Treasures of Japan with South Korea
Before You Go
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. Ashore, you must be able to walk one to three miles over sometimes rough and uneven terrain. You will be required to remove your shoes while visiting temples, shrines, and a number of other sites. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs or other small boats for one or two excursions ashore. The average daily temperatures will range from the low-50s to the high-60s°F. The humidity will be at a moderate level.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. Ashore, you must be able to walk one to three miles over sometimes rough and uneven terrain. You will be required to remove your shoes while visiting temples, shrines, and a number of other sites. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs or other small boats for one or two excursions ashore.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight to Osaka, Japan three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation.
Pre-Extension Tokyo, Takayama, & Nara
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight to Tokyo, Japan three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation.
Please note: Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain that the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to your final destination, if allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on the pre-extension or group dates. However, if you are arriving prior to the group arrival day and have booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, a transfer from the airport to the hotel will be provided. Airlines change flight times frequently and our air department will send you any updates for flights booked through Zegrahm as they are received from the carrier. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.
If you are booking your own flights or accommodation, please forward a copy of your itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.
For your international flights to Osaka, Japan and from Tokyo, Japan, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider or our air department if you are booking your international air arrangements through Zegrahm.
If you purchase items en route, you may need to arrange to have the items shipped back in order to remain within these limits.
PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, which can be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.
We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend that you carry essential toiletries and prescription medications on board the flight, as well as a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary, so that you will be more comfortable in the unlikely event that your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.
Average daily temperatures on this voyage range from the mid-40s°F (4ºC) to the low-70s°F (21ºC) with cooler temperatures in the evening. Rain is still very prevalent in Japan during the Spring. We suggest bringing a jacket for the cool evenings and mornings as well as a lightweight rain jackets that can be easily stored away if not needed. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly.
The following are average high/low temperatures in April for selected locations on our itinerary:
|Osaka, Japan||71ºF (22ºC)||55ºF (13ºC)|
|Ulsan, South Korea||67ºF (19ºC)||56ºF (13ºC)|
|Kanazawa, Japan||66ºF (19ºC)||52ºF (11ºC)|
|Tokyo, Japan||69ºF (21ºC)||57ºF (14ºC)|
Pre-Extension Tokyo, Takayama & Nara
|Takayama, Japan||63ºF (17ºC)||45ºF (7ºC)|
|Kyoto, Japan||67ºF (19ºC)||55ºF (13ºC)|
The British pound is the standard currency on board the Caledonian Sky. Your voyage includes most necessities; therefore, we strongly recommend that you carry most of your spending money in smaller denominations. At the end of your voyage, you may settle your onboard account with your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit card. The Caledonian Sky will charge your credit card in British pounds, and your bank will convert the charge to the currency it honors.
As of November 2018, the exchange rates are as follows:
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||113.79 Japanese Yen (JPY)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||0.77 British Pound (GBP)|
ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency in some countries if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, although access to ATMs varies greatly from region to region. Please carry smaller denominations as most merchants will require local currency. Also, ensure you have a four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMs.
Most of your expenses have been paid for; therefore, we recommend that you carry most of your money in smaller denominations.
You will receive your pre-departure information—including a complete packing list and gear certificate—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be sent approximately one month prior to departure.
The electrical current in Japan is:
- 100V/50Hz & 60Hz with types A & B (American-style, 2-prong outlets)
Electricity on board the Caledonian Sky runs at 110V with American-style 2-prong flat outlets.
PLEASE NOTE: Most modern electronics (cell phones, computers, and tablets) are dual voltage and don’t require a converter and adapter. Some appliances, such as video camera battery packs, require heavy-duty converters rather than the normal travel type. Please check your equipment to be sure you bring what is necessary for your personal needs.
International flights are not included in the cost of expedition; however, Zegrahm has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements.
You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Osaka, Japan and Tokyo, Japan/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house air department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
Pre-Extension Tokyo, Takayama, & Nara
You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Tokyo, Japan and Tokyo, Japan/home city. We will begin our pre-extension itinerary in Tokyo and finish in Osaka, where we will join the rest of the group for the remainder of our program.
At this time, no inoculations or prophylaxes are required.
We suggest that you contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history. Your doctor may recommend a flu shot, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Tetanus, and other routine vaccinations. This will vary by guest and can only be advised by a medical professional.
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty as this can help prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun by bringing a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as we will not have access to pharmacies while in the remote areas of this expedition.
In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of our expedition includes $100,000 of emergency evacuation cover and $25,000 cover for medical expenses. Details of this policy are available online at www.travelguard.com/zegrahm.
The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.
Internet & Phone
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the Caledonian Sky. However, please note that Internet connections aboard the ship are low-bandwidth and intermittent.
Your final documentation will include contact information for the group hotels and the ship.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00 a.m. on the North American West Coast:
|7:00 a.m.||Seattle, WA (PDT)|
|10:00 a.m.||New York, NY (EDT)|
|11:00 p.m.||Japan (JST) & South Korea (KST)|
Meals on shore will consist of typical Japanese cuisine, which usually includes meat, seafood, and rice, and it is difficult to accommodate strict dietary needs. Most diets can be catered for on board the ship, but special dietary requests must be made in advance.
Should you have any particular dietary needs, or life-threatening allergies, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.
It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly.
Laundry service is available on board the ship, and by using it you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an overabundance of clothing.
Clothing on Board
The ship is air-conditioned and heated throughout, with individual controls in each cabin. Comfortable and casual clothing, in the expedition spirit, is recommended. Normally, there are two shipboard occasions when you may wish to wear slightly more formal attire: the captain’s welcome aboard and farewell cocktail parties, followed by dinner. On these two occasions, women may choose to wear a dress or other appropriate attire, and men may choose to dress business casual. The degree of dress is in accordance with one’s personal preference.
Sporty spring-weight clothing is a good basis for your wardrobe. Loose, lightweight, wash-and-wear slacks, skirts, blouses, shirts, and T-shirts made of natural fibers and wick-away fabrics are recommended and can be layered with warmer pieces of clothing.
Please keep in mind that mornings and evenings will be cool, and it is best to dress in layers for added comfort and warmth. The sun can be strong, so bring adequate sun-protective clothing and gear, wear hats and polarized sunglasses, and use sun block, as we will be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Also, keep in mind that we may encounter a rain shower or two on our excursions.
Shore excursions will involve a fair amount of walking and hiking over uneven trails. Sturdy walking shoes with thick soles or light hiking boots are recommended for walking on the often-rough terrain. If you have weak ankles, high-top hiking boots will provide better support than shoes. Please be aware you will be required to remove your shoes while visiting temples and other Japanese sites. Make sure your shoes or boots are well broken-in before your trip.
Passport & Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for at least six (6) months after you return home, through October 28, 2019. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of two (2) blank pages available for entry/exit stamps in your passport and secure additional pages if necessary.
As of January 1, 2016, the U.S. State Department no longer allows additional pages to be inserted into passports. If your passport is nearly full, and you have insufficient pages for this expedition, then a new passport must be obtained. We suggest that you carry extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport’s information page when you travel.
Visas are not required of US nationals for entry into Japan or South Korea for stays less than 90 days. If you are traveling independently from the group or to any other countries prior to our expedition, please check the entry and visa requirements with the local consulates of each country you plan on visiting.
Entry Requirements for foreign nationals visiting Japan
All foreign nationals entering Japan are required to provide fingerprint scans and be photographed at their port of entry.
PLEASE NOTE: Citizens of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulate or embassy for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.
Payment & Cancellations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
- 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
- 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
- 1 through 119 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.
With Our Compliments
We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. A gift certificate to our Zegrahm Store will offer you the opportunity to purchase essential trip gear from our store. The certificate will be emailed to you approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificate for more details.