From Japan to China
8 days with Ponant Rating:
DAY 1 – OSAKA
Departure at 20H00.
Like its big sister Tokyo, Osaka is the product of ancestral traditions and amazing technological innovations. And despite its size, its location on the Pacific Ocean give it a sense of serenity. The main historic landmark is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which stands proud in the midst of majestic skyscrapers. The lively streets of Dotomburi and the bizarre Shinsekai district attract thousands of locals and visitors. A multitude of restaurants offer menus full of regional specialities: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.
DAY 2 – TAKAMATSU
A former fortified city, ruled over by the Matsudaira clan from the Tamamo castle with its seawater moats, the city is home to one of the most beautiful classic gardens in Japan, the Ritsurin. It was created by the barons of the city at the start of the Edo period, during which time gardening became a profession in its own right. Its landscape incorporates Mount Shiun in the background, an example of what is known as the shakkei technique, which uses the surrounding landscapes to increase the beauty of the gardens.
DAY 3 – BEPPU, OITA
A favourite destination for the Japanese, Beppu is now famous throughout the Japanese archipelago thanks to its onsen – volcanic hot springs in which people immerse themselves to relax with family or friends. From Beppu, you will set off to discover a lush, peaceful valley in which sit 60 majestic stone Buddhas carved out of the cliff face between the 12th and 14th centuries. Exuding a soothing air of serenity, the Mangetsuji site seems to have drifted off to sleep in the heart of a dense bamboo forest surrounded by rice fields. Recognised as a National Treasure of Japan, this set of sacred sculptures offers travellers a unique, wonderful experience.
DAY 4 – KARATSU
Karatsu Bay is edged with long sandy beaches and a huge pine forest that was planted over 350 years ago to protect the coast from the winds and tides of the Genkai Sea. From the top of the donjon of Karatsu Castle or Mount Kagami, you will be able to admire magnificent panoramas. In the north of the Higashi-Matsuura Peninsula, the waves have eroded the lava plateau and carved a magnificent natural site, the seven Nanatsugama Caves, out of the basalt. The city of Karatsu is famous for the quality of its pottery, which is influenced by the craftsmanship of nearby Korea. Very fine pieces are displayed in the city’s galleries and at Karatsu Castle, alongside magnificent samurai armour.
DAY 5 – NAGASAKI
Located on the north-west coast of Kyushu, Nagasaki will impress you by its rich heritage. Despite the destruction in 1945, you can visit several ancient sites, including the beautiful 19th-century Catholic Church of Oura and its garden, the sanctuary of Suwa Shrine or several Buddhist temples. A visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum gives you insight into the extent of the damage caused by the nuclear attack. Close by, a walk in the Memorial Peace Park leads you to a collection of objets d'art offered as a gift from Japan to the world.
DAY 6 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
DAY 7 – SHANGHAI
Set in the most amazing geographic location, Shanghai has fast become the largest economic and commercial hub in China. Although this futuristic megalopolis is the capital of excess, it still has soul. See for yourself as you stroll around the Bund district, emblematic of old Shanghai. From here, you can reach People's Square, a must-see vast and luminous space bordered by historical monuments. In the former French concession, you'll be able to appreciate the charm of the most Westernised of Chinese cities: a haven of peace in the heart of an urban jungle!
DAY 8 – SHANGHAI
Disembarkation at 08H00.
All This Included
Set off to encounter age-old civilisations during an all-new 8-day cruise in Asia aboard Le Lapérouse. Following this itinerary, PONANT invites you to discover the Land of the Rising Sun and China, countries that live at the pace of their huge cities but are soothed by the serenity of their landscapes.
You will embark in Osaka, a modern, forward-looking city, in the heart of the Japanese archipelago.
Your ship will take you to Takamatsu, where you’ll be able to discover the magnificent Ritsurin Garden. Considered to be one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, it is designed to blend in harmoniously with the surrounding hilly landscapes.
Le Lapérouse will then call at Beppu, Japan’s most famous hot springs, where you’ll also be able to admire the sacred sculptures of 60 majestic Buddhas, a national treasure, before heading to the magnificent Karatsu Bay.
In Nagasaki, don’t miss out on the visit of the Peace Memorial, built in tribute to the victims of the atomic bomb in 1945.
Le Lapérouse will finally set sail for Shanghai, a futuristic city with a thousand faces. In this Chinese megalopolis with contrasting architecture, the spirit of the 1930s still seems to reign over certain streets, particularly in the Bund waterfront area.
Cruising: Cabin onboard Le Lapérouse
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.