Starting in Busan, South Korea, Silver Explorer will sail along the western coast of Japan to round the southern tip of Japan’s main island. Experience the ways that the modern society of Japan is influenced by the past and learn how tradition still plays an important part in daily life. On the semi-circumnavigation of Japan we will visit some of the most outstanding natural and man-made sites Japan has to offer -including National Parks and three of Japan’s highest-ranked gardens. Along the way you will see traditional buildings such as castles, homes and warehouses and feel serenity in outstanding shrines, temples and memorials. Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife, history and botany of these locations from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
Kanazawa, Japan –
Kanazawa is known for its many artistic offerings, including its lacquerware, Kutani-style pottery, gold leaf workmanship and delicately painted silk kimonos. It also houses Kenroku-en, one of the famous “Three Gardens of Japan.” Kenroku-en’s 11.4 hectare grounds include Japan’s oldest fountain using natural water pressure and a tea house dating back to 1774.
Sakaiminato, Japan –
Sakaiminato is the gateway to the towns of Matsue and Yasugi. Matsue is known as the “Town of Water” and has one of the very few wooden castles that still remain in Japan.
Yasugi has the Adachi Museum of Art, a private museum that houses one of the finest collections of contemporary Japanese paintings, but also has 165,000 square metres of meticulously arranged plants, water and rocks. Six different gardens -which can only be seen from the museum’s interior- will show different scenarios depending on the season. Under the motto that “the Japanese garden is like a living picture” these gardens have been selected as ‘Japan’s best garden’ for several years.
Hagi, Japan –
Hagi’s “Old Town,” includes Shizukiyama Park and Hagi Castle ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the heart of Hagi lies the Samurai Quarter, which preserves the traditional style Japanese houses and old-fashioned streets. Hagi is also home to the Tokoji Temple of the Obaku-shu school of Zen Buddhism. This is the resting place of the two first Mori daimyo, a family of powerful and territorial pre-modern Japanese lords.
Moji, Japan –
Moji is close to the Hiraodai Limestone Plateau, Japan’s most representative karst plateau. A “Natural Treasure” the plateau has underground caves which can be explored accompanied by local guides.
Miyajima and Hiroshima, Japan –
Pay your respects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in central Hiroshima. This was Ground Zero for the Atomic Bomb dropped on August 6, 1945. The Peace Memorial Museum surveys the history of Hiroshima and the advent of the nuclear bomb. The nearby small island of Miyajima (“The Shrine Island”) is home to the Floating Torii Gate. Built in the water, the Torii Gate leads to the Itsukushima Shrine and at high tide it seems to float. The gate and view is considered as one of the “Three Most Scenic Places in Japan”.
Okayama, Japan –
Okayama is home to the renowned Koraku-en Garden. Although severely damaged by bombs in WWII, the descriptions and paintings from the Edo period permitted an exact reconstruction to its original, elegant state. This rebuild has earned the site the designation of “Special Scenic Location.”
- Stand at Hiroshima Ground Zero and experience the sombre history of this crucial World War II site.
- Get to see the various forms of Japanese gardens and understand the rules and aesthetic and poetic concepts behind the art of gardening.
- See a Geisha performance in Kanazawa.
- Visit the Samurai Quarter in Hagi, Japan, which preserves the traditional style Japanese houses and old-fashioned street, and enter an old house that shows the typical interior of a traditional Japanese residence.
Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.
Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials: