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Wandering through colorful Japan

Japanese Shores

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Le Laperouse
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Discover the northern point of the island of Honshu, sail to Ogi, on the small island of Sado, renowned for its magnificent coastline, wild landscapes and rich history, which blends maritime and artistic traditions with vestiges of the gold rush. An essential part of the trip is the stop in Kanazawa. Visit Shirakawa-go and Gokayama villages. From Sakaiminato, set off to discover medieval Japan and the ancient dwellings of the samurai, who built lavish homes and castles. Sail then to South Korea, a small peninsula that juts out into the Sea of Japan, and discover Busan, South Korea’s second city, a place of great contrasts. Moreover, visit  Miyajima, the gateway to the majestic Itsukushima Shinto Shrine. Finally, the last destination of the cruise is at the lovely Osaka.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Otaru, Hokkaido | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Day 3 : Aomori | Noshiro
Day 4 : Ogi, Nigata
Day 5 : Kanazawa
Day 6 : Sakaiminato
Day 7 : Busan, South Korea
Day 8 : Karatsu Bay
Day 9 : Beppu, Oita
Day 10 : Hiroshima | Miyajima Island
Day 11 : Takamatsu
Day 12 : Osaka | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore the ultra-modern port city of Aomori
  • View historical Kanazawa Castle
  • Discover 134 bronze statues in Sakaiminato
  • Visit Busan that is the second-largest metropolis in South Korea

Ship

Le Laperouse

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Beppu
  • Busan
  • Hiroshima
  • Japan
  • Kanazawa
  • Osaka
  • Otaru
  • Sakaiminato
  • South Korea
  • Takamatsu

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Wandering through colorful Japan Osaka's city lights after sunset Harbor in Japan Seaside Buddhist temple in Busan Cherry blossoms frame Osaka castle
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Day 1 Otaru, Hokkaido | Embark

Boasting an outstanding setting of natural beauty, bordered by the Sea of Japan on one side and Mt Tengu on the other, Otaru is a lively harbor town. This old industrial capital has kept from its past glory buildings in 19th-century brick as well as its canals, formerly the main means of transportation. They give this Japanese town a striking appearance, especially when covered in snow. Magnificent vistas abound - it's up to you to put them in order of preference. Shukutsu Observatory, overlooking out over the vast Bay of Ishikari, is just one of them.

Day 2 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3 Aomori | Noshiro

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The ultra-modern port city of Aomori, in the far north of Japan's main island of Honshu, stretches around Mutsu Bay and is the gateway to the Aomori prefectureメs many stunning natural attractions. Every summer it hosts the colorful Nebuta Festival, one of the countryメs most popular events, and a custom that has lasted well over 300 years. A few kilometers from the city center is the fascinating Sannai Maruyama site, where you can see ruins of one of Japan's oldest settlements. Further afield, Towada-Hachimantai National Park, near the southern border, has hot springs, autumn foliage in Oirase Gorge, skiing at Mount Hakkõda and lava domes around Lake Towada.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Culture Of Aomori, Highlights Of Aomori.

Located in the north-west of Honshu Island, Noshiro is a pleasant, modern stopover, ideal for getting a view of contemporary Japanese life. You can stroll around its gardens, in particular, Energium Park which shelters an arboretum and a museum dedicated to the town’s famous kites. Kazenomatsubura forest offers many walking opportunities along the little paths among the trees. You can also see some very lovely temples here, or do some cycling along the river Yoneshiro.

Day 4 Ogi, Nigata

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The small town of Ogi on Sado Island,メs south coast is best-known for its taraibune, small round boats that were originally used for harvesting seaweed and shells. You can take a trip to one at Ogi Port and nearby Yajima and Kyojima. Shukunegi village, about four kilometers from Ogi, is a fascinating place to visit some of the houses in the former shipbuilding center were built with wood salvaged from boats. Other points of interest include Sado History Museum and the old gold mines; and every year the island hosts Earth Celebration, a music festival.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Scenic Northern Sado And Gold Mine, Traditional Village And Local Brewery.

Day 5 Kanazawa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the island of Honshu and bathed by the waters of the Sea of Japan, Kanazawa is a port marked by history. Under the predominance of the Maeda clan in the Meiji era, the city came under multiple political and cultural influences that shaped its landscape. Throughout the town, you'll discover many signs of its rich past: Kanazawa Castle, Kenroku-en, one of the most beautiful and famous gardens in Japan, and the old geisha district, Higashi-Chayagai. Õmicho Ichiba market in the town center is well worth a visit, particularly for freshly cooked seafood.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Kanazawa & Tea Ceremony, Traditions & Crafts, Shirakawago & Gokayama Traditions.

Day 6 Sakaiminato

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the south-west coast of Honshu Island, the busy fishing port of Sakaiminato celebrates the comic writer and artist Shigeru Mizuki, who was born here. As well as a museum a dedicated tourist route leads through streets and squares that feature 134 bronze statues representing his beloved characters. This isn't the only thing Sakaiminato has to offer; try some local seafood specialties and enjoy the stunning views of Mt Daisen and the Yumigahama peninsula.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Izumo & Adachi Art Museum, Matsue Castle & Paper Making Experience, Sushi & Sake Experience.

Day 7 Busan, South Korea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With around four million inhabitants, Busan is the second-largest metropolis in South Korea, after Seoul. This dynamic harbor city, located in the south-east, surrounded by the warm waters of the Sea of Japan, benefits from a mild, pleasant climate. You’ll find delightful simply to stroll around the lively streets and explore the city’s outstanding cultural heritage of art galleries, museums, and Buddhist sites, such as the Haedong Yonggungsa temple, which elegantly sits on the waterfront. Rich too in magnificent beaches and superlative natural landscapes, Busan’s peaceful atmosphere will win you over, as will its inhabitants, whom you’ll have the pleasure of meeting.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Haedongyonggungsa & Fish Market, Tea Ceremony & Temple Culture.

Day 8 Karatsu Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Karatsu Bay is edged with long sandy beaches and a huge pine forest that was planted over 350 years ago to protect the coast from the winds and tides of the Genkai Sea. From the top of the donjon of Karatsu Castle or Mount Kagami, you will be able to admire magnificent panoramas. In the north of the Higashi-Matsuura Peninsula, the waves have eroded the lava plateau and carved a magnificent natural site, the seven Nanatsugama Caves, out of the basalt. The city of Karatsu is famous for the quality of its pottery, which is influenced by the craftsmanship of nearby Korea. Very fine pieces are displayed in the city’s galleries and at Karatsu Castle, alongside magnificent samurai armor.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Highlights Of Karatsu, Traditions Of Karatsu, Scenery Of Karatsu.

Day 9 Beppu, Oita

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A favorite destination for the Japanese, Beppu is now famous throughout the Japanese archipelago thanks to its onsen – volcanic hot springs in which people immerse themselves to relax with family or friends. From Beppu, you will set off to discover a lush, peaceful valley in which sit 60 majestic stone Buddhas carved out of the cliff face between the 12th and 14th centuries. Exuding a soothing air of serenity, the Mangetsuji site seems to have drifted off to sleep in the heart of a dense bamboo forest surrounded by rice fields. Recognized as a National Treasure of Japan, this set of sacred sculptures offers travelers a unique, wonderful experience.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Meet The Stone Buddha & Hot Springs, Yakabei Gorge & Hot Springs.

Day 10 Hiroshima | Miyajima Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visiting Hiroshima is a moving experience. The town spreads along Honshu Island, along the inside coasts of Seto. While firmly focused on the future, Hiroshima doesn't forget its past, and a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome is a must. You'll enjoy the city's modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and effervescent nightlife just as much as the peaceful stillness of its natural parkland areas such as splendid Shukkei-en, the town's historic garden.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Saijo Sake Street Walking Tour, Remembering Hiroshima.

At the heart of the Inland Sea, Miyajima, the “island sanctuary” will reveal its treasures. In the background, you will see the Shinto Grand Sanctuary, whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermillion “Torii“. Considered to be one of the most beautiful sites in the Japanese islands, you will be transported by the unique character and the serenity of this sacred site.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Itsukushima Shrine & Cooking, Itsukushima Shrine & Zazen Meditation.

Day 11 Takamatsu

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A former fortified city ruled over by the Matsudaira clan from the Tamamo castle with its seawater moats, the city is home to one of the most beautiful classic gardens in Japan, the Ritsurin. It was created by the barons of the city at the start of the Edo period, during which time gardening became a profession in its own right. Its landscape incorporates Mount Shiun in the background, an example of what is known as the shakkei technique, which uses the surrounding landscapes to increase the beauty of the gardens.

The following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Takamatsu Highlights, Ritsurin Gardens And Folk Houses.

Day 12 Osaka | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Like its big sister Tokyo, Osaka is the product of ancestral traditions and amazing technological innovations. And despite its size, its location on the Pacific Ocean gives it a sense of serenity. The main historic landmark is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which stands proud amid majestic skyscrapers. The lively streets of Dotomburi and the bizarre Shinsekai district attract thousands of locals and visitors. A multitude of restaurants offer menus full of regional specialties: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.

After breakfast aboard the ship, disembark at Osaka.
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Le Laperouse

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Per person starting at
$11,000
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Deluxe Suite
Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m² Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds

Notes

Please Note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides, and drivers
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h Room service (special selection)
  • English speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control)
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned 
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon, and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
  • Dives when authorized by local authorities and feasible with ship equipment and Zodiacs®. Rates: €70 per standard dive; €80 per dive when local equipment or staff must be used, €80 for a “discover scuba dive” course, on some cruises a dive package might be on offer. In order to participate to diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1-year-old and their up to date dive book.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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