Japan in Bloom (waitlist only) April 2 - 13, 2020

Japan's dramatic coastlines, volcanic mountain ranges, and misty forests so often depicted in Japanese art reveal a country of extraordinary diversity and natural beauty. The soaring mountains of the nation's interior range combined with the proximity of her craggy coastline create deep valleys with swift rivers and pristine lakes. Scattered throughout the countryside are quiet villages, and yet, within a short distance by high-speed rail, teeming cities rise in steel and neon. Throughout her vast archipelago, Japan is also a country of varying climates, hot in summer, cold in winter, with spring and fall sweetly mild. Our objective on this 10-night cruise from Tokyo to Kyoto and beyond is to savor both the exquisite natural beauty of Japan in spring as well as the delicate complexities of her many traditions.

We'll embark in Tokyo and sail to Shimizu to experience the serenity of Japanese woodlands and a view of the majestic Mount Fuji. In Kyoto, we'll visit the remarkable shrines and Shinto temples of Japan's old Imperial capital. In Hiroshima, a city that has risen from the ashes to become a thriving metropolis, we'll visit the deeply moving Peace Museum. After a brief sojourn across the Kanmon Strait, we'll call at Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, a hub of Korean culture, tradition, and modern life. On our return voyage to Tokyo we'll enjoy days in Nagasaki, another ancient Japanese city that has had a phoenix rebirth after WWII, and Kagoshima, with its balmy climate, palm-lined streets, and Sakurajima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes.

Our ship of choice is Oceania Cruises' luxurious Nautica, an award-winning ship with world-class cuisine and many elegant amenities. Providing insights throughout our voyage will be Janet Ikeda, W&L professor of Japanese. W&L's East Asian Languages and LIterature previous travels to Japan, as well as our extensive network of contacts through W&L's  department, will help assure a rewarding perspective on this fascinating country.