EXPO CRUISES AND TOURS
Duration: September 10, 2018 - October 3, 2018

BEST OF JAPAN – INCLUDING CRUISE AROUND JAPAN
WITH HOKKAIDO & RUSSIA’S FAR EAST

24 Day – First class land tour & cruise aboard DIAMOND PRINCESS
Kyoto to Tokyo

September 10 – October 3, 2018

Embark on a magical tour of the Shiretoko Peninsula with Princess that leads you through the wilds of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, where a variety of whales make their home and the verdant coastline is nothing short of spectacular.  Japan is a study in contrasts: tranquil retreats of profound beauty lay just outside cities where skyscrapers soar over stunning temples and shrines. Neon-bright architecture vie for attention amid the colorful Harajuku district and traditional kimonos.  Be dazzled by the panoramic views of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji.

 

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Book Now & Receive $100 US Onboard Credit Per Cabin.

Depart CANADA
Kyoto, JAPAN                          Hotel Overnight
Kyoto, JAPAN                          Hotel Overnight
Kyoto / Nara, JAPAN               Hotel Overnight
Kyoto, JAPAN                          Hotel Overnight
Hakone / Tokyo, JAPAN           Hotel Overnight
Tokyo, JAPAN                          Hotel Overnight
Yokohama/Tokyo, JAPAN        Embark            5 pm
Ishinomaki, JAPAN                  10 am              6 pm
Hakodate, JAPAN                    10 am              11 pm
Akita, JAPAN                            8 am                8 pm
Cruise Tsugaru Straits              ~                      ~
Busan, SOUTH KOREA           7 am                4 pm
Kagoshima, JAPAN                 10 am              8 pm
Cruise Sagami-nada Sea          ~                      ~
Yokohama/Tokyo, JAPAN        8 am                5 pm
Cruise North Pacific                  ~                      ~
Kushiro, JAPAN                       7 am                5 pm
Cruise Baie Aniva                     ~                      ~
Korsakov, RUSSIA                   8 am                6 pm
Otaru, JAPAN                           8 am                6 pm
Hakodate, JAPAN                    8 am                11 pm
Cruise Tsugaru Straits              ~                      ~
Yokohama/Tokyo, JAPAN        Disembark
Depart for CANADA

 

DOUBLE OCCUPANCY FARES:
INSIDE Cat. IE              $11,595             INSIDE Cat. IC             $11,650             INSIDE Cat. IB              $11,695
OUTSIDE Cat. OC        $12,595             BALCONY Cat. BC       $13,895             BALCONY Cat. BB       $14,095        
MINI-SUITE Cat. MD     $15,395             MINI-SUITE Cat. MB     $15,595            

SINGLE OCCUPANCY FARES:
INSIDE Cat. IE              $16,695             OUTSIDE Cat. OC        $18,795             BALCONY Cat. BC       $21,295

Initial deposit of $1,750 per person is required.  Final Payment is due by JUNE 21, 2018

ALL PRICES ARE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS PER PERSON AND INCLUDE:
Airfare from TORONTO, departures from OTTAWA please add $100 per person (other cities on request)
4-Nights first class hotel stay in Kyoto, JAPAN, and 2-Nights first class hotel stay in Tokyo, JAPAN
Fully guided tours with our hotel stays in Kyoto and Tokyo as per our day-by-day itinerary
17-Day cruise aboard DIAMOND PRINCESS with all your meals, activities, and entertainment
All your departure and port taxes.  Prepaid shipboard gratuities/tipping on your cruise and local guides/driver during our land tour of Japan.
Fully hosted from Toronto.
Includes all your meals while in Japan with our land tour and hotel stays.
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DAY 1 – Monday, September 10, 2018                                    DEPART CANADA
Depart Toronto with Air Canada for Osaka, JAPAN connecting via Vancouver to a nonstop Rouge flight.   (In-flight Meals)

DAY 2 – Tuesday, September 11, 2018                                     KYOTO, JAPAN
Welcome to Japan!  Upon arrival meet our local guide and transfer to your hotel in Kyoto.  Our hotel with more than 120-year history generates a dignified atmosphere. Kyoto Hotel Okura’s elegant rooms boast spectacular views of Kyoto against the backdrop of the Higashiyama Mountains.  Enjoy your dinner tonight at the hotel.    Accommodation: KYOTO HOTEL OKURA or similar (4 nights).   (D)

DAY 3 – Wednesday, September 12, 2018                              KYOTO, JAPAN
Breakfast at the hotel.  Spend your morning sightseeing with visits to the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), a stunning structure covered with gold foil, beautifully reflected in the lake and Nijo Castle (UNESCO World Heritage site), built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867).  Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant.   After lunch, continue our tour to Kyoto Imperial Palace, a former residence of Japan’s Imperial Family until 1868.  Head to Geisshin-in Temple and experience a peaceful green tea ceremony. Our final stop is at the Gion Geisha District.  Experience a tea ceremony at the Gesshin-in Temple.  Dinner will be at a local restaurant or at the hotel.   (B/L/D)

DAY 4 – Thursday, September 13, 2018                                   KYOTO – NARA – KYOTO, JAPAN
Breakfast at the hotel.  This morning you will depart for a full-day excursion to Nara with lunch.  This morning, visit Tenryuji Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and enjoy a rickshaw ride around the Arashiyama Bambo Grove and marvel the impressive view from Togetsukyo Bridge crossing over Katsura River.  Drive to Nara and visit Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building (Guiness World of Record, home to the largest Buddha statue in Japan. Just outside the temple is the Nara Deer Park, where you will be greeted by numerous deer that roam around freely. The deer here at the park are known to be friendly and may even bow at you for a little treat.  Visit Kasuga Taisha Shrine, famous for its 3,000 stone and bronze lanterns donated by worshippers.   Dinner will be at a local restaurant or at the hotel.   (B/L/D)

DAY 5 – Friday, September 14, 2018                                         KYOTO – OSAKA – KYOTO, JAPAN
Breakfast at the hotel.  Today you will depart for an excursion to Osaka with lunch.  See Osaka’s famous sights including the Aerial Garden Observatory for a commanding view of the city and Osaka Castle, the symbol of Osaka known for its magnificent stone wall.  Walk to the nearby river boat dock to board the Aqua Liner for an hour-long cruise around Nakanoshima.  Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant.  Rest of the afternoon is at leisure.  Tonight, enjoy a Japanese Kaiseki dinner with a Maiko (apprentice geiko) Show.   (B/L/D)

DAY 6 – Saturday, September 15, 2018                                   KYOTO – HAKONE – TOKYO, JAPAN
Breakfast at the hotel.   After breakfast, board the Shinkansen bullet train to Odawara Station.  Upon arrival, you will visit the Hakone Open Air Museum, the permanent home for approximately 120 works by well-known modern and contemporary sculptors. The museum has five exhibition halls including the Picasso Pavilion, as well as pieces where children can play, a foot-bath fed by natural hot-springs, and a variety of other facilities where our visitors can relax and enjoy the splendor of art in nature.  We will continue our tour in Hakone with a cruise in Lake Ashi followed by a ride on the Mt. Komagatake Ropeway to the summit of Mt Komagatake for incredible views of Mt Fuji and the Owakudani volcanic valley.  Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant.  After our lunch, we will drive to Tokyo.  Our Hotel New Otani is has many landscaped gardens within the city center, this upscale hotel is a 9-minute walk from Yotsuya Station and 3 km from the emperor’s main residence, Tokyo Imperial Palace.  Featuring city or garden views, the elegant rooms offer free Wi-Fi, plus flat-screens, minibars, and tea and coffeemakers.  Dinner will be at a local restaurant or at the hotel.   Accommodation:  HOTEL NEW OTANI or similar (2 nights).   (B/L/D)

DAY 7 – Sunday, September 16, 2018                                       TOKYO, JAPAN
Breakfast at the hotel.  Enjoy a day’s tour highlights visits to Meiji Shrine, Japan’s famous Shinto Shrine and Imperial Palace East Garden, Sensoji Temple, and a cruise on Tokyo Bay.  Star the day with a visit to the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji, the first emperor of modern Japan before travelling past the National Diet Building to visit the Imperial Palace East Garden. Browse through the many stores lining Nakamise-dori walkway leading up to Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo’s oldest and most famous Buddhist temple with a history of over 1300 years.  Drive by Ginza, the most celebrated shopping district in Tokyo.  Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant.  After lunch, enjoy a relaxing 40- minute cruise around Tokyo Bay before crossing the Rainbow Bridge to Odaiba, a futuristic waterfront city.  A special dinner will be served at Ninja Akasaka, where servers dressed as ninjas usher you through a series of winding wooden corridors designed to evoke the interior of an ancient Japanese castle, decorated with treasure chests.   (B/L/D)

DAY 8 – Monday, September 17, 2018                                     TOKYO – YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
Breakfast at the hotel.  Enjoy some free time in Tokyo, before we check out from our hotel around noon and transfer to the Yokohama pier, where we will board the DIAMOND PRINCESS, our home away from home for the next 17 days.   (B/D)

DAY 9 – Tuesday, September 18, 2018                                     ISHINOMAKI, JAPAN
Ishinomaki is a large port city east of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture.  The city has a number of interesting attractions, and is known for being the hometown of prominent manga artist Ishinomori Shotaro.  Situated on the site of the former Ishinomaki Castle at the center of the city, this hilltop park offers commanding views out over Ishinomaki. The park is also the site of a shrine and one of the city’s best cherry blossom spots with over 400 cherry trees planted along its slopes. Due to its location on high ground, Hiyoriyama Park served as a refuge for survivors of the 2011 Tsunami. Today the park gives visitors views of the badly affected river estuary and waterfront districts.  Ishinomori Manga Museum – The Ishinomori Manga Museum is an art museum dedicated to the artist Ishinomori Shotaro, creator of the influential Cyborg 009 and Kamen Rider manga. The unique, egg shaped building houses a collection of statues, art works and comics from his various series. The collection was damaged by the 2011 Tsunami and required extensive restoration before the museum was able to fully reopen in March 2013.  Sant Juan Bautista – The Sant Juan Bautista is a replica of the Japan-built, Spanish style galleon that embarked on a diplomatic mission across the Pacific Ocean during the Edo Period. Visitors can see a museum dedicated to the ship and the voyage and board a life size replica of the Sant Juan Bautista itself.   (B/L/D)

DAY 10 – Wednesday, September 19, 2018                           HAKODATE, JAPAN
It took Commodore Perry and American gunboat diplomacy to open Japan to the outside world after two centuries of self-imposed isolation.  In 1859, the port of Hakodate became the first Japanese city fully opened to Westerners under the Treaty of Amity and Commerce.  Foreigners soon flocked to Hakodate, and today visitors wandering the cobblestone streets of the city’s Motomachi District can view their Western-style frame houses.  Hakodate, once a fishing port famed for its high-quality fish and shellfish, quickly became Hokkaido’s largest city and one of Japan’s most important ports. The Great Hakodate Fire of 1934 dealt the city a near fatal blow – a blow from which Hakodate was slow to recover.  Today the city is Hokkaido’s third largest – surpassed by Sapporo and Asahikawa – but retains its foremost position as the finest Japanese producer of sushi’s raw product: the high-quality seafood caught in Hokkaido’s cold waters.  It may not compare to Tokyo’s Tsukiji’s Fish Market, but at Hakodate’s four-block-long Morning Market, vendors offer a stunning array of fresh fish and shellfish prized for sushi including salmon roe, sea urchin, scallops, and crab.   (B/L/D)

DAY 11 – Thursday, September 20, 2018                                AKITA, JAPAN
There is a celebratory air in Akita, where year-round festivals and street parades are colorfully integrated into daily life.  A key city in the Tohoku region since medieval times, Akita was once a castle town of the Satake clan, but today is a vibrant, prosperous city that seamlessly honors its past but embraces its young energetic spirit.  Noted for its burgeoning art community, there are several fine museums to explore including The Hirano Masakichi Art Musuem housing a collection of work by Western and Japanese artists, the Akita City Folklore Museum and the Kakunodate Samurai District, a living museum that showcases the samurai way of life.  In the neighboring Oga Peninsula, the region’s most famous icon, the terrifying Namahage, has it’s won cultural center and festival ritual performed in his name.  Surrounding the city, fertile farmland and rice fields produce some of the best sake in the country and nature lovers won’t know which way to turn? to the west is the picturesque Sea of Japan and to the north, south and east, majestic mountain ranges including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakami-Sanchi proudly stand.  A trip to the revolving observation center Mt. Kanpuzan Observatory solves the dilemma.  (B/L/D)

DAY 12 – Friday, September 21, 2018                                       DAY AT SEA
Cruise Tsugaru Straits.  Relaxing day cruising aboard the Diamond Princess.     (B/L/D)

DAY 13 – Saturday, September 22, 2018                                 BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA
The second largest city in South Korea, Busan is your gateway to a fascinating land whose culture is a unique amalgam of old and new.  Modern high-rise towers dwarf ancient Buddhist temples.  The city’s bustling business district offers a stark contrast to the serene grounds of Yongdusan Park.  In short, Busan is a microcosm of South Korea, a nation whose startling economic success often obscures one of Asia’s most sophisticated and venerable cultures.  Busan was the scene of bitter fighting during the Korean War.  The United Nations Memorial Cemetery marks the final resting place for the troops from 16 nations who gave their lives during the conflict.  (B/L/D)

DAY 14 – Sunday, September 23, 2018                                   KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN
From the 12th century to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Kagoshima was the chief stronghold of the mighty Shimazu clan.  The city lies at the top of the Satsuma Peninsula, a mountainous, geothermal wonderland of hot springs and geysers.  The area is also rich in modern Japanese history: Saigo Takamori and the Satsuma samurai were leaders of the Meiji Restoration that toppled the shogun and restored the Emperor to power in 1868.   In 1877, dissatisfied with the direction of the new government, Saigo led the Satsuma Rebellion, which ended in his death and the final defeat of the samurai.  The symbol of Kagoshima is Sakura Jima – the volcanic island that sits just offshore.  The volcano has erupted over 30 times in recorded history.   (B/L/D)

DAY 15 – Monday, September 24, 2018                                  DAY AT SEA
Cruise Sagami-nada Sea.  Relaxing day cruising aboard the Diamond Princess.     (B/L/D)

DAY 16 – Tuesday, September 25, 2018                                  TOKYO/YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
Yokohama and Edo began life as sleepy fishing villages. That changed in the early 17th century after Tokugawa Ieyasu became Shogun.  Edo became the center of political power in Japan, a position the city retained even after the restoration of Imperial rule in 1866.  Contemporary Tokyo may be the most astonishing city on earth. It’s a paradoxical mix of ancient tradition and postmodern culture.  The Ginza – an international shopping mecca – stands near the serene grounds of the Imperial Palace, and the hyper-speed of 21st century consumerism is mysteriously reconciled with the elegance and serenity of traditional culture. Tokyo provides the traveler with a dizzying experience.  With the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Edo was renamed Tokyo, the “Eastern Capital,” to distinguish it from the old imperial capital at Kyoto, the “Western Capital.”  (B/L/D)

DAY 17 – Wednesday, September 26, 2018                           DAY AT SEA
Cruise North Sea.  Relaxing day cruising aboard the Diamond Princess.   (B/L/D)

DAY 18 – Thursday, September 27, 2018                                KUSHIRO, JAPAN
Overlooking the mighty, Pacific Ocean in northern Japan, it should come as no surprise that this “town of mist” is a major Japanese fishing port. But although the freshly caught seafood served ashore is a highlight for many visitors, Kushiro has so much more to offer! Stroll through Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf MOO, where a variety of coastal restaurants and boutiques delight tourists from all over.  Or head inland to explore the natural wonders of this region, such as Kushiro Marsh, a lush national park and home to the country’s most extensive marshland.  Break out your binoculars for close-up views of the rare and graceful Japanese cranes at Tancho Nature Park.  And if you’re an architecture enthusiast, you’ll be fascinated by the unusual structure of the Kushiro City Museum of Art, which resembles the shape of a Japanese crane spreading its wings.  (B/L/D)

DAY 19 – Friday, September 28, 2018                                      DAY AT SEA
Cruise Baie Aniva.  Relaxing day cruising aboard the Diamond Princess.  (B/L/D)

DAY 20 – Saturday, September 29, 2018                                 KORSAKOV, RUSSIA
Founded in 1853 as Sakhalin’s first Russian military post, Korsakov would later serve as a penal colony. Ruled by Japan between 1905 and 1945, and later reclaimed by the Soviet Union, Korsakov is the place where Japan and Korea left imprint of their sojourn here on Russian culture. Though its tumultuous history includes power struggles and forced labor, the town is the perfect picture of tranquility today.  Being the south sea gateway of Sakhalin, Korsakov leads you to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the island’s administrative capital and popular tourist destination. Due to Sakhalin’s significant natural resources the city is surging with prosperity. Here, you can see a fascinating mix of modern buildings, museums and executive offices sitting comfortably with Russian and Japanese structures.  (B/L/D)

DAY – 21 – Sunday, September 30, 2018                                                 OTARU, JAPAN
In 1880, the first railroad line on the island of Hokkaido connected Sapporo, the prefectural capital, with the important port city of Otaru. Indeed, for most of the 19th and much of the 20th centuries, Otaru outshone Sapporo in importance.  The city was home to a thriving herring fleet. Ships regularly plied the waters between the port and the then Japanese island of Sakhalin.  Coal was mined in the hills, and Otaru even won a reputation for producing fine music boxes. It was the island’s industrial heart.  Closure of coal mine in Hokkaido and downturn in demand of coal initiated a long decline that lasted into the 1950s.  But Otaru survived – and has thrived. Japanese travelers discovered the city, drawn to its winter sports, its fine sushi, and its historic architecture.  Otaru seemed like a portrait frozen in time. Today, international travelers have flocked to experience Otaru’s charms – including the scenic beauty of Hokkaido’s rugged west coast and its nearby national parks. The vast wealth accumulated by Otaru’s herring tycoons is displayed at their so-called “Herring Mansions.”  One, the Nishin Goten, built in 1897, amply illustrates the state of 19th century society: the sumptuous ground floor housed the family while as many as 120 workers lived in squalor upstairs.  (B/L/D)

DAY 22 – Monday, October 1, 2018                                           HAKODATE, JAPAN
It took Commodore Perry and American gunboat diplomacy to open Japan to the outside world after two centuries of self-imposed isolation.  In 1859, the port of Hakodate became the first Japanese city fully opened to Westerners under the Treaty of Amity and Commerce.  Foreigners soon flocked to Hakodate, and today visitors wandering the cobblestone streets of the city’s Motomachi District can view their Western-style frame houses. Hakodate, once a fishing port famed for its high-quality fish and shellfish, quickly became Hokkaido’s largest city and one of Japan’s most important ports.  The Great Hakodate Fire of 1934 dealt the city a near fatal blow – a blow from which Hakodate was slow to recover.  Today the city is Hokkaido’s third largest – surpassed by Sapporo and Asahikawa – but retains its foremost position as the finest Japanese producer of sushi’s raw product: the high-quality seafood caught in Hokkaido’s cold waters.   It may not compare to Tokyo’s Tsukiji’s Fish Market, but at Hakodate’s four-block-long Morning Market, vendors offer a stunning array of fresh fish and shellfish prized for sushi including salmon roe, sea urchin, scallops, and crab.  (B/L/D)

DAY 23 – Tuesday, October 2, 2018                                           DAY AT SEA
Cruise Tsugaru Straits.  Relaxing day cruising aboard the Diamond Princess.  (B/L/D)

DAY 24 – Wednesday, October 3, 2018                                    YOKOHAMA – TOKYO – CANADA
Breakfast onboard the Diamond Princess.  After clearing local customs, you will disembark the ship and will be met by our local guide at the pier and transferred to Tokyo airport for your homebound flight with Air Canada.  (B/In-flight Meals)