Japan is an archipelago of an astonishing 6,852 islands, the four largest of which - Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku - account for over ninety-five percent of Japan's land area. Due to the huge numbers of islands and a coastline that is greater in length than that of the United States, a Japan cruise can overcome some of the logistical problems associated with this region.
As it is a country of huge diversity, a comprehensive Japanese holiday will showcase this beautiful country. Much of this land area is forested and mountainous which means that it is both beautiful and practically uninhabited. The natural consequence of this is that urban areas are very densely populated with cities such as Tokyo being home to 13 million people.
Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area of Japan and the seat of the Japanese government. Home to the Imperial Palace and the Imperial Family, it is better known for its electric avenues of skyscrapers and neon lights and fantastic shopping malls.
The Japanese Bullet Train is an excellent way to travel the interior of Japan and any journey you take is an adventure in itself. A highlight is the Bullet Train from Japan’s second city, Yokohama to Kyoto speeding past the iconic Mt Fuji. The areas surrounding Kyoto have ancient burial mounds, rice fields, local temples and Buddhist cemeteries, showing a more serene and rural aspect of this sacred country. On any holiday to Japan you will not be able to avoid seeing a vast array of gardens, castles and shrines.
Day 1 - Fly London to Tokyo
Day 2 - Transfer to a central Tokyo hotel
Day 3 - Tokyo to Niigata. Half day tour of Tokyo, culminating in taking the bullet train to Niigata where you embark MS Caledonian Sky
Day 4 - Kanazawa. See traditional houses, markets, historic samurai residences and even a geisha house. Kanazawa is also home to Kenroku-en Gardens on of Japans premier traditional gardens
Day 5 - Matsue. Situated between a scenic lake and lagoon, Matsue is a centre of traditional Japanese culture
Day 6 - Hagi. Tour a samurai home, visit Daisho temple, Hagi Castle, Shizuki Park and Tokoji Temple
Day 7 - Pusan for Kyongju. Visit the excavated monuments, pagodas, tombs and temples of World Heritage Site Kyongju
Day 8 - Nagasaki & Dejima. Visit the Peace Memorial Park, before travelling to Dejima Island
Day 9 - Yakushima. Spend the morning on the beautiful island of Yakushima, famed for its diverse flora and for being Japans first UNESCO World Heritage site
Day 10 - Uwajima. See the largest pearl cultivation centre in Japan
Day 11 - Hiroshima & Miyajima. Visit the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. See the famouse Torii gate, Shinto Shrine and Itsukushima Jinja Shrine at Miyajima
Day 12 - Okayama & Kurashiki. Visit the beautiful 17th Century formal gardens at Koraku-en. Discover the old merchant quarter at Kurashiki with its traditional buildings
Day 13 - Kobe to London
Certainly the spring time (April and May) is on many cruise itineraries when the world famous cherry blossom occurs across Japan.
To be advised at time of booking