On board MS BREMEN from Shanghai to Otaru
Expedition unknown Japan: discover the land of smiles
This brand-new BREMEN route provides you with new ways to discover the mysteries of Japan. Your cruise along the seldom-visited west coast will open up an extraordinary world alive with fascinating sights: grand Shinto shrines and small samurai towns, lush gardens and outstanding national parks. An insider’s view of Japan – full of rare insights.
from Shanghai to Otaru
|Cruise dates:||from 09.05.2017 to 23.05.2017 (14 days)|
|Your ship:||MS BREMEN|
| Tue, 09.05.2017 |
Scheduled flight from Germany to Shanghai
| Wed, 10.05.2017 |
Shanghai/China, departure 18.00 hrs (subject to tides)
| Thu, 11.05.2017 |
Relaxation at sea
| Fri, 12.05.2017 |
Pusan/Republic of Korea
Where the old and the new exist in harmony
| Sat, 13.05.2017 |
Your gateway to discovering new sides to the country is the port of Moji on the island of Kyushu, the first of many new destinations on this cruise. Here you can witness the fascinating contrasts of Japan, both past and present – whether on a visit to the picturesque Kokura Castle*, in Shimonoseki* with its impressive Kanmon Bridge or on individual explorations.
| Sun, 14.05.2017 |
Hiroshima, from 9.00 to 20.00 hrs
Hiroshima symbolises a very eventful period in modern history that took place around 70 years ago. But your exploration of the area will not be limited to memorials – you will also experience the beauty of nature here. An excursion to Hiroshima and the holy island of Miyajima* will highlight the contrasts between the Peace Memorial Park, designed partly by star architect Kenzo Tange, and the Itsukushima shrine. At high tide, the famous red gate is reflected in the water, symbolising the ancient veneration of nature characteristic of Shintoism. The architecture in this area also encompasses the Edo period, with the Kintai Bridge and Iwakuni Castle*, once the home to samurai. These warriors often asked for support from the deities while bathing in hot water. To this day, traces of that culture can still be seen in rituals of social interaction.
| Mon, 15.05.2017 |
Beppu, from 9.00 to 14.00 hrs
When you ease yourself into the hot thermal waters during your visit to an onsen* at the spa resort of Beppu, you will also be able to partake in this relaxing tradition.
| Tue, 16.05.2017 |
Sakaiminato, from 11.30 to 19.00 hrs
The inner life of Japan on the west coast
| Wed, 17.05.2017 |
Maizuru, from 7.00 to 19.00 hrs
Just like a “crane spreading its wings” – for that is what the name of this harbour town means – your understanding of belief systems of the Far East will unfold at the premier destination of Maizuru. From here, you will travel to the spiritual centre of the country: Kyoto – the old imperial city*. It is one of the highlights of the cruise thanks to its myriad temples and extravagantly decorated shrines. After your visit to the Golden Pavilion, you will admire Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy nature in all its glory when you visit the five Mikata lakes in Wakasa Wan Quasi-National Park and the Myotsuji Temple*, which dates back to the 13th century.
| Thu, 18.05.2017 |
Kanazawa, from 9.30 to 20.00 hrs
In Kanazawa, the “gold-leaf capital”, the old geisha and samurai houses and the famous Kenrokuen Gardens* have remained untouched by the ravages of time. They manage to perfectly combine vastness and seclusion, craftsmanship and tradition, remoteness and harmony. By contrast, the Jigokudani Monkey Park in the Japanese Alps*, home to many macaques, will delight you with its wild beauty. The Eihei-ji Temple* comprises 60 different buildings. It is among the most important sites of Zen Buddhism, which is said to reveal the true nature of people and show things as they really are.
| Fri, 19.05.2017 |
Religious beliefs also characterised the classic Noh theatre. Many Noh stages can be found on Sado Island. Just as exotic are the wooden “washbasin boats” traditionally used by the fisherwomen of Sado*. Try them for yourself during a tour of the port.
| Sat, 20.05.2017 |
Back on the BREMEN, the next leg of your travels will be much more comfortable as you head for one of the most beautiful sections of Japan’s coast, the Oga Peninsula. Various tours will offer you plenty of opportunities to discover it. Its dramatic landscape is a stark contrast to the tranquillity of the island of Hokkaido, to the north.
| Sun, 21.05.2017 |
Hakodate, from 7.00 to 13.00 hrs
From the small town of Hakodate, you will visit the Onuma Quasi-National Park and brewery*. As well as being inspired by Mother Nature, complete with volcanoes, birds and luxurious vegetation, you will learn how the country’s most popular drink is made.
| Mon, 22.05.2017 |
Otaru (Sapporo)/Japan, arrival 8.00 hrs
When your cruise has drawn to a close at Otaru, you will return home with a profound understanding of what you have seen, in keeping with the Japanese maxim: “Seeing once with your own eyes is worth more than hearing a hundred reports.”
| Tue, 23.05.2017 |
Scheduled flight from Sapporo to Frankfurt
* The shore activities are not included in the cruise price and are in the planning stage. Subject to change.
Please note that our pre- and post-cruise programmes are conducted in German.
For individual programmes kindly consult your travel agent.
Following programmes we offer in German:
PRE-CRUISE PROGRAMME A: SHANGHAI – THE ALLURE OF OPPOSITES
PRE-CRUISE PROGRAMME B: HIGHLIGHTS OF CHINA – THE MIDDLE KINGDOM: SHANGHAI, XIAN AND BEIJING
POST-CRUISE PROGRAMME A: TOKYO – TRADITION AND MODERNITY
An art historian in the team of experts
Sinologist Wilfried König will help you gain deep insights into Asian art. He studied classic and modern sinology plus East Asian art history at the University of Heidelberg. Since 1990, he has worked as a tour guide for study cruises, where he puts his expertise to good use, complemented by knowledge gained from regular trips to Japan.