Experience the timeless splendor of Japan and South Korea on this unique 12-day itinerary, featuring 3 nights at a luxury hotel in Kyoto and a 7-night, 5-star cruise across the full length of the historic Inland Sea of Japan. Enjoy port calls at captivating points of interest, including 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From enchanting Kyoto to storied Hiroshima and on to Miyajima and the Buddhist wonders of Gyeongju, South Korea, relish in the awe-inspiring beauty of these historic ports of Japan and South Korea. Enhance your voyage with the Iconic Tokyo Pre-Program and/or Osaka/Nara Post-Program Options.
- Visit to Kyoto’s renowned temples of Ryoan-ji, Kinkaku-ji, and Kiyomizu-dera.
- Tour of the impressive Nijo Castle, built by a powerful shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty.
- Guided visit of the stunning grounds of Himeji Castle, the world’s finest surviving example of 17th-century Japanese castle architecture.
- Visit to Hiroshima’s compelling Genbaku Dome Peace Memorial, with a tour of the Peace Memorial Museum.
- Excursion on Miyajima (“Shrine Island”) to tour the site of sixth-century Itsukushima Shrine and see the iconic Great Torii Gate.
- Walking tour of Hagi’s old samurai quarter featuring visits to the early 17th-century Kikuya House and Toko-ji Temple.
- Visit to the Adachi Museum of Art featuring Japanese modern art and perfectly landscaped gardens known as "living Japanese paintings."
- Excursion from Ulsan, South Korea, to historic Gyeongju, the cradle of the Silla Kingdom, with visits to Bulguksa Temple, the Gyeongju National Museum, and the Royal Burial Mounds at Tumuli Park.
- Tour of Moji, with visits to the Akama Shrine and the Karato Ichiba Fish Market, which specializes in fugu.
- Visit to the gorgeous and serene Japanese strolling garden, Koraku-en.
Day 1 - Depart Home City / Cross the International Date Line
Day 2 - Osaka, Japan / Kyoto
Day 3 - Kyoto
Day 4 - Kyoto
Day 5 - Kyoto / Himeji / Embark Le Soléal
Day 6 - Hiroshima / Miyajima
Day 7 - Hagi
Day 8 - Sakaiminato for Matsue
Day 9 - Ulsan, South Korea, for Gyeongju
Day 10 - Moji, Japan
Day 11 - Uno for Kurashiki / Okayama (Koraku-en Garden)
Day 12 - Osaka / Disembark ship / Depart for the U.S. or Canada
Five-Star, Small Ship
Join us aboard the exclusively chartered, 5-star Le Soléal, where distinctive French sophistication meets innovative nautical design. The ship’s efficient electrical propulsion system and custom stabilizers provide an exceptionally smooth, quiet, and comfortable voyage. Each of the 110 ocean-view staterooms and suites range from 200 to 484 square feet, and most have a private balcony.
Iconic Tokyo Pre-Program Option
Explore Tokyo on a comprehensive 3-night itinerary that includes a full-day excursion to Hakone, home to majestic Mount Fuji, to experience an open-air museum and beautiful gondola ride. Enjoy a dinner cruise on the Sumida River and a visit to the Tokyo National Museum. Wrap up your Tokyo itinerary with a journey aboard the high-speed Shinkansen, or bullet train, to Kyoto. Enjoy deluxe hotel accommodations in the heart of the city.
Osaka and Nara Post-Program Option
Extend your time in Osaka on a 2-night itinerary that includes an excursion to the tranquil city of Nara, Japan’s oldest capital, and a visit to the iconic Horyu-ji Temple, where a seventh-century, five-story pagoda stands as a testament to Japan’s history. Accommodations are in an ideally located, deluxe hotel.
The Pre-Program and Post-Program Options are available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.
Kyoto Hotel Okura
Spend 3 nights in Kyoto at the Kyoto Hotel Okura. Centrally located, this hotel has a beautiful lobby and reception area incorporating classic Japanese art and wooden walling, with architectural influences from Frank Lloyd Wright. Rooms are spacious and luxurious, most with expansive views of Kyoto.
Jim Laurie is a distinguished international broadcaster, writer, and media consultant who has witnessed many defining moments in Asia’s history for over 50 years. He began covering Indochina for NBC News in 1972 and became the only American network correspondent to witness the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese in 1975. Laurie's memoir of his early days in Vietnam and Cambodia, The Last Helicopter: Two Lives in Indochina was published in April 2020. He is the recipient of a Peabody Award, two Emmy Awards, and an Amnesty International Award and has also co-produced, written, and directed several television documentaries.
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