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Coastal Japan: Imperial Dynasties and Modern Culture

Coastal Japan: Imperial Dynasties and Modern Culture

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Description

Step back in time on a voyage into Japan’s riveting history, from the historic castle towns of the Edo period to the elegant shrines and merchant districts of the Meiji era to the poignant sites of World War II. We trace the shores of Honshu and the islands of the Seto Inland Sea aboard theNational Geographic Resolution, venture into the homes of samurai and feudal lords, and discover exquisite centuries-old gardens and temples. Take a detour to South Korea to spend a day exploring the ancient city of Gyeongju, and explore Japanese artistic traditions of the past and present.

Trip Name
Coastal Japan: Imperial Dynasties and Modern Culture
Days
15
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Passenger Capacity: 126 Built: 2020 A next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. National Geographic Resolution is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. A twin to National Geographic Endurance, she is a fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Class 5 (PC5) vessel, it is designed to navigate polar passages year-round, and safely explore uncharted waters, while providing exceptional comfort. Its patented X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions, and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. She carries a full suite of expedition tools and offers a variety of experience-enhancing amenities. The luxury of comfort on expedition. National Geographic Resolution comfortably accommodates 126 guests in 69 outside-facing cabins. Cabins are efficiently designed, with sizes range from the 140-square-foot solo cabin to the 430-square-foot category 7 suite. Fifty-three of the 69 cabins, including all 12 of the solo cabins, will feature small balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that bring in the spectacular views and ample natural light.  Comfort & convenience in every room. Every cabin has two portholes, a large window or balcony, and temperature controls. Bathrooms are modern and stocked with botanically inspired hair products, soap, and shower gel, plus a hairdryer. Cabins are equipped with expedition command centers with tablets and USB/mobile device docking, TVs, Wi-Fi connections, and hair dryers. Dining. Food served aboard is fresh, local, and delicious, and sourced from suppliers who share our values of sustainable use whenever possible. Meals aboard are almost always served in the dining room, located aft of the lounge deck. When weather conditions allow, lighter fare may be served on the observation deck. There is no assigned seating and our dining room accommodates the entire expedition community in a single seating. During meals your expedition leader, naturalists, and any guest speakers aboard will join you. Public Areas: Two restaurants, a Chef’s Table for small group dining, Observation Lounge with bar, gym, Wellness area, infinity-style outdoor hot tubs, library, main lounge with full service bar, 24-hour beverage, state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations, and a photo workshop area; plus, an expedition base with lockers for expedition gear, and an “open bridge” for access to our captain, officers and the art of navigation. Meals: Two restaurants, featuring local, sustainable choices and unassigned seating for flexible, inclusive dining; plus a Chef’s table for intimate, small group dining. Main restaurant has 270º views, and the Observation deck restaurant features lighter, made-to-order fare.  Special Features: A full-time doctor, undersea specialist, National Geographic photographer, Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and video chronicler, an internet cafe and laundry. Wellness: The vessel is staffed by our wellness specialists and features a glass-enclosed yoga studio, gym, treatment rooms and spa relax area, and high- and low-heat saunas with ocean views. Expedition Landing Craft. Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, which we use to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With 14 of these boats and two loading stations used every time we disembark, we’re able to transfer guests off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. The expedition landing craft we use are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of comfortably carrying 10-12 people. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. Remotely Operated Vehicle. Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. Chances are you, like many of our guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colorful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean. Kayaks. National Geographic Resolution will be equipped with a fleet of kayaks large enough to ensure everyone who wants to can paddle at every opportunity. Consequently, prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of our guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Our custom-designed floating platform lets us deploy kayaks from the ship, or any location we want—including far from shore. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch. Underwater camera. Our undersea specialist will dive often during your expedition, even in polar regions, with cold-water gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colorful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrive in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment. Video microscope. Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building block of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding live views of krill at 80x magnification fills the high-definition screens in the lounge with vivid detail, and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of otherwise unobservable creatures. Hydrophone. This underwater microphone is deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback. Few experiences in nature are as captivating as watching humpback whales feed close to the ship as their vocalizations play through the ship’s PA system. Electronic charts. An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is almost always on display in the lounge. Open bridge. You’ll find our captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. National Geographic Resolution's open bridge features comfortable spaces to sit, enjoy the view, drink your morning coffee, or simply chat with the officers. Snorkeling gear & wetsuits. On warm weather itineraries where there will be snorkeling, you’ll select a mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit that remain yours for the duration of the expedition. There’s no need to pack and tote your own gear, although guests who prefer to are welcome to bring their own.

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1: Tokyo, Japan
Arrive in Tokyo and transfer to our hotel, located steps from the lively Ginza district.Arrival Time: Arrive before 5:30 p.m. local time.Arrival City: Tokyo, JapanMeals Included: Dinner
Day 2 - DAY 2: Tokyo
Enjoy a full day to get to know this vibrant city, the capital of Japan since the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Visit Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji, who brought an end to Japan’s long feudal period. Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum, then meander through the historic Asakusa neighborhood around Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senso-ji. Gather tonight for a welcome dinner.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - DAYS 3 - 4: Tokyo / Kanazawa / Embark Ship
Zip north on Japan’s famous bullet train to Kanazawa, a port city on Honshu’s northwestern coast, where National Geographic Resolution awaits. Get to know your beautiful home for the upcoming days and settle into your cabin. Overnight onboard.Step into Old Japan in Kanazawa, once a powerful city ruled by the Maeda clan. Stroll past the lovely wooden homes of the samurai in the Nagamachi district, where the streets are intentionally narrow and winding to confuse enemies. Then explore the geisha and teahouse district of Higashi Chaya Machi. Next, wander the pathways of Kenroku-en, one of Japan’s designated “three best landscape gardens,” established in 1676 by the Maeda family and developed over 150 years.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - DAY 5: Matsue
Follow the coast west to Matsue, situated between a lake, a lagoon, and the sea. Tour the 17th-century Matsue Castle built as a defensive fortress and discover its clever design elements intended to foil the enemy. Continue to the Adachi Museum of Art, which blends an impressive collection of 20th-century Japanese art with a gem-like traditional garden.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - DAY 6: Hagi
In the castle town of Hagi, known for its fine ceramic arts, tour the historic district, once home to wealthy merchants and samurai. Stroll past serene rows of stone lanterns at the town’s two Zen Buddhist temples, where the feudal lords of the powerful Mori clan were laid to rest. This afternoon, we chart our course for the Korean Peninsula.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - DAY 7: Busan, South Korea / Gyeongju
Dock in Busan, and travel to Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla kingdom and the crown jewel of Korea’s cultural heritage. Packed with the ruins of temples, pagodas, and palaces dating back more than a thousand years, the historic areas of the city have been collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Bulguksa Temple, a masterpiece of Silla architecture originally built in A.D. 528. At the Gyeongju National Museum, examine jewelry, weapons, and other Silla artifacts. See Cheomseongdae, a seventh-century observatory, and wander among towering royal burial mounds.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - DAY 8: Nagasaki, Japan
Long before World War II, Nagasaki was a cosmopolitan trading center, drawing merchants from Europe and China to its picturesque harbor as early as the 1500s. Visit Oura Cathedral, the oldest Christian church in Japan, and venture into Sofukuji, a 400-year-old Ming-style Zen Buddhist temple. Visit Nagasaki Peace Park, where a poignant exhibition illustrates the aftermath of the atomic bomb attack on the city, and see the somber monument erected at ground zero.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - DAY 9: Kagoshima
At the southern end of Kyushu, the city of Kagoshima sits just across the bay from the active volcano Sakurajima. Take a walk in Sengan-en Garden, designed by the city’s ruling Shimadzu clan in 1658 to incorporate the bay and its simmering volcano. After lunch, travel along the Satsuma Peninsula to the village of Chiran, where the samurai designed gardens inspired by their travels.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - DAY 10: Yakushima Island
The diverse ecology of Yakushima Island, including a subtropical coast and temperate rainforest in the interior, has earned this island UNESCO World Heritage status. On a hike, discover the island’s ancient Yakusugi cedar trees, many of which date back more than a thousand years. Our ship turns north toward the island of Shikoku this evening.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - DAY 11: Uwajima / Uchiko
Rise early for a morning hike to Uwajima Castle, one of just 12 original Edo-period castles that remain intact. Continue to Uchiko, once a center of wax production. Take a walk in the town’s well-preserved Yokaichi district, where beautifully crafted wooden merchant homes recall the prosperity of the Meiji period.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - DAY 12: Miyajima / Hiroshima
Start the day on the island of Miyajima, home of Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its red torii gate that seems to float atop the water at high tide. In Hiroshima, visit the Peace Memorial Park. See the Atomic Bomb Dome, one of only a few buildings left standing after the attack, and learn about the city’s dedication to peace following World War II.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12 - DAY 13: Naoshima / Takamatsu
The small island of Naoshima was transformed from a dwindling community to a vibrant art center by Benesse Holdings, which began inviting artists and architects to create a hub for the arts in the early 1990s. Discover the island’s cutting-edge creations, from an underground museum designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando to the famous polka-dotted pumpkins of Yayoi Kusama. After lunch, cross to Takamatsu on Shikoku Island. Explore Shikoku Mur, an open-air museum that showcases traditional building styles. End the day at the Noguchi Garden Museum, which features the sculptures and workshop of Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13 - DAY 14: Okayama / Kurashiki
Dock in Okayama and head for our second of Japan’s “three best landscape gardens”: Koraku-en. Wander paths that wind along forest streams and past traditional teahouses tucked amid maple and cherry trees. See the black-walled Okayama Castle, before continuing to the former shipping center of Kurashiki, where centuries-old rice granaries line a lovely canal. Browse local handicrafts, and visit the renowned Ohara Museum of Art and the 18th-century Ohashi House.Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14 - DAY 15: Kobe / Disembark Ship / Osaka
This morning disembark in Kobe. Pay a visit to 17th-century Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site known as the “White Heron Castle.” After lunch, transfer to the airport in Osaka for your flight home.Departure Time: Depart after 5:30 p.m. local time.Departure City: Osaka, JapanMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 15 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
03-09-202417-09-2024Array Array34,020Category 1
03-09-202417-09-2024Array Array35,030Category 2
03-09-202417-09-2024Array Array47,050Category 4
03-09-202417-09-2024Array Array52,380Category 5
03-09-202417-09-2024Array Array53,370Category A Solo
03-09-202417-09-2024Array Array58,810Category B Solo
03-09-202417-09-2024Array Array66,820Category 7
03-09-202417-09-2024Array Array0Category 6
03-09-202417-09-2024Array Array0Category 3
13-09-202427-09-2024Array Array35,030Category 2
13-09-202427-09-2024Array Array47,050Category 4
13-09-202427-09-2024Array Array52,380Category 5
13-09-202427-09-2024Array Array58,810Category B Solo
13-09-202427-09-2024Array Array66,820Category 7
13-09-202427-09-2024Array Array0Category A Solo
13-09-202427-09-2024Array Array0Category 6
13-09-202427-09-2024Array Array0Category 3
13-09-202427-09-2024Array Array34,020Category 1

Inclusions

    • Delve into the history of the samurai and their feudal lords while visiting castles and samurai districts in Kanazawa, Matsue, and Uwajima
    • Explore the rich cultural legacy of Korea’s Silla Dynasty among the incredible ancient ruins of Gyeongju, a UNESCO World Heritage site
    • Get inspired on the art-filled island of Naoshima and visit museums and studios dedicated to artists and traditional handicrafts in Matsue and in Takamatsu
    • Meander through Kenroku-en, Koraku-en, and Sengan-en, three unique Japanese gardens that are considered some of the most beautiful in the country

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