Inland Sea of Japan

Quick Facts
MAY 4-15, 2016 From $5,995
Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Matsue, Himeji, Osaka
Aboard M.S. Le Soléal UCLA Faculty on Tour Activity Level: Mild Activity Hide This
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Inland Sea of Japan

MAY 4-15, 2016
Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Matsue, Himeji, Osaka
Aboard M.S. Le Soléal

Experience the timeless splendor of Japan and South Korea on this unique, custom-designed itinerary cruising the full length of the tranquil Inland Sea of Japan round trip from Osaka to historicports of Japan and Ulsan, South Korea. On board the exclusively chartered, Five-Star, small ship MS Le Soléal, launched in 2013 featuring only 110 ocean-view Suites and Staterooms, enjoy this 280-mile stretch of scenic, tranquil ocean with port calls at captivating points of interest, including four UNESCO World Heritage sites. In the enchanting city of Kyoto, visit its opulent temples and the Nijo Castle, an imperial gem; admire Okayama’s lush Korakuen Garden, one of the top formal landscape gardens in Japan. Walk in the imposing Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, tour the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima with its awe-inspiring Torii Gate, and visit the impressive Himeji Castle, the oldest surviving feudal structure from medieval Japan. In Gyeongju, South Korea, see the glorious Buddhist Bulgaska Temple. Spend two nights in the Five-Star Kyoto Okura Hotel. Tokyo Pre-Program Option is available.

Cost: From $5,995
Thomas P. Gohagan & Company
Activity Level: Mild Activity
COVID-19 Information:
  • Walking tour of Okayama’s Korakuen Garden, one of Japan’s most beautiful formal landscape gardens
  • Tour of Kurashiki located in Okayama Prefecture, known for its willow-lined canals and wooden merchant buildings featuring distinctive white walls, latticed windows and black ceramic square tiles dating from the 17th century
  • Visit to Hiroshima’s compelling Peace Memorial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site honoring those who lost their lives during World War II
  • Visit to Miyajima (“Shrine Island”) to tour the UNESCO World Heritage site of sixth-century Itsukushima Shrine and its stunning Torii Gate, both of which appear to float on the water during high tide
  • Walking tour of Hagi’s old samurai quarter featuring visits to the early 17th‑century Kikuya House, the former residence of a merchant wealthy enough to live among the samurai, and the 17th-century Toko-ji Temple from the Obaku School of Japanese Zen Buddhism adorned with 500 stone lanterns honoring Mori clan lords
  • Excursion in the Shimane Prefecture from Matsue, known as the “City of Water,” inland to the Adachi Museum of Art, featuring a vast collection of Japanese modern art and perfectly landscaped gardens
  • From Ulsan, South Korea, excursion to historic Gyeongju, the cradle of the Silla Kingdom and a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Visit to the renowned Himeji Castle dating from the beginning of the Shogun period, a UNESCO World Heritage site regarded as the finest surviving example of medieval Japanese architecture from the 17th century

UCLA Faculty on Tour

Robert Buswell
Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
Robert Buswell holds the Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Humanities at UCLA, where he is also Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies and founding directors of UCLA’s Center for Buddhist Studies and Center for Korean Studies. He is a specialist in the East Asian traditions of Buddhism, especially the Zen school. Buswell lived as a Buddhist monk in Asia for seven years (including five years in Korean monasteries) before returning to academe. He has published extensively on Buddhism, including a recounting of his life as a Zen monk in Korea in The Zen Monastic Experience. Buswell has also served as president of the Association for Asian Studies, the largest such professional organization in the world, with over 7,000 members, the first UCLA faculty member to be elected to that position.



DAY 1 | May 4. Depart the U.S.

DAY 2 | May 5. Japan / Kyoto

DAY 3-4 | May 6-7. Kyoto

DAY 5 | May 8. Kyoto / Himeji

DAY 6 | May 9. Hiroshima / Miyajima

DAY 7 | May 10. Hagi

DAY 8 | May 11. Matsue

DAY 8 | May 12. Ulsan, South Korea, for Gyeongju

DAY 9 | May 13. Moji, Japan

DAY 10 | May 14. Uno

DAY 11 | May 15. Osaka / U.S.
Disembark in Osaka and continue on the Kanazawa Post-Program Option, or transfer to to the airport for your return flight to the U.S.


State-of-the-Art Design
The exclusively chartered M.S. Le Soléal, launched in 2013, represents the newest generation of state-of-the-art Five-Star small ships, featuring only 110 Suites and Staterooms with distinctive French sophistication.

Spacious, 100% Ocean-View Suites and Staterooms, 95% with Private Balconies
Each air-conditioned deluxe Stateroom and Suite (200 to 484 square feet) features a private bathroom with shower and luxurious Five-Star hotel amenities. Most accommodations have two twin beds that convert to one queen bed, individual climate control, satellite flat-screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, plush robes and slippers.

Chic and Casual Dining
International and regional cuisine is served during single, unassigned seatings in the stylish, spacious L’Eclipse dining room; alfresco in the casual Pytheas Restaurant; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Complimentary wine and beer are served with lunch and dinner.

Spacious Public Areas/World-Class Service and Facilities
Inviting and spacious public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy views from the Panoramic Lounge, nightly entertainment in the Main Lounge, and lectures, cultural performances and film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. There is a library, Internet suite, Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa, Turkish bath-style steam room, a full range of fitness equipment and two elevators. The infirmary is staffed with a doctor and nurse, and the highly trained, English-speaking international crew provides personable and attentive service.

Respect for the Environment – “Clean Ship”
The state-of-the-art propulsion system and custom-built stabilizers provide an exceptionally smooth, quiet and comfortable voyage by minimizing vibration and engine noise. By design, the ship is energy efficient and environmentally protective of marine ecosystems and has been awarded the prestigious “Clean Ship” rating, an extreme rarity among ocean-cruising vessels. The ship has two tenders.

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (1.8 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
  • Traveling to Japan was wonderful. It was my first introduction to that part of the world and I was fascinated and want to go back!"
    Olfet Agrama ’63

Book this Tour

How to Book

Download the tour Reservation Form here. This tour is booked quickly, so sign up early to reserve space.

Enclose a check or provide credit card information for $600 per person, per tour, as a deposit for the selected tour. Make check payable to Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. Deposits are provisional and fully refundable pending your acceptance of final brochure terms.

Mail completed reservation form and your deposit to:
UCLA Alumni Association
Attn: Alumni Travel
James West Alumni Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1397

A brochure will be mailed to you as soon as it is available.

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover the possibility of trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses and baggage loss incurred while traveling. All confirmed passengers will receive travel insurance information in your confirmation packet. It’s one of our many membership benefits! For information about travel insurance, visit Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, terrorist incidents and travel supplier financial insolvencies will be provided if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of your trip deposit. Please read the insurance brochure carefully

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (1.8 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
  • Traveling to Japan was wonderful. It was my first introduction to that part of the world and I was fascinated and want to go back!"
    Olfet Agrama ’63