In particular, the west has been fascinated by Tokyo where ancient shrines nestle in the shadow of mirror-tinted skyscrapers and the streets are bathed in a riot of pink during the country’s iconic sakura (cherry blossom) season.
Now that Japan has finally reopened its borders, almost everyone is clamouring to visit the Land of the Rising Sun.
Imagine Holidays has put together an amazing 17-night holiday including a 14-night cruise onboard Holland America Line’s Westerdam which will take you to the breathtaking Ishigaki Island, popularly known as the Hawaii of the Far East minus the crowds; Keelung in Taiwan to experience Taipei’s high rises interspersed with Taoist temples; Kochi where you can immerse yourself in nature walks and Kobe renowned for its myriad of high quality restaurants.
You will also experience a three-night hotel stay in Tokyo with an unforgettable bullet train ride to marvel at Mount Fuji.
Your holiday kicks off in Tokyo, a city of contrasts from serene ancient temples to dizzying neon-lit streets during your three-night hotel stay. You can visit the Meiji Shrine, Imperial Palace, home to Japanese royalty and for stylish shop alcoholics looking for a bit of retail therapy, you will be so spoilt for choice from glitzy Ginza to the tree-lined Omotesando Street, popularly known as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees.
You will then embark the Westerdam, a ship that beautifully blends the finer elements of cruising heritage with contemporary innovations, perfect for cruisers looking for a leisurely pace of life at sea with stimulating activities, fine food and quality entertainment. The ship’s Vista Show Lounge lights up in the evening with superb live entertainment while HAL’s Dancing with the Sars at Sea will set you up for an evening of fun and laughter. You can also spend your evenings listening to classical hits at the Lincoln Centre Stage or rock ‘n’ roll at BB Kings.
When Westerdam arrives at the small island of Naha, you will be surrounded by stunning white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Make your way to the hilltop Shuri Castle and make sure you also visit the Shikinaen gardens with wooden palace buildings crafted in traditional Okinawa style of architecture.
At Ishigaki Island, Japan’s answer to the Caribbean, you will astounded with its white-sandy beaches and tortoise waters – a big draw card for divers and snorkerlers. For nature lovers you can go for a hiking adventure or kayak down the mangrove-lined rivers.
At Keelung, you will be amazed at Taipei’s skyscrapers sitting next to Taoist temples. Sample some of the Taiwanese flavoursome dishes at its night market or share plates at a rechao venue.
Back at the ship, discover its range of delicious food offerings from burgers and fries at the Lido pool deck to Pan-Asian cuisine at Tamarind.
Your next port of call is Kagoshima with its towering active volcano at the top of the Satsuma Peninsula, a mountainous, geothermal wonderland of hot springs and geysers. The Yoshino Park has over 800 cherry blossoms lining the banks of the Kotsukigawa River.
At Shimizu, you will be mesmerised by the sight of the snow-capped Mount Fuji in all its glory. On your excursion to the majestic Mount Fuji, you will ride the Hakone Ropeway cable car for panoramic views, take a boat rde across Lake Ashi and ride back to Tokyo on the famous buttet train. At Shimizu Park, one of Japan’s top cherry blossoms viewing sites and home to the Someiyoshino, weeping and Kanhi cherry trees, you will watch in wonder at the sight of the blossoms which flower so beautifully.
You will then disembark Westerdam in Tokyo for a two-night stay to reacquaint yourself with the wonders and dizzying neon lights of the fascinating city.
Your holiday summary:
Free Hotel Stay
All Flights, taxes and Transfers.
Holland America LineWesterdam
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