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Cherry blossoms frame Osaka castle

Secular Treasures in the Land of the Rising Sun

Osaka - Kobe - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Soleal
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Embark on an 8-day voyage aboard Le Soléal to explore the secular treasures in the Land of the Rising Sun. Begin in Osaka and set sail to Hiroshima, where the Peace Memorial stands as a poignant symbol of resilience. Discover Miyajima Island's Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before journeying to Hagi, the birthplace of samurai culture. Crossing to South Korea, experience Busan's vibrant contrasts and panoramic port views. Return to Japan for a scenic tour of Shikoku's Uwajima and Kochi, renowned for lush landscapes and historic landmarks. Conclude your journey in Kobe, the final port of call. With included excursions at each destination, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Japanese and Korean heritage, from ancient traditions to modern marvels.
Traditional architecture of Asia.Cherry blossoms and Mount FujiHiroshima Peace MemorialNight view of Kobe Port, JapanColorful trees in OsakaThe rugged terrain around UwajimaSeaside Buddhist temple in BusanCherry blossoms frame Osaka castle
Highlights
  • Explore Hiroshima's Peace Memorial, a symbol of resilience and remembrance
  • Wander through Hagi's historic streets, steeped in samurai lore
  • Discover Busan's contrasts, from ancient districts to modern panoramas
  • Delight in Kochi's lush landscapes and rich cultural heritage
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Osaka, Japan | Embark

Like its big sister Tokyo, Osaka is the product of ancestral traditions and amazing technological innovations. And despite its size, its location on the Pacific Ocean gives it a sense of serenity. The main historic landmark is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which stands proud in the midst of majestic skyscrapers. The lively streets of Dotomburi and the bizarre Shinsekai district attract thousands of locals and visitors. A multitude of restaurants offer menus full of regional specialties: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.

Day 2: Uno

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The small port of Uno, at the southern end of the town of Tamano, provides access both to the city of Okayama and to the "Art Islands" of Naoshima, Teshima, and Shodoshima. In Okayama, Korakuen Garden, considered one of the three best landscape gardens in Japan, invites you to stroll through its expansive lawn and admire its ponds, rice paddies, and waterfall. Okayama Castle, now completely restored after its destruction during World War II, offers a glimpse of life in 17th-century Japan. Uno itself is a virtual open-air museum with sculptures inspired by the Setouchi Triennale art festival, including the emblematic Chinu-the Black Sea Bream, constructed entirely of waste material that washed up on the shore.

Day 3: Hiroshima | Miyajima Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visiting Hiroshima is a moving experience. The town spreads along Honshu Island, along the inside coasts of Seto. While firmly focused on the future, Hiroshima doesn't forget its past, and a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome is a must. You'll enjoy the city's modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and effervescent nightlife just as much as the peaceful stillness of its natural parkland areas such as splendid Shukkei-en, the town's historic garden.

At the heart of the Inland Sea, Miyajima, the “island sanctuary” will reveal its treasures. In the background, you will see the Shinto Grand Sanctuary, whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermillion “Torii“. Considered to be one of the most beautiful sites in the Japanese islands, you will be transported by the unique character and the serenity of this sacred site.

Day 4: Hagi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the south of Honshu island, surrounded by mountains, Hagi is a city of water. For good reason; it was built on the delta of the Abu-gawa river. Its castle was built in the 17th century and its outer walls remain in the lovely Shizuki Park. The old town was one of the cradles of the Meiji revolution. You will discover its rich past in streets lined with old houses and samurai manors, or within the walls of the many museums and Hagi-yaki ceramics workshops.

Day 5: Busan, South Korea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With around four million inhabitants, Busan is the second largest metropolis in South Korea, after Seoul. This dynamic harbor city, located in the southeast, surrounded by the warm waters of the Sea of Japan, benefits from a mild, pleasant climate. You’ll find it delightful simply to stroll around the lively streets and explore the city’s outstanding cultural heritage of art galleries, museums, and Buddhist sites, such as the Haedong Yonggungsa temple, which elegantly sits on the waterfront. Rich too in magnificent beaches and superlative natural landscapes, Busan’s peaceful atmosphere will win you over, as will its inhabitants, whom you’ll have the pleasure of meeting.

Day 6: Uwajima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the west coast of Shikoku island, Uwajima will delight lovers of history and traditional customs. The magnificent Uwajima Castle was built in the 17th century by the powerful Date clan and has a beautiful ornamental garden and bridge. The much-visited Taga Shrine is dedicated to fertility and is full of phalluses. As for eating, you must taste jakoten, a local delicacy based on fried fish.

Day 7: Kochi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The fourth largest island in the Nippon archipelago, Shikoku, is also the best preserved. Here, forests and oceans stretch as far as the eye can see. On the southern coast of the island, Kochi, the tranquil metropolis will quietly welcome you. You can enjoy a lively town, with many commercial centers and restaurants. On the menu, katsuo tataki, is a local specialty with delicately grilled fish. But Kochi, overlooked by the benevolent shadow of its castle, also invites you to explore its magnificent Katsurahama beach, its museums, and Buddhist temples, the site of a famous annual pilgrimage.

Day 8: Kobe, Japan | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
A coastal city on the main island of Honshū, Kobe is a vital Japanese port. You will be inspired by the authenticity, way of life, and heritage of the capital of Hyōgo Prefecture, which is bordered by the sea. Its beef is internationally renowned, but there is much more to the city’s attractions than this delicate specialty. As soon as you arrive, you will be welcomed by the Kobe Port Tower, located, along with the Maritime Museum, in the much-appreciated Meriken Park. The Mount Rokkō National Park is a real island of greenery in the very heart of the vibrant city. Long frequented by Shinto monks, and then popular with the expatriates who flocked to Kobe during the second half of the 19th century, it is one of the symbols of the city.

Ship/Hotel

Le Soleal

Enjoy a show in the movie theater.
Bar and lounge with a view.
Restaurant aboard the Le Soleal.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$6,430
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
The Superior Stateroom has a capacity of up to 3 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
The Deluxe Stateroom has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 4 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
The Deluxe Suite has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
The Prestige Suite on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
The Prestige Suite on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Owner's Suite
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Owner Suite
The Owner's suite is situated on Deck 6 with a capacity up to 2 passengers per cabin. With a king-sized bed, it has been decorated by French interior designers and provides you with a breathtaking panoramic sea view.

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and are subject to change without notice.

Discounts are available for children sharing a cabin with two adults and third adult passengers in select cabin categories. Please contact us for details.

Single travelers can opt for a solo cabin - supplements start at 50%.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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