Experience the timeless splendor of Japan and South Korea on this unique, custom-designed itinerary, featuring two nights in Kyoto and a seven-night cruise across the full length of the serene Inland Sea of Japan from Himeji, including historic ports of Japan such as Miyajima, Sakaiminato and Moji, and Ulsan, South Korea. On board the exclusively chartered, Five-Star small ship M.S. L'AUSTRAL, 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 five UNESCO World Heritage sites. In the enchanting city of Kyoto, visit opulent temples and the Nijo Castle, an imperial gem. Walk through the imposing Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, tour the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima with its awe-inspiring Great Torii Gate and see the impressive Himeji Castle, the oldest surviving feudal structure from medieval Japan. In Gyeongju, South Korea, visit the glorious Buddhist Bulguksa Temple and the ancient Silla Kingdom Royal Burial Mounds.
Day 1: Depart the US / Cross the International Dateline
Day 2: Osaka, Japan / Kyoto
Day 3: Kyoto
Day 4: Kyoto / Himeji / Embark MS L'Austral
Day 5: Hiroshima / Miyajima
Day 6: Hagi
Day 7: Sakaiminato for Matsue
Day 8: Ulsan, South Korea for Gyeongju
Day 9: Moji, Japan
Day 10: Uno for Kurashiki or Karaku-en Garden
Day 11: Osaka / Disembark ship / Depart for US / Cross International Date Line / Arrive in US
Optional three night pre-tour: Tokyo
Optional three night post-tour: Kanazawa
Dennis Washburn, a specialist in Japanese literature in the Comparative Literature Program, is the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor in Asian Studies. He is currently serving as chair of the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Program and is one of the new House Professors for the Living Learning Communities centered in the McLaughlin residential cluster. His scholarly work looks at how issues of social values and cultural identity are represented in Japanese forms of both modern and classical fiction. He is the author of "The Dilemma of the Modern in Japanese Fiction" and "Translating Mount Fuji: Modern Japanese Fiction and the Ethics of Identity". His edited volumes include: "Word and Image in Japanese Cinema; Converting Cultures: Religions, Ideology, and Transformations of Modernity"; and "The Affect of Difference: Representations of Race in East Asian Empire". In addition to his scholarly work he has translated numerous works of fiction, including Yokomitsu Riichi's "Shanghai", Mizukami Tsutomu's "The Temple of the Wild Geese", for which he was awarded the US-Japan Friendship Commission Prize, and Tsushima Yuko's "Laughing Wolf". His new translation of "The Tale of Genji" was published by W. W Norton in 2015.