Land of the Rising Sun - Otaru to Tokyo - cruise & land journey

21 Days
Sapporo to Tokyo
From (USD)
$ 25,489
Dates & Pricing

2023 Sapporo > Tokyo

Board Scenic Eclipse and sail down the west coast of Japan to view regions largely untouched by tourism. Get a glimpse into Japans feudal past, learning of the samurais, Cold War spies and World War II history. Visit Geoparks, islands that are blessed with natural scenery including majestic cliffs, dense forests and rolling fields of green. Behind Tokyo’s futuristic façade lies a culture steeped in time. Discover regions with manga-inspired street fashion or visit a traditional shrine. Explore Japan’s cultural centre, Kyoto and visit a teahouses or captivating Geisha culture and take a rickshaw ride through the bamboo forests. Stroll through aromatic local markets, find the perfect Japanese restaurant and walk-through centuries-old shrines and gardens. Prepare to fall in love with tatami mats, sliding paper doors, kimonos and hot spring spas as Japan offers a culture of delights and timeless gems.
Tour Map
Tour Code:
OAT1
Duration:
21 days
Departure City:
Sapporo
Return City:
Tokyo

Selected Itinerary

21 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Otaru, Japan

    Welcome to the lively harbour town of Otaru. Transfer to Scenic Eclipse where your journey into wonder begins with a warm greeting by the crew as you step on board. Raise your glass this evening and toast the start of your ultra-luxurious cruise.

    Meals Included: Dinner

  2. Day 2 - Aomori

    Superb seafood, riveting modern art and the world's largest virgin beech forest, Aomori is a hidden gem that is starting to find its place on the map. This ultra-modern port was rebuilt after World War II, and is filled with attractions that will reveal a different side of Japan. Just outside of Aomori, the archaeological dig site Sannai Maruyama, the largest and best preserved from the Jomon era (13,000-300 BC) provides a rare look into the nation’s ancient history.   

    Freechoice

    Experience the charm of the Aomori Nebuta Festival at the Nebuta Warasse museum, or visit the Sannai Maruyama Archaeological Site one of the most complete and best preserved Jomon Period villages in Japan. Choose to explore the Hakkodamaru Memorial?Ship, or learn about the Edo Period in Hirosaki.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  3. Day 3 - Hakodate

    Located on the southern tip of the island of Hokkaido, Hakodate was one of the first ports that opened to international trade. The international influence can be traced in the sophisticated architectural styles juxtaposed against the city’s traditional temples. One of the most underrated Japanese cities, Hakodate is well-known for the panoramic views from Mount Hakodate that encompasses the city, the harbour and the mountains in the distance. If you’re feeling adventurous, take the time to taste Hakodate’s signature salty Hakodate Ramen, rumoured to be the first ramen dish in Japan.  

    Freechoice

    Discover the history of Goryokaku, or view the city from above as you ride the cable car up Mount Hakodate. Explore Onuma Quasi-National Park, or walk around the Hakodate Asaichi (Morning Market).

    Discovery

    Hike up the active volcano Mt. Esan.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  4. Day 4 - Sado Island

    Sado is believed to have been inhabited for over 10,000 years, and even finds mention in Japanese creation stories. Sado Island is a miniature Japan, showcasing every kind of coastal landform seen in Japan and a blend of cultures introduced by previous exiles to the island. Explore the Geopark, where the gold and silver mines, the taraibune (tub boat) and the nurtured rice farms are all deeply entrenched in the landscapes. While on the island, keep your eyes peeled for the crested ibis. Previously extinct in Japan, the Japanese Ibis (toki) was reintroduced to Sado Island through a successful breeding program, and several hundred now exist in the wild.

    Freechoice

     Learn the history of the largest gold mine in Japan, Sado Kinzan, or explore the small town of Ogi.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  5. Day 5 - Kanazawa

    Exceptional historical sites, traditional cuisine, renowned art museums and refined craftwork. Throughout history Kanazawa, meaning ‘the golden marsh’, has been one Japans most important cities for culture and art. Supplying 99% of Japans gold leaf, Kanazawa is also known to have one of the best and most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan. Spacious and secluded, it forms the green heart of this compact city. 

    Freechoice

    Explore the famed Kenrokuen Garden and  Kanazawa Castle, or learn the  history of the Nagamachi Samurai District. Alternatively, see authentic Japan in this historic village Gokayama.

    Enrich

    Enjoy a walk through the Higahsi Chaya District before having the opportunity to learn about what is involved in becoming a Geisha and the art of Japanese hospitality. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  6. Day 6 - Maizuru

    With a Naval history from 1901, Maizuru was the main port in Japan to receive repatriated soldiers after World War II. Home to the Japanese Navy Base, the closest to North Korea, local fisherman to this day report any suspicious boats who they believe may be North Korean spies. 
    Taste the citiy’s official dish nikujaga (meat-and-potato stew), dedicated to the legacy of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Fleet Admiral Togo, who became famous for destroying nearly two-thirds of Russia’s fleet in the Battle of Tsushima.

    Freechoice

    Explore Maizuru’s Amanohashidate sandbar and learn the naval history at Red Brick Park, or see traditional thatched roof farmhouses in Miyama. Alternatively, drive to Kyoto to see the Golden Temple, and choose to visit the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, Tenryu-ji Temple or Nijo Castle.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  7. Day 7 - Hagi

    Hagi is best known for its preserved former castle town, being fortunate enough to avoid all major disasters since the Edo Period. Located on the South Western corner of Honshu facing the Sea of Japan, this small town has a fascinating history. Wander through the small streets lined with cross-hatched namako walls and samurai houses, stunning castle ruins and traditional potteries.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  8. Day 8 - Busan, South Korea

    A tapestry of colours rolling across the magnificent natural setting, Busan is where the locals go for a relaxing getaway, thanks to its laid-back atmosphere, urban beaches, and great street food culture. South Korea’s second largest city represents a harmonious relationship between the calm sea, snaking rivers and lush mountains.

    Freechoice

    Visit Tongdosa, one of the most important temples in Korea, or explore the Jagalchi Fish Market.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  9. Day 9 - Matsuyama, Japan

    Offering great historic insights into Japanese culture, Matsuyama is cradled between gorgeous green mountains and the peaceful Seto Inland Sea. At the heart of city is one of Japan's twelve originally surviving castles, the Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle. Today, walk through the castle and view the displays explaining the history of the castle and the efforts to preserve it. Admire the views over the town from this mountaintop castle. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  10. Day 10 - Hiroshima

    Known for the devastating atomic bomb blast that ravaged the city and its inspiring status today as a symbol of peace and rebirth, Hiroshima is a destination steeped in history and outstanding natural beauty. Walking around the Peace Memorial Park is a moving experience, with monuments located throughout the tranquil ‘island’ including the World Heritage listed Atomic Bomb Dome, which survived complete destruction, and made use of nature to reaffirm the value of all life.  

    Today, visit the Miyajima Island and the floating Torii Gate at the Itsukushima Shrine. This afternoon, walk around the Peace Memorial Park. This is a moving experience, with monuments located throughout the tranquil ‘island’ including the World Heritage listed Atomic Bomb Dome, which survived complete destruction, and made use of nature to reaffirm the value of all life. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  11. Day 11 - Uno

    The port of Uno will immediately immerse you in local works of art. Uno is the gateway to Okayama, home to stunning gardens and an imposing castle. Today, walk in one of Japans most beautiful landscape gardens, Koraku-en Garden, constructed in 1687 as a place of entertainment for the ruling family. Explore Okayama Castle, originally built in 1597 before being reconstructed after World War II in 1966. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  12. Day 12 - Osaka

    Welcome to Osaka. Disembark from Scenic Eclipse after breakfast, drive to Himeji Castle and marvel at Japan’s most spectacular and one of the few remaining original feudal castles. This evening, admire the 360 degree view of Osaka at night from the Floating Garden Observatory, 170m off the ground. Then settle in for a two night Special Stay in an Executive Room with full club access.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  13. Day 13 - Osaka > Asuka

    Drive to the birthplace of the Japanese state and cradle of Japanese culture in Asuka, in Nara Prefecture. Wander through the Inabuchi terraced rice paddy fields, the ancient Tobiishi stone bridge, famous in Japanese folklore and visit Ishibutai tumulus, the largest known megalithic structure in Japan.

    Enrich

    Learn about the history, life and training routine of a sumo wrestler during a private visit to a Sumo Museum in Kehayaza, where Sumo originated. After the welcome ceremony, see a demonstration of Jinku and the wrestlers in action in the dohyo.

    This evening catch the Osaka Metro to wander around the lively entertainment area of Dotonbori and Hozenji Yokocho food alley, where you can have the opportunity to choose your own meal from one of the many traditional food stalls.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  14. Day 14 - Osaka > Kyoto

    Begin the day with a walking tour of Osaka’s Kitchen, the Kuromon Food Market. Drive to the culturally rich city of Kyoto, home to many World Heritage-listed sites.

    Freechoice

    Glide through the surreal Arashiyama Bamboo Grove by traditional rickshaw, or walk through the impressive Nijo Castle, built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867). Alternatively walk around the garden of the famous Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion.

    Settle in at your hotel for your two night Special Stay. Tonight enjoy Italian cuisine at the hotel’s FoRni Restaurant.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  15. Day 15 - Kyoto > Nara

    Begin your day with an early visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates and its appearance in the film ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’. Then continue to Nara, where you’ll visit Todaiji Temple, one of the most historically influential temples in Japan and see deer in Nara Park.

    Enrich

    Partake in a Japanese tea ceremony while dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono, a great photo opportunity.

    Freechoice Dining

    Enjoy the option of dining at Fortune Garden or traditional Kaiseki at Shinsenen Heihachi located walking distance from your hotel.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  16. Day 16 - Kyoto > Hakone

    Freechoice

    Revel in the atmosphere of the ancient preservation districts or visit the Silver Pavilion before strolling along part of the famous Philosopher’s Walk, an approximately two kilometre long, beautiful stone path walk along a canal through the northern part of Kyoto’s Higashiyama district.

    Relax in your Green (Business) Class seats on the Shinkansen train to the picturesque Hakone. Check-in to your hotel for the next two nights and relax in your private open air onsen bath on your balcony.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  17. Day 17 - Hakone

    Walk around the art works and sculptures at the Hakone Open Air Museum and then admire the stunning scenery during your Lake Ashinoko cruise with Mt Fuji as a backdrop. After lunch, trace Edo-era travelers’ footsteps along the cedar lined passage of the old Tokaido and a reconstruction of the Hakone Checkpoint on the Hakone Hachiri Trail.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  18. Day 18 - Hakone > Tokyo

    Drive to Tokyo. Upon arrival visit the Asakusa district, known as the centre of Tokyo’s shitamachi or ‘low city’ capsulizing the atmosphere of Tokyo’s past, paying your respects at Sensoji temple, the city’s oldest Buddhist temple. After lunch gather your bearings of Tokyo from above as you take in the view from Tokyo Sky Tree.

    Check into your hotel, your Special Stay for the next three nights. With direct access to four subway lines, the hotel was recently rated in the Forbes Travel Guide as Tokyo’s exclusive Japanese decor 5 star luxury hotel. Rooms overlook the most picturesque sites in Tokyo, such as the Imperial Palace, the 500-year old Hie Jinja Shrine and beautiful landscaped Japanese gardens.

    Freechoice Dining

    Choose from dining at a ninja themed restaurant or culturally immerse yourself in the traditional Japanese evening Izakaya bar scene serving Yaki-tori and Kushiyaki with your Tour Director as they show you their favourite places to go.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  19. Day 19 - Tokyo

    Begin your day with a peaceful walk through the beautiful Imperial Palace’s East Gardens, part of the inner palace area and the former site of Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defense when the Tokugawa shogun ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. Then in Ginza, dress up in your chefs clothes to make your own sushi lunch with the help of a local chef.

    Freechoice

    Visit the Imperial Shinto Meiji Shrine, before walking across the often-referred to as ‘the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing’ and seeing the famous Hachiko dog statue in Shibuya. Alternatively, wander through picturesque Shinjuku-Gyoen Gardens before witnessing the Shinjuku entertainment district come alive at dusk where you can choose to stay into the night.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  20. Day 20 - Tokyo

    Enrich

    Given by Taiko Masters, partake in an interactive, private group demonstration and lesson in playing the Taiko drums.

    Afterwards visit the epicentre of Tokyo’s teenage youth as you wander along Takeshita Street Harajuku, known for its colourful street art, youth fashion, quirky vintage clothing and cosplay stores and dessert shops and carts that specialise in sweet crêpes, donuts, and bubble tea. Afterwards the afternoon is yours at leisure. Tonight, relive your experiences at your farewell dinner.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  21. Day 21 - Tokyo

    Sadly, it is time to bid farewell and take many wonderful memories with you.

    The itinerary on this page is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons. As such Scenic cannot guarantee the tour will operate unaltered from the itinerary stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Tour inclusions

Your all-inclusive cruise features
  • Up to 228 guests on board for a truly intimate experience
  • Spacious all verandah Suites
  • Butler service for every guest
  • Up to ten on board dining experiences, from casual to fine dining
  • Complimentary beverages all day, every day
  • Up to 15 member Specialist Discovery Team
  • Scenic Discovery excursions
  • Your choice of Scenic Freechoice activities
  • Exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences
  • Engaging lecture and education program on board
  • All tipping and gratuities

Your luxury escorted journey includes
  • The intimacy of small group land journeys with up to 20 guests
  • Exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences
  • Your choice of Scenic Freechoice activities
  • Memorable Scenic Special Stay
  • Fully escorted land journey led by an expert handpicked Tour Director and knowledgeable local guides
  • Porterage throughout, plus return airport transfers
  • All tipping and gratuities

Pricing & Availability