The best of Japan

9 days / 8 nights
    The best of Japan

    Cruise Asia

    from 18 October 2019 to 26 October 2019
    9 days / 8 nights

    Departure Port : Maizuru
    Arrival Port : Osaka


    • Ref : R181019

    Other departure dates

    Through this exceptional itinerary, PONANT invites you to discover the Land of the Rising Sun, where the history of the samurai and the daintiness of the geishas exist side by side.  

    In Maizuru, you will board the Le Lapérouse for a 9-day cruise to the heart of Japan.

    When your ship calls at Sakaiminato, you will set off to discover medieval Japan and the ancient dwellings of the samurai, who had lavish homes and castles built.

    The Le Lapérouse will then take you to Busan, a warm and welcoming city where you will enjoy a spectacular view of the port. This ancient city full of contrasts presents numerous vestiges that speak of its prestigious past.

    We will call at Hiroshima, the gateway to Miyajima, home to the majestic Shinto shrine whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermillion Torii listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    You will also discover the small Japanese city of Tamano, a former feudal domain with a unique cultural heritage. Among its sites, you will be able to admire its famous Korakuen Garden, one of the country’s three must-see landscaped gardens.

    You will end your cruise with the discovery of the most Japanese of metropolis, Osaka, a modern, industrial and cultural city that is entirely turned towards the future. This city has been the national centre for trade and industry since the reign of Emperor Nintoku.


    • Discovering the ‘Empire of the Rising Sun’, its culture, its ancestral traditions and iconic sites;
    • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Miyajima Sanctuary and its vermillion Torii, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
    • Sakaiminato and Matsue or medieval Japan and the former homes of the Samurais.
    • Discovering Tamano, a former feudal domain with a surprising cultural heritage, and its famous “black castle”.
    • Osaka, and its famous castle (port of disembarkation).

    • program-7697956
    • program-7697953
    • program-7697954
    • program-7697955

    Staterooms & Suites


      There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.




      Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

      As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Lapérouse will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.

      Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.

      Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.

      Port of call & excursions

      18 October 2019 – Sakaiminato


      Embarkation 18/10/2019 from 17H00 to 18H00 . Departure 18/10/2019 at 19H00 .

      Located on the western coast of Honshu island, in the province of Kyoto, the charming town of Maizuru boasts one of Japan’s most exquisite closed bays. A climb to the observatory allows to appreciate the splendour of this inlet scattered with tiny wild islands. Visitors can also admire the treasures of traditional architecture by visiting the temple of Enryu-ji or the Tanabe-jo castle. The town also bears traces of a rich military past, which you can see in the old arsenals of the navy, red brick buildings that today house a museum.

      19 October 2019 – Sakaiminato

      19 October 2019 – Sakaiminato

      Arrival 19/10/2019 early morning. Departure 19/10/2019 early evening.

      Located on the south-west coast of Honshu Island, the busy fishing port of Sakaiminato celebrates the comic writer and artist Shigeru Mizuki, who was born here. As well as a museum a dedicated tourist route leads through streets and squares that feature 134 bronze statues representing his beloved characters. This isn't the only thing Sakaiminato has to offer; try some local seafood specialities and enjoy the stunning views of Mt Daisen and the Yumigahama peninsula.

      20 October 2019 – Busan

      20 October 2019 – Busan

      Arrival 20/10/2019 midday. Departure 20/10/2019 early evening.

      With around four million inhabitants, Busan is the second largest metropolis on South Korea, after Seoul. This dynamic harbour city, located in the south-east, surrounded by the warm waters of the Sea of Japan, benefits from a mild, pleasant climate. You’ll find delightful simply to stroll around the lively streets and explore the city’s outstanding cultural heritage of art galleries, museums, and Buddhist sites, such as the Haedong Yonggungsa temple, which elegantly sits on the waterfront. Rich too in magnificent beaches and superlative natural landscapes, Busan’s peaceful atmosphere will win you over, as will its inhabitants, whom you’ll have the pleasure of meeting.

      21 October 2019 – Sasebo, Nagasaki

      21 October 2019 – Sasebo, Nagasaki

      Arrival 21/10/2019 early morning. Departure 21/10/2019 late afternoon.

      Located on the west coast of the Japanese island of Kyushu, Sasebo, a former fishing village has today become an important port city, offering easy access to the Saikai National Park. Consisting of a number of exceptional natural sites, this park boasts particularly rich wildlife and vegetation. It notably includes Kozakihana Park, the westernmost point of Japan, as well as the Kujuku Islands, lying some twenty kilometres north of the port of Sasebo. This archipelago, which is largely uninhabited, forms the largest concentration of islands in Japan and offers contrasting pristine landscapes. Make the most of this port of call to discover the magnificent Imari porcelain, a tradition that is more than 400 years old.

      22 October 2019 – Kagoshima

      22 October 2019 – Kagoshima

      Arrival 22/10/2019 early morning. Departure 22/10/2019 late afternoon.

      The seaside city of Kagoshima, at the south of Kyushu Island, ᅠis best known for Sakurajima, an active volcano that faces Kinko Bay. A visit to this busy metropolis will remind you just how much the volcano is part of the inhabitants' everyday life: in the wake of the almost daily eruptions, a delicate layer of ash settles on everything. The top of a buried torii (traditional Japanese gate) measuring three metres that was 'swallowed up' by a giant lava flow in 1914 can still be seen. The power of nature will send a shiver down your spine.

      23 October 2019 – Uwajima

      23 October 2019 – Uwajima

      Arrival 23/10/2019 midday. Departure 23/10/2019 early evening.

      Located on the west coast of Shikoku island, Uwajima will delight lovers of history and traditional customs. The magnificent Uwajima Castle was built in the 17th-century by the powerful Date clan and has a beautiful ornamental garden and bridge. The much-visited Taga Shrine is dedicated to fertility and is full of phalluses. As for eating, you must taste jakoten, a local delicacy based on fried fish.

      24 October 2019 – Hiroshima

      24 October 2019 – Hiroshima

      Arrival 24/10/2019 early morning. Departure 24/10/2019 early evening.

      Visiting Hiroshima is a moving experience. The town spreads along Honshu Island, along the inside coasts of Seto. While firmly focused on the future, Hiroshima doesn't forget its past, and a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome is a must. You'll enjoy the city's modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and effervescent nightlife just as much as the peaceful stillness of its natural parkland areas such as splendid Shukkei-en, the town's historic garden.

      25 October 2019 – Tamano

      25 October 2019 – Tamano

      Arrival 25/10/2019 early morning. Departure 25/10/2019 evening.

      Located on the island of Honshu, hugging the banks of the Sento Inland Sea, Tamano is a popular destination thanks to its sun-drenched climate. Upon arrival, marvel at the way in which the city has been built along the coast at the foot of a deep, dark forest. In the area surrounding Tamano, stroll down the streets of Kurashiki, known as the 'white-walled city' in a nod to the pretty façades of the houses that line the streets of this ancient Edo-period trading town. Another major regional attraction is the Seto Ohashi bridge. Its 12.5 kilometres make it the world's longest double-decker bridge.

      26 October 2019▸25 October 2019 – Osaka


      Disembarkation 26/10/2019 at 07H00 .

      Like its big sister Tokyo, Osaka is the product of ancestral traditions and amazing technological innovations. And despite its size, its location on the Pacific Ocean give it a sense of serenity. The main historic landmark is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which stands proud in the midst of majestic skyscrapers. The lively streets of Dotomburi and the bizarre Shinsekai district attract thousands of locals and visitors. A multitude of restaurants offer menus full of regional specialities: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.


      • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

      • Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

      • Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. Before your cruise

        17/10/2019 – Discover Kyoto (1 night)

        620.00 € **

        More information

        15/10/2019 – Kyoto and Nara, former imperial capital cities (3 nights)

        For your comfort and serenity, this programme benefits from a PONANT accompaniment***.
        The escort, mandated by the company, accompanies you and remains at your disposal during your stay.
        His mission: offering you assistance and facilitating the organisation to ensure the full success of your stay.
        1890.00 € **

        More information

      2. After your cruise

        26/10/2019 – Heritage of Osaka

        230.00 € **

        More information

      3. Your packages

        16/10/2019 – Flights from/to Paris (Economic Class) + Discover Kyoto 1N (Pre) + Heritage of Osaka (Post)

        1710.00 € **

        16/10/2019 – Flights from/to Paris (Business Class) + Discover Kyoto 1N (Pre) + Heritage of Osaka (Post)

        4440.00 € **

        14/10/2019 – Flights from/to Paris (Economic Class) + Kyoto and Nara, former imperial capital cities 3N (Pre) + Heritage of Osaka (Post)

        2980.00 € **
      Attention: the prices listed at the time of your reservation can be different from those listed in the brochure. These prices can evolve based on availability and the real time rates of the airline companies selected.
      Travellers are advised to check all the information with the authorities concerned prior to the departure date. Ponant advises Travellers to consult the country factsheets relating to the chosen destinations. Ponant specifically draws Travellers' attention to the fact that the information provided may change up until the departure date, and they are advised to consult that information up until the time of departure. CDP invites Travellers to adjust their behavior to the visited country, to exercise vigilance and to avoid carrying valuable objects during their travel.
      Need information ?