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About Osaka

Japan's third largest city, Osaka offers your cruise holiday a combination of historical and cultural attractions with modern developments. Before World War II, Osaka was an exotic maze of crisscrossing waterways and traditional wooden buildings, but unfortunately most of these were destroyed in the bombings.

Today however, the city has leapt into the architectural future with such buildings as the Imperial Hotel, the inverted U-shape of the Umeda Sky Building and the enormous Ferris wheel on top of the HEP Five complex.

In addition, cruises to Osaka will also offer you the chance to see the gentle side of Japan. Kyoto, the former capital, is a serene city of geometric gardens, geisha houses, cherry trees, temples and palaces. While on Osaka cruises witness the ritual of the tea ceremony or savour a teriyaki lunch in the loveliest of Japanese cities.

 

Shore excursions in Osaka

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Ancient Japan

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 10½ hours

Simply 2 of Japan’s best; Kyoto and Nara both former capitals, which are brimming with fascinating tales from the past.

One of Japan’s most famous temples is the Todaiji Temple in Nara. Known for the great image of Buddha, which has become a symbol of Nara, the building itself is the largest existing wooden structure in the world.

The Kasuga Taisha Shrine was originally constructed in 768 AD, and has been rebuilt over 50 times in accordance with Shinto custom to purify the site. View the 2,000 stone lanterns lining the pathways, before passing through the ‘Torii Gate’ to see the unique architecture and the brilliant vermilion and green halls.

Lunch is a combination of Western and Japanese-style cuisine served at a local hotel or restaurant.

The Golden Pavilion (Exterior View) is one of Kyoto’s ‘must sees’. The 3 storey pavilion is covered in gold leaf, and also features tranquil gardens and a serene pond.

Pillars against the side of the mountain support the magnificent wooden construction of the Kiyomizu Dera Temple. The temple, which was built in ‘Yosemune-zukuri’ style, is unique in that not one nail has been used in its construction. From the balcony there are wonderful views over the city of Kyoto (weather permitting).

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Traffic delays are to be expected. A visit to the interior of the Treasure Hall at Kasuga Shrine is not included. This tour involves a substantial number of steps and uphill walking. Comfortable, non-slip shoes and bottled water are recommended. Some parts of Kiyomizu Temple may be undergoing restoration work. There are approximately 150 steps to Kiyomizu Temple. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

Highlights of Kyoto

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 9½ hours

Kyoto, with its wealth of temples, shrines, and traditional arts, is an immensely popular destination, which never fails to charm.

Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden Pavilion, is a key highlight of Kyoto. This architectural masterpiece, featured on the World Heritage list, is 3 storeys high and covered in pure gold leaf. The mirror reflection of the temple on the serene pond creates a striking scene; one that should feature in any world-traveller’s album. Enjoy an exterior view of the Temple.

Built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogun, Nijo Castle has a solemn exterior, contrasting sharply with its beautiful interior. The Castle is famous for its cultural treasures from the 16th century, such as the Chinese Gate and the Ni-no-maru Garden.

The bright vermilion and blue-tiled Heian Shrine has enchanting gardens and ponds, reflecting the graceful life of Kyoto’s medieval court. The shrine was built in 1895 to mark the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto.

Traditional crafts, works of art and souvenirs await at the Kyoto Handicrafts Center.

Lunch is a combination of Western and Japanese-style cuisine, served at a local restaurant or hotel.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey time to Kyoto is approximately 1½ hours. Traffic delays are to be expected. Photography is not permitted inside the Castle or the Heian Shrine. Shoes must be removed to enter Nijo Castle. There is approximately 3 hours of walking involved on this tour, and 30 steps at the Kinkakuji Temple. Comfortable, non-slip shoes and bottled water are recommended. Some parts of Nijo Castle may be covered due to ongoing restoration work. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

Hiroshima by Bullet Train

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 11½ hours

Experience a magnificent feat of engineering on the world famous ‘Bullet Train’ and visit the sights of Hiroshima.

Step aboard the world famous JR Supper Express ‘Bullet Train’ and experience a 240 kilometre-per-hour journey to Hiroshima.

Drive through the city and pass the imposing Hiroshima Castle. The fortress was completely destroyed by the firestorm that followed the atomic explosion. Rebuilt in 1958, its central keep is now a local museum, afterwards a Western-style lunch will be served at a local hotel.

Visit the Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to the victims of the first atomic bomb. The Park is home to the Peace Memorial Museum and eloquent monuments, exhibiting photographs and artifacts from the bomb’s aftermath. The Children’s Peace Monument depicts a young girl, named Sadako, who died from leukemia caused by radiation. The girl believed that if she folded 1,000 origami cranes - the crane symbolizes long life - she would be cured. Sadako finished 1,300 cranes before her death.

You will also see the Atomic Bomb Dome, an internationally recognised symbol of Hiroshima and the old Industry Promotion Hall which was one of the few buildings near Ground Zero to survive the blast - although its dome was vapourised. Shukkeien Gardens were created by the feudal lord, Nagaakira Asano in 1620. The serene oasis of ponds, small streams and sculpted pines was inspired by Chinese landscapes and a perfect location for your last stop.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, Bullet Train and on foot. This is a tour with sensitive materials including graphic pictures and displays on the atrocities of war. Comfortable shoes are recommended for this tour. Please carry Japanese Yen should you wish to make any purchases. The Atomic Bomb Dome may be covered due to maintenance work.

Japanese Discovery - Double

Activity highMeal includedRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 2 nights

Make the most of your visit to Japan. Take in the incredible sights of Kyoto, the busting capital of Tokyo and the city of Nagasaki.

DAY 1 – KYOTO, overnight in Tokyo

The ancient city of Kyoto is graced with an abundance of temples, shrines and serene gardens. One of the highlights of the region is the Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Gold Pavilion. Each of its 3 storeys represents a different architectural style and the gold leaf reflects beautifully in the pond below (exterior visit). Enjoy a break for a Western style lunch, before continuing on to the impressive Kodai-ji Temple, a designated historic site and place of scenic beauty. Kodai-ji features richly decorated interiors and beautiful Zen gardens. Enjoy the sights and atmosphere of this special location before heading to Kyoto station to board the Bullet train, which will transport you at 170 miles an hour from Kyoto to Japan’s capital city, Tokyo in just 2½ hours. Upon arrival in Tokyo, check into the Hotel New Otani Tokyo and indulge in a wonderful Teppanyaki dinner.

DAY 2 – TOKYO, overnight in Tokyo

After breakfast enjoy a full tour of the city’s highlights. Visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine, a large park dedicated to Emperor Meiji, who saw the transformation of this country from a medieval to a modern state. It was during his reign (1868–1912) that Edo became Japan’s new capital and was renamed Tokyo. Enter the Shrine through the 40-foot-high Torii gate, one of the largest in Japan. After lunch you’ll visit the Tokyo Skytree, a new landmark of the city that stands at over 2,000 feet high. It is the tallest building in Japan and the 2nd tallest structure in the world at the time of its completion. Take the elevator to the observation deck for a stunning panoramic view of Tokyo. You’ll make your way to Asakusa to see one of Tokyo’s most popular places of pilgrimage, the Sensoji Temple. This ancient Temple features 2 great gates and rows of traditional family shops and stalls, called Nakamise, a major symbol of old Tokyo. Enjoy a buffet dinner in the hotel’s 360 degree revolving restaurant.

DAY 3 - NAGASAKI

After breakfast, depart for the airport and board your flight to Nagasaki. Due to the scheduling of the flight and to maximise sightseeing, a box lunch will be provided. Nagasaki was the site of the 2nd nuclear attack in 1945. Visit the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park, created to represent the wish for world peace. Here, you’ll find the war memorial fountain and the 30-foot high Statue of Peace. Located near the Park, the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum displays photos and relics of the blast illustrating the horror of nuclear weapons and the preciousness of peace. Visit the hypocentre, which marks the centre of the atomic blast and levelled the city. Following your city tour, you’ll take a brief drive to re-join the ship in the port of Nagasaki.

Essential information

Essential information. Bookings for this tour will close on 18th December 2016. There is a strict minimum and maximum participation. Please ensure you book the correct tour code for the accommodation you require (Double = OSA800A. Single = OSA801A). Prices shown on your record of shore excursions are per person, not per room. This tour departs Osaka on 7th March and returns to Nagasaki on 9th March. Please check your embarkation/disembarkation dates carefully before booking this overland. Once your booking is confirmed, any cancellation made after bookings close will incur a 100% cancellation fee. This excursion is physically demanding. Be prepared for early morning starts, lengthy days, climatic changes and airport delays. The majority of the meals will be Japanese style. No refunds will be given for any unused portion of this overland. Flight times and further details will be advised on board and the hotels listed are subject to change. Wheelchairs or scooters are not permitted on the Bullet Train.

The fare includes: transport by coach, plane and train as described, economy class air tickets, tourist class train tickets, sightseeing and entrances as described, meals as stated and hotel accommodation. Passengers with any special dietary requirements should advise the Tour Manager once on board.

The fare does not include: items of a personal nature such as refreshments, telephone calls, laundry, gratuities, room service, medical cost and travel insurance. Passengers from the USA, UK, Germany and Australia do not require a visa. Other nationality passengers should check visa requirements prior to travel.

What to pack: please remember your passport and any medication you may require. Luggage limit is 1 small bag, per person with a maximum weight of 15kg. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors. Temperatures at the time of your visit are generally cold and we recommend you pack warm winter clothing.

Nagasaki: please be advised that the Museum in Nagasaki exhibits sensitive material including some graphic images and displays on the atrocities of war, and that photography is not permitted.Essential information. Bookings for this tour will close on 18th December 2016. There is a strict minimum and maximum participation. Please ensure you book the correct tour code for the accommodation you require (Double = OSA800A. Single = OSA801A). Prices shown on your record of shore excursions are per person, not per room. This tour departs Osaka on 7th March and returns to Nagasaki on 9th March. Please check your embarkation/disembarkation dates carefully before booking this overland. Once your booking is confirmed, any cancellation made after bookings close will incur a 100% cancellation fee. This excursion is physically demanding. Be prepared for early morning starts, lengthy days, climatic changes and airport delays. The majority of the meals will be Japanese style. No refunds will be given for any unused portion of this overland. Flight times and further details will be advised on board and the hotels listed are subject to change. Wheelchairs or scooters are not permitted on the Bullet Train.

The fare includes: transport by coach, plane and train as described, economy class air tickets, tourist class train tickets, sightseeing and entrances as described, meals as stated and hotel accommodation. Passengers with any special dietary requirements should advise the Tour Manager once on board.

The fare does not include: items of a personal nature such as refreshments, telephone calls, laundry, gratuities, room service, medical cost and travel insurance. Passengers from the USA, UK, Germany and Australia do not require a visa. Other nationality passengers should check visa requirements prior to travel.

What to pack: please remember your passport and any medication you may require. Luggage limit is 1 small bag, per person with a maximum weight of 15kg. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors. Temperatures at the time of your visit are generally cold and we recommend you pack warm winter clothing.

Nagasaki: please be advised that the Museum in Nagasaki exhibits sensitive material including some graphic images and displays on the atrocities of war, and that photography is not permitted.

Shopping: time for shopping will be dependent on the tour schedule and may be curtailed in the event of delays.

Shopping: time for shopping will be dependent on the tour schedule and may be curtailed in the event of delays.

Japanese Drum Show and Experience

Activity low

Duration: 2½ hours

Immerse yourself in the percussive world of Taiko drumming.

From the 6th century, drums have played an important yet mainly understated part of Japanese culture, from providing the beat to march to war, to adding drama to a Kabuki performance. From temples to teahouses all around Japan, drums have been in attendance, but only really took centre stage in the 1950’s with the introduction of Taiko, which showcases this dramatic, loud and physically commanding art form.

But before you enjoy one of these thunderous performances, you’ll actually have the chance to play the drums yourself. No experience is needed, just the willingness to take part and have fun. How much you do is up to you, but if you want to let loose and work up a sweat, you certainly can before you take part in your own concert with the other on site musicians.

After you have gained a better understanding of the skill it takes, you’ll see how the professionals do it, with a live Taiko performance. Ranging from the size of snare drums up to giant barrels, feel the drum beat resonate through you as you enjoy the visual spectacle that this art form has become.

Although relatively new to Japanese culture, Taiko has become an important part of the Japanese identity, and this chance to learn and listen is a wonderful opportunity.

Essential information

This excursion is conducted by coach and on foot.Those wishing to take part in playing the drums should wear relaxed comfortable clothing. It is advisable to bring along a bottle of water, or Japanese yen to purchase refreshments. The tour may operate in reverse. Shoes must be removed to enter the theatre.

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