Tokyo & Hokkaido Voyage with Japan Coastal Discovery - 20 day Small Ship Cruise.
• Make sushi with a chef in Tokyo
• Enjoy a taiko drum performance from a world-famous Kodo group on Sado Island
• Discover World Heritage-listed Gyeongju on South Korea’s southern shores
In Tokyo, we’ll meet you on arrival and transfer you to your hotel. There’s time for you to either relax or perhaps head out on your own and explore the city.
Stay: Three Nights, Conrad Tokyo or similar
Later, learn the art of sushi making during a lesson with a chef. There are three types of sushi to make, which you’ll then enjoy over lunch.
Sink your teeth into Tokyo today, as you head into the bustling Shibuya district, home to two of the world’s busiest railway stations. While lively crowds are all part of the experience here, you’ll find a restful haven at Meiji Shrine, which is surrounded by forest. Also visit Tokyo’s oldest temple, Sensoji, located in the Asakusa district, and the Imperial Palace Plaza. Spend some time at your leisure this evening.
Most of today is spent out of the city in the diverse World Heritage-listed landscapes of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which is home to the instantly recognisable Mt Fuji. On the way to Hakone, stop in at Honma Yosegi Museum to admire its collection of Edo-period artisan crafts. The journey then takes you along the Hakone Skyline road to view a collection of artwork by world-famous artists at Hakone Open-Air Museum. These include masterpieces by Picasso, Moore and Okamoto. On a clear day, you may well see Mt Fuji along the way.
This morning, make the trip north to Hakodate aboard a high-speed bullet train. After arriving, head for Fort Goryokaku, a star-shaped citadel in Hakodate’s Goryokaku Park, of historical significance. Later, take the Mt Hakodate Ropeway cable car to the mountain’s summit. From here, views of the city while the sun is setting are not to be missed.
On Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, explore its natural beauty this morning. You’ll visit volcanic Lake Toya in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, which holds UNESCO Geopark status and look for the steady trail of white smoke from the active volcano, Mt Usu. Afterwards, enjoy the local cuisine before continuing on to Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital city.
Stay: Three Nights, JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo or similar
Get to know the city of Sapporo on a guided discovery which includes the quaint Sapporo Clock Tower, the Hokkaido Shrine, set in the peace and tranquility of Maruyama Park, as well as other key sights. After lunch, you’ll appreciate a visit to the Sapporo Beer Museum, which includes a factory tour and tastings.
Travel to the city of Otaru today, where you can delve into its history as a bustling port, during a guided tour of its heritage canal area. Later, visit a whisky distillery, one of the country’s most celebrated, before your return to Sapporo for the night.
Fly to the port city of Niigata, situated on Japan’s main island of Honshu, where your ship is waiting with drinks and dinner to welcome you aboard.
Listen to the rhythmic beat of taiko drums from a world-famous Kodo group on Sado Island.
Worlds away from Tokyo’s skyscrapers, Sado Island is remote and quiet, offering a much needed breath of fresh air. Aside from the temples and fishing villages, the island is best known for the world-famous Kodo group of taiko drummers. Onwards, see the traditional Edo-period homes in the village of Shukunegi and ride in the traditional tarai bune boats used for abalone fishing.
Docked in Toyama this morning, after breakfast head for Kurobe Gorge. This beautiful, forested ravine is located in the rugged mountains of the Northern Japan Alps. Forged by the Kurobe River, it is one of the deepest gorges in Japan. This is an ideal time of year to visit, with the gorge’s steep, almost vertical cliffs and pristine forests making the perfect setting to see the autumn colours. Jump aboard a scenic train for a leisurely rail journey winding along the 20km track, across more than 20 bridges and through over 40 tunnels.
This morning, taste your way via ‘Kanazawa’s Kitchen’, which is the city’s beloved Omicho Market. You’ll find all manner of delicacies from freshly caught seafood to fragrant local dishes. After lunch back on board, see if you can spot geisha on a walk through the Higashi Chaya Gai area (East Teahouse District). Just two original geisha teahouses remain here today. The others have been converted into restaurants or souvenir shops. You’ll also have the chance to visit the park-like Kenroku-en Garden.
With a second full day in Kanazawa, journey to the Shirakawa-go and Gokayama regions at the Shogawa River Valley. These are famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are over 250 years old. After exploring the traditional Edo-period houses, head up to the Tenshukaku Observatory for spectacular views of the village below.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE™
Cruise along the castle’s moat or head to the town of Daisen for a hike in forests around Mt Daisen.
Back on the mainland, Matsue is the next stop. Explore the castle and its grounds and watch a laido performance (a traditional Japanese martial art). It’s then time to set out on your chosen activity. Reconvene in the afternoon to visit Yuushien Garden, the region’s largest Japanese-style garden.
Your ship arrives in Hagi this morning. Step off for a tour. See ancient temples and samurai homes. Walk through streets lined with merchant houses to the ruins of Hagi Castle in Shizuki Park. Head back on board for lunch before free time this afternoon.
Discover the World Heritage-listed city of Gyeongju, also known as the ‘museum without walls’.
Try typical Korean fare over lunch and watch a traditional dance performance. The afternoon is yours to explore.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE™
Perhaps spend today visiting the Fujigochi Tea Plantation, where local Ono Tea is produced. As well as learning about tea production and tea sampling, the rolling green countryside is a beautiful sight. Or, join a guide to explore the history of Hofu Tenman-gu (a shinto shrine) and the garden and museum of the Mori Family.
From the port of Ube, set out on your chosen experience.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE™
It’s impossible to visit Hiroshima without visiting the Peace Memorial Park. See the cenotaph, and the A-Bomb Dome before entering the museum. Alternatively, if you’d rather, stretch your legs, perhaps choose to hike up to Sandankyo Gorge.
Spend the first half of your day in Hiroshima on your preferred sightseeing experience. It’s then on to Miyajima Island, famous for its ‘Floating Torii Gate’ and deer that roam along the shoreline nibbling crackers from tourists.
Arrive early morning in Takamatsu, on Shikoki Island on the northern shores of the Seto Inland Sea. Visit Kinashi bonsai district, known for its history of producing bonsai over the past 250 years. Explore the town, visit a Bonsai nursery as well as Ritsurin Garden. Built by feudal lords in the early Edo Period, it is regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon exploring Takamatsu town before a late departure.
Venture inside the walls of World Heritage-listed Himeji Castle, one of the few remaining feudal-era fortresses. Later, at the Koko-en Japanese garden, stroll across bridges arching over koi-filled ponds. After lunch back aboard, enjoy a free afternoon to relax or explore. Late this evening arrive into Kobe.
After breakfast this morning in Kobe, you’ll be transferred to Osaka airport, where your journey comes to an end.
Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change.
25 October, 2021 to 13 November, 2021
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship
Length: 90 metres
Passenger Capacity: 116
Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2010 / 2017
Sister ship to Hebridean Sky. Island Sky and Hebridean Sky are truly sisters. Built in the same Italian Shipyard, both boast spacious, well-appointed suites, stylish common areas, and redundant core technology that allows them to operate smoothly, even under the most challenging of conditions. Both ships are all-suite, all-inclusive small expedition vessels with touches of elegance throughout. The Island Sky is scheduled for additional upgrades in 2017, including the addition of tinted sliding glass doors to all cabins on the Promenade Deck.
Complimentary Wine or Beer with Dinner
Complimentary Coffee/Tea station
On-board MD and Facilities
Dedicated Passenger Service Manager
Pre-voyage hotel night
Complimentary Expedition Jacket
Elevator serving all passenger decks
Upgraded WIFI Internet
Library with computers
Panoramic Top Deck Observation Platform
Bar/Lounge with Live Entertainment
Lounge with Audiovisual Facilities
DVD Movie Library
Tinted sliding glass doors in all cabins on the Promenade Deck
Great expeditions require great food! Our team of world-class chefs offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that change daily. They have boat-loads of creativity, so you are sure to experience a variety of remarkable cuisine throughout your voyage.
All Suites Feature:
Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds
Sitting area with sofa and side chair
Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player
Independent temperature controls
Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries
220 square feet or more
Sofa can be converted to bed for third person
PLEASE NOTE - DECK PLANS CAN VARY.
Voyage on board in selected cabin category
Meals as per the itinerary
Airport transfers on the first and last day of the itinerary
Selected beverages on board
Wi-fi on board (Subject to coverage)
Locally inspired dining – 48 meals and a wide range of onboard beverages
Seven nights luxury land accommodation
Twelve nights on the small ship, the MS Island Sky
Expert APT expedition leader and team
Price includes return airport transfers, porterage and gratuities.
International and domestic airfares unless otherwise stated
Passport and visa costs where applicable
Meals and beverages ashore unless otherwise stated
Optional shore excursions where applicable
Gratuities for land guides
Any items of a personal nature
Prices are for cruise only. Flights not included.