Wonders of Japan 2017

Call 01242 547 914 to speak to a specialist Enquire

Best time to go: May

12 Nights | from £13,123pp

Holiday type: Group departure

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Wonders of Japan 2017, Asia, Luxury Travel with A&K

This journey is from 18th May - 30th May 2017


  • Cruise aboard the luxurious L'Austral, sister vessel to Le Boreal, with no more than 199 guests
  • Visit Gyeongju, Korea, ancient dynastic capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Enjoy fascinating onboard lectures about Japanese art and culture, history, geology and horticulture
  • Choose from a wide array of shore excursions, including opportunities to experience Japan's culture, architecture, arts and natural history
  • Exclusive and private openings of the Chichu Art and Ohara museum for A&K guests

View L'Austral's Deck Plan >

Day 1 Arrive Sapporo, Japan

Arrive at Sapporo's Chitose International Airport. After clearing customs and immigration, meet with your Abercrombie & Kent representative who'll drive you to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure or set out to explore culturally rich Sapporo at your own pace.
The Windsor Hotel Toya Resort &Spa

Day 2 Sapporo
Set out on an enlightening full day in Sapporo, including visits to the historical village of Hokkaido, its museum and a local market specialising in fresh produce and seafood. Following lunch at a local restaurant, continue with a visit to the Clock Tower, the symbol of Sapporo, and the former Hokkaido Government office. Alternatively, you may choose a full-day tour of Otaru. Stroll along the picturesque Otaru Canal lined with exquisite Victorian street lamps, where local artists display their work. Following lunch at a local restaurant, ride the Tenguyama Ropeway to the top of Mt. Tengu for a panoramic view of Otaru and the Ishikari Gulf. Gather this evening for a welcome reception and dinner to meet your A&K Expedition Team and fellow guests.
The Windsor Hotel Toya Resort &Spa | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Muroran
This morning, depart the hotel for Muroran. Visit Lake Shikotsu en route where you are able to partake in various activities, including an opportunity to hike Mount Mombetsudake, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Time permitting, enjoy an onsen (hot springs) experience. This afternoon, arrive in Muroran where you board the luxurious 'L'Austral,' your home for the next 10 nights.
L'Austral | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Aomori / Noshiro
Disembark in Aomori and head to Towada-Hachimantai National Park, passing through the panoramic mountain plateau region of Hachimantai, noted as a UNESCO World Heritage Region. Pause at the Great Drum House to witness the drums used in the Tsuzureko Shrine Festival. Then, hike or take a boat ride at the ancient caldera of Lake Towada, formed by the eruption of a volcano. For the more in-depth nature seekers, choose a trekking excursion to Juniko Lake accompanied by one of our A&K naturalists and a National Park nature guide. Later this afternoon, re-board L'Austral in Noshiro.
L'Austral | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Sado-ga-shima
Travel off the beaten path and arrive at Sado Island, a pastoral locale replete with verdant rice paddies, bamboo groves and dramatic seacoasts. Political exiles, deposed emperors and intellectuals were once "banished" to live in this beautiful setting. Enjoy an exclusive and private performance by the world renowned Kodo taiko drummers. The performance is followed by a rare opportunity to meet the world-famous troupe. Back on board, gather for a reception and dinner alongside your captain.
L'Austral | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 6 - 7 Kanazawa
Spend the next two days exploring the thriving art centre of Kanazawa, known for its Kutani-style pottery and gold-leaf workmanship. Traverse winding cobblestone streets, seeing traditional houses, museums, galleries and view a geisha performance at Higashi Chaia geisha district. At your leisure, wander through the Omicho Market, which features everything from fresh flowers to fish and local handicrafts. Later, enjoy a tea ceremony and discover the sophisticated Kenroku-en Garden, renowned for its contemplative botanical designs. Alternatively, you may choose a more active excursion including hiking in Kakusenkei Gorge, followed by lunch at a local restaurant and an onsen experience in the Yamanaka district or a visit to scenic Shirakawa-go and the Shogawa River Valley.
L'Austral | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Matsue, Japan
Today, disembark at Sakaiminato and visit Matsue (the "town of water") nestled between a scenic lake and a large lagoon. Explore the countryside, pausing at Peonies Village to wander through its picturesque Yuushien gardens. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting historic Matsue Castle, one of Japan's few remaining medieval castles built in original wooden form. You may also choose to visit the garden-frocked Adachi Museum of Art, which combines the founder's passion for art and garden design and is recognised as one of Japan's finest gardens. Following a traditional lunch at a ryokan (inn), visit Yakumo-mura to learn the art of Japanese paper making.
L'Austral | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Gyeongju, South Korea
Disembark and spend a full day discovering Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Shilla Dynasty and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gyeongju's cultural heritage dates back to the first millennium, when it began a thousand-year rule of Korea. Witness its excavated monuments, temples, tombs and pagodas, gaining insight from your vessel's cultural historian. Then, unearth the treasures of the National Museum, which houses an exceptional collection of gold jewellery, metal weapons and distinctive pottery. Sit down to a lunch of Korean delicacies, and witness a traditional dance performance.
L'Austral | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Moji-ku
This morning, 'L'Austral' cruises through the Kamnon Strait to the port of Moji-ku in Fukuoka Prefecture. Choose a morning excursion to Karato Market, Kokura Castle and Kokura Garden for a kokuraori furoshiki (textile wrapping) lesson. Alternatively, take a more active excursion to the Akiyoshi-dai Plateau to explore the limestone Akiyoshido Cave. Or enjoy a Japanese doll painting experience with free time to explore Moji retro town. Return to 'L'Austral,' and continue sailing through the Kamnon Strait en route to Hiroshima.
L'Austral | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Hiroshima / Miyajima
This morning, 'L'Austral' arrives in the port of Hiroshima, where you may choose to visit Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum, its cenotaph containing names of the known victims of the atomic bomb, followed by a speedboat ride to Miyajima Island to witness the scarlet Torii gate at the entrance to the sacred Shinto Shrine. Or, set out on a full-day excursion through Hiroshima, visiting Hiroshima Castle and Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum before attending a private meeting and lecture conducted by an atomic bomb survivor. Alternately, you may spend a full day on the tranquil island of Miyajima, where you visit the Itsukushima-Jinja Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; take a cable car and hike to the top of Mount Misen; and visit the Shinto Shrine and Torii Gate.
L'Austral | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 Okayama (Uno-Ko) / Honshu
This morning, 'L'Austral ' arrives at Uno-Ko near Okayama. Choose between a wide range of available art, culture, architecture, horticulture and active hiking experiences. You may, for example, choose a full-day excursion to Naoshima island, known for its modern art museums, architecture and sculptures. Visit the Benesse museums, designed by Japanese architect Ando Tadao which includes the Chichu Art museum (opened exclusively for you). Enjoy lunch at Benesse house. Garden enthusiasts may embark on a full-day excursion to the beautifully landscaped Korakuen Gardens, followed by a visit to Kurashiki - an important rice distribution centre - to explore converted storehouses, boutiques and an A&K-exclusive opening of the Ohara Museum, featuring a large collection of work from western, Japanese and Asian artists. Meanwhile, active guests may opt to visit the Edo-era village of Takahashi, seeing the Kibitsu Shrine, trekking to the Bicchu Matsuyama castle in Takahashi and witnessing its preserved old town, once home to samurai residences and merchant houses. Back on board, gather with your fellow guests for a captain's farewell reception and dinner.
L'Austral | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 Depart Osaka
After breakfast, you'll be driven to the airport for your flight home.
Meals: Breakfast

At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. As a guide, this 13 day suggested holiday will cost from £13,123 per person, based on two sharing, excluding international flights.

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Meet the Orient & Indian Subcontinent Team

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Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Smith, Lynne and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget.

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Useful info

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Best time to be there

Spring (late March to April) for cherry blossom, early summer (May to early June) for warm sunshine, autumn (October to November) for sunny weather and spectacular colours.

Fly to

Osaka/ Tokyo Narita and Haneda (Japan Airlines, British Airways)

flying time

12 hours 30 minutes from London

time difference

GMT +9 hours


Not required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

No vaccinations required

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