Departing Australia in March next year, Ecruising’s new itinerary combines a 14-night cruise from Hong Kong to Yokohama on board Holland America’s Westerdam with a seven-night land tour Japan, right in time to experience the country’s spectacular cherry-blossom season and equally famous Zen gardens.
Starting in Hong Kong, guests will enjoy a night of accommodation at the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel. From there, they will be transferred to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to embark on the 14-night cruise to Japan.
The cruise includes Shanghai, Qingdao, Tianjin, Nagasaki and Kagoshima, with disembarkation at Yokohama, the port for Tokyo.
In Tokyo, travellers will explore the city via a half-day tour, visiting the Meiji Jingu Shrine and experiencing the Harajuku youth culture along the famous Takeshita-dori street.
Guests will then travel to Roppongi, which delivers uninterrupted, sweeping views of the city from 52 floors up at the Tokyo City View Observatory.
Ryoanji Temple is next on the list and is most famous for it’s dry landscape garden that spans 25 metres in width, and is a masterpiece of Japanese culture. Diving into Japan’s rich history, following Ryoanji, guests will visit Nijo Castle.
Continuing to explore Japan’s unique landscape, guests will take a trip to Mt Fuji, take a stroll on the Ochudo trail, a trip to Kawaguchiko Natural Living Centre and visit Lake Kawaguchi.
Next stop will be the Kubota Itchiku Art Museum, home to the renowned Kimono Collection by legendary Kimono designer, Itchiku Kubota.
On their third day in Tokyo, guests can explore the city at their leisure before heading to Kyoto via bullet train.
With four nights in Kyoto, this portion of the trip includes escorted land tours and a full-day visit to Osaka.
The first destination in Kyoto at which to discover ‘Zen’ is the Kinkakuji temple in the northern part of the city.
With two floors covered in gold lead, it’s a notorious Zen temple, and a popular spot with both locals and visitors.
Before heading back to Australia, guests will spend the day in Osaka, taking a guided tour around Osaka Castle, Umeda Sky Building and its floating garden, and downtown Osaka.
Prices start from $8599 per person twin-share ex Australia for a March 17 departure.
For more information please phone 1300 369 848 or visit www.ecruising.travel