Discover Japan with a Scenic Eclipse expert

Guests travelling on board Scenic Eclipse, the ultra-luxury Discovery Yacht can explore the exotic wonders and fascinating culture of Japan via two new itineraries.
 These two voyages have been carefully handcrafted by our expert team of Journey Designers and include the ‘Japan: A Journey Through Time’ - a discovery of this country’s west coast region and the ‘Natural Wonders of Japan’ voyage, through the east coast area. We are proud to gain insights from Scenic’s expert Journey Designer for Asia, Adam Burke, to share how these 6-star Discovery Voyages can connect with the 5-star luxury Land Journeys. Adam will uncover two different sides of this alluring country steeped in centuries’ old tradition and melded with contemporary living. 

Q: Adam, can you explain briefly the highlights of each of the Scenic Eclipse Japan voyages and which destinations guests can expect to visit? 

A: As you can see from the names of the respective discovery voyages, the west coast ‘A Journey through Time’ involves a deeper focus on the history of Japan as experienced through the cities visited, such as Hagi, Hiroshima, Kanazawa and Aomori.  On the east coast voyage ‘Natural Wonders of Japan’, the explorations lend themselves more to the natural wonders of Japan such as Shingu, Shimizu and Kushiro.  The Scenic Eclipse land journey extension ‘Secrets of Japan’, can also be done in conjunction with either voyage, supplementing your cruise by providing immersive experiences that are located further inland.   

Q: For gourmet enthusiasts, what culinary highlights can guests expect to experience and perhaps have their perceptions of Japanese cuisine challenged? 

A: There is a very diverse range and variety of dishes served throughout Japan – it’s not all just raw fish, which is a common misconception. Through your journey, you will be able to experience the numerous varieties of styles in cooking and regional dishes, with a sprinkling of western meals, such as French cuisine which is very popular among Japanese people.  Guests will taste traditional Japanese sweets, a variety of alcoholic drinks, vegetarian options, meat dishes and of courses seafood dishes as served in a variety of restaurants, bars and street food vendors.  They will be spoilt for choice and pleasantly surprised at the extensive variety and styles. 

On board Scenic Eclipse, guests can also dine on fine Asian fusion cuisine Koko’s. The restaurant features three dining experiences including Asian fusion, authentic Japanese experience at Sushi @Koko’s and teppanyaki at Night Market @Koko’s. You can enjoy a drink at the sake bar, a selection of Japanese whiskeys at the Scenic Bar and you can also dine on a range of cuisines at up to 10 truly all-inclusive culinary experiences on board. 

Q: What are some of the culturally immersive experiences you’ve created for Scenic Eclipse guests in the Scenic Enrich program? 

A: Scenic Enrich experiences provide guests with immersive discoveries that delve into Japanese culture, which they would not experience when travelling by themselves. In Japan, we include attending a real Sumo dohyo in their home and witnessing traditions behind a tournament, as well as meeting and learning about the training of Sumo wrestlers. 

Guests can learn to play a Taiko drum with instruction from a master; or mingle with Geisha and Maiko’s (apprentices) during a traditional dinner where you can interact with them during your Scenic Enrich dinner. On the ‘A Journey through Time’ voyage, one of the major port visits is to Kanazawa, also known as ‘Little Kyoto’ due to the many Geisha (or Geiko as they are known in Japan) who live here. In Kanazawa, you can partake in an actual traditional Tea Ceremony. 

Also, our guests can also create their own homage to future peace at the Atomic memorial in Hiroshima. For the more active, there are plenty of options for hiking amongst spectacular forests and mountain trails in the many national parks including a section of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Komodo Kodo pilgrimage trail on the ‘Natural Wonders of Japan’ voyage. These are some of the exclusive Enrich experiences only Scenic guests can participate in. 

Adam Burke

Q: For the nature lover, what stunning scenery and natural wonders are highlights of each itinerary? 

A: On the west coast ‘A Journey through Time,’ the views from the top of Mount Hakodate and ropeway are spectacular; as is a hike up Mt Esan or through Onuma Quasi-National Park, all from Hakodate.  Sado Island contains some of the various coastal landforms found in Japan, while Matsuyama and Uno lie on the beautiful coastline of the Seto inland sea.  Uno has the advantage of being near Koraku-en garden in Okayama, which along with the Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, are two of the three top landscaped gardens in Japan.  

The east coast cruise ‘Natural Wonders of Japan’, we visit some of the most famous natural wonders of Japan.  In Shingu you will visit parts of the World Heritage-listed Kumano Kodo and cruise Doro-kyo Gorge. Whilst from Shimizu, view Mt Fuji from your luxurious suite, and visit the surrounding Five Lakes region and Qwakudani Geothermal area plus cruise on Lake Ashinoko near Hakone.  From Sendai, visit Matsushima Bay, long celebrated as one of Japan’s three most scenic views and in Kushiro, visit Japan’s largest marshland and some of the most pristine wildlife habitats in Japan.  

Q: How does Scenic Eclipse set the benchmark in ultra-luxury cruising in Japan? 

Scenic Eclipse - Koko's Asian Fusion
A: Designed as a Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse is able to visit ports not normally included on other voyages, allowing access to the less visited and hidden gems of Japan.  Being truly all-inclusive allows you to personalise your Japan exploration by choosing from a range of Scenic Freechoice activities, which best suit your interests and fitness levels, from Active, Moderate and Relaxed pace. 

The highly expert Discovery Team of up to 15 members are on hand to share their in-depth knowledge of Japanese culture, history and natural wonders. When travelling on board Scenic Eclipse, guests also have the incredible opportunity to delve beneath the sea in a state-of-the-art submarine, Scenic Neptune*; or fly overhead and take in mesmerising aerial views from one of two Scenic helicopters. 

*Helicopter and submarine excursions are an additional cost, subject to regulatory approval, availability, weight restrictions, medical approval, weather conditions and ice conditions. 

Q: How can Scenic guests expand on their cruise and Japanese immersion? 

A: The 10 Day ‘Secrets of Japan’ Scenic Eclipse land journey has been designed to complement both Scenic Eclipse cruises. With this post-cruise tour starting and pre-cruise tour finishing from Kobe, each has specific differences to supplement each cruise to ensure your combined land and cruise holiday gives you a complete immersive overview of Japanese history and culture.  

The land journey allows guests to experience unique Scenic Enrich experiences and Scenic Freechoice activities throughout the trip, which are not usually available during your chosen cruise, due to their location. The 14 Day ‘Hidden Wonders of North Japan’ regular tour ends in Sapporo, with the June 2023 departure coinciding with the departure of the ‘A Journey through Time’ cruise.  This gives our guests another option where they can travel through the beautiful Tohoku region before their cruise.

About Adam Burke

Adam’s personal journey and love for Asia was nurtured and developed whilst he travelled for 11 years as an Officer in the Royal Australian Navy. He then spent 16 years working in a variety of roles, mostly in Product for Asian tour operators who specialised in South East Asia, India, China and Japan.

Adam has now been with Scenic for more than six years as our Asian Journey Designer, responsible for launching and developing luxury cruises and tours for Scenic Spirit and Scenic Aura, along with other Asia land journeys in China, Japan and India.  Adam says, “Whether it is travelling through Asia for work or personal holidays, it’s the diversity in history, food, natural wonders, weather and culture, but above all the friendliness of the people, that continually draws me back.”
Arctic Brochure Fan 2