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Sail Japan and Korea pretty in pink in cherry blossom time

The popularity of Japan and Korea with Australian visitors seems to be increasing as every day passes.

It’s definitely in the zeitgeist as we say in English, and cherry blossom time is so treasured by the locals it should be on everyone’s bucket list.

If this short-lived nationally revered Japanese wonder is anywhere on yours, the Azamara cruise from Luxury Escapes is so comprehensive in its itinerary it’s as breathtaking as some of the scenery.

The ultimate Japan itinerary awaits! From the historic waters of Kobe to the soaring skyscrapers of Tokyo and the legendary gardens of Kanazawa, a trove of wonders are ready to be discovered on this 13-night cruise.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Busan, South Korea

Your experience begins with one night of pre-cruise accommodation in Kobe before embarking on an unforgettable odyssey that will take you past the country’s sparkling southernmost shores, South Korea’s sunny Busan, and the length of Japan’s west coast.

Departing during cherry blossom season, you’re guaranteed a chance to see some remarkable pink blooms in action.

Return south for two nights of post-cruise accommodation in Tokyo’s lively Shinjuku district, an ideal spot to sample the city’s nightlife and entertainment.

Throughout your cruise, make use of the fabulous facilities onboard – specialty restaurants, a swimming pool, a state-of-the-art spa, enrichment programs and classes and Broadway-style entertainment await.

You’ll enjoy all-inclusive onboard dining, onboard drinks and five-star Azamara service throughout, plus a $1,500 Luxury Escapes flight credit to help get you to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Three Highlights in Three Days

Day 4: Kochi

The capital of the prefecture of the same name and a city renowned for its friendliness and hospitality to visitors.

Visit the castle of Kochi-jo for a look at one of the country’s best-preserved historic castles.

For lunch, be sure to try the city’s most famous dish: katsuo no tataki, or lightly grilled and sliced bonito tuna, served with spring onions, ginger, garlic and soy sauce.

Day 5: Hiroshima

Return to Honshu and stop in at Hiroshima. Visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, which today serves as a symbol of enduring peace.

Built around the now-infamous Atomic Bomb Dome – the only structure left standing when the atomic bomb was dropped – the museum offers an extraordinary, if harrowing, glimpse into the horrors of nuclear warfare.

After working up an appetite, why not head to a local restaurant for one of the city’s signature dishes – okonomiyaki, a delicious savoury pancake made with egg, cabbage, soba noodles, pork or seafood and lashings of delicious umami-rich sauce.

Day 6: Kitakyushu

The island of Kyushu’s northernmost city, Kitakyushu has historically been one of Japan’s most vital industrial and maritime hubs.

Echoes of the Meiji era – the period from 1868 to 1912 when Japan modernised at a rapid pace – can be felt everywhere in the city, with red-brick warehouses and European-inspired architecture a common sight.

For something a little different, check out the TOTO Museum, dedicated to honouring the humble porcelain toilet and Kitakyushu’s place in plumbing manufacture throughout the 20th century.

Your journey takes you to: Kobe, Japan – Kochi – Hiroshima – Kitakyushu – Sasebo – Busan, South Korea – Sakaiminato, Japan – Kanazawa – Niigata – Akita – Aomori – Tokyo.

For all prices and bookings from Luxury Escapes CLICK HERE or call 1300 820 853

Michael G Browne
Michael G Browne
Michael G Browne is a crime author (Money Bags), comedy writer an inveterate traveller.

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