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Setting sail from Tokyo
Tokyo is a dazzling introduction to Japan and its utterly unique culture. With more neon than Las Vegas and more Michelin stars than Paris, it's a real assault on the senses, but an efficient public transport system means it's easy to explore. Asakusa is an atmospheric district where you'll find Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple, Akihibara spills over with shops selling electronic gadgets, and Harajuku is the place to marvel at the latest colourful Japanese fashions. It's also easy to escape the crowds and find a spot of peace and quiet, with tranquil parks, shrines and lotus ponds dotted around the city.
The world’s busiest pedestrian crossing at Shibuya. Take the metro to the station of the same name and watch as thousands cross simultaneously when the traffic lights turn red.
The small coastal town of Shingu is home to the Kumano Hayatama Taisha, one of three Shinto shrines connected by a network of ancient pilgrimage routes. The surrounding countryside is home to waterfalls, fast-flowing rivers and the dramatic Dorokyo Gorge, and is a popular area for hiking, rafting and scenic boat trips.
Osaka, Japan’s third largest city, is a pulsating commercial hub, famous for its food, and the cityscape rivals Tokyo for neon-lit futurism. If you need respite from the urban sprawl seek out Osaka Castle and the surrounding Nishinomaru Garden, a particularly pretty spot during the cherry blossom season.
The elegant Himeji-jo, with its five-storey main keep, moats and defensive walls, is renowned as Japan’s most beautiful surviving feudal castle. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was built in 1580 by the powerful general and samurai warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The historic town of Uwajima, situated on the west coast of Shikoku island, is home to a beautiful 17th century castle, surrounded by ornamental gardens. Another popular and rather eye-opening attraction is the Taga fertility shrine, with its 9-foot carving of a phallus and adjoining sex museum.
The friendly southern Japanese city of Kagoshima enjoys a balmy climate, and sits just across the bay from the very active Sakurajima volcano, which erupts so regularly that an ‘ash forecast’ is included in local weather reports.
Japan: Anbo (Yakushima Island)
The island of Amami-Oshima is rich in flora and fauna thanks to a mild subtropical climate, and a number of whale species can be spotted in the surrounding waters during the winter. The island also has some lovely white sand beaches, and is known for producing high quality hand-made silk.
Japan: Yoronjima, Motobu (Okinawa)
Naha is the capital of Okinawa prefecture, a subtropical region of southern Japan with its own distinct culture. The city is a bustling commercial centre despite being flattened during the Second World War, and the architectural highlight is the elegant Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Japan: Kerama-Shoto Islands, Miyakojima, Tsuki-ga-hama Beach
Arriving in Taipei
The Taiwanese capital draws on an interesting mix of Chinese, Japanese and Western influences, and is home to attractive temples, a burgeoning street food scene and Taipei 101, which was the world's tallest building until it was eclipsed by Dubai's Burj Khalifa in 2010.
Your home from home
Get set for the arrival of Crystal Endeavor in 2020, the world's largest and most luxurious expedition yacht.
What we love
This is the coolest expedition operation yet. On board is the ultimate in luxury at the Crystal level we know so well, but even more exciting is what is going to happen off the ship, as they navigate first year ice in the polar regions and follow the route of migrating whales.
A wealth of extraordinary toys including submarines, helicopters and remote operated vehicles will ensure that a Crystal Yacht Expedition creates the most extraordinary memories even for the most jaded of travellers.
|Style||The ultimate in luxury expedition cruising.|
Tailor-make your trip
Extend your stay in Tokyo
The Park Hotel at Shimbashi in the Shiodome Media Tower offers premium rooms with great views from the 25th floor up!
Get on your bike
The 25km Tokyo Great Cycling Tour is one of the city’s greatest trips. See both secret back streets and landmark attractions on this full day extravaganza.