Holland America Line

14-Day Land Of The Rising Sun

 
 
14-Day Land Of The Rising Sun
Starting from $2,399*

Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan to Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan


Ship: ms Maasdam


Departure Date :

Jul 31 2019

Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.

 

Itinerary

 
Day Yokohama, Japan
Departs 10:00 PM
"Until the mid-19th century, Japan lived in isolation, closed off from the rest of the world, and Yokohama was a mere fishing village. But in 1853, American naval officer Matthew Perry demanded the country open to foreign trade, and Yokohama was changed forever. The city quickly emerged as an international trading center, and while today it is often overshadowed by nearby Tokyo, it continues to be one of Japan’s liveliest, and most international, destinations. With its microbreweries and international restaurants, Yokohama has a decidedly different feel from many other Japanese cities.

From Yokohama, it’s a quick trip to peaceful Kamakura, home to Daibutsu, Japan’s second-largest bronze Buddha, and to the important Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Head to Hakone National Park on a clear day and you’ll be rewarded with picture-postcard views of majestic Mt. Fuji. "
Yokohama, Japan
 
 
Day Shimizu, Japan
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 03:00 PM
Shimizu’s rich cultural heritage is rooted in the surrounding Shizuoka area’s history as the home of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo shogunate, following his retirement from government. A collection of historic buildings in the vicinity, such as Kunozan Toshogu Shrine (designated a National Treasure by the Japanese government), Sumpu Castle Park, and Shizuoka Sengen Shrine, depict a fascinating portrait of the life and accomplishments of this major historical figure. The Shizuoka area’s ancient culture is available not only for observation but for hands-on experience as well. At Sumpu Takumi-shuku, visitors can try their hand at making traditional Suruga handicrafts characteristic of the Shizuoka region, such as bamboo works, dyes, and lacquerware.
Shimizu, Japan
 
 
Day Kobe, Japan
Arrives 10:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM
"One of the greatest things about Japan is its attention to detail. Nothing is too small for consideration. Nailheads on temple walkways are hidden by inlaid metal covers. If the train schedule says the train arrives at 11:05, it will not be there at 11:04; and if it’s more than 10 minutes late, you can get the rail line to give you an excuse form to present back at the office, explaining your tardiness. Shops sell combs and hairpins made with the same patterns and in the same way as 500 years ago.

So maybe this attention to detail explains what happened in 20th-century Kobe. Some farmer was looking at his cow, thinking, “What possibilities of perfection am I missing?” Cows were still a new thing; they were banned as food almost until WWII, so cow rules were in flux when this farmer began massaging his herd with sake. The cows got pleasantly drunk on local beer and listened to classical music—and in return for the pampering, they produced, and continue to produce, heavily marbled, melt-in-the-mouth cuts of meat that can easily sell for a hundred bucks a dish. Like everything else in town, Kobe beef is all in the details.

Among the Japanese, Kobe is considered exotic: “If you can’t go to Paris, go to Kobe.” And it does make a nice break from Osaka’s relentless pace. Order a steak, find a window booth and watch the details. "
Kobe, Japan
 
 
Day Takamatsu, Japan
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
Takamatsu is located on Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, in the Kagawa Prefecture on the Seto Inland Sea. During the Edo period, it was famous for its seaside castle, one of the few with a moat utilizing seawater. The castle was destroyed during the Meiji period, and today the so-called Sunport waterfront project has substituted the Symbol Tower, Takamatsu’s tallest building, for the castle tower that once graced its flag. Long an important port for Japan, Takamatsu was nearly destroyed in 1945 by Allied incendiary bombing. A portion of the famous castle, including foundations and part of the wall, still strand on the city-center park, and there are plans to reconstruct more of it. The Ritsurin Koen garden, first built in the Edo period, survives, and makes a welcome oasis in the city, with a folk museum, rest houses and a tranquil tearoom among lakes, hills and groves of cherry trees that bloom in the spring and flame into color in the autumn. The Shikoku Mura is an open-air museum with traditional buildings gathered from all over Shikoku on display. The Yashima area boasts an Isamu Noguchi Museum dedicated to the late designer, artist and sculptor, with several traditional buildings he relocated and used as work spaces and galleries, along with many finished and unfinished sculptures. There is also a lovely Yashima Temple halfway up the mountain, and at the top, an observation deck with breathtaking views of the city and port.
Takamatsu, Japan
 
 
Day Kochi, Japan
Arrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM
Kochi Prefecture is blessed with beautiful and abundant nature under a shining sun such as the coastline with the Kuroshio Current (Japan Current), clear rivers such as the Shimanto River and deep green forests. It has a history and environment which produced many pioneers and great men such as Sakamoto Ryoma. Kochi's free and daring characteristics have created generous yet deeply strong residents called "Igosso" or "Hachikin," and the wisdom and activity of the people of Kochi, who are full of ideas, gave birth to special gardening crops and industrial technologies. Also, the unique regional culture represented by "Yosakoi Festival" has been developed.
Kochi, Japan
 
 
Day Scenic Cruising Kanmon Strait
Cruising only
 
 
Day Kanazawa, Japan
Arrives 11:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM
One of Japan’s best-preserved cities, Kanazawa escaped war damage and natural disasters to reward visitors with a wealth of architecture as an important clan castle town from the mid-17th century until the middle of the 19th. The mighty Kanazawa Castle did not survive intact, but its famous Ishikawa Gate, the Sunjikken Longhouse and lavish Kenrokuen Garden hint at the grandeur. Of special note are the surviving Higashi Geisha District and Samurai District streets. The Temple area holds the Myoryuji Temple with its hidden passages and secret doors giving it the nickname the Ninja Temple. The Oyamajinja Shrine is a later addition, its three-story gate with impressive stained glass windows reveal a Dutch influence. Museums worth exploring include the Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum, with examples of the arts and crafts using the pure gold decoration for which the region is famous. Another museum celebrates the Buddhist philosopher D. T. Suzuki, credited with introducing Zen philosophy to the West, and a striking 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Nearby Mt. Utatsu is renowned for its Three Shrines.
Kanazawa, Japan
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Vladivostok, Russia
Arrives 06:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
Vladivostok was first built in 1860 when Russia expanded eastwards over and beyond the River Amur. At this time Russia made its claim to the Russian Far East. Vladivostok became Russia´s most important city in the East; the Russian Pacific fleet was based there as were large fishing fleets. Surrounded by Amursky Gulf from the west, Ussuriysky Gulf from the east and Golden Horn Bay along the south Vladivostok is the home of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
Vladivostok, Russia
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Korsakov, Sakhalin, Russia
Arrives 07:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
Korsakov, Sakhalin, Russia
 
 
Day Otaru, Japan
Arrives 11:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
"An odd thing about Japan is that the people of this island country used to be horrified that there was a deep ocean all around them. (They have clearly gotten over it—today Japan’s navy is one of the five most powerful in the world.) Hundreds of years after the Polynesians had sailed to and settled impossibly distant islands, the Japanese were still mostly running rowboats not unlike the slave galleys from old Sinbad movies. A 1780s map from the voyages of French explorer La Pérouse shows the route his ship took to explore Japan: He’d get in close, map a few miles, the samurai would row out and he’d calmly sail back into deep water, popping in to map the shore again a few miles later.

This long-held fear makes Otaru all the more interesting: The city is where the Japanese began to venture further out to sea. Otaru grew and flourished on the cargo brought home by ships that had dipped below the horizon. The town was, for a while, Asia’s herring capital—herring on every plate for breakfast, tons of herring. Thus Otaru is where the foolhardy proved even the deep and scary ocean has its attractions. And just how snug you can make a home financed by fish. "
Otaru, Japan
 
 
Day Hakodate, Japan
Arrives 11:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
"If Japan ever had a wild west, it was Hokkaido. Oh, all the classic movie stuff of samurai bashing each other with swords never made it this far north, but the image of the West—open spaces, places to disappear, actual land horizons (which no other island in Japan has)—lingers.

Hokkaido's remoteness is so legendary that it figures into one of Japan’s most important historical tales: After losing a battle in 1189, good guy Minamoto Yoshitsune managed to escape capture and death by heading to Hokkaido (no one felt like chasing him that far). In one version of the story, he returned from Hokkaido to the mainland and, if you give alternate readings of the characters in his name, became Gin Ke Ka—Genghis Khan."
Hakodate, Japan
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Yokohama, Japan
Arrives 07:00 AM
"Until the mid-19th century, Japan lived in isolation, closed off from the rest of the world, and Yokohama was a mere fishing village. But in 1853, American naval officer Matthew Perry demanded the country open to foreign trade, and Yokohama was changed forever. The city quickly emerged as an international trading center, and while today it is often overshadowed by nearby Tokyo, it continues to be one of Japan’s liveliest, and most international, destinations. With its microbreweries and international restaurants, Yokohama has a decidedly different feel from many other Japanese cities.

From Yokohama, it’s a quick trip to peaceful Kamakura, home to Daibutsu, Japan’s second-largest bronze Buddha, and to the important Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Head to Hakone National Park on a clear day and you’ll be rewarded with picture-postcard views of majestic Mt. Fuji. "
Yokohama, Japan
 
 
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