This 14-night Eastern sojourn is sure to be filled with vibrant landscapes, delectable cuisine and captivating cultures, with stops in these destinations:
From Yokohama, travel to the world’s most dazzling city. Once the modest fishing village of Edo, modern Tokyo is a sprawling metropolis of unique neighbourhoods. Choose from museums covering every aspect of Japanese history and culture. Visit the glorious Imperial Palace and Senso-ji temple in the ancient district of Asakusa.
It may lack the name recognition of Tokyo and Osaka, but cosmopolitan Nagoya impresses with an array of museums, temples and green spaces. In this birthplace of Toyota absorb the ancient spirituality of Atsuta Shrine, one of Japan’s three most important Shinto shrines and a perfect spot to enjoy a lunch of kishimen (flat noodles), a local specialty. Discover over 10,000 pieces of Japanese art, theatre, fashion, samurai culture and more at Tokugawa Art Museum. Gain an instant appreciation for Japanese postwar history at SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, a fully hands-on museum featuring actual trains and simulators. Your inner train-loving-child will approve.
Visit breathtaking temples and shrines of Kyoto, Japan’s old imperial capital, or visit ancient Nara, the cradle of Japanese arts, literature and crafts, with its magnificent shrines and temples. Stroll through Nara Park, famed for its deer and impressive Kasuga Grand Shrine and tour Osaka where you will witness its imposing castle.
From Kobe, bring home exotic mementos such as silks, ceramic teapots, paper parasols, superb artworks and pottery among other beautiful objects. Enjoy traditional Japanese fare or indulge in a wonderful dinner of Kobe beef. Everything will be exquisitely prepared and served.
Kochi boasts beautiful and abundant natural landscapes, from an expansive coastline running with the Kuroshio Current to the clear Shimanto River and the deep green forests that surround it. Located in the south of Shikoku, Kochi is ringed by rugged mountains to the north, and its arc-like southern coastline traces the outline of Tosa Bay. To the east is Cape Muroto, and to the west, Cape Ashizuri, with gently undulating sandy beaches stretching between these two extreme points. The prefecture also boasts the mystical limestone caves of Ryu-ga-do, and the beautiful sands and green pines of Katsura-hama Beach.
Lovers of hot spring resorts, rejoice. Perched hillside on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, Beppu bubbles with life thanks to a preponderance of onsen (hot springs). Enjoy a variety of rejuvenating bath types, from heated sand to traditional steam to hot mud. As one of the country’s most popular spots for enjoying a long, hot soak, most visitors find Beppu to be a delightful opportunity to absorb the more relaxed side of Japan’s vibrant culture.
From Incheon, travel to the capital of South Korea, a city that artfully balances cutting-edge and traditional. Admire the Korean architecture of Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House), the official residence of the President of the Republic of Korea. Shop the antique shops and art galleries craft stores of Insadong in Seoul’s art district. Learn centuries of Korean history at the National Museum. Be dazzled by the World Heritage-listed Changdeokgung, the most stunning of Seoul’s five main palaces. In Incheon, visit a memorial to the landing operation led by General Douglas MacArthur in September 1950, a decisive victory that turned the course of the Korean War.
Shining brightly on the banks of the Yangtze River Delta in East China, this historic and glamorous city beckons with dazzling architecture, a universe of dining options and buzzing streetscapes. Stroll Singapore’s legendary waterfront – known locally as ‘The Bund’ – for skyline views and colonial-era buildings.
Pay homage to the famed pair of Buddhas at the Jade Buddha Temple in bustling downtown, learn the city’s fascinating story at the Shanghai History Museum in the Pudong district and head to the Old City to explore the 400-year-old Yuyuan Garden. You’ll be tempted by Shanghai’s fabled street food wherever you go, from crab shell pies to paper-thin soup dumplings.
Kagoshima is Japan’s southernmost major city, and is nicknamed the “Naples of the Eastern World,” based on its caldera bay location, hot climate, and volcano. The majestic view of Mt Sakurajima, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, dominates the city’s landscape, towering over the beautiful Kinko Bay. The city abounds in historic sightseeing spots such as the memorial site of St. Francisco Xavier, who landed in Kagoshima and first introduced Christianity to Japan.
Dive into an urban food scene that rewards the intrepid. And, of course, snap a selfie in Shibuya Crossing. In Yokohama, bask in the city’s hospitality before visiting Japan’s largest Chinatown or the vast Sankeien Garden, where seventeen historical structures relocated from Kyoto, Kamakura and elsewhere enhance the magnificent landscapes.
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