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Local Japanese woman in traditional dress.

Japan’s Traditions

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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On this 10-day voyage aboard L'Austral, discover the mysteries and the magnificence of Asia, pearls of the East, which evoke the beginning of an unforgettable journey. From Kanazawa to Hiroshima, passing by Pusan, your cruise leads you to Osaka, the new center of Japan. Experience the real Japan, a kaleidoscope of traditions, beliefs, and lifestyles.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Kanazawa
Day 2 : Sakaiminato
Day 3 : Pusan, South Korea
Day 4 : Hiroshima, Japan
Day 5 : Tokushima
Days 6-7 : Tokyo
Day 8 : Shimizu
Day 9 : Shingu
Day 10 : Disembark in Osaka


  • Visit 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Kanazawa and the Miyajima Sanctuary
  • Discover medieval Japan and its former samurai homes from Sakaiminato
  • Explore Pusan, a South Korean city blending modernity and sophistication
  • Experience Tokyo, the bustling capital, and its Japanese culture



Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Busan
  • Hiroshima
  • Japan
  • Kanazawa
  • Osaka
  • Sakaiminato
  • South Korea
  • Tokyo


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Local Japanese woman in traditional dress. Cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji Experience the unique architecture of Asia. Japanese tea ceremony Traditional architecture of Asia.

Day 1 Embark in Kanazawa

Arrive in Kanazawa. Embark L'Austral and settle into your cabin. Familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew.

Day 2 Sakaiminato

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today choose from two optional excursions. Drive from Sakaiminato to Izumo Taisha Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Japan and for many centuries the largest wooden structure in the country. The main hall of the shrine is dedicated to the Shinto deity Okuninushi-no-Mikoto, a god associated with love and happiness. After lunch travel to Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo, which introduces the unique history and culture of the region, and then to the Adachi Museum of Art, combining superb Japanese gardens with an outstanding collection of modern painting.

Alternatively, from the pier you may embark on a drive to Matsue Castle, built in 1611 and the only remaining castle structure on the Japan Sea Coast. The castle is unique in that the second floor is wider than the first floor base. Next visit Bukeyashiki, a nearly 300-year old samurai residence, with over 700 items used by Edo Period samurai on display. On the way back to the pier, visit Abe Eishiro Memorial Hall, containing documents and materials about the life and times of Abe Eishiro (1903-1985), master craftsman in handmade Japanese paper (washi).

Day 3 Pusan, South Korea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An optional excursion is offered to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a Buddhist temple situated near the sea. This temple was originally built in 1376 and then reconstructed in 1970 using all the colors that were traditionally in the structure. Haedong Yonggungsa is one of three sacred places related to the Goddess Budda, who is said to live in the sea and appear on the back of a dragon. Next visit Yongdusan Park and its Busan Tower, then the Jagalchi Fishery Market located next to the Fisherman's Wharf.

Day 4 Hiroshima, Japan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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.

Day 5 Tokushima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On an optional excursion visit the Awa Odori Kaikan Hall, which features dance performances with origins in the Japanese Buddhist priestly dances of the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), and also in kumi-odori, a lively harvest dance that was known to last for several days. Proceed to the Awa Jurobee Yashiki Residence Theater, the residence of a 17th-century local hero, Jurobee, who was a rice inspector as well as a powerful merchant handling indigo. Continue to the Ryozenji Temple, the first place of the Shikoku pilgrimage of 88 holy sites.

Day 6-7 Tokyo

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
If Japan is a country with a unique culture combining secular traditions and leading edge technologies, nowhere is this more evident than in Tokyo. The Japanese love to say that in this city “the present clings to the past yet flirts continuously with the future”. A city in perpetual movement, Tokyo draws visitors into a whirlwind of sensations, odors, and noises that are unfamiliar and fascinating. During your cruise, visit the heart of the most bustling of capitals, offering unique contrasts from futuristic towers to ancient sanctuaries, hip neighborhoods to vast green spaces, and suit- clad businessmen to young women in traditional attire. Allow yourself to fall under its unalterable charm and its old-time atmosphere, and make the most of its ancestral traditions and its many World Heritage monuments. One optional excursion is to Hakone National Park with its backdrop of Mt. Fuji. Board a boat tour for a 30-minute cruise across Lake Ashi, a mountain lake created by volcanic activity. Next visit the Hakone Shrine at the foot of Mt. Komagatake with its prominent torii gates standing prominently in the lake and the main street.

Or, opt for a full day of sightseeing in Tokyo, first stopping at the Edo Tokyo Museum showcasing exhibits and history about people's lives during this samurai period. Next visit the birthplace of culture for Tokyo’s common folk, Asakusa, and the traditional shopping streets, known as "Nakamise". Visit the ancient Buddhist Sensoji Temple and the Roppongi Hills Observation Deck with 360 degree views of Tokyo at 250m above sea level.

Day 8 Shimizu

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the foot of Mount Fuji, over twenty or so hectares where tea plantations grow alongside fields of bamboo, the Nihondaira Natural Park is a kingdom. Overlooking the city of Shimizu, the vegetation forms a natural sound barrier, and only birdsong disturbs the serene silence. From this verdant idyll, where the wide emerald vales offer a picture postcard setting, the majestic silhouette of the most beautiful volcano in the world culminates at 3,775 meters: in the pantheon of sacred mountains in Japan, Mount Fuji is the master. Do not miss the elegant profile of this solitary, snow-capped cone, a magnificent natural location listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Also visit Ryugeji temple, noted for its fine view of the pine grove of Miho and Mt. Fuji and its old-style traditional garden. 

Alternatively, a 30-minute drive from the port takes you to the Tokaido Hiroshige Museum of Art located at Yui Honjin Park, built on the ruins of a military camp. This museum mainly collects the works of the famous ukiyo-e wood block painter, Utagawa Hiroshige, who lived from 1797 to 1858. The coach then takes you to Miho-no-Matsubara, a pine forest stretching along the east coastline of Suruga Bay that is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this forest, there is a legendary pine tree called  "Hagoromo-no-Matsu" that is approximately 650 years old.

Day 9 Shingu

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take a tour of the spiritual realm of Kumano, which has been one of the most prominent sites of pilgrimage in Japan for over a millennium. Visit several shrines, including the Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine, Kumano Hayatama Taisha shrine, Fudarakusanji and Hama no Miya shrine, and the Mt. Nachi shrine (the Kumano Nachi Shrine and Seigantoji temple). Or, embark on an exciting 2-hour boat ride through the Dorokyo Gorge, created by the Kumano River and with cliffs, rocks, and waterfalls named after various objects of which their shapes resemble.

Day 10 Disembark in Osaka

  • 1 Breakfast
Following breakfast on board, disembark in Osaka and transfer to the airport for your independent flights home. You can also opt to take a tour of Nara's Todaiji Temple, completed in 752, which houses one of the largest bronze statues in the world and is a National Treasure. Next to the temple is Nara Park, also known as "Deer Park", known for the 1200 strictly protected deer which inhabit it. Proceed to Kyoto to visit the Kinkakuji Temple or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, a famous structure dating from the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) and registered on UNESCO's World Heritage List.


Per person starting at
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone


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.

Children welcome:
- Flexible, or connecting staterooms
- Baby-sitting service on request
- Children's menus, fun tea parties, games, piano lessons and a host of other activities
- Special kids' rates

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
• English speaking lecturer
• All meals while on board the ship
• Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
• Open Bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
• Evening entertainment and events
• 24h room service (special selection)
• Water sports activities 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
• Port taxes, fuel surcharge and gratuities

Cruise fares do not include:
• Airport taxes (subject to modification)
• Luggage handling
• Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
• Optional Spa package to be booked prior your departure; please ask for more information
• Optional shore excursions
• 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)
• Visa, disembarkation taxes, environmental taxes and/or national park fees if applicable


  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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