- Holland America
24 Day Land of the Rising Sun
CruisePlus Hosted Journey
Hosted Japan Cruise & Tour
April 3, 2019
Holland America ms Westerdam
Hosts Gary and Fiona have escorted over 300 guests to many parts of the world – over a 13-year span. Each tour has been designed and chosen by Gary and Fiona to reflect their passion for new adventure and cultural learning.
The comradery that forms so quickly on their tours creates memories and friendships that last a lifetime. Travelling with Fiona and Gary is not your average tour, be ready for lots of fun and surprises along the way.
- Experience both the traditional and contemporary on this adventure through Japan. Long lasting traditions pervade all aspects of Japanese life and culture and will fascinate the North American.
- Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites, museums, temples and more, travelling by high-speed trains and luxury cruise ship.
- This unique tour is handpicked as a 10-day land and 14-day Japanese cruise on the ms Westerdam. Call Fiona for details, we’d love for you to join us on this increasingly popular journey of discovery!
What we are Including
- Roundtrip airfare from Vancouver
- 10-day Japanese land tour
- 14-day roundtrip Tokyo cruise onboard Holland America’s ms Westerdam
|LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE!||$11,999pp|
(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
Day 1Depart Vancouver/Toronto for Kansai International airport
Day 2 Arrive at Kansai International airport (D)
April 04Upon arrival at Kansai International airport, we meet our guide and transfer to the hotel. The hotel standard check-in time is 2:00 pm. Tonight, we will walk with the guide to a local restaurant for a Japanese style dinner.
Inclusions:Meet and greet on arrival Travel to the hotel with an English speaking assistant Check in to the hotel Walk with the assistant to a local restaurant for a Japanese style dinner Overnight: New Miyako Hotel (4 nights)
Day 3 Full day Kyoto City tour (B)
Inclusions:Buffet breakfast at the hotel Kinkakuji Temple Tenruji Temple and Garden Afternoon tea with Maiko performance Fushimi Inari Shrine After breakfast, we depart with our guide for a full day tour of Kyoto. Our first stop is Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Japan dedicated to Inari, the Shinto God of Rice and Wines. With over 5,000 rows of vermillion tori gates winding through the 2.5 miles (4 km) hiking trails and steps up the mountainside, it is one of the most iconic sights of Kyoto. This location may also be familiar to film buffs, as part of the movie Memoirs of a Geisha was shot here. With our guide, we take the time to explore the temple and some portion of the trail, which leads up to the top of the Inari Mountain. Next, we explore the beauty and tranquillity of Tenryu-ji and its surrounds. Originally built on the site of an early temple and of later imperial residences, the UNESCO-listed Tenryu-Ji Temple is well known for its Zen garden. The complex was built in 1339 using a traditional Japanese technique of “borrowed scenery,” which allows the surrounding scenery to be a “background” of the garden. Another amazing characteristic is the open design, which lets people see the temple from the garden and appreciate the beauty of the garden while they are inside the temple. After an afternoon tea with a Maiko performance, we proceed to the impressive Kinkakuji Temple, which offers a wonderful garden setting for walking. Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1994, the temple features a shining pavilion with the top two floors completely covered in gold leaf. Overlooking a large pond and beautiful gardens, the temple was originally built at the end of the 14th century as the retirement villa of a shogun. After his death, it was converted into a temple. As we walk around the pathway, we will see the pavilion, the pond and rocks changing shape and colour. At the end of the tour, we travel back to our hotel.
Day 4 Half day Nara excursion +Visit Nijo Castle and Ponto-Cho Alley
April 06Inclusions: Buffet breakfast at the hotel Travel by coach with the guide for Nara Visit the Deer Park, Todaiji Temple Travel by road back to Nara Visit Nijo Castle and Ponto-Cho Alley Nara, situated 26 miles (42 kilometres) outside of Kyoto, was the country's first permanent capital city. It has an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites, including some of Japan's oldest Buddhist temples. We set out at 8:30 am to Nara for a half day excursion. Accompanied by our local guide, we travel by coach and explore Todaiji Temple to see Japan's largest Buddha.
Deer Park- home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. At the end of the tour, we travel back to Kyoto, where we continue our exploration of the city. This afternoon, we visit Nijo Castle, which was built with elaborate décor and fine craftsmanship. The building of the castle started in 1603 and took 23 years to finish. The castle was originally the residence of Shogun Tokugawa Layasu. When he lost the power, it became an imperial palace. With huge stone walls surrounded by deep moats, Nijo-Jo Castle openly demonstrated the power that the Shoguns wielded over Japan for much of its history. Ninomaru Palace consists of shogun’s quarters, offices, meeting halls in five separate buildings connected by long “nightingale corridors”, which would alert the guards of intruders. Three gardens on the castle grounds are well known for their spring blossom viewing season and fall colours of autumn leaves. Later this afternoon, we proceed to Ponto-Cho Alley. A narrow alley running parallel to the west bank of the Kamo River, Ponto-Cho is one of Japan’s oldest exiting nightlife areas. It is considered by many as the most beautiful alley in Kyoto. Early evening is the best time to take a stroll here. As the night begins, bars, restaurants and a few of the city’s elusive Geisha tea houses along this stone-paved passage start to welcome their guests. Be sure to bring the camera with you, as you may also have the opportunity to see Geishas or Maikos scurrying to their appointments. At night, Ponto-Cho becomes a magical place as the illuminated large paper lanterns hanging from each restaurant or bar provide a colourful and striking view.
Day 5 Hiroshima day excursion (B, D)
April 07After breakfast at 8:00 am, we walk to Kyoto Station for a train ride to Hiroshima. On arrival, we visit the Peace Memorial and Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tangible link to Hiroshima’s unique past. Next, we take the ferry to Miyajima, which is regarded as one of the most scenic posts in Japan. After viewing the most well-known UNESCO listed Itsukushima Shrine, the “floating” tori gate, we take the Momijidani Ropeway ride. We then take the ferry back to the mainland, where we transfer to Hiroshima Station and travel by train to Kyoto. On arrival at 8:55 pm, we walk to a local restaurant for dinner. At the end of the dinner, we walk back to the hotel, arriving at 10:45 pm.
Day 6 Train to Kanazawa (B)
April 08(Please pack an overnight bag for 2 nights at Mystay Premier Kanazawa. You will see your bags again at Tominoko Hotel on Day 8) Inclusions: Buffet breakfast at the hotel 10:45 Walk to the train station with the assistant 11:10 Bullet train to Kanazawa 13:18 Arrive at the train station Meet and greet Walk to the hotel Overnight: Mystay Premier Kanazawa (2 nights)
Day 7 Day excursion to Shirakawa Go
April 09 Afternoon guided tour ofThe Omi-Cho Market (B, L)
Inclusions:7:00 Buffet breakfast at the hotel 8:00 Travel by coach to Shirakawago 9:30 Arrive at Shirakawago 10:30 Visit Shirakawago 12:30 Lunch at a local restaurant 13:30 Continue visit in Shirakawago 14:30 Depart for Kanazawa 16:00 Arrive in Kanazawa and visit Omi-Cho Market 17:30 Arrive at the hotel Today we travel by coach with our guide and explore Shirakwago, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On arrival, we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant followed by a guided tour of Shirakwago village, including a visit to Wada House, one of the wealthiest families and village leaders of Ogimachi. Their former home is the largest gassho-zukuri farmhouse in the town and is now open to the public as a museum. After lunch we enjoy some free time exploring the village, we travel back by coach to our Kanazawa, where we enjoy a guided tour of < strong >Omicho Market,</ strong > one of the most well-known markets in Japan. We will arrive at the hotel at 5:30 pm.
Day 8 Train to Hakone cruise – coach to Lake Kawaguchi (B, D)
April 108:48 Transfer by train with the guide to Tokyo Station 11:20 Arrive at Tokyo Station Travel to Lake Ashi and Lake Kawaguchi 11:56 Bullet train to Atami Station 12:50 Arrive at Hakone, start half day Hakone tour 14:30 Boat cruise on Lake Ashi 15:00 Transfer by road to Lake Kawaguchi 16:30 Arrive and check in to the hotel 19:00 Dinner at the hotel Overnight: Tominoko Hotel, standard room, twin beds (1 night)
Day 9 Travel by road Tokyo (B)
April 119:00 Depart hotel 9:30 Photo stop at Lake Kawaguchi 10:00 Travel by road to Tokyo 12:00 Half day city tour of Tokyo 13:00 From there, we visit
Imperial Palace East Garden.Home to emperor Heisei and other members of the Japanese Royal Family, the Imperial Palace sits on land that was once occupied by Edo Castle. It became the official imperial residence in 1868. 14:30 After lunch on our own, we explore Ginza, Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping and restaurant district. 16:30 Our last stop is Tokyo Tower, a symbol of Japan’s rebirth as a major economic power. It now serves as a television and radio broadcast antenna. 18:00 Our tour ends at our hotel. Overnight: Hotel Grand Palace (3 nights)
Day 10 Full day city tour of Tokyo (B, L)
Inclusions:7:00 Buffet breakfast at the hotel 9:00 Asakusa Sensoji Temple and the market 11:00 Sushi making workshop 13:30 Meiji Jingu Shrine 15:00 Taiko Lesson 16:15 Harajuku & Omotesando 18:00 Arrive at the hotel After a leisurely breakfast, we visit Sensoji Temple and explore the adjacent Asakusa & Nakamise market streets. Next, we have a sushi making workshop followed by lunch. This afternoon, we take a 60-minute Taiko drum lesson and learn from a master about this amazing traditional Japanese art. Then explore Meiji Shrine. From there, we visit Harajuku, world famous as Japan’s centre of street fashion.
DAY 11 Full day excursion to Nikko National Park (B, D)
April 137:00 Breakfast at the hotel 8:00 Depart the hotel with the guide and coach for Nikko 11:00 Visit Toshgu Shrine 13:30 stop at Lake Chuzenji 15:00 Enjoy Kegon Waterfall (elevator included) 19:00 Arrive at the hotel 19:30 Dinner This morning at 8:00 am sharp, we make our way through the Kiso mountain range to Nikko. Nikko – meaning ‘sunlight’ – is justifiably one of Japan’s major travel destinations. On arrival, we explore its many interesting sights, including Toshgu Shrine a UNESCO Heritage Site, dedicated to Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Lake Chuzenji, which resembles the Lake District of England in terms of climate and scenery; and Kegon Waterfalls, one of Japan’s three most beautiful waterfalls. We travel back to our hotel and meet for dinner.
Day 12 Depart Tokyo (B)
April 14Transfer to the port to board the MS Westerdam
|4||Scenic Cruising Kanmon Strait||-||-|
|4||Fukuoka (Hakata), Japan||-||-|
Holland America Line
A Leader in Cruising for over 140 YearsA worldwide shipping and cargo line. A passenger transport line offering a new life in North America. A leader in vacation cruises to exotic destinations around the globe. Holland America Line has been all of these throughout its rich history and continues to be one of the most popular cruise lines for world travelers as is evident by the hundreds of thousands of passengers that board her ships each and every year. Attracting every type of traveler from all ages and walk of life, Holland America Line, or HAL as it’s affectionately known, truly is a cruise line for everyone.
Discover the Holland America difference and find out more about what makes HAL one of the most popular and most sailed cruise lines in history!
Here is a small selection of what you can expect
With having such a long history of travel, it’s no wonder that Holland America Line is able to provide to virtually every need to each guest while on board and do it so well.
- Some of the best onboard entertainment in the cruising world including B.B. King’s Blues Club, Billboard Entertainment, Lincoln Center Stage and more!
- Koningsdam’s Blend by Chateau Ste. Michelle allows you to blend your own bottle of wine and learn about different varietals in the process
- Incredible dining experiences in numerous restaurants, bars and lounges as well as guest chefs, restauranteurs and cooking classes are perfect for the foodie in the family
- A chance to visit Holland America’s private island, Half Moon Cay, on select Caribbean cruises