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Tour Highlights


Landscapes thaw and nature tints the country a radiant shade of pink. Delicate pink blossoms between forests of skyscrapers. Cotton candy bows arch gracefully over picnickers like umbrellas, petals flutter gently to the ground. An ephemeral work of art, flourishing sakura (cherry) trees are an annual reminder of the beauty and fragility of life.

  • Embrace the flawless balance of the old and the new as you explore the dynamic capital, Tokyo
  • Bound between the lakes and peaks of Hakone National Park, take in spine tingling views of Mt Fuji
  • Access Japan’s remote ports and forgotten islands is a breeze, thanks to Silver Discoverer
  • Reach remote Sado Island with ease, searching for rare crested ibises
  • Stroll beneath the cherry blossom at one of the most famous gardens of Japan, Kenrokuen
  • Revel in the radiant cherry blossom display on a cruise along Matsue Castle’s moat
  • Step back in time along the crooked alleys of Hagi’s historic samurai quarter
  • Spend a day immersed in rugged nature on a full day hike along Tsushima Island’s scenic trails
  • Welcome the serenity of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and experience the great floating torii gate of Miyajima Island         
  • Watch the kilometres race towards an exhilarating 320km/h as you travel between Tokyo and Niigata
  • Frolic with the resident deer in Nara as you experience the stunning collection of temples and shrines
Japanese Cherry Blossom Season

Cherry blossom season

We were delighted, excited and have promoted captain's choice to our family and friends since returning home.

P & L Fuller, South America by Privately Chartered Qantas 747

Where we visit


Please note: on this expedition cruise and the itinerary should be used as a guide only. This tour requires a moderate degree of physical fitness and may not be suitable for all our guests. Please consult a medical practitioner before booking. For more information on the ship, and to view a deck plan, please download a brochure.

Japan Cruising Map

Full Itinerary


Depart Australia

Day 1: Sunday 1 April

Cosy in on your overnight flight with Qantas. The Land of the Rising Sun awaits.

Arrive Tokyo (Japan)

Day 2: Monday 2 April

Teahouses and timber temples are tucked beneath soaring skyscrapers. Age-old customs merge flawlessly with the futuristic pace. We touch down as Japan’s capital stirs to another day. The Conrad Hotel rests just beyond the polished boutiques of Ginza and the waters of Tokyo Bay. An early check-in has been arranged for our convenience.

Our discovery of Tokyo gets underway with a guided walk around the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. Cotton candy bows arch gracefully over the palace’s moat. This is one of the city’s most popular cherry blossom viewing spots.

We discover the subtle intricacies of Japanese food during tonight’s Welcome Dinner.

Tokyo, Japan

Arrive in the bustling city of Tokyo

Tokyo

Day 3: Tuesday 3 April

There’s no snooze button in the fast-moving city of Tokyo. We rise bright and early to experience Hamarikyu Gardens in the soft morning light. Wander through 300 years of history as you explore stunning gardens that were once duck-hunting and falconry grounds for the Tokugawa shoguns.

From the garden’s pier, we board a boat and cruise along the Sumida River to Asakusa, Tokyo’s oldest neighbourhood. Sensoji Temple, the district’s centrepiece, stands sentinel, veiled in a haze of fragrant wood smoke.

We browse the stalls wedged along Nakamise Street and sit down to a Japanese-style lunch. Later, take a look back at Tokyo’s history at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

Enjoy a degustation of Japanese delicacies with a French twist at La Rochelle restaurant tonight. This memorable meal is created by none other than Chef Sakai of Iron Chef fame. While away the evening amongst Tokyo’s elite as a succession of dainty dishes arrives one-by-one.

Mt Fuji, Hakone National Park

Day 4: Wednesday 4 April

The bright lights of Tokyo fade as we drive towards the hush of Hakone National Park. This scenic area is known not only for its hot springs, but for its views of Mt Fuji. We enjoy lunch overlooking Lake Ashi. Across its blue shores, the famous peak stands perfectly symmetrical. Then, cruise to Togendai Station. Aboard the Hakone Ropeway, we glide above blossom carpeted hillside to the Owakudani volcanic valley.

Back in Tokyo tonight, choose to dine at your hotel or join your Captain’s Choice World Guide who will reveal one of their favourite local restaurants.

Mt Fuji, Japan

Mt Fuji, affectionately known as ‘Fuji San’

Niigata

Day 5: Thursday 5 April

Geared up for our expedition along the southern region of the Japanese archipelago, Silver Discoverer awaits at the port of Niigata on the northwest coast of Honshu.

The first of many memorable meals will be served in the restaurant this evening as we edge away from the shore.

Sado Island

Day 6: Friday 6 April

Skirring through the Sea of Japan we reach realms witnessed by very few foreign travellers. There’s not a skyscraper in sight as we land on Sado Island’s untamed shores.

Along the dim passageways of Sado Kinzan, once Japan’s largest gold mine, we tunnel back in time on a guided tour. Then, learn to make soba noodles with a local master. For keen twitchers, a rare Your World experience awaits today.

  • Among the pine trees of the Toki Forest Park we search for crested ibis, a species rescued from the brink of extinction.

Kanazawa

Day 7: Saturday 7 April

Affectionately known as ‘Little Kyoto’, Kanazawa is reminiscent of Japan’s former imperial capital. See octopus writhing and giant tuna on ice at Omicho Market before drifting beneath radiant cherry blossoms at Kenrokuen, one of the country’s most famous Japanese gardens. We spend the afternoon amongst the teahouses in the historic geisha district.

Kenrouken Garden, Kanazawa Japan

Visit one of Japan’s finest traditional gardens, Kenrokuen

Sakaiminato, Matsue

Day 8: Sunday 8 April

Screened by hundreds of weeping sakura (cherry) trees, Matsue’s elegant wooden castle has earned its place among the country’s top 100 places to view cherry blossoms.
A gentle boat ride around the castle’s moat and along the Hori River is a fine way to take in this magical sight.

Matsue Castle Japan

A cultural treasure, Matsue Castle

Hagi

Day 9: Monday 9 April

Upturned roofs gather on the northern coast of Honshu. Today we disembark in the sleepy little town of Hagi.

The delicate beauty of cherry blossom season flourishes before our eyes at Shizuki Park. From meandering pathways we observe the endemic Yoshino cherry trees and walk to the ruins of 15th-century Hagi Castle, dusted in muted pinks.

Under the late afternoon sun, we take a walk through the samurai quarter where locals welcome us into their traditional wooden residences. At Tokoji Temple, relish the quietude among steely stone lanterns lined up in neat rows.

Ulsan (South Korea)

Day 10: Tuesday 10 April

Sweeping into South Korean waters we are bound for the World Heritage-listed city of Gyeongju. We explore Bulguksa Temple and Daereungwon. Here, 20 ancient tombs are set within round grassy mounds. We also call upon the Gyeongju Yangdong Village to learn the intricacies of the South Korean tea ceremony and attempt a game of Tuho.

Tsushima Island (Japan)

Day 11: Wednesday 11 April

Like ancient beacons, the five torii gates of Watazumi Shrine guide us to Tsushima Island for a Your World experience.

  • If you’re feeling energetic, you might choose to stay on Tsushima Island for a full-day trek along its scenic trails.

We sail towards Kyushu, Japan’s westernmost main island. Once ashore, scoot through rural countryside and up to the summit of Mt Eboshi for views of Aso Bay and its clutch of islands below.

Kumamoto

Day 12: Thursday 12 April

A dusting of pink and white dances into vision as we approach Kumamoto Castle. This is one of the country’s most popular cherry blossom viewing destinations. Close to 1,000 cherry trees fill the castle’s grounds adding a renewed grace after the devastating earthquakes of 2016.

Nagasaki

Day 13: Friday 13 April

Pretty green hinterland folds around Nagasaki, a city known not only for its devastating history, but also as the setting for Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. A visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum is followed by a sombre stroll through the Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to the victims of the 1945 bombing. Up in the hills we find tranquility amongst Glover Garden, then engage with the city’s European heritage at man-made Dejima Island. Constructed in 1636 to segregate Portuguese Christian missionaries, it was later occupied by Dutch traders.

On our ship this evening, we are regaled by the grace and elegance of performing geisha.

Moji

Day 14: Saturday 14 April

Cobblestone streets lead the way to Kokura’s castle, and we capture the best views from its Japanese garden. For lunch we sample the washoku style of cooking, awarded UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage status. The silvery rock formations of the Hiraodai Limestone Plateau coax us out of town this afternoon. From a distance, the rolling hillside, dotted with white stones, looks much like a pasture of sheep. We enjoy a closer inspection underground at the Hiraodai Senbutsu Cave.

Curious drinkers will enjoy swirling sake with local craft brewers on board this evening.

Hiroshima & Miyajima

Day 15: Sunday 15 April

We arrive in Hiroshima, a vibrant centre that has risen from the ashes of its past. Along the Ota River, we visit the Peace Memorial Museum, the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome, the only structure left standing in the zone where the first atomic bomb was dropped. Here, cherry trees bloom where it was once thought nothing would ever grow. 

After lunch aboard our ship we sail a short distance to Miyajima Island. Itsukushima Shrine, with its floating vermilion torii gate in the sea, is one of the most famous snapshots of the island and indeed the country. Stroll along the water’s edge with the island’s resident deer.

Torii Gate, Japan

Itsukushima Shrine appears to float atop the Seto Inland Sea

Okayama

Day 16: Monday 16 April

With our ship in port in Okayama for the day we have the pleasure of visiting one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, Korakuen, built in 1687. Pathways meander between a series of shimmering ponds and teahouses. Fragrant plum groves merge with rice fields, tea plantations and a flourishing iris garden.

Along the narrow lanes and stone bridges of the Kurashiki district, we observe tiny restaurants, shopfronts, and original warehouses which have been converted into museums, boutiques and cafes. There’s also time to visit the Ohara Museum of Art, the first Japanese museum to permanently exhibit Western art. Inside, view works by Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Segantini, Picasso, Matisse among many others.

Kobe, Kyoto

Day 17: Tuesday 17 April

Disembark Ship

We farewell our ship in Kobe as the bullet trains sweeps us into the graceful embrace of Kyoto. Far from the neon glimmer of Tokyo, life here flutters gloriously between the old and the new. We uncover Kyoto’s ancient elegance on an excursion to World Heritage-listed Nijo Castle complex. Gravel pathways lined with cherry trees guide the way to the 1603 palace, its golden eaves curled up like scrolls. We remove our shoes and tread the ancient wooden boards in the footsteps of shoguns, feudal lords and imperial messengers of old.

A Your World experience awaits after lunch.

  • Meet a tea master at their machiya and learn how to prepare matcha tea. After, at the Higashiyama district, we wind through wooden ryokan, shops and cafes.
  • Enjoy an insider’s look at 400-year-old Nishiki Market.
In the late afternoon it’s time to check in to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for three nights back on land. 

We enjoy our first taste of Kyoto’s vibrant fare at tonight’s dinner.

Golden Pavilion, Kyoto Japan

Kinkakuji, the ‘Golden Pavilion’

Nara

Day 18: Wednesday 18 April

To the imperial city of Nara to observe its World Heritage-listed temples and shrines. We enjoy a gentle walk through Nara Park towards the Todaiji Temple complex, tame deer in tow. Across a sprawling lawn stands the soaring Daibutsuden, Great Buddha Hall, home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha.

In Kyoto this evening, you may like to further your education of Japanese cuisine or enjoy a quiet dinner at the hotel.

Kyoto

Day 19: Thursday 19 April

Veiled in gold leaf, three-tiered Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, is a vision of Zen architecture reflected in the mirror-like pond surrounding it. We admire its splendour, before a stroll through the bamboo groves of the Arashiyama district to Tenryuji Temple.

Perhaps your free afternoon will lead you down the cherry tree-lined pathways of Philosopher’s Walk? Or into Gion where geisha can be seen dashing between wooden inns.

Tonight’s farewell dinner is set to dazzle. We can’t disclose all the details but it’s sure to be one to remember.

Kyoto – Osaka – Depart Tokyo

Day 20: Friday 20 April

Spend your final morning as you please. Or, join us for a Your World experience.

  • Pay a visit to the Kyoto National Museum.

We savour our last taste of authentic Japanese cuisine during lunch, then take the bullet train to Tokyo from where we will board our flight home.

Arrive Australia

Day 21: Saturday 21 April

We land on home soil and part ways with fond impressions of Japan etched in our memories. We hope to see you on your next Captain’s Choice adventure.

All Inclusive Tours

Imagine a trip where you won’t have to lift a finger, or worry about bringing your wallet.

Sightseeing

Sightseeing

Sightseeing in each destination is included. Select Options even allow you to tailor aspects of the touring to your individual tastes when there are multiple touring options.

Wine

Meals and Drinks

All meals are included with your tour price along with beer, wine and soft drinks. Dining experiences can range from Michelin-starred restaurants to intimate local eateries.

Accommodation Hotel Bell

Accommodation

We believe a superior standard of service is just as important as five star facilities. We select our hotels with location and accessibility in mind as well as luxury.

Flights Included

Flights

We have included different flight options for your convenience. Should you wish to fly with a different airline to the group we can help you with those arrangements if you wish.

Captain's Choice Documents

Those little details

Tipping, Taxes and Transfers are all included in the tour price when you take one of our packages. We even look after your luggage for the entire trip.

Tour Host Team

Tour Host Team & Doctor

Wherever you are in the world, you will always have a friendly and knowledgeable Tour Host Team on hand. Not to mention a Doctor on every tour for your peace of mind.

Silver Discoverer

Photo Credit: Lex Santoso

Your Ship Silver Discoverer

Silversea’s loyal following of adventure travellers can now explore the far flung corners of the globe aboard the sleek, 120 guest Silver Discoverer. She’s the perfect platform for viewing these untamed landscapes, with all ocean view suites and plenty of deck space so that the marine wildlife and beautiful horizons are always within sight. The shallow draft of Silver Discoverer allows her to navigate closer to shore, and with a fleet of 12 Zodiacs, guests can land on isolated shores and explore wetlands and submerged ecosystems from up close.

    Silver Discoverer Discover Lounge

    Discover Lounge

    This area has a24-hour self-service coffee, tea & juice bar, which makes it an ideal place to relax and reflect on the day’s activities and future expeditions to come.

    The Relationship Between Captain's Choice and

    Silversea


    For over 20 years now, Captain's Choice has partnered with Silversea to take you on journeys that sail beyond the realms of your imagination. When you take a Silversea voyage with Captain’s Choice, absolutely everything is included.

    From start to finish we’ve done all we can to make your travel hassle free by including international flights from Australia. You can expect ocean view suites with butler service aboard Silversea, pre and post cruise arrangements, all meals with fine wines, beers and soft drinks and fascinating shore excursions . Plus, we also send an experienced Tour Host Team to be with you every step of the way. At Captain’s Choice, it’s our pleasure to take you there.

    Impressions of Japan

    Aboard Silver Discoverer
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    Have A Question?


    Contact us for more information, including full pricing and availability of individual tours.

    Enquire Now

    Based on per person, twin share in an Explorer Suite – from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane flying with Qantas. Prices from other cities are available on request.

    All guests fly via Sydney to connect with the direct flight to Tokyo. All regional flights are in Economy Class.

    Cruise & Land Only guests join in Tokyo for dinner on Day 2 and depart Tokyo after lunch on Day 20

    Supplements (add to base tour cost, per person, twin share)
    View Suite $1,740
    Vista Suite $8,770
    Veranda Suite $13,070

    Single Suite Supplement including hotels (add to base tour cost)
    Explorer Suite $19,960
    View Suite $23,630
    Vista Suite $32,040
    Veranda Suite $38,080

    Single suites at above prices are limited. For details of other suite upgrades, please contact one of our Tour Sales Consultants.

    Please note: on this expedition cruise, the itinerary should be used as a guide only. This tour requires a moderate degree of physical fitness and may not be suitable for all our guests. Please consult a medical practitioner before booking

    Request more information about this tour

    Mail Me a Brochure View Brochure