Kyoto & the Zen of Japan Cruise Tour
 
Tokyo to Kobe
Sat May 6, 2023 - Thu May 18, 2023,
 12 days
 on Star Breeze
?All-inclusive from
$8,189
?Cruise Only From
$7,299
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Tokyo to Kobe
From the tranquil Zen beauty of Kinkakuji Temple to the vibrant blinking plasma screens and incessant press of pedestrians throughout Tokyo’s Shibuya Station, this 12-day cruise tour throughout Japan combines pristine natural beauty with contemporary and cosmopolitan contrasts. Nibble on freshly caught fish paired with salty soy sauce and fiery wasabi in Shimizu’s world-famous Fish Market. Meander among East Asian relics and prehistoric stone tools in Busan’s museums, ornate temples and royal tombs in Gyeongju, one of South Korea’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Sip steamy green tea in the peaceful shade of chestnut trees near the scenic Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu City, or participate in the ancient rituals of a formal tea ceremony. Examine Kyoto’s majestic temples and storied Nijo Castle in detail as part of a 2-night inland stay, or explore the Zen temple of Tenryuji in scenic and peaceful Arashiyama, one of the most popular destinations in the city. It’s a perfect journey for those who love Japan, and adventurous travelers who want to go further inland to explore the distinctive culture and history of Kyoto.
voyage map
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Day 1: Tokyo
There are as many Tokyos to discover as there are interests. Cuisine? It has more Michelin stars than any other city. Culture? Kabuki theater and sumo wrestling are just the beginning. Shopping? The posh boutiques of Ginza lie on one end of the spectrum, workshops that hand-craft samurai swords at the other
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Day 2: Shimizu
Most notably known as the city you can see  the UNESCO site of Mount Fuji from.  This small port city considered one of the three most beautiful ports in Japan has many historical building like Kunozan Toshogu Shrine, Sumpugo Park, and Shizuoka Sengen Shrine. The 65-foot Shiraito Waterfall, located near Mount Fuji looks like it could be silk. Enjoy tuna from Japan’s largest fishery here or a cup of maccha, a Japanese green tea.
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Day 3: Shingu
For over 1,000 years pilgrims have traveled to the Kumano Region to pray at the three Sacred Kumano Shrines. In Shingu you can see the Hayatama Shrine and the Kamikura Shrine. Both of these shrines are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Sacred Sites of Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. The Kamikura Shrine sits on Mount Kamikurayama and requires climbing 538 steps to reach it.
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Day 4:
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Day 5: Karatsu
Located on the island of Kyushu, Karatsu is one of the closest Japanese cities to the Korean Peninsula. Karatsu Castle is the main attraction here. Built in 1608, it houses a museum of the castle’s history and Karatsu ceramics. Karatsu is also known for its pottery which can be viewed at the Karatsu-yaki Pottery Gallery. Also worth visiting is the Karatsu Hikiyama Exhibition Hall which displays the 14 floats used in the annual Karatsu Kunchi Festival in November.
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Day 6: Busan
The second largest city in South Korea is a popular leisure destination due to the nearby hot springs. It is home to many famous beaches that lure visitors from around the world and the UNESCO site of Gyeongju an outdoor museum that was once the capital of the Silla Kingdom and holds many architectural points of interest including ornate temples.   Also of interest is South Korea’s largest temple, Tongdosa Temple, renowned for having no outdoor statues.
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Day 7: Hashima Island
Cruise around the island of Hashima, abandoned over 50 years ago when the coal mining that flourished there suddenly ran out. The mining company shut the mine down and the island has been a ghost town ever since. (Visibility depends on weather conditions.)
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Day 7: Nagasaki
Notable for the nuclear attack it suffered during WWII, Nagasaki has memorialized the event at the city’s Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Memorial Park. The museum tells the story of the events leading up to the bombing and the park, located at the center of the bomb blast, houses a beautiful 30-foot tall fountain symbolizing peace. Other highlights to see are the Glover Gardens and Dejima Museum, which was originally an artificial island.
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Day 8: Moji
Looking at the Moji skyline the Mojiko Retro Observation Tower won’t be missed. At 338 feet (103 meters) it provides impressive views of this attractive town.  Many of the buildings are Western-style and a walk along the waterfront will reveal some remarkably well-preserved structures. This is also home to the TOTO Museum of Toilets, unique to Japan and the only one of its kind in the world.
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Day 9: Tomonoura
This picturesque port city is one of Windstar’s iconic hidden harbors.  Tomonoura is part of the Setonanikai National Park and features an endearing old-fashioned townscape. One of its thriving industries is the production of “homeishu,” a medicinal liquor with 16 different herbs in it, said to promote longevity.
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Day 10: Tomonoura
This picturesque port city is one of Windstar’s iconic hidden harbors.  Tomonoura is part of the Setonanikai National Park and features an endearing old-fashioned townscape. One of its thriving industries is the production of “homeishu,” a medicinal liquor with 16 different herbs in it, said to promote longevity.
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Day 10: Takamatsu
The main gateway to Shikoku Island and an important focal point for the island’s rail and road transit systems, Takamatsu, on Japan’s scenic Inland Sea, has been a political and economic center since the Edo period. Among the attractions here is Ritsurin Garden, created during the Edo period, and especially popular during spring for the cherry blossoms and autumn for the fall foliage. Takamatsu Symbol tower has several observation decks providing panoramic views of the sea and landscapes.
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Day 11: Kobe
Kobe is the 6th largest city in Japan and famous for its signature marbled beef. The Ikuta Shrine there is among Japan’s oldest shrines, dating back to the 3rd century. Kobe is also the gateway to Mount Rokko, accessible by antique cable cars, and the outdoor hot springs of Arima Onsen. Other sites include the Sake Breweries, the Earthquake Museum, and Sorakuen Garden.
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Day 11: Nara and Osaka, Japan
Disembark from the yacht and drive to Nara, the cradle of Japanese arts, literature and crafts with temples and shrines that pre-date those found in Kyoto. The exquisite city of Nara is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and numerous art and architectural relics classified as National Treasures and Important Cultural Assets by the Japanese Government. See the incredible Todaiji Temple, founded in 752, and best known for its Daibutsu, the world’s largest Buddha statue sitting 49 feet tall. The 8th century statue is housed in an all-wood building, the Daibutsu-den, considered the largest wooden building in the world. You will see many deer in Nara Park which covers 1,295 acres of woodland and is home to over 1,000 free roaming deer. Considered messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, Nara’s deer are a symbol of the city and are designated a National Natural Monument. Visit the impressive Kasuga Shrine which has 1,800 stone lanterns lining the walkway to its entrance, and another 1,000 bronze lanterns suspended from the eaves of corridors. After lunch at a nearby restaurant, you will be transferred to the hotel in Osaka. On the way, you will be able to see Osaka Castle from the window.

(Includes breakfast, lunch and overnight at a hotel)
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Day 12: Kyoto Full-Day Tour
Admire Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, built in 1397. Positioned by a tranquil pond, the 3-story Chinese-influenced pavilion has the walls and eaves covered in shimmering gold leaf. Then continue to Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site adorned with wood carvings, artistically painted sliding doors and expansive tatami rooms. You will lunch at a local Kyoto restaurant before heading to a local machiya in Kyoto where, you can try on a kimono and attend a tea tasting ceremony. Learn the history of kimonos and then you will be transferred back to the hotel.
 
(Includes overnight at Intercontinental Osaka, breakfast and lunch)
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Day 13: Transfer to the Osaka Airport
It’s the last day before returning home, so pack up your luggage, gather up your souvenirs and board a motor coach to the airport. It’s not too early to start planning your next trip back to this magical land.
 
(Includes breakfast)
Popular Highlights
Hashima
Take in the scenery as you cruise around the abandoned island of Hashima, near Nagasaki
 
Hiroshima
Enjoy the cuisine of Hiroshima, with not-to-be-missed Okonomiyaki savory pancakes
 
Nagasaki
Respectfully remember “Never Again” at the Peace Memorial Parks of Nagasaki and Hiroshima
 
Nijo Castle
With extra time to discover Kyoto’s sites, see Kinkakuji Castle, known as the Golden Pavilion and Nijo Castle, a UNESCO site with ornate wood carvings
Seto Inland Sea
Realize the scenic beauty of Japan’s Inland Sea, where few ships go
 
Shimizu
Discover the beauty of UNESCO site Mount Fuji, Japan's highest mountain, when you get to Shimizu
 
Shingu
Visit the UNESCO site of Shingu, Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine, a part of the Sacred Sites of Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range 
 
Tea Ceremony
Don a kimono and participate in a Traditional Tea Ceremony
Itinerary at a Glance
Date
Port
Arrive
Depart
Watersports
PlatformWatersports Platform: 
Sat May 6
Tokyo
Arrive:  
Depart:  7:00 PM
Watersports Platform: 
Sun May 7
Shimizu
Arrive:  8:00 AM
Depart:  5:00 PM
Watersports Platform: 
Mon May 8
Shingu
Arrive:  8:00 AM
Depart:  5:00 PM
Watersports Platform: 
Tue May 9
AT SEA
Arrive:  
Depart:  
Watersports Platform: 
Wed May 10
Karatsu
Arrive:  8:00 AM
Depart:  6:00 PM
Watersports Platform: 
Thu May 11
Busan
Arrive:  7:00 AM
Depart:  4:00 PM
Watersports Platform: 
Fri May 12
Hashima Island
Arrive:  6:00 AM
Depart:  7:30 AM
Watersports Platform: 
Fri May 12
Nagasaki
Arrive:  10:00 AM
Depart:  7:00 PM
Watersports Platform: 
Sat May 13
Moji
Arrive:  10:00 AM
Depart:  8:00 PM
Watersports Platform: 
Sun May 14
Tomonoura
Arrive:  9:00 AM
Depart:  
Watersports Platform: 
Mon May 15
Tomonoura
Arrive:  
Depart:  3:30 AM
Watersports Platform: 
Mon May 15
Takamatsu
Arrive:  9:00 AM
Depart:  7:00 PM
Watersports Platform: 
Tue May 16
Kobe
Arrive:  7:00 AM
Depart:  
Watersports Platform: 
Tue May 16
Nara and Osaka, Japan
Arrive:  
Depart:  
Watersports Platform: 
Wed May 17
Kyoto Full-Day Tour
Arrive:  
Depart:  
Watersports Platform: 
Thu May 18
Transfer to the Osaka Airport
Arrive:  
Depart:  
Watersports Platform: 
Star Breeze
Carrying only 312 guests, Star Breeze still tucks into small ports like Le Lavandou and Wrangell or narrow waterways like the Corinth and Keil Canal. Learn more about the newly renovated ship and the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative.
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Accommodations & Pricing
This all-suite ship completed renovation as part of the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative to provide more of what our guests love.
Star Porthole Suite
Star Porthole Suite
These rooms represent a nod to the sailing tradition of porthole windows. And while sailors might have had cramped quarters, your 277 square foot stateroom is wonderfully spacious and furnished with all the modern amenities and comforts of home.
? Cruise only from $7,299 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $8,189 per guest
Ocean View Suite
Ocean View Suite
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
? Cruise only from $7,499 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $8,389 per guest
Ocean View Suite 1
Ocean View Suite 1
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
? Cruise only from $7,699 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $8,589 per guest
Star Ocean View Suite 1
Star Ocean View Suite 1
As soon as you walk through the door, you’re greeted with an open living area for a more welcoming entrance. Drift off to sleep by the window in your queen bed as you watch the same stars that sailors used to navigate the seas hundreds of years ago.
? Cruise only from $7,899 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $8,789 per guest
Ocean View Suite 2
Ocean View Suite 2
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
? Cruise only from $7,999 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $8,889 per guest
Ocean View Suite 3
Ocean View Suite 3
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
? Cruise only from $8,099 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $8,989 per guest
Balcony Suite
Balcony Suite
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
? Cruise only from $9,299 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $10,189 per guest
Star Balcony Suite
Star Balcony Suite
As soon as you walk through the door, you’re greeted with an open living area for a more welcoming entrance. Drift off to sleep by the window in your queen bed as you watch the same stars that sailors used to navigate the seas hundreds of years ago.
? Cruise only from $9,399 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $10,289 per guest
Balcony Suite 1
Balcony Suite 1
Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 277 square feet. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers.
? Cruise only from $9,599 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $10,489 per guest
Star Balcony Suite 1
Star Balcony Suite 1
As soon as you walk through the door, you’re greeted with an open living area for a more welcoming entrance. Drift off to sleep by the window in your queen bed as you watch the same stars that sailors used to navigate the seas hundreds of years ago.
? Cruise only from $9,799 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $10,689 per guest
Classic Suite
Classic Suite
Relax in 400 to 530 spacious square feet. Your living area offers beautiful views from the forward-facing window and French doors onto your private veranda. Two spacious closets give you plenty of room to unpack.
? Cruise only from $13,799 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $14,689 per guest
Owner's Suite
Owner's Suite
With 575 square feet, your Owner’s Suite offers separate living room and dining areas. A veranda, Interactive TVs and a full master bath and separate powder room indulge you in spacious comfort. 
? Cruise only from $15,099 per guest
? All-inclusive price from $15,989 per guest
Guaranteed Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
? Call for Availability
Guaranteed Balcony Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Balcony Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Balcony Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
? Call for Availability
Deluxe Suite
Deluxe Suite
Brand new Deluxe Suites welcome you with 468 square feet of casually elegant living space and an ocean viewing French balcony. All these suites feature 3rd berths, and a sleep-inducing queen bed easily converted to twins.
? Call for Availability
The Windstar Life
The Windstar staff-to-guest ratio is 1:1.5, and it shows.The moment you board you’ll feel it: an ever-attentive crew at your service, providing you with what you want and need, when you want and need it.
Cooking Demonstrations
Open Bridge
Friendly and Relaxed Atmosphere
Local and Live Performances
Signature Sail Away
Crew Talent Show
Enjoy regionally inspired treatments at World Spa by Windstar
Take In The Sun
Complimentary 24 Hour Room Service
Relax at the Pool or Hot Tub
Relax With A Morning Yoga Session
Genuine and Thoughtful Crew
Signature Onboard Barbecue
Shopping With The Chef
Watersports Platform
ALL DATES &
FARES
Seize Your Someday
Great cruise-only fares or make it an all-inclusive voyage with Wi-Fi, unlimited beer, wine, and cocktails, and gratuities. From $89 per guest per day.
Date
Ship
All-Inclusive
From
Cruise Only
From
Sat, May 6 - Thu, May 18, 2023
STAR BREEZE
$8,189
$7,299
THIS
SAILING
Sun, May 14 - Fri, May 26, 2023
STAR BREEZE
$8,089
$7,199
Tue, Oct 10 - Sun, Oct 22, 2023
STAR BREEZE
$8,089
$7,199