Ancient Traditions of Japan’s Inland Sea

Ancient Traditions of Japan’s Inland Sea



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.

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Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
Departure Dates
Apr 16, 2024 - Apr 27, 2024


Pre‑Program Option – Iconic Tokyo
Explore Tokyo on a comprehensive 3‑night itinerary that includes a full‑day excursion to Hakone, home to majestic Mount Fuji, and a journey aboard the high‑speed SHINKANSEN, or bullet train, to Kyoto. Enjoy 5‑star hotel accommodations in the heart of the city.

Post‑Program Option – Osaka and Nara
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 7th‑century, 5‑story pagoda stands as a testament to Japan’s history. Accommodations are in an ideally located, 5-star hotel.
The Pre- and Post-Program Options are available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.


Airport transfers and luggage handling abroad are only included if air arrangements are booked through Gohagan & Company. If travelers make their own air arrangements, transfers and luggage handling are not included; transfers can be organized through Gohagan & Company and purchased by the traveler.


  • John Meffert

    John Meffert

    John Meffert, consultant on Heritage Conservation Services, has a long tradition with the National Trust. He has served as the Director for our Southern Office and was the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, the oldest nonprofit organization in the United States, responsible for preserving the historic resources of Charleston, S.C. John has delighted many study tour groups with his lectures and insights on preservation, and receives rave reviews as study leader.


A non-refundable administrative fee of $300 per person will apply for all cancellations received more than 7 days after booking and before other fees take effect at 120 days:
120 days $300 per person admin fee after 7-day grace period from booking
120 – 91 days 25% of full invoice fare
90 – 61 days 50% of full invoice fare
60 – 31 days 75% of full invoice fare
30 – 0 days 100% of full invoice fare
Separate airfare Terms & Conditions apply




  • day 1&2

    Home City/ Osaka, Japan/Kyoto

    Depart the U.S. and cross the International Date Line. Arrive in Osaka, then transfer to impeccably preserved Kyoto.

  • day 3


    Visit the Ryoan‑ji Temple, constructed as an aristocrat’s villa during the Heian Period (794 to 1185). Continue on to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinkaku‑ji Temple, the vaunted “Golden Pavilion.” Spend the afternoon at leisure and attend a welcome cocktail reception this evening at the hotel. (b,r)

  • day 4


    Visit the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated monument of Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water Temple), where the main hall and veranda were built without a single nail. Experience the serenity of the temple’s monumental hondo (main hall) and visit Otowa Falls, where a sip of the “pure water” is reputed to bestow health, success, or beauty. This afternoon, learn more about shogun history at the UNESCO‑designated Nijo Castle, built for shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. (b)

  • day 5

    Kyoto/Himeji/Embark Le Soléal

    Enjoy a guided visit of the grounds surrounding UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Himeji Castle, Japan’s most stunning and best‑preserved feudal fortress. Embark the ship this afternoon. (b,l,d)

  • day 6


    Drive to the solemn Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in central Hiroshima—marking the spot where on August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb used in war left only structural remnants of Hiroshima’s Genbaku Dome—and visit the Peace Memorial Museum. Call at the island of Miyajima (Shrine Island) to tour the sixth‑century Itsukushima Shrine. The shrine’s impressive Great Torii Gate—appears to float on water during high tide. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board the ship. (b,l,r,d)

  • day 7


    Tour Hagi’s 17th‑century Toko‑ji Temple on Kikuyake and walk past dwellings that once housed samurai in the city’s old castle town. Visit the Kikuyake House—one of the best‑preserved examples of merchant‑style architecture from the Edo period (1603 to 1868)—and explore the Hagi Uragami Museum. (b,l,d)

  • day 8

    Sakaiminato for Adachi Museum and Matsue

    Tour the Adachi Museum of Art, where 20th‑century and modern Japanese art coalesce with six landscaped gardens as “living paintings,” and see 17th‑century Matsue Castle. Enjoy onboard lectures this afternoon while cruising the Sea of Japan. (b,l,d)

  • day 9

    Busan, South Korea, for Gyeongju

    Travel from Busan in rural South Korea to the cradle of the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. to A.D. 935) in historical Gyeongju. Visit the stunning eighth‑century Bulguksa Temple and learn about Silla history in the Gyeongju National Museum, which houses more than 30,000 artifacts, before touring the Royal Burial Mounds at Tumuli Park. (b,l,d)

  • day 10

    Moji, Japan

    Visit the striking 12th-century Akama Shrine, dedicated to the child emperor Antoku. Stop by Karato fish market, patronized by local professional chefs, on your way back to the ship. Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board the ship this evening. (b,l,r,d)

  • day 11

    Uno for Kurashiki/ Okayama (Koraku-en Garden)

    Travel to the Kurashiki Bikan District to visit the old merchant quarter and see the traditional black‑tiled houses—painted white and situated along a canal framed with weeping willows. This afternoon, walk through the beautiful Koraku‑en in Okayama. This strolling garden is unique for its large, grassy areas and distinctive wooden Ryuten, a pavilion with a stream running through it. (b,l,d)

  • day 12

    Osaka/Disembark ship/Depart for the U.S.

    After breakfast, disembark the ship and continue on the Osaka and Nara Post‑Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight home.(b)

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