'Clipper Odyssey': Wonders of Japan
Adventure Cruising: Expert-led expeditions to exotic locales, with shore excursions
- Day 1: Arrive Osaka, Japan/Kyoto
Cross the International Dateline and arrive at Kansai Airport in Osaka. You are met by an A&K representative and are transferred to your hotel in Kyoto.Kyoto Hotel Okura
- Day 2: Kyoto
After breakfast, an orientation tour of Kyoto shows you the highlights of this city that was founded in the seventh century and now holds 20% of Japan’s national treasures. After lunch, the afternoon is at leisure. Gather tonight for dinner and an opportunity to meet your fellow travelers and your A&K Team.Kyoto Hotel Okura | Meals: B L D
- Day 3: Kyoto/Osaka/Embark ‘Clipper Odyssey’
This morning, following breakfast, you are free to explore central Kyoto, with its quaint traditional neighborhoods, shops and hidden shrines. Following lunch, transfer from Kyoto to Osaka, where you visit the Osaka Castle and (time permitting) stroll the lively Dotonbori neighborhood before embarking ‘Clipper Odyssey,’ your home for the next 12 nights.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 4: Okayama (Uno-Ko)/Honshu
Disembark in Uno-Ko for a short drive to Bizen, where the famous pottery has been manufactured since the ninth century. Explore the Ceramic Museum with time to visit some of the exquisite shops. This afternoon, visit Koraku-en, a 17th-century formal garden with 28 acres of walking trails, ponds, plum and cherry trees, and a classic teahouse. Later, reboard the ship in Uno-Ko.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 5: Hiroshima/Miyajima
This morning ‘Clipper Odyssey’ arrives in the port of Hiroshima, where you board Zodiac rafts and go ashore to the tranquil island of Miyajima. Considered one of Japan's top scenic wonders, Miyajima provides a picture-postcard vista of the scarlet Torii gate at the entrance to the sacred Shinto Shrine. The shrine appears to float, mirrored in the glass-like waters at high tide. Explore the Itsukushima-jinja Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in the sixth century and dedicated to three sea goddesses. During lunch, ‘Clipper Odyssey’ docks at Ujina Port, where you disembark and begin an afternoon tour of Hiroshima to visit to the compelling Peace Memorial Park. At the park, view the cenotaph that contains the names of the known victims of the atomic bomb.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 6: Oita/Yufuin/Nakatsu
Arrive at Oita port and depart by motorcoach for Usuki Daibutsu and the Usuki Stone Buddha. Continue to the charming town of Yufuin, nestled at the base of mountains reminiscent of the Swiss Alps. Observe quaint thatched roofed houses, rice fields and an interesting variety of onsen, the beautiful bathing pools found in many areas of Japan.
This afternoon, head back to the ship, passing through the Kunisaki Peninsula, where ancient temples, shrines and stone Buddha sites abound. Time and weather permitting, you visit the seventh-century Usa Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Japan.
Rejoin the ‘Clipper Odyssey’ in the town of Nakatsu.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 7: Nagasaki/Ulsan, Korea
Arrive at Nagasaki Port, site of the final atomic bomb attack that ended World War II. Your day includes a visit to Nagasaki Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum before returning to Nagasaki Port in the afternoon. Time permitting, visit the local shops and nearby Clover Garden before boarding ‘Clipper Odyssey.’ Set sail toward Korea and arrive in Ulsan late this evening for an overnight in port.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 8: Gyeongju
Disembark for a full day’s excursion to magnificent Gyeongju, a UNESCO World Heritage Site often described as the world’s finest open-air museum. As the ancient capital of the Shilla Dynasty, Gyeongju’s cultural heritage dates back to the first millennium, when it began a thousand-year rule of Korea. Stroll through the reminders of the era — hundreds of excavated monuments, temples, tombs and pagodas. Meanwhile, the ship’s cultural historian provides enlightening discussions of the social, political, and cultural impact of the brilliant dynasty. There is time to explore the National Museum’s exceptional collection of finely worked gold jewelry, metal weapons and distinctive pottery. Sit down to a lunch of Korean delicacies and watch a traditional dance performance.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 9: Matsue, Japan
The San-In coastline along the north shore of Honshu offers splendid views of craggy rock faces and rugged shores sculpted by waves. ‘Clipper Odyssey’ cruises inland to explore the stunning natural landscapes: Izumu Plain, with serene lakes, clear rivers, and a backdrop of high mountains; and Matsue, the “town of water,” nestled between a scenic lake and a large lagoon.
Today’s tour includes visit to Yakumo Village and a visit to Abe Eishiro Memorial hall to experience the art and Japanese Paper making. Following lunch you will visit a 250 year-old samurai house complete with tatami (straw mat) rooms and the formidable Matsue Castle.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 10: Kanazawa
Kanazawa is a thriving center of the arts, long known for its lacquerware, outstanding collectible pottery of the Kutani style, gold-leaf workmanship, delicate hand-painted silk kimonos and Noh theater pageants. The narrow and winding cobblestone streets have a quaint photogenic charm. Stroll past traditional houses, museums, galleries, and samurai and geisha houses. Wander through the fascinating open-air market, displaying everything from fresh flowers to fish to local handicrafts. Continue your sightseeing at the ruins of Kanazawa Castle and Kenroku-en Garden, ranked among the country’s top gardens. Sophisticated, centuries-old botanical designs have created an artful aura of seclusion and contemplation. A serene teahouse perches on a small peninsula in the middle of a pond, while carved stone lanterns line the footpaths. Observe Kanazawa’s pond residents — spot-billed ducks, gray herons and other waterfowl. Along the ocean shore you may spot grebes, eastern reef herons and ancient murrelets.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 11: Sado-ga-shima
Sado Island, well off the beaten path of most travellers, possesses both the pastoral charm of its verdant rice paddies and bamboo groves, and the dramatic beauty of surf-pounded seacoasts. Political exiles, deposed emperors and intellectuals were once “banished” to live in this beautiful setting. Explore the western side of Sado, Japan’s fifth largest island, where you visit a sake brewery and examine the Sado Gold Mine in Aikawa. This afternoon, re-board Clipper Odyssey and set sail for the Western Mainland coast of Japan.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 12: Noshiro/Aomori
Disembark in Noshiro and travel to the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, where you can go hiking, birding and photographing the flora and wildlife. Pass through the mountain plateau region of Hachimantai with its panoramic views and magnificent virgin forests. Stop en route at the Great Drum House to see the drums used in the Tsuzureko Shrine Festival. Continuing toward Lake Towada, see the magnificent ancient caldera lake formed by the eruption of a volcano, and hike on paths through the thick, deciduous forests. Pass a third area of the park, the Hakkoda Mountains, known for its hot springs. If time permits, visit the 5,500-year-old Sannai-Maruyama ruins before reboarding the ship in Aomori.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 13: Muroran
Begin an exciting day of sightseeing at Muroran on Hokkaido Island. Travel overland to Shikotsu-Toya National Park and Lake Toya. Hot springs surround the lake, and deer and other animals reside on a large island reachable by ferry. Birders have a field day, as June at Lake Toya is prime season to see blue-and-white flycatchers, narcissus flycatchers, Japanese green pigeons and Japanese grosbeaks. Reboard ‘Clipper Odyssey’ in Muroran to set sail for Otaru.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 14: Otaru/Sapporo
Arrive in Otaru, a coastal port city known for an interior canal lined by historic buildings, by mid-afternoon. Then travel to Sapporo to see the city’s highlights, including the symbolic Clock Tower, the university and the charming red-brick Old Prefectural Office. Stop in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, to see flowers in full bloom before returning to the ship for a farewell dinner.'Clipper Odyssey' | Meals: B L D
- Day 15: Otaru/Depart Japan
After breakfast, disembark and transfer to the airport to board your homebound flight.Meals: B
- Optional Post-Tour Extension: Tokyo (3 days, priced from $1,695)
Enhance your journey with a post-tour small-group extension.
Experience the sights, sounds and flavors of sparkling, spectacular Tokyo, from the quiet serenity of Meiji Shrine to the bustling action of the Nakamise Shopping Arcade.
Day 1: Arrive at Haneda Airport via New Chitose Airport. Transfer to your hotel by chartered coach with your guide, who accompanies you on your journey through Toyko. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Imperial Hotel Tokyo | Meals: B
Day 2: Embark on a full day exploring Tokyo. Visit the serene Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the emperor responsible for propelling Japan into the modern era. Drive through scenic Omotesando, Imperial Palace Plaza and Akihabara to behold the famed Asakusa Kannon Temple, Japan’s largest Buddhist temple. Then continue to the Nakamise Shopping Arcade, a bustling corridor of exotic shops more than two football fields long offering everything from Noh masks and kimonos to traditional Japanese foods and Samaurai swords. Break for lunch at a chic local restaurant, basking in the electric atmosphere of Tokyo, and then spend the afternoon touring the Edo Tokyo Museum, which is devoted to preserving the nation’s cultural heritage. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Imperial Hotel Tokyo | Meals: B L
Day 3: Leave hotel for Narita International Airport to board your flight for home.
Due to the nature of expedition cruising, this itinerary is subject to change based on local and sea conditions and other variables outside of A&K’s direct control, and is at the discretion of the ship’s captain and A&K senior expedition staff.