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An emerald chain of almost 7,000 islands, the Japanese archipelago sweeps down from the weather carved national parks in the north to sparkling sub-tropical isles in the south. Every aspect of Japan’s stunning coastal landscape evokes a sense of awe and pride among its people. The indigenous Shinto belief inbues every natural feature with kami, or gods, and this appreciation of nature is seen in Japanese traditional arts such as ikebana flower arranging, bonsai, garden design, and is showcased in ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.
Join us aboard Coral Adventurer and be immersed into the rich natural and cultural world of less-visited Japan. Enter Japan’s island realms from the south through Guam and the historic outposts of Saipan and Iwo Jima before we sail northwards through the Ogasawara Islands, known as ‘The Galápagos of the Orient’ and recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, to sight remote volcanic islands and discover seabird nesting habitats accompanied at sea by migrating whales, playful dolphins and green sea turtles. Our expedition voyage continues on a journey through the heart of Japan, from the remote Iya Valley, characterised by its steep mountain slopes and deep rocky gorges crossed by man-made vine bridges, to the ancient and enchanted cedar woodlands in one of the oldest forests in the world at Yakushima, and onwards to the Okinawa Islands where inhabitants are believed to hold the secrets to long life. Along the way, experience the rich history of Japan’s cultural past in traditional Kimono workshops, Taiko drumming performances, Soba noodle making, a thoughtful tea ceremony, and the energetic Awa ‘fool’s dance’.
Accompanied by expert guides and guest lecturers, find wonder in these ancient island kingdoms.
Our expedition tracks northwards from Australia to explore the Spice Islands of the renowned Coral Triangle and Raja Ampat, through the Republic of Palau and the remote and little-visited small islands of Micronesia.
On your remarkable voyage, you will journey through the remote Northern Mariana Islands and the Japanese island groups of Ogasawara and Izu. Along the way, immerse yourself in WWII history and the raw nature of your surroundings.
Immerse yourself in centuries-old Japanese culture with a tea ceremony, known as the Way of Tea, in a traditional teahouse. Enjoy the time-honoured practice of hot springs bathing in an Onsen, where geothermically heated spring water is captured in a natural outdoor setting and revered for its healing properties.
Discover the submerged stone structures of what’s thought to be an ancient underwater city sunk by an earthquake approx. 2,000 years ago off the coast of Yonaguni Jima. On Iriomotoe Island, the second largest island in Okinawa, take an island-hopping adventure in a buffalo-drawn cart across a shallow sandy strait as the driver sings traditional songs accompanied by a three-stringed banjo-like Sanshin musical instrument.
> Departs 2 November 2021
> Onboard Coral Adventurer