Spectacular nature, vibrant culture
8 day itinerary
Get immersed in traditional culture, incredible local cuisine, pulsating cities and natural wonders in this fascinating emerging charter destination. From cherry blossoms, looming volcanoes and fabulous ski slopes to intricate temples and high-intensity cities, Japan amazes at every turn.
welcome to japan
Arrive by private plane at Kobe Airport. After a quick 20-minute car transfer, embark your yacht in Kobe, which boasts a fantastic port area with adventure parks, shopping malls and parks. Cruise to Takamatsu and explore one of Japan’s oldest shrines, The Kompira Shrine, dedicated to the Shinto god of Seafarers, a hike up 785 granite steps. Enjoy a guided tour of the Isamu Noguchi Garden Art Museum by the Museum Curator. Take a serene walk through the stunning Ritsurin Gardens. Visit Takamatsu Castle, built in the mid-1500’s and surrounded by gardens.
The captain will anchor off Nao Shima, known as the ‘Art Island’. Browse the collections featuring Claude Monet, Walter De Maria and James Turrell at the Chichu Art Museum, and explore the town itself, also part of the museum with areas transformed into art spaces. The museum also offers a wonderful view. The Benesse House of Modern Art is also an interesting art experience. Alternatively, discover the island’s beautiful beaches, as well as picturesque hiking and biking paths with sweeping views.
Anchor off Tomonoura and take the tender in to this prosperous port. Since ancient times, Tomonoura’s unique circular harbour has drawn travellers from around the world. Today, its original look has been preserved even as the port has been modernised, with many historical temples and shrines to visit. Be sure to try the local delicacy, red sea bream fish, either at a waterside restaurant or prepared onboard by the yacht’s chef.
Today, explore this pretty island, situated between the mainlands of Honshu and Shikoku. Begin at the Oyamazumi Shrine in the middle of the island, surrounded by Camphor Trees that are thousands of years old. The treasure house is a fascinating part of history: historical Samurai Warlords would come to Oyamazumi to pray for victory, and if they met with success, would dedicate their weapons in tribute to the gods.
Anchor in the bay of Hiroshima and take the tender up the river to the heart of this historically iconic city. Disembark at the Peace Museum and explore the Children’s Peace Park and the A-bomb Dome, some of the simplest yet most evocative monuments to the moment that changed the course of human history, and a humbling experience. Wander the Shukkei-en Gardens, built over 400 years ago.
Head to Onomichi, known for its warm climate and picturesque hillside scenery. Wander narrow alleys through the quaint old town and take in the traditional surrounding scenery. In the early morning, you might catch sight of the “fisher wives”, or “Banyori-san”, pushing their carts to sell fresh fish in central Onomichi. Browse the wide variety of shops in Onomichi Hanpu, selling ramen, Onomichi yaki, coffee and souvenirs.
Symbol of Japan
Our next calling point is Himeji, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Himeji Castle. Regarded as the finest castle in Japan, it is nicknamed Shirasagi-jō (‘White Heron Castle’) because of its bright white exterior, and its shape centered on a five-tiered donjon resembling an egret or heron taking flight. Known as the symbol of Japan, it was started in the 14th century, reaching its present form in the 17th century, built over 8 years by over 24 million men.
Return to Kobe for disembarkation. In April, see the awe-inspiring cherry blosson in nearby Shukugawa Park. Continue to explore this attractive city before onward travel.