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Setting sail from Tokyo
Tokyo is a dazzling introduction to Japan and its utterly unique culture. With more neon than Las Vegas and more Michelin stars than Paris, it's a real assault on the senses, but an efficient public transport system means it's easy to explore. Asakusa is an atmospheric district where you'll find Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple, Akihibara spills over with shops selling electronic gadgets, and Harajuku is the place to marvel at the latest colourful Japanese fashions. It's also easy to escape the crowds and find a spot of peace and quiet, with tranquil parks, shrines and lotus ponds dotted around the city.
The world’s busiest pedestrian crossing at Shibuya. Take the metro to the station of the same name and watch as thousands cross simultaneously when the traffic lights turn red.
Situated at the southern tip of Hokkaido, Hakodate was one of the first Japanese ports to open up to international trade in the 19th century, and a scattering of European-style buildings remain. Take a ride on the historic streetcar, tuck into delicious seafood or enjoy a revitalising dip in an onsen (hot spring).
Kanazawa rivals Kyoto for historical significance, though the city is far less overrun with tourists. The 17th-century Kenroku-en garden is the jewel in Kanazawa’s crown, filled with pretty ponds and waterfalls, and the city is also home to exceptionally well preserved samurai and geisha districts.
The port of Sakaiminato is known for its fishing industry and superb seafood, and it’s a short drive from Matsue and its famous medieval ‘Black Castle’. Sakaiminato is also the home of the popular Japanese manga artist Mizuki Shigeru, and the town is full of statues celebrating his work.
South Korea: Busan
Busan is South Korea’s second biggest city and one of the world’s busiest container ports, but it’s an easygoing place with a discernibly different character to Seoul. Haeundae beach is a popular summer holiday destination for Koreans, while the pungent Jagalchi market sells every type of fish and sea creature imaginable.
On 6 August 1945 the world witnessed the terrifying power of nuclear weapons for the first time, unleashed on the unsuspecting Japanese city of Hiroshima. The modern city's sobering Peace Memorial Park commemorates that fateful day, which left more than 140,000 dead.
The laid back port city of Takamatsu sits on the north coast of Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s major islands, and is home to the beautifully designed Ritsurin Koen, one of Japan’s most famous historical gardens.
Small in size and cosmopolitan in its outlook, Kobe is a thoroughly pleasant city with a long and distinguished history as one of Japan’s main trading ports. Kobe’s past as a commercial hub is reflected in its architecture, with a number of unusually European-looking houses, as well as a charming, if slightly touristy, Chinatown.
Shimizu is one of the most spectacular ports in Japan, a sweeping bay in the shadow of the iconic Mount Fuji. You can spend some time admiring the views and wandering through peaceful pine groves, or visit the unique Shimizu Sushi Museum at the S-Pulse Dream Plaza shopping mall.
Arriving in Tokyo
Brave the metro subway system. It’s efficient, fun and easy to use. The staff are unfailingly polite if you get confused or lost. Live like the locals but avoid rush hours!
Your home from home
The Azamara Journey, Quest & Pursuit are excellent small ships that offer a welcoming and relaxed club-like atmosphere.
What we love
This trio of sister ships are focused on providing destination immersion by spending as much time in port as possible with itineraries designed to include overnight stays and late evening departures. Enjoy more time to discover the local culture and when back on board relax and enjoy a vibrant array of inclusions.
|Crew:||408 International staff|
|Style:||Relaxed club-like atmosphere|
|Year built:||Journey & Quest 2000, Pursuit 2001|
|Last refurbished:||Journey & Quest 2016, Pursuit 2018|
|Cruising speed:||18.5 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Extend your stay in Tokyo
The Park Hotel at Shimbashi in the Shiodome Media Tower offers premium rooms with great views from the 25th floor up!
Get on your bike
The 25km Tokyo Great Cycling Tour is one of the city’s greatest trips. See both secret back streets and landmark attractions on this full day extravaganza.