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Cherry blossom season, Japan

Japan Spring Blossoms on Star Legend

12-day cruise from £3,995 pp incl. flights

Exclusive offer: Exclusive Fares

Summary

Short description

A spectacular journey through Japan's spring cherry-blossom landscapes

Highlights

  • Discover the beauty of Japan's most spectacular season
  • Indulge onboard the luxury Star Legend cruise ship, enjoying all-inclusive meals, spa treatments & more
  • Sample the cuisine of Tokyo, Osaka & Hiroshima in buzzing, neon-hazed food market streets
  • Explore the foothills of UNESCO-listed Mount Fuji, Japan's highest mountain
  • Uncover ancient shrines & temples, including the UNESCO-listed Makimura-jinja Shrine, part of the Sacred Sites of Pilgrimage Routes

In Brief

  • 1 Night Tokyo
  • 2 Nights Shimizu
  • 1 Night Kagoshima
  • 1 Night Nagasaki
  • 1 Night Busan
  • 2 Nights Hiroshima
  • 1 Night Takamatsu

About

Recommended for:
History & culture | Ocean cruise | Off the beaten track

From Edo-period gardens to exquisitely preserved samurai homes, Japan remains one of the world's most diverse and fascinating destinations. And, at no time is it more enchanting than the famous cherry blossom season, where baby-pink blooms line historic national parks, frame the foothills of mountains and scatter among subtropical islands. This spectacular cruise will see you start among the neon and cutting-edge of Tokyo before you discover historic shrines and temples, dip into South Korea's hot springs, uncover turbulent history in the peace memorials of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and take in awe-inspiring natural wonders, all decorated in those emblematic rose-tinted blossoms. In between it all, you'll enjoy ultra-luxury onboard the Star Legend, where the likes of champagne receptions, cooking demonstrations and luxury spas are culminated each evening with all-inclusive gourmet meals. This cruise also operates in reverse, where you'll start in Osaka and finish in Tokyo.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Tokyo

Begin your trip in style with included VIP airport lounge access before boarding your flight to Tokyo, arriving on day two.

Day 2
Tokyo

Upon arrival you'll be met and transferred by private car to the port to embark the ship. Before you step on board, however, we highly recommend taking the opportunity to explore this neon-hazed metropolis. Try every food you can imagine in bustling local food markets or relax in sake bars and intimate sashimi counters, or wander in immaculate parks dotted with forested shrines. Then, after you've explored sufficiently, board the spectacular Star Legend. With only 212 guests, service is discrete and attentive, whether you're taking advantage of the opulent lounges, well-stocked library, indulgent treatments at the WindSpa or a dip in the pool. Come evening, after relaxing in your suite that vaunts ocean views, private verandas or French-style balconies, head to one of the three excellent restaurants – all included, of course.

Stay: Star Legend

Meals: D

Days 3-4
Shimizu & Shingu

Day three will see you anchor in Shimizu. Whilst most known for the panoramic viewpoint of UNESCO-listed Mount Fuji, this city offers so much more, such as the gold-gilded Kunozan Toshogu Shrine and 19-metre high Shiraito Waterfall. There's even the chance to sample ultra-fresh tuna from Japan’s largest fishery or a cup of matcha, the much-loved Japanese green tea. Sail to Shingu on day four where, for more than 1,000 years, pilgrims have travelled to pray at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the three Sacred Kumano Shrines that offer a unique mixture of Shinto and Buddhism. The Kamikura Shrine is particularly spectacular, perched among dense greenery on the mountainside of Mount Kamikurayama – it's a fairly strenuous walk to the top but worth it when you're greeted with stunning vistas below.

Stay: Star Legend

Meals: B L D

Day 5
At sea

You've got a full day to explore the ship today – perhaps relax on the teak-wood pool deck with a cocktail or two, examine the navigation charts with the captain or take advantage of the unlimited use of water sports equipment. Come evening, we recommend heading to the informative nightly port talk and expert destination briefing before another gourmet dinner and nightcap in the intimately-lit lounge.

Stay: Star Legend

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Kagoshima

Head to Kagoshima today, whose sand-fringed shores are best known as the home of active volcano Sakurajima. There's also the chance to take a tour to the Shiroyama Observatory and Edo-period Sengamen Japanese Garden as well as exploring the nearby village of Chiran, home to wonderfully-preserved samurai houses.

Stay: Star Legend

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Hashima & Nagasaki

Today will see you cruise around the island of Hashima, abandoned when, 50 years ago, the coal mining on the island completely declined – you may, in fact, recognise it as one of the filming locations of James Bond film Skyfall. Then, you'll sail to Nagasaki for a fascinating but sobering reminder of WWII, memorialised in the Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Memorial Park.

Stay: Star Legend

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Busan, South Korea

Today you'll call in to South Korea and anchor in Busan. The country's second largest city is filled with hot springs, beaches and the UNESCO-listed Gyeongju, an outdoor museum home to several ornate temples. It's the perfect chance to relax before your final three days of exploration.

Stay: Star Legend

Meals: B L D

Days 9-10
Karatsu & Hiroshima

The island of Kyushu, back in Japan, is your next stop on day nine. A true highlight is Karatsu Castle, housing a museum of the castle’s history, and the Karatsu Hikiyama Exhibition Hall, displaying the 14 floats used in the annual Karatsu Kunchi Festival in November, a spectacular festival of enormous floats to celebrate the arrival of autumn. Then, day ten sees you anchor in to Hiroshima, one of Japan's most famous sites that was mostly destroyed by an atomic bomb in WWII. Today it's home to vibrant markets, the UNESCO-listed Hiroshima Memorial Peace Arch, the Hiroshima Museum of Art and the UNESCO-listed red torii of Miyajima.

Stay: Star Legend

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Takamatsu

Your penultimate stop on your journey is Takamatsu, the main gateway to Shikoku Island, a forested islet of pilgrimage temples, hot-spring spas and forested trails lined with whitewater rivers. Don't miss a visit to Edo garden Ritsurin, particularly spectacular during spring's blossoms, and the Takamatsu Symbol tower – walk to the observation decks for wonderfully panoramic ocean views. 

Stay: Star Legend

Meals: B L D

Day 12
Osaka to UK

Your final stop today is Osaka, where buzzing neon streets house myriad street food stalls, the 16th century Osaka Castle gleams in its cherry blossom frame and Buddhist temples, gardens, imperial Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses dot the city. After a couple of hours of exploring, head to the airport for your flight to London, arriving on the same day.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

12-day cruise on board Star Legend (Windstar Cruises) from £3,995 incl. flights

Departure: 26 March 2019

Exclusive Fares
Book by: 28 February 2019

Includes:

  • Direct flights on British Airways
  • Private overseas transfers
  • All meals, in all venues, including 24-hour room service
  • All non-alcoholic beverages, including specialty tea and coffee drinks
  • Champagne welcome reception
  • Signature Sail Away to Vangelis’ “1492 Conquest of Paradise”
  • Windstar’s Signature Onboard Barbecue and the beloved crew show
  • Learning how to sail with the Captain or officers on the Open Bridge
  • Cooking demonstrations powered by the James Beard Foundation and recipes by James Beard Foundation chefs
  • Watersports Platform, including all watersports equipment featuring complimentary kayaks, paddleboards, water trampoline and more. (Dependent on port and weather conditions)

Cruise also operates on April 6th in reverse and April 16th, contact us for rates.

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