NORTHERN JAPAN ADVENTURE

From $ 3,699 pp
Shore Excursions

Northern Japan Adventure

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From $ 3,699* pp

Oarai, Japan

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4 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

walking

essentials
Oarai, Fish Market & Seaside Park
From September to the end of October:
A must-do for seafood aficionados, this tour offers the opportunity to visit one of the local Fish Markets. You will not find crowds of tourists here so you will get a more local experience. You will have time to explore and indulge in the fresh local fare especially the vendor samples - so don’t be shy! Leaving the market, your next stop will be Hitachi Seaside Park a short distance away. This Seaside Park offers a myriad of activities including restaurants, various attractions and a Ferris Wheel offering views 328 feet (100m) above sea level. There is also a large manicured garden boasting various seasonal flowers ensuring there is always a vivid display of color on show year-round. Starting from summer, Kochia (summer cypress) will be grown on the hill and their color will be gradually changed from green, red to scarlet red. You will have some free time to explore the park before rejoining your coach for the return transfer to your ship.

From end of April to mid-May
A must-do for seafood aficionados, this tour offers the opportunity to visit one of the local Fish Markets. You will not find crowds of tourists here so you will get a more local experience. You will have time to explore and indulge in the fresh local fare especially the vendor samples - so don’t be shy! Leaving the market, your next stop will be Hitachi Seaside Park a short distance away. This Seaside Park offers a myriad of activities including restaurants, various attractions and a Ferris Wheel offering views 328 feet (100m) above sea level. There is also a large manicured garden boasting various seasonal flowers ensuring there is always a vivid display of color on show year-round. Between late April and early May is the season of the Nemophila, where the 3.5 hectares of Miharashi hill will be covered with Nemophila flowers. This breathtaking scenery where the surface and the sky blend together in blue is a natural experience to remember.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring local currency, raingear, sunscreen and a hat. This tour includes approximately 2.5 hours of walking that is on mostly flat surfaces with a few steep steps to negotiate.  Color of Kochika - Fresh green in September and the color is starting to change to scarlet red in mid-October, but is subject to change based on weather conditions. Nemophila- The best seasons is expected at the end of April to early May, but it is subject to change due to the weather condition. The order of the sites visited may vary. 


price $159
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6 HRS

Moderately
easy

sightseeing

dining

essentials
Oarai, Sake Brewery, Takugawa Museum & Shrine
The Tokugawa Clan ruled Japan during the Feudal Period. This museum opened in 1935, and houses over 10,000 items including nine National Treasures and 59 items designated as Important Cultural Properties. You will be transported in time to gain an insight into the lives of one of Japan’s most powerful families! Your next stop will be Sudo Honke, one of the oldest sake breweries that has been operating for 850 years. Initially Samurais, the family started producing sake as a means of revitalizing the regional economy. They were the first to make pure rice sake in Japan. They have won numerous awards including the prestigious International Wine Challenge (IWC). Besides learning about the process of making sake, the owner of the brewery will give you an explanation about the flavor during the tasting. You will also be treated to a lunch which matches to sake. There will also be an opportunity to make purchases. Leaving the brewery, you will then visit the nearby Kasama Inari Shrine which is dedicated to Ukanomitama no kami. This is a spirit with jurisdiction over the five grains and foodstuffs, the life-root kami having mastery over the sources of life itself. This was the shrine patronized by the Feudal Lord during the Tokugawa Era which aided in the spread of its influence throughout Japan. You will have some free time to explore before rejoining your coach for the return transfer to your ship.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring local currency. No special dietary requests can be accommodated for the lunch (Japanese meal). Three or four kinds of sake will be offered for the tasting.


price $249
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4 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

walking

essentials
Oarai, The Legacy of Mito Clan
The Mito Clan was a branch of the powerful Tokugawa Family which ruled most of Japan during the Edo Period. Today you will visit two of their most important legacies. Kodokan was the largest Han School in Japan opened in 1841. This was basically a university for the children of the ruling class who were admitted at age 15. Their studies included military arts, medicine, music, mathematics & other subjects. The school has been designated a Special Historic Site. Three of its buildings are also designated Important Cultural Properties. You will also visit Kairakuen Garden whose name means “park to be enjoyed together.” Built in 1841, it has over 3,000 trees including 100 various types of plum varieties featuring white, pink and red blossoms. This landscaped garden has been ranked as one of the three finest in all of Japan. You will then rejoin your coach for the return transfer to your ship.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring local currency. This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking with some steep steps to negotiate. The tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests and it is not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Guests are required to remove shoes to enter Kodokan, but they can chose to walk around the garden of Kodokan and stay outside if they don't wish to take them off.


price $179
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4 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

walking

essentials
Oarai, Tokugawa Museum and Garden
The Mito Clan was a branch of the powerful Tokugawa Family which ruled most of Japan during the Edo Period. The Tokugawa Museum opened in 1935, and houses over 10,000 items including 9 National Treasures and 59 items designated as Important Cultural Properties. You will be transported back in time to gain an insight in the lives of one of Japan’s most powerful families! Your next stop will be Kairakuen Garden whose name means “park to be enjoyed together.” Built in 1841, it has over 3,000 trees including 100 various types of plum varieties featuring white, pink and red blossoms. This landscaped garden has been ranked as one of the three finest in all of Japan.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring local currency. This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking with some steep steps to negotiate. There is a slope at Kairakuen Garden and guests with wheelchair or mobility concerns may have to take this way on their own as the guides will take the guests up the steps. The order for the sites visited may vary.


price $199
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Ofunato, Japan



4 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

essentials
Ofuanto, Sanriku Local Train
This tour will begin with a transfer to Kamaishi Station via coach and rail.  The Sanriku Railway runs through the Pacific Coast area of Iwate Prefecture which has been fully restored after sustaining heavy damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The first destination of this tour will be the Kamaishi Daikannon statue - a white statue of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.  Included as part of this tour is admission to enter inside this 159-foot (48.5-meter) statue.  Leaving the statue, you will board the coach bound for the next destination with a rest stop at Michinoeki Rest Area. Here you will be able to enjoy local soft Persimmon ice cream. Afterward, the tour will introduce an iconic Courageous Poplar Tree which commemorates those who lost their lives and the damage done from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Please note: Bring your hat, sunscreen, and local currency. Wear comfortable walking shoes. There are approximately 100 steps from the parking to Sanriku Tetsudo station. All guests will be required to walk this way to get on the train. Order of sites visited may vary.


price $229
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3.25 HRS

Moderately
easy

sightseeing

essentials
Ofuanto, Sanriku Prevention Tour
In March of 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred off the Pacific coast with a magnitude of 9.0-9.1 which caused the region to be swept by a great Tsunami. This will be an educational tour which offers its devastating story starting at the Iwate Tsunami Memorial the first stop.  Afterward, you will walk to the region that highly felt the disaster which is marked by the lone pine tree that remained standing through its aftermath. Feel first-hand the city that experienced such a massive disaster and witness its road to its restoration that continues to this day. To conclude, the tour will visit Kesen Carpentry Museum which showcases various traditional methods used in carpentry within this region which have been carried over through generations. Enjoy a relaxing coach ride back to the ship.

Please note: Bring your hat, sunscreen, rain gear and local currency. Wear comfortable walking shoes. The order of sites visited may vary.


price $159
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4 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

essentials
Ofunato, Goishi Coast & Ofunato Hot Springs
After a short drive aboard the coach, you will arrive to the Goishi Coast, a 4-mile (6-km)-wide rocky beach and cliffs located in the southern part of Iwate Prefecture. You will have the chance to visit an observatory to take a panoramic photo of the rocky coast and learn about the history behind this city.  Afterward, the tour will visit the Ofunato Onsen and you will have time to relax in the hot springs while taking in the panoramic view. A pleasant meal tops off your relaxing day before returning to the ship.

Please note: Swimwear and tattoos are not allowed at the hot springs - guests must be naked to use the hot springs. Towels will be given upon entrance and are allowed for use inside the hot springs. Bring your hat, sunscreen, hat rain gear and local currency. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Please do not wear jewelry or accessories as the color may be changed by hot spring water. Please minimize to bring valuable items.The order of the sites visited may vary.


price $249
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Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan



4 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

walking

essentials
Sapporo, Historic Otaru
You will start at the Old Aoyama Villa. The city of Otaru has been flourished by a dynamic herring fishing industry started 100 years ago and several mansions called “Nishin-Goten” which can be seen around this city were built by the wealthy fishermen of the past. “Nishin-Goten” means Herring Villa and the Old Aoyama Villa is one of them preserved as a cultural asset. The next stop will be at the Tanaka Sake Brewery, founded in 1899.  It has been producing Sake throughout the year, which is unusual since most of the breweries make Sake only in the winter. You will visit one of their properties, Kikkogura, which is designated an “Historical Building” by Otaru City and you will also see the Sake brewing process through the window. After learning the process, you will have a chance to taste or purchase different kinds of Sake including one that cannot be bought online or at other shops. Otaru City was once home to as many as 25 banks that supported the financial state of Otaru, and therefore it was often referred to as the biggest financial city in northern Japan, from the end of the Meiji period to the beginning of the Showa period. Many attractions await you in the  next visit to the old bank building of “Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch,” with its beautiful Renaissance-style exterior stone walls and the elaborately designed plaster ceiling; where exhibitions of valuable relics of the period are to be found throughout the building. End your tour with a relaxing walk along the popular Sakaimachi area, the old town where the rich merchants in the late 1800s and early 1900s used to build their houses. The preserved 2,953 feet (900 meters) “Sakaimachi Street” attracts visitors with its mixture of historical Western-style architecture and Japanese good old atmosphere. Otaru is known as the “city of sweets” so please do not forget to try different types of local products and find your favorite flavors.

Please note: The order of sites visited may vary. Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes and bring local currency. You will have to remove your shoes and wear socks at the Aoyama.


price $179
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3.75 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

walking

essentials
Sapporo, Nikka Whiskey Distillery and Fish Market
You will head to Yoichi to visit Nikka Whisky Distillery, which is one of the country's top whisky producers. The company was founded by Taketsuru Masataka, known as the father of Japanese whisky, who studied whisky-making techniques for several years in Scotland before bringing the trade to Japan. He was instrumental in establishing the country's first whisky distillery, the Yamazaki Distillery near Kyoto, before he set out on his own to start Nikka Whisky here in Hokkaido. Your guide will explain the history of whisky in Otaru and how the climate and geographic conditions make it the perfect environment for whisky production. You will also have a chance to taste some of their products. Next stop will be the Shin-Nantaru Market, where you can find what Otaru is famous for and its good-quality food, especially seafood. This market was opened in 1999 and nowadays consists of about 25 stores of several specialties. This is the right place to find local food in a wide range from fresh fish to processed goods such as seafood, meat, fruit, and vegetables. Plenty of good-quality food can be bought at reasonable local prices here, another reason why this marketplace is so popular not only among locals but also national and foreigner visitors.

Please note: The order of sites visited may vary. Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes and bring local currency.


price $179
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6.5 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

dining

essentials
Sapporo, Sapporo & Otaru Highlights
To begin your tour you will head to Okurayama Viewing Point (Ski Jump Stadium), which was used for the 295-foot-(90 meters) high ski jump competitions of the Sapporo Winter Olympics in 1972. A 5- minute chairlift ride will take you up to the top of the hill, located 1,007 feet (307 meters) above sea level. You will enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding area and witness how the jumpers are negotiating the steep hill. Sapporo Olympic Museum is located at the foot of Okurayama Viewing Point. Here you can appreciate the numerous materials related to Sapporo Olympic Games in 1972 at your leisure. You can try the Virtual Reality Hill, Cross Country Skiing Race and even the Bobsled Run. After a short drive, your coach will take you to the next popular stop, Sapporo Beer Factory. Hokkaido is the birthplace of beer in Japan. Sapporo Beer, brewed in Sapporo since 1877, opened the Sapporo Beer Museum in 1987 in a former brewery from the late 19th century. The museum introduces the history of beer in Japan and the process of beer making. Next to the museum is the Genghis Khan Hall, where you will enjoy Genghis Khan (Mongolian BBQ) which is a Hokkaido’s popular local dish consisting of mutton and vegetables on a special grill. This restaurant is the only one serving fresh lamb meat with freshly brewed Sapporo beer that is considered the best combination by local people. End your tour with a relaxing walk along the popular Sakaimachi area, the old town where the rich merchants in the late 1800s and early 1900s used to build their houses. The preserved 2,953 feet (900 meters) “Sakaimachi Street” attracts visitors with its mixture of historical Western-style architecture and Japanese good old atmosphere. Otaru is known as the “city of sweets” so please do not forget to try different types of local products and find your favorite flavors.

Please note: The order of sites visited may vary. Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes and bring local currency.


price $199
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Hakodate, Japan



5 HRS

Moderate

outdoors

culture

walking

essentials
Hakodate, Hakodate Highlights
This tour will take you to star-shaped Fort Goryokaku , a Western style citadel built in the last years of the Edo period for the defense of Hakodate against the imperialist threat posed by Western power. First, you will visit Goryokaku Tower which is 351 feet high to see the star shape of the fort from the observatory.  You will  then have some time to stroll inside the fort. Next stop will be at Bay Area consisting of many historical red-brick warehouses. You will have some free time to enjoy shopping or relaxing at the café, or strolling along the bay. Then you will be transferred to Mount Hakodate to enjoy the ropeway ride (5 minutes) to the observatory located on the top of Mount Hakodate.  Mount Hakodate is a 1,096 feet high, wooded mountain at the southern end of the peninsula. You will have a panoramic view of the town surrounded on three sides by the sea, and the views of the fan-shaped city are beautiful.

Please note:  Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a light jacket, insect repellent and local currency.


price $169
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5 HRS

Moderate

culture

walking

sightseeing

essentials
Hakodate, Hakodate Morning Market & Goryokaku Fort
This tour will take you to famous Hakodate Morning Market “Asaichi” known as a haven of delectable fresh food. Having fresh seafood for your breakfast might be the best way to start your day in Hakodate. Next you will take a 30-minute drive to star-shaped Fort Goryokaku which is a Western style citadel built in the last years of the Edo period for the defense of Hakodate against the imperialist threat posed by Western power. You will visit Goryokaku Tower which is 351 feet high to see how Fort Goryokaku looks. After seeing the star shape of Fort Goryokaku from the observatory, you will have some time to stroll inside the fort. Then you will take the 30-minute drive and have some free time at Bay Area consisting of many historical red-brick warehouses. There are many shops to visit, you can relax at a café  or you might enjoy strolling through the lovely outdoor panorama.

Please note:  Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a light jacket, insect repellent and local currency.

price $159
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4.5 HRS

Strenuous

sightseeing

boating

essentials
Hakodate, Onuma National Park & Hot Spring
Your motor coach will take you to Onuma Quasi-National Park, known for its picturesque island dotted lakes and majestic dormant volcano, Mount Komagatake. This park is at the foot of Mount Komagatake and includes Onuma, Konuma, Junsainuma, and other lakes. Onuma is the largest lake and is 15 miles (24 km) in circumference with a depth of 47 feet (13.6 meters). A volcanic mudflow from Mount Komagatake once caused a natural dam that blocked a stream and thus led to the formation of Onuma. There are 126 islets in the lake and 18 bridges connecting a select few so travelers and locals alike can enjoy walking on the trails, cycle using rented bicycles, pleasure cruise, go boating and canoeing. Mount Komagatake stands close to Onuma and is the main symbol of the park. It is an independent mountain with three peaks and three craters. One of the ‘tops' was blown away during a past eruption and is now rather steep. Mount Komagatake woke up in terms of volcanic activity in 1998 so mountain climbing is now prohibited. You will enjoy the scenery from the boat, and then have a true Japanese experience "Hot spring" or "Onsen" to relax your body! 

Please note:  Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a light jacket, insect repellent and local currency. Do not to bring jewelry as the color may be changed by the hot spring water. Guests are required to be naked at the hot spring. Tattoos and swim suits are not acceptable.


price $189
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2.75 HRS

Easy

sightseeing

essentials
Hakodate, Panoramic Hakodate
This tour will take you to 351-foot- (107 meter-) high Fort Goryokaku Observatory where you can enjoy the view of the star-shaped and Western style citadel. It was built in the last years of the Edo period for the defense of Hakodate against the imperialist threat posed by the Western power. Then, you will be transferred to Mount Hakodate Observatory located on the top of Mount Hakodate, which is a 1,096-foot- (334-meter-) high, wooded mountain at the southern end of the peninsula. The panoramic view of the town surrounded on three sides by the sea, and the views of the fan-shaped city are beautiful and especially so at night.

Please note: This tour is wheelchair accessible. The order of sites visited may vary.


price $139
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Sado Island (Ogi), Japan



4 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

walking

boating

essentials
Sado Island, Best of Sado
This excursion offers the opportunity to visit / experience some icons of Sado Island and culture. On leaving the port, your first stop will be the Sado Island Taiko Centre (Tatakokan) to learn about playing the Taiko. This is a traditional type of drum native to Japan and is as iconic as Samurais, Ninjas and Sushi in Japanese culture. Sado Island is home to the world-famous Taiko drum troupe “Kodo.” They were the first professional Taiko troupe to tour internationally thus introducing the world to this amazing instrument. During this fun activity at their facility, you will not only learn the correct way to play but also a bit about the role the Taiko played in Japanese culture. Armed with your new Taiko skills you will depart for The Chojaga Bridge for a short photo-stop before continuing to Shukunegi Village. This picturesque fishing village was developed in the 17th century as a home to shipbuilders. They built their houses using shipbuilding styles and techniques affording them a rather unique look. The area has been preserved and strolling the narrow alleys gives a feeling of travelling back in time. Your next stop will be a ride in a traditional vessel called a Tarai Bune (Tub Boat). They were originally made in the Meiji period for fishing shellfish such as turban shell, abalone and seaweed. These circular wooden tub boats proved to be more stable than regular boats in rocky waters. They are rowed with a single oar and are designed to be capable of tight turns in order to maneuver the heavily indented coastline. You may even get the opportunity to try your hand at piloting this unique vessel. A short transfer returns you to your awaiting ship.   

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing and bring local currency. You are required to take off shoes at the Taiko (Japanese Drum) Experience venue. Taraibune (Tub Boat) are floating when you get on the boat, so this tour is not recommended for those with mobility concerns. From the parking lot to the boat is approximately a 400-meter/5-minute walk on a slope. The paths of Shukunegi Village: Mostly flat and narrow, stone pavement, slippery with some steps. The order of the sites visited may vary.


price $229
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4.25 HRS

Moderate to
strenuous

sightseeing

walking

essentials
Sado Island, Legacy of Sado Gold Mine
Depart the pier for a scenic 1-hour drive to the Sado Gold Mine – this was Japan’s largest gold mine and operated from 1601-1989. During the Edo Period the mine was directly controlled by the Tokugawa Shogunate who used the massive amounts of gold and silver mined here to finance their rule over the country. Enjoy visits to tunnels dating to both Edo and Meiji Periods. Leaving the gold mine, a short drive will take you to Kyomachi Dori Street which was developed with Gold Mine. You can still feel the old atmosphere from the time when this local area was still bustling with gold. Your last stop will be the Kitazawa Flotation Plant. This was where the final stages of gold mining took place with the valuable minerals being separated from the waste material. Processing over 50,000 tons of ore each month, this was once the largest such facility in East Asia. Currently used for hosting various events, the site became popular for its structure which many people say reminds them of the studio Ghibli’s movie “Castle in the Sky.”

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing, including a jacket and bring local currency.
Sado Gold Mine: There are approximately 200 steps (up and down). The temperature inside the mine is approximately 10 degrees, so it is highly recommended to bring the Jacket. It is not recommended for the guests who are afraid of height and dark. Kyomachi Dori Street - Mostly Slope. This tour is not recommended for those with mobility concerns. The order of the sites visited may vary.


price $219
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4 HRS

Moderate

sightseeing

walking

essentials
Sado Island, Sake Brewery and Shukunegi Village
You will start your day at the time-capsulated Shukunegi Village. This picturesque fishing village was developed in the 17th century as a home to shipbuilders. They built their houses using shipbuilding styles and techniques therefore affording them a rather unique look. The area has been preserved and strolling the narrow alleys gives a feeling of travelling back in time. A visit to the nearby Ogi Museum offers an insight of life during this period. On display there are over 50,000 tools and items used in daily life in addition to a fully restored large wooden ship (Sengokubune). Next will be the Sake Brewery which makes the world-renowned Sake. Sado and Sake have been synonymous since ancient times due to the abundance of rice, mountain-filtered fresh water and skilled brewers – the 3 crucial elements required for high quality Sake – in addition there is Sado itself, the 4th element! During the Edo Period which coincided with the gold heyday, there were over 200 Sake Breweries in Sado. Today the number have dropped significantly however they are still producing highly acclaimed Sake. In fact, several varieties of Sado’s Sake have been selected as the house sake by airlines and restaurants globally. Today you will have an opportunity to visit, sample and purchase some of this world-renowned Sado Sake! A short transfer will return you to your awaiting ship.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing, including a jacket and bring local currency. The paths of Shukunegi Village: Mostly flat and narrow, stone pavement, slippery with some steps. You are required to take off shoes and wear a hat inside the Sake Brewery. (Hat and sandals are provided). Sake is made only in the winter so it is not possible to see the process, but you will be taken inside the brewery and they will explain how Sake is made there. The order of the sites visited may vary.


price $199
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