Located in southwestern Hokkaido, about 130km south of Sapporo, Muroran runs along the coast and takes up most of the peninsula area. The southwest coast of the peninsula is formed of huge 100 m cliffs and faces Uchiura Bay, while southeastern coast of the peninsula meets the Pacific Ocean. The large, deep, water port dates from 1872 made the city an industrial hub and the town’s nickname “the city of steel”, gives you more or less a feel for what one can expect. View more
On this tour, explore Shikotsu-Toya National Park, a region of active volcanoes and enjoy a boat ride on the scenic Lake Toya. Ride a gondola up the slopes of Mt. Usu for panoramic views of the Hokkaido coast. Lunch is included.
Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Lake Toya, Boat Ride
Your day of adventures begins when you board a motorcoach and travel approximately 45-minute through the countryside to Lake Toya in Shikotsu-Toya National Park. Lake Toya is large caldera, 43 kilometers in diameter, was formed more than 100,000 years ago when a volcanic eruption diverted a stream, creating this massive pool. Lake Toya is ice-free year round due to geothermal heating, and trout and smelt fishing is plentiful. The surrounding scenery is spectacular and best appreciated from the water. Board a pleasure-boat cruise and circle around this tranquil, picture-perfect lake with some islands. You also land the island of the lake and enjoy short walk in the forest (weather permitted).
Mt. Usu, Cable Car Ride, Japanese-style Lunch
After your cruise, sit back and enjoy a short drive to Mt. Usu. Towering 2,404 feet above sea level, it is one of the most active volcanoes in Japan. Mt. Usu has erupted four times within the last 100 years, the most recent being in 2000. The Usuzan Ropeway, a gondola ride that travels up, bringing you close to the volcano's summit with a 6 minute ride. The gondola service opened in 1965 and the length is just a little over 1km. Each of the two gondolas can hold up to 100 passengers. The upper station's observation deck offers you panoramic views of Lake Toya and neighboring Showa Shinzan, Japan's youngest volcano, "born" in 1945. Climb stairs to a second observation deck for views of Mt. Usu's largest crater, which was formed in an eruption in 1977, and the picturesque Hokkaido coastline.
Next, again on "ground-level" enjoy a Japanese Set-menu lunch in a nearby restaurant then re-board your motorcoach for the scenic, approximately 45-minute drive back to Muroran and your ship.
Departing from Muroran, you'll board your motorcoach for a scenic, approximately 2-hours journey passing dense forests, rolling countryside, and the city of Tomakomai, famed for paper production.
Sapporo, Historical Village of Hokkaido, Exclusive Folkloric Show
First your will visit Historical Village of Hokkaido. It is an open air museum in Sapporo and exhibits about 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926), the era when Hokkaido's development was carried out on a large scale. There are four different sections: a town, fishing village, farm village and a mountain village. Your approximately 80-minute visit includes folk art demonstrations and folkloric performances called 'NANKIN TAMASUDARE' which is a traditional type of street performance born in Japan that's been handed down from the Edo period (1603-1867). The performer holds a special screen made from bamboo sticks 20-30 centimeters long that are loosely woven with twine. This is rapidly twisted, folded and extended into various shapes while the performer chants an amusing poem describing the items to a distinctive rhythm. This performance is specially arranged for Silversea guests.
Odori Park, Japanese-style Lunch
Next, a short drive will take you to a nearby local restaurant for a Japanese Set-Menu lunch. After lunch, you will drive to Odori Park, truly the city's "central park" that divides it into North and South. Originally designated as the main street, it eventually became a park spanning 13 blocks. Peruse its underground shopping town, elaborate gardens, promenades and pushcart vendors. The Sapporo TV Tower anchors one end of the park and the ski jump from the 1972 Winter Olympic is visible from the grounds. Throughout the year, many events and ceremonies are held here, such as the Sapporo Lilac Festival and the Sapporo Snow Festival that attracts millions of visitors each year.
Then re-board your motorcoach with your treasures, and memories, for the scenic ride back through the city to Muroran and your ship.
Departing from Muroran, board your motorcoach for a scenic, approximately 45-minute journey through rolling, forested countryside to the famed Noboribetsu area. Be prepared to step back in time and experience some living history.
Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura History-themed Park, Ninja Show
Once you arrive at Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura, it's like you are in Japan during the Edo Period, 1603 through 1867, when the warrior class broke away from the imperial court, and city life and the merchant class played a vital role. You'll have some free time to explore the recreations of traditional Japanese structures, including Ninja houses and a theater. Enjoy traditional games and activities and watch enchanting street and theatre performances. You'll be among Ninjas -- the mysterious figures whose basic function was to carry out covert operations for their feudal lords. Meet the beautiful Oiran courtesans who excelled at various arts including poetry, calligraphy, tea ceremonies and music. They were of highly esteemed that only the samurai and the rich could afford their charms.
Noboribetsu Hell Valley
After your Edo experience, you'll return to your motorcoach for the short drive to Noboribetsu Hell Valley. Lying along the fabled "Rim of Fire," it's one of several areas of intense volcanic activity. You get to explore this "Helly Valley," during a 20 minute guided walk that brings you to the 1,476-foot crater and its surrounding fumaroles and mineral springs. The hot springs are famous, supplying the nearby Noboribetsu Resort.
Your adventure ends as you re-board your motorcoach for the relaxing and scenic drive back to present-day Muroran and your ship.
(Please acknowledge the 'Important Note' section reported down below)
A scenic, approximately 45-minuste
s motorcoach ride brings you to Noboribetsu, famous for its wide variety of hot springs and one of the most popular spa towns in Hokkaido (even in whole of Japan). Often referred to as the "department store of onsen," Noboribetsu offers eleven different thermal waters, including those infused with sulfur, alum, and radium, each with specific therapeutic properties believed to address a variety of ailments, including high blood pressure, arthritis, poor circulation, rheumatism, and digestion.
Your excursion brings you to the sulfur springs. Milky-white in color, they feature a very distinct smell, slightly pungent at first, but you will quickly grow accustomed to it. Sulfur spring waters enhance general well-being and are known in particular to help ease chronic bronchitis, hardening of the arteries and chronic skin irritation. Following the traditional customs of an onsen will enhance this authentic experience and will show respect to the other bathers. Prepare for the onsen by taking a Japanese bath before entering the hot springs. Sit on a small stool and scrub yourself with water and soap to ensure that you are very clean. When it is time to enter the onsen, a small towel may be used for modesty. Traditionally, this towel is placed on your head once you are in the hot spring (onsen), but it is acceptable to set it on a rock beside the bath as well. Never submerge your towel in the hot spring (onsen) or wring it out, as this is considered rude. After you enter the bath without any clothes or towels, it must become one of the wonderful experiences of Japan. An onsen is a quiet place for relaxation and contemplation, so it is important to enter the hot spring slowly, without any splashing, and to avoid conversation.
As you soak in this serene environment, you'll feel a sense of calm take over, and your cares will float away. At the completion of your soak, you and your fellow travelers will return to the motorcoach and enjoy a relaxing scenic drive back to the ship.
Japanese hot springs are enjoyed naked. Swimming suits are not allowed. It's permitted to bring a small towel into the bathing area, with which you can enhance your privacy while outside of the water. Once entered the bath, the towel must be kept out of the water. Shampoo, conditioner, body soap, face towel, and bath towel will be provided at the hot springs location. The hot springs are separated for female-only and male-only but are not privately reserved for Silversea Guests. We suggest guests not to bring valuables or wear accessories as the colour may be changed due to the hot springs water. The use of the bath is forbidden after the consumption of alcoholic beverages. It's also forbidden for women who are pregnant or during their menstruation period. Tattoos are also prohibited. Photography and video cameras are not permitted inside the hot springs.
Departing from Muroran, you'll board your motorcoach for a scenic, approximately 45-minute journey through rolling, forested countryside on your way to the Shikotsu-Toya National Park and the "Rim of Fire." Be sure to bring your camera.
Muroran, Shikotsu-Toya National Park & Lake Toya
Departing from Muroran, you'll board your motorcoach for a scenic, approximately 45-minute journey through rolling, forested countryside on your way to the Shikotsu-Toya National Park and the "Rim of Fire." Be sure to bring your camera. Hokkaido abounds with volcanic activity, resulting in crystalline lakes, towering peaks and bubbling natural hot springs. As you travel, you'll pause by beautiful Lake Toya. The large caldera was formed when an eruption of a volcano about 100 thousand years ago diverted a stream to create this vast pool. You won't want to miss the chance to take photos of the spectacular scenery.
Mt. Usu, Cable Car Ride & Free Time
there, re-board your coach for the approximately half hour drive to Mt. Usu. This is one of the most active volcanoes in Japan, erupting four times within the last 100 years (in 1910, 1944, 1977 and 2000). It stands a towering 2,404 feet above sea level. Enjoy a gondola ride that travels up, bringing you close to the volcano's summit with a 6 minute ride. The gondola service opened in 1965 and the length is just a little over 1km. Each of the two gondolas can hold up to 100 passengers. The upper station's observation deck offers you panoramic views of Lake Toya and neighboring Showa Shinzan, Japan's youngest volcano, "born" in 1945. A short walk away is a second observation deck with views of the Pacific Ocean and Mt. Usu's largest crater.
After some free time to explore the area, your adventure comes to an end as you re-board your motorcoach for the relaxing and scenic - approximately 50-minute - drive back to Muroran and your ship.