Japan: Ancient Traditions & Modern Worlds - cruise & land journey

21 Days
Tokyo to Sapporo
From (CAD)
$ 29,840
Dates & Pricing

2023 Tokyo > Sapporo

A land of contrasts. Behind Tokyo’s futuristic façade lies a culture steeped in time. Explore neighbourhoods with manga-inspired street fashion or visit a traditional shrine. Explore Japan’s cultural centre, Kyoto and visit teahouses, captivating Geisha culture and take a rickshaw ride through bamboo forests. Stroll through aromatic local markets, find the perfect Japanese restaurant and walk-through centuries-old shrines and gardens. Japan, a cultural delight and timeless gem. Prepare to fall in love with tatami mats, sliding paper doors, kimonos and hot spring spas. Embark on a Scenic Eclipse voyage as you sail up the east coast of Japan, seeing the contrast between the futuristic Tokyo, a captivating city shining bright with neon, and the wild remote nature of Hokkaido, considered Japan’s last frontier. Along the way, explore Japan’s largest marshland, lush green islands, and virgin forests reflecting off peaceful lake waters. Look out for the rare, graceful and auspicious red-crowned crane. A plethora of wild birds and spotted seals call the oceans here their home.
Tour Map
Tour Code:
21 days
Departure City:
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Selected Itinerary

21 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Tokyo

    Welcome to Tokyo, Japan's capital and the world's most populous metropolis. Check-into your hotel, your home for the next two nights. With direct access to four subway lines, the hotel was recently rated in the Forbes Travel Guide as Tokyo’s exclusive Japanese decor 5 star luxury hotel. Rooms overlook the most picturesque sites in Tokyo, such as the Imperial Palace, the 500-year old Hie Jinja Shrine and beautiful landscaped Japanese gardens. This evening meet for your welcome reception and dinner.

    Meals Included: Dinner

  2. Day 2 - Tokyo

    Begin the day with a visit to the Asakusa district, paying your respects at Sensoji, the city’s oldest Buddhist temple. After lunch gather your bearings of Tokyo from above as you take in the view from Tokyo Sky Tree.

    Freechoice Dining

    Choose from dining at a ninja themed restaurant or culturally immerse yourself in the traditional Japanese evening Izakaya bar scene serving Yaki-tori and Kushiyaki with your Tour Director as they show you their favourite places to go.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  3. Day 3 - Tokyo > Hakone

    Walk through the beautiful Imperial Palace’s East Gardens, part of the inner palace area and the former site of Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defence when the Tokugawa shogun ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. Then in Ginza, dress up in your chefs clothes to make your own sushi lunch with the help of a local chef.  Venture into the countryside on your drive to Hakone and study the art works and sculptures at the Hakone Open Air Museum. Check-in to your hotel for the night and relax in your private open air onsen bath on your balcony.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  4. Day 4 - Hakone > Kyoto

    Walk around the hot springs at the summit of the Owakudani geothermal area and admire the stunning scenery during your cable car ride down to your Lake Ashinoko cruise with Mt Fuji as a backdrop. Later, transfer to the Odawara train station to relax in your Green (Business) Class seats on the Shinkansen to the culturally rich city of Kyoto, home to many World Heritage-listed sites. Settle in at your for your four night Special Stay. Tonight enjoy Italian cuisine at the hotel's FoRni Restaurant.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  5. Day 5 - Kyoto

    Begin the day at the famous Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion.  Afterwards, glide through the surreal Arashiyama Bamboo Grove by traditional rickshaw before exploring and enjoying a vegetarian meal at the World Heritage listed Tenryu-ji Temple. This evening stroll through the Gion area before dinner.
    Freechoice Dining: Enjoy the option of dining at Fortune Garden or traditional Kaiseki at Gion Sekiya located in the famous Gion District.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  6. Day 6 - Kyoto


    Revel in the atmosphere of the ancient preservation districts or visit the Silver Pavilion before strolling along part of the famous Philosopher’s Walk, an approximately two kilometre long, beautiful stone path walk along a canal through the northern part of Kyoto's Higashiyama district.


    Partake in a Japanese tea ceremony while dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono, a great photo opportunity.

    This afternoon enjoy some free time in Nishiki Market for shopping or relaxation.


    Tonight’s dinner will allow you to interact with a Geiko and Maiko who’ll host your meal presentation in a nearby traditional Japanese restaurant. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about what is involved in becoming a Geisha and the art of Japanese hospitality.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  7. Day 7 - Kyoto - Nara

    Begin your day with an early visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates and its appearance in the film ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’. Then continue to Nara, where you’ll visit Todaiji Temple, one of the most historically influential temples in Japan and see deer in Nara Park. Later, stop for a sake tasting at a sake museum.

    Ryokan Upgrade - Choose to stay in a Ryokan (at additional cost, must be pre-booked before departure). This is a traditional Japanese Inn with futon beds and private facilities, and includes dinner and breakfast.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  8. Day 8 - Kyoto > Himeji > Osaka:

    Travel by Green Class seats on the Shinkansen to marvel at Himeji Castle, an original and Japan’s most spectacular castle, before continuing to Osaka. Enjoy a two night Special Stay in an Executive Room with full club lounge access. This evening catch the Osaka Metro to wander around the lively entertainment area of Dotonbori and Hozenji Yokocho food alley, where you can have the opportunity to choose your own meal this evening from one of the many traditional food stalls.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  9. Day 9 - Osaka - Asuka

    Drive to the birthplace of the Japanese state and cradle of Japanese culture in Asuka, in Nara Prefecture. Wander through the Inabuchi terraced rice paddy fields, the ancient Tobiishi stone bridge, famous in Japanese folklore and visit Ishibutai tumulus, the largest known megalithic structure in Japan.


    Learn about the history, life and training routine of a sumo wrestler during a private visit to a Sumo Museum in Kehayaza, where Sumo originated. After the welcome ceremony, see a demonstration of Jinku and the wrestlers in action in the dohyo.

    Later stop at the timeless village of Tondabayashi to visit a traditional Edo period house and wander around this splendid historical time capsule. Enjoy your Club Floor benefits before reliving your experiences at your farewell dinner.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  10. Day 10 - Osaka

    Transfer to Scenic Eclipse where your ultra-luxury journey into wonders of Japan's unseen treasures begin. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  11. Day 11 - Shingu

    Crisscrossed with fast-flowing rivers and mountain trails, Shingu is a small seaside city located in Wakayama's sacred south. Nestling inside verdant mountains, this secret place is a treasure trove of lush greenery and a unique religious culture. Shingu is home to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, including one of the three Kumano Sanzan Shrines connected by the network of Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, prominently standing out on the riverbanks with its bold red colouring and sweeping roofs. 


    Explore the shrines of Shingu, before the Doro-kyo Gorge, or discover the Sacred Land of Kumano and the Nachi Falls.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  12. Day 12 - Shimizu

    Take your breakfast on your verandah or at the many outdoor dining venues this morning as you sail into Shimizu. You will soon see why it is considered one of Japan’s most beautiful ports, with Mount Fuji dominating the horizon, and history dating back to the Nara Period (710-784). Shimzu is blessed with stunning natural scenery such as the Shiraito Falls flowing in thin white streams from the foothills of Mount Fuji, and rich Japanese culture and history reflected throughout the bright red buildings and gold accents.


    Open Shizuoka’s treasure box with this excursion to Fujisan Hongu Sengen-taisha Shrine, Shiraito Falls, and Mihono Matsubara, or discover the culture of Shimizu at the Tokaido Hiroshige Art Museum. Alternatively, visit the Fuji Five Lake region, at the hot springs st  Qwakudani Geothermal Area followed by a cruise on Lake Ashinoko.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  13. Day 13 - Tokyo

    Welcome to the city that captivates. With some neighbourhoods shining bright with neon lights and filled with futuristic architecture, others boasting glowing lanterns and traditional wooden buildings, and dozens of art galleries and cocktail bars hidden amidst concrete blocks, no two experiences in Tokyo are the same. Previously a small castle town, and now the world’s most populous metropolis, this capital city is always on the move and buzzing with energy. With Scenic Eclipse docked overnight, experience the best of Tokyo by both day and night.


    Visit teamLab Borderless, a world of artworks without boundaries, or walk through the fantastic collection of folk architecture. Learn about the Edo Period at the Architectural Museum. Choose to explore the picturesque Shinjuku-Gyoen Gardens, or visit the Imperial Shinto Meiji Shrine before walking across the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. Alternatively, see one of the most colourful temples,  Sensji Temple.


    Experience the Japanese culture with a Saki Drum ceremony, before an exclusive performance. 

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  14. Day 14 - Tokyo

    Continue exploring Tokyo.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  15. Day 15 - Sendai

    Known as the green city by the sea, this tree lined regional city was founded in the 1600s by Date Masamune. One of Japan’s most powerful feudal lords, his pure black regaliais rumoured to be the inspiration behind Darth Vader’s armour. Immerse yourself into the samurai history, displayed through the traditional black and gold architectural treasurers and well-preserved historical sites.


    Cruise on the Matsushima Bay, and walk to the Zuiganji Temple, or visit the Nobiru Museum before exploring Ishinomaki.  Choose to relax at the Sakunami Onsen, or admire the Naruko Gorge and Chusonji Temple.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  16. Day 16 - At Sea

    Relaxation beckons, and with so many choices on board you will be surprised how quickly time passes on board. Choose one of the daily activities, join an entertaining discussion in the theatre or relax in the Senses Spa as you sail to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, with cities nestled between mountains, and unspoilt primeval forests.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  17. Day 17 - Kushiro

    Welcome to Kushiro, home to Japan’s largest marshland, Kushiro Shitsugen, and some of the most pristine wildlife habitats in the country. Keep an eye out for the rare, graceful, and auspicious red-crowned crane. The most populous city in eastern Hokkaido was previously an industrial port, and came to life thanks to its harbour and its status as the gateway to the National Parks close by.


    Explore the National Park with your Discovery Team.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  18. Day 18 - At sea

    Enjoy a relaxed day at sea on board Scenic Eclipse. There is ample time to rejuvenate.  Why not choose a class in one of the fitness spaces or try one of the therapy lounges in Senses Spa.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  19. Day 19 - Abashiri

    Abashiri has rolling hills and fields filled with flowers of every hue, although being located on one of the most northerly parts of Japan with very cold winters led to it being used as a penal colony in the days of old.


    Tour the Abashiri Prison Museum and learn of the historical background of the buildings and ancient prison relics, or choose to visit Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples and see galleries dedicated to indigenous cultures, including the Ainu indigenous group.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  20. Day 20 - Korsakov, Russia

    Located on the southern tip of Sakhalin Island with a tumultuous history , Korsakov is now a picture of tranquillity. Explore the fascinating town, with Russian and Japanese structures mixed in with modern buildings and museums.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  21. Day 21 - Otaru

    Welcome to Otaru. Disembark from Scenic Eclipse after breakfast as you farewell the crew and take away memories of a truly unforgettable cruise.

    The itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons. As such Scenic cannot guarantee the tour will operate unaltered from the itinerary stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Tour inclusions

Your luxury escorted journey includes
  • The intimacy of small group land journeys with up to 20 guests
  • Exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences
  • Your choice of Scenic Freechoice activities
  • Memorable Scenic Special Stay
  • Fully escorted land journey led by an expert handpicked Tour Director and knowledgeable local guides
  • Porterage throughout, plus return airport transfers
  • All tipping and gratuities

Your all-inclusive cruise features
  • Up to 228 guests on board for a truly intimate experience
  • Spacious all verandah Suites
  • Butler service for every guest
  • Up to ten on board dining experiences, from casual to fine dining
  • Complimentary beverages all day, every day
  • Up to 15 member Specialist Discovery Team
  • Scenic Discovery excursions
  • Your choice of Scenic Freechoice activities
  • Exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences
  • Engaging lecture and education program on board
  • All tipping and gratuities

Pricing & Availability