fine example of "borrowed landscaping," in which surrounding mountains and scenery have been made part of the garden design. Not far from the Chiran Samurai Residences is the Chiran Peace Museum or Tokko Heiwa Kaikan, dedicated to the young kamikaze pilots who trained near Chiran before embarking on suicide missions against Allied sea vessels in WWII.
An optional historical tour allows you to explore the city of Nagasaki during this remarkable introduction. Visit the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture, which holds roughly 48,000 precious collections including historical documents and arts & crafts. Continue on to Dejima Island, a Dutch outpost, and visit Glover Garden, home to late 19th and early 20th century Western-style buildings. These gardens are said to be the setting for the opera "Madame Butterfly". Alternatively, a short drive from the port brings you to the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park, commemorating the city’s destruction by the atomic bomb dropped on August 9, 1945. Visit the Atomic Bomb Museum, with over 900 artifacts indicative of the city’s devastation, as well as displays on modern nuclear technology. Some atomic-bomb survivors are active as "kataribe," storytellers who recount their personal atomic bomb experiences to younger generations. Listen to an atomic bomb survivor’s talk about her/his experience and life after the atomic bomb on Nagasaki in 1945.
Arrive in South Korea today. From the port of Busan, join an optional excursion to Haedong Yonggugnsa Temple and Fish Market. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is located on the seaside. Unlike other temples, which are normally located in the mountains, this Buddhist temple is situated near the sea. This temple was originally built in 1376 and then reconstructed in 1970 using all the colors that were traditionally used in the structure. Visit the Yongdusan Park and its Busan Tower. This most popular park is situated in Yongdu Mountain from where the whole Busan area can be observed from the 370ft-high Busan Tower. Back in Busan, visit the Jagalchi Fishery Market located next to the Fisherman's Wharf where you can find a rich variety of fresh catches from shell fish to exotic seaweeds and carved filets, ready to cook.
Sakaiminato City is located at the tip of Yumigahama Peninsula. The seaport of Sakaiminato has a long history as a seaport for the San'in Region. Following World War II the city has served as the base of the fishing industry for all of Western Japan. Consequently, marine product processing is also a major industry in the city. Choose from an optional half-day excursion that brings you to the Matsue Castle and a 300-year-old samurai residence, or an optional full-day tour of the Izumo Taisha Shrine, one of the lodes in Japan as well as the Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo.
Following breakfast on board, disembark in Maizuru and transfer to the airport for your independent flights home.
|Superior Stateroom||Deluxe Stateroom||Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4||Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5||Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6||Deluxe Suite||Prestige Suite - Deck 5||Prestige Suite - Deck 6||Owners Suite|
|* Itinerary operates in reverse.|