All Around Japan 17 Days

The Land of the Rising Sun by Sea

A Magnificent Cruise on the Luxury Liner “MS MAASDAM”.
Including a visit to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.
Full kosher meals Aboard the Ship supervising by Chabad Tokyo.
In Japanese, it’s called Nihon or Nippon, meaning Land of Sun Origin. Japan is made up of a chain of some 3,000 East Asian islands in the Pacific Ocean with four major islands: Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu and Honshu. The latter is the largest and the most settled. Most of the islands are mountain ridges that protrude above sea level, some have still active volcanoes. It’s a fascinating and interesting scene.

Japan is now the sixth largest country in the industrialized world and the third largest in its economic strength. We will learn to get to know many facets of Japan on this an unforgettable cruise on one of Holland America’s luxury ships. In addition to Japan, the cruise includes a visit to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

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ITINERARY

We will continue to the Harajuku and Shibuya quarters, the lively entertainment centers of Tokyo youth. The Shibuya Crossing, the “Times Square” of Tokyo is elegantly built in the spirit of the 21st century with massive video screens and sparkling lights.

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In the afternoon, we’ll make our wat to the port of Yokohama where we’ll board the luxury vessel that will serve as our luxurious floating hotel for the next 14 days. We set sail at 22:00. Remember to be on board to wave farewell to the mainland!

Some details about the magnificent MS MAASDAM, one of Holland America’s new series of luxury cruise liners:
11 guest decks
Restaurants and lounges with by panoramic views.
Elegant Boutique
A new bar complex in the Atrium
An upgraded and ornate showroom with performances almost every evening
All staterooms feature Holland Holland’s unique charm
Spacious and elegant staterooms with a window (some with a private balcony at an extra charge)
Mariner’s Dream luxury beds with quality linens
Luxury terry towels
Flat screen TV with DVD
Roomy storage space
Fresh fruit at no extra charge
Drinks – order as much as you wish: juices and other free drinks
Free shoe shine service.
Plentiful, delicious, quality Kosher meals

In addition, the ship has a magnificent theater for performances, music and singers, casino, bars, movie house, luxury restaurants, a spa, gym, swimming pool and jacuzzi, and of course an active entertainment team every day.

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We’ll take the cable car for spectacular view of Suruga Bay (this is where Jews fleeing the Nazi onslaught in Europe arrived with the help of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara) and the famous Mount Fuji. We’ll see the Konozan Toshogu shrine dedicated to the Shogun Tokugawa Eiyasu (1543-1616) for winning peace and uniting Japan after a long civil war. At the end of the visit, we’ll return to the ship.

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Considered the “Jerusalem of Japan,” Kyoto is home to over 2,000 temples and shrines, as well as the Emperor’s Palace where the emperors of Japan are crowned. We’ll tour the city and visit the famous Nijo Castle, a real Shogun Castle, built by Tokugawa Eiyasu, founder of the Tokugawa Shogun Dynasty. From there we’ll continue to the Zen Buddhist Ryoanji Temple. The temple belongs to the Kare Sansui sect and has become famous for its dry Japanese garden built of sand, gravel, stones and rocks. If there is time, we’ll visit the ancient Kiyomizu Temple complex, which is included in the list of UNESCO conservation sites. At the end of the visit we’ll return to the ship to prepare for Shabbat.

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The name of the city is taken from the Kochi Castle, which served as the home of the leaders of the Tosa province. Kochi is blessed with a mountainous landscape characterized by unique rock formations. We’ll visit Kochi Castle, stroll through the city center and the Obiyamachi pedestrian mall.

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Want to sit a read? The library has a huge selection of books, and the coffee shop is located right alongside. How about a massage at the spa? A game of cards in the club? A matinee in the cinema? A sing along in the piano bar? There’s so much available! Enjoy it all.

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From here we’ll continue to Takayama, gateway to the Japanese Alps, with its well-preserved old town. Takayama is famous for its Spring and Autumn festivals, when festively adorned antique floats are paraded through the streets. We’ll visit the Yatai Kaikan, where these floats are on display. We’ll then continue to stroll through the streets of the old town and the shops displaying local artistry and Takayama’s famous Japanese rice wine, Sake.

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Want to sit a read? The library has a huge selection of books, and the coffee shop is located right alongside. How about a massage at the spa? A game of cards in the club? A matinee in the cinema? A sing along in the piano bar? There’s so much available! Enjoy it all.

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Vladivostok is also the final stop of the Trans-Siberian train. We’ll explore the city’s main sites, including the main square with the monument commemorating the fighters for Soviet rule in the Far East, the historical center of Vladivostok, the main street of Svetlanskaya, the Tsarevich promenade and more.

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Want to sit a read? The library has a huge selection of books, and the coffee shop is located right alongside. How about a massage at the spa? A game of cards in the club? A matinee in the cinema? A sing along in the piano bar? There’s so much available! Enjoy it all.

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We will disembark at the port of Otaru, a small harbor city that served as an important port for goods in the 19th century. In the past it also served as a successful fishing center, which made it both an important and prosperous city. We’ll see the fish market, the beautifully preserved canal and the warehouses and corporate offices that over the years have become museums. An interesting site is the Herring Mansion (Nishin Goten) and the house of the Fukumatsu Tanaka family who were famous in the herring industry.

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We will climb the Goryokaku tower from where we’ll see the star shaped fortress and all of Hakodate city. We will take a tour of the Hakodate morning market, where we will be impressed by the local produce. We will complete our visit to the Motomachi quarter, where foreign merchants settled with the opening of the port in 1854 to the wider world. The houses in the district are distinguished by their different European styles.

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Want to sit a read? The library has a huge selection of books, and the coffee shop is located right alongside. How about a massage at the spa? A game of cards in the club? A matinee in the cinema? A sing along in the piano bar? There’s so much available! Enjoy it all.

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This colorful area is also renowned for the Nakamise shopping street that leads into the complex. A shopper’s delight! And if it’s Tokyo, there must be electronics! We’ll end the day with a visit to the electronics district – Akihabra.

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PRICES & DATES

DEAPARTURE
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DAYS
PRICE *
SINGLE ROOM **
FLIGHTS
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* Price per person in USD double or twin room

** Supplement Price for single room

NEED TO KNOW

Price Includes:

14 days of cruising on one of Holland America’s ships – Room with Window
Air-conditioned bus for all tours and transfers according to plan
Tours, visits and site entrances according to the plan
First class hotels
Half board kosher throughout the trip and possibility of preparing sandwiches for lunch.
A tour guide from the staff of Shai Bar-Ilan
Mashgiach Kashrut during the cruise
Tips for service providers abroad

Price Excludes:

International flights
Tips for ship service providers $15 per person per day (to be paid directly to the ship)
Tourist tax 1000 YEN per person (approx. $10 per person) will be paid ion departure from Japan
Any personal expenses
Evening entertainment not included in the detailed program
Tips for the Israeli tour guide – $5 per person per day
Travel, health and cargo insurance

Important to Know:

There may be changes to the order of places visited. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary.
The tour organizers have no control over airline services such as seating, special meal requests, changes in departure times or delays. These remain the sole responsibility of the airline company.

Kashrut on Tours

Only strictly kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. On some of our tours we are able to provide glatt meals. Kashrut is of utmost importance to us and we take special measures to ensure that everything served is kosher.

The meals:

Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.
We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.
On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.

Hotels:

It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.

Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:

A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. Payment in full is due 60 days before departure. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.

• 90 days before departure bookings are refundable less a $100 administration fee
• 60-89 days prior to departure: $500 + $100 per passenger
• 30-59 days prior to departure: $1500 + $100 per passenger
• Less than 30 working days prior to departure: 100% of total – no refund

* If visas are issued to the countries of destination and / or flights, the prices will be added to the specified cancellation fees

Remarks
Fridays and Saturdays, holidays and holidays in Israel, Sundays and holidays abroad are not counted as a working day count.
In case of change, cancellation or malfunction related to flights, cruise or transportation, the responsibility lies with the airline or transportation company.
There may be changes in the itinerary due to changes in internal flight times and other objective reasons.
The performance of the trip is subject to the conditions and responsibilities as they appear on the website.
Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of return.

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