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Eternal Japan & South Korea

Eternal Japan & South Korea

From GBP £8,395

Description

Japan is a fascinating combination of unique heritage and culture contrasting with the sprawling metropolises of the world’s most advanced technological civilisation. Made up of 6,852 islands, the perfect way to explore the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ is by sea and the Heritage Adventurer is the ideal vessel for such a voyage. Our fascinating itinerary offers the opportunity to visit ancient castles, serenely beautiful gardens and opulent temples and shrines combined with witnessing some of Japan’s stunning natural landscapes.

During our voyage we will visit the historic and serene castle town of Matsue and the ancient feudal town of Hagi, experience the tranquillity of scared Miyajima and discover one of Japan’s most famed gardens, Koraku-en. Although we will also visit the awe-inspiring contemporary landscape of Tokyo, what makes our itinerary truly unique is our visits to parts of Japan where relatively few tourists set foot such as Shikoku Island, one of the more traditional islands where we learn about pearl cultivation and our excursion inland from Ube to the picturesque five-storied Pagoda of Rurikoji Temple which dates back to 1442.

In addition to our partial circumnavigation of Japan, our course takes us past the south eastern tip of South Korea where we will spend a day in Gyeongju, the ‘Museum Without Walls’ and also visit the Haeinsa Temple, considered one of the three great temples in Korea. Such places invoke the strongest of memories and allow you to immerse yourself in the myth and mystique of these ancient lands whilst returning each evening to the peace and comfort of our vessel. Helping us understand all we will see and experience, and travelling with us throughout the voyage, will be our expert Guest Speaker and Japanese guides who will add immeasurably to your enjoyment and understanding of this captivating country.

Trip Name
Eternal Japan & South Korea
Days
13
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Length: 124 metres Passenger Capacity: 140 Built: 1991 Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the ‘Grande Dame of Polar Exploration’ due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purpose-built for adventure in 1991 at Finland’s Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration.Setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (formerly known as MS Hanseatic) combines the highest passenger ship ice-class rating (1A Super) with an impressive history of Polar exploration. Having held records for the most northern and southern Arctic and Antarctic navigations, and for traversing both the Northwest and Northeast Passages, makes Heritage Adventurer perfect for pioneering New Zealand-based Heritage Expeditions signature experiential expedition travel.Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, Heritage Adventurer now welcomes just 140 expeditioners ensuring spacious, stylish and comfortable voyages, while a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition adventure. Heritage Adventurer proudly continues our traditions of exceptional, personalised expedition experiences as Heritage Expeditions flagship. Observation Lounge – One of the most celebrated and best-known features of Heritage Adventurer is the awe-inducing Observation Lounge, Library and Bar. Located on Deck 7 and perched directly above the Bridge, enjoy sweeping 270-degree views through floor to ceiling windows, perfect for wildlife spotting and quick access to the outer deck. Bring your binoculars to spot wildlife, observe the ever-changing landscape, write in your journal or relax with a book. Observation Deck – Enjoy 360-degree views from the highest point on the ship. The Observation Deck sits above the Observation Lounge and provides exceptional outside viewing options. Stretching the full width of the vessel, this is the perfect spot to take in the surrounding land and seascapes. Perfect on a sunny day, recline in the comfortable sun loungers protected from the wind and elements and watch your voyage unfold.  The Bridge – No expedition is complete without visiting Heritage Adventurer’s busy nerve centre. Located on Deck 6, Heritage Expeditions’ Open Bridge Policy means you are welcome to observe the Captain and crew at work while enjoying some of the ship’s best views. It’s a fascinating place to learn about navigation and vessel operations, however please note the Bridge will be closed when departing or arriving at port. Dining Room  – Indulge in fine international cuisine from our talented chefs in the lavish surrounds of our Dining Room on Deck 4. Sensational 270-degree views provide a stunning backdrop to meals here along with an international wine list featuring many outstanding regional wines. With relaxed seating arrangements, all guests can enjoy dining in a single sitting from hearty breakfasts setting you up for the day’s adventure to sumptuous lunches and multi-course evening dining. Bistro  – Simple fast and delicious meals and snacks are on offer in our relaxed Bistro on Deck 6. Perfect for early risers to enjoy tea, coffee and light breakfast options the Bistro provides great views and opens directly onto a covered and heated teak-deck outdoor dining area. The Bar and Lounge  – The social hub of  Heritage Adventurer, the Bar and Lounge on Deck 5 features seating for all guests. Enjoy a beverage at the bar, sink into an armchair, relax on one of the many spacious loungers and watch the world go by through the panoramic windows or make new friends at the communal seating. This multi-tasking space also doubles as the location of daily briefings and evening recaps with the expedition team. The Gym – Featuring spectacular ocean views, the well-equipped gym is adjacent to the pool, hot tub and sauna in Deck 7’s wellbeing zone. Maintain your routine with an elliptical cross trainer, treadmill, rowing machine, stationary bikes, TRX as well as free weights, yoga mats and fitness balls. Towels are provided with change room and shower amenities nearby. Sauna and Steam Room – True to her Nordic origins, Heritage Adventurer features a dry-heat Finnish sauna and European steam room on Deck 7. Perfect for warming up post Polar plunge or unwinding after a day’s adventures, the sauna and steam room include change room facilities, showers and towels. Swimming Pool and Hot Tub – Surrounded by relaxed teak seating including sun loungers, the open-air saltwater pool can be heated or chilled. Encased in glass the hot tub ensures all-weather use, perfect for those who like to relax with a view following a day of exploring. Lectures and Presentations – Enjoy informative and entertaining lectures on history, biology, wildlife, and ecology in the comfort of the Presentation Theatre. With state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, our world-renowned expedition team will bring your adventure to life through interactive presentations and discussions.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 London to Tokyo, Japan.
Fly by scheduled flight.
Day 2 - Day 2 Tokyo.
Arrive this afternoon and transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 3 - Day 3 Tokyo to Kanazawa.
After breakfast in the hotel our morning city tour will include the Meiji Shrine and Sensoji Temple. We continue to the train station to join our bullet train to Kanazawa where, on arrival, we will transfer to the Heritage Adventurer and embark. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we moor overnight.
Day 4 - Day 4 Kanazawa.
Kanazawa is a thriving centre of the arts, long known for its lacquerware, outstanding collectable pottery of the Kutani style, gold-leaf workmanship, delicate hand painting of silk for kimonos and Noh theatre dramas. The narrow and winding cobblestone streets have a quaint photogenic charm with old fashioned streetlamps and wooden lattice windows hiding elegant restaurants and craft galleries. Around each bend is a traditional house, museum, art gallery, craft shop, historic samurai residence and even a geisha house to explore. The fascinating open-air market displays a vast variety of items from flowers to fish and local handicrafts and next to the Kanazawa Castle ruins is one of Japan’s premier highlights, the famed Kenroku-en Garden, ranked among the country’s top three gardens.
Day 5 - Day 5 Matsue.
From the port of Sakaiminato we visit Matsue, the ‘town of water,’ which nestles between a scenic lake and a large lagoon. We will visit the cultural attractions of the town including the 17th century Matsue Castle before enjoying a boat ride along the local canals. After lunch on board spend the afternoon at leisure or visit the Adachi Museum of Art which is set in a beautiful natural environment. The museum is well known for both its superb Japanese gardens and its collection of contemporary Japanese paintings, comprising approximately 1500 of the country’s most highly regarded paintings produced after the Meiji period.
Day 6 - Day 6 Hagi.
Hagi was a minor fishing port until Mori Terumoto fortified it in 1604 and it was Mori Samurai that helped spark off the anti-Tokugawa revolt in the mid-19th century. Today it is better known for its traditional pottery making traditions. This morning we will explore the Teramachi District with its temples and shrines, the Jokamachi District, where we find the old samurai houses and also take time to explore Hagi Castle, Shizuki Park and Tokoji Temple. Return to the vessel for lunch and this afternoon is free to relax or perhaps travel to the outskirts of the city and the Yoshika Taibi Memorial Museum which is dedicated to a large collection of Hagiyaki pottery which was highly prized in the Edo Period as wares for tea ceremonies.
Day 7 - Day 7 Ulsan, South Korea.
Crossing over to South Korea we embark on a full day excursion to magnificent Gyeongju, a World Heritage Site which is often described as the world’s finest open-air museum embracing ancient Korean history and Buddhist culture. As the ancient capital of the Shilla Dynasty, Gyeongju’s cultural heritage dates back to the first millennium. Today, as we stroll through some of the hundreds of excavated monuments, temples, tombs and pagodas, there will be time to explore the National Museum with its exceptional collection of finely worked gold jewellery, metal weapons and distinctive pottery. At lunch time, we will sample Korean delicacies and enjoy a cultural performance of traditional dance.
Day 8 - Day 8 Masan for Haeinsa.
From our berth in Masan we head inland to the Haeinsa Temple. Regarded as one of the three great temples in Korea, it was first settled in 802 AD and its name derives from a verse in a Buddhist Sutra as “reflections on a smooth sea”. In the 13th century when Korea was at war with the Mongols, the government commissioned the Tripitaka Koreana, a complete copy of Buddhist scriptures, in the hope of Buddha’s intervention in the war. They were carved onto 81,258 double sided wooden blocks and stored on floor to ceiling shelves in the Janggyeong Panjeon building. We also visit the main worship hall of the temple. After lunch in a nearby restaurant we will return to Masan this afternoon where you may want to visit the vibrant fish market selling the daily catch.
Day 9 - Day 9 Ube, Japan.
After a leisurely morning at sea we return to Japan and the port of Ube for our exploration of the historic, southern Yamaguchi prefecture. There will be a choice of tours and you may wish to travel inland to visit the picturesque five-storied Pagoda of Rurikoji Temple and the surrounding park. Dating back to 1442, the pagoda was built in memory of Yoshihiro Mori Terumoto who ruled the area during this period. Alternatively drive to Hofu Tenmangu, believed to be the oldest Tenmangu in Japan having been built in 903 at the site where the court officials and scholar Sugawara Michizane stopped on his way to Fukuoka following his exile. Afterwards visit the museum which houses more than 20,000 national treasure items, including swords, armoury, calligraphy and scrolls. We will then have a chance to explore the beautiful gardens.
Day 10 - Day 10 Uwajima.
This morning we land on Shikoku Island and the port of Uwajima situated deep inside the saw-toothed coast of Uwajima Bay. The city of Uwajima is emerging as the nation’s largest pearl cultivation centre and we will learn the process of implanting, harvesting, extracting and sorting pearls on a visit to a pearl farm. We will also see Uwajima Castle which is built on top of the hill with panoramic views over the town and harbour and the Tensha-en Garden, built in the Samurai era. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore at your own pace.
Day 11 - Day 11 Hiroshima & Miyajima.
Arrive this morning in Hiroshima for our visit to the compelling Peace Memorial Park. The park is dotted with memorials, including the Cenotaph which contains the names of all the known victims of the A-bomb and the permanently lit “Flame of Peace”. Just outside the park, the A-Bomb Dome is a haunting reminder of the destructive forces that were unleashed on the city being one of the few original buildings to survive. In the museum we will see photos, videos and victims’ personal effects relating to the bomb. Over lunch we sail to Miyajima which is considered one of Japan’s top scenic wonders and provides a picture postcard vista of the scarlet Torii gate, the giant camphor wood gates at the entrance to the Shinto Shrine. We will use our Zodiacs to go ashore and explore the Itsukushima Jinja Shrine, founded in the 6th century and dedicated to three sea goddesses.
Day 12 - Day 12 Koraku-en & Kurashiki.
From the port of Uno-Ko we will visit one of Japan’s most famed gardens, Koraku-en, which translates as ‘Garden of pleasure after’. This 17th century formal garden has 28 acres of walking trails, ponds, plum and cherry trees. After a Japanese lunch in a local restaurant we will continue to Kurashiki where we explore the old merchant quarter and its fine 17th century wooden warehouses painted white with traditional black tiles, along a canal framed with weeping willows and filled with koi. There will also be the opportunity to visit the Ohara Museum of Art which includes rare works by Matisse, Picasso and Renoir as well as collections from Japan’s mingei movement including ceramics by Hamada Shoji.
Day 13 - Day 13 Kobe to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to Osaka airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 14 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
26-04-202308-05-2023GBP £8,395Category 6
26-04-202308-05-2023GBP £8,395Category 1
26-04-202308-05-2023GBP £8,695Category 2
26-04-202308-05-2023GBP £8,995Category 3
26-04-202308-05-2023GBP £9,695Category 7
26-04-202308-05-2023GBP £9,995Category 4
26-04-202308-05-2023GBP £9,995Category 8
26-04-202308-05-2023GBP £10,495Category 5

Inclusions

    • Kanazawa & Matsue
    • Hagi & Ube
    • Ulsan, South Korea
    • Hiroshima & Miyajima
    • Koraku-en & Kurashiki

Map