Kyoto & the Zen of Japan Cruise Tour
 
12 DAYS
Star Breeze
Tokyo to Kyoto
Departure Date:
Price from $5,799 per guest
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Tokyo to Kyoto
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 so many interesting things about Tokyo it is not possible to list them here and you will want to plan to extend your stay. This is the place for excellent and unlimited shopping choices and from where new fashion trends seem to spring. It offers excellent cuisine and has earned mention on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Even though Tokyo’s neon-lit streets make it seem modernistic, it also prides itself on retaining its shogun past, carrying on sumo tournaments and kabuki productions. Tokyo is also committed to providing green spaces in the city or on the outskirts, quickly reached by train.
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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 5: Kagoshima
The seaside city of Kagoshima is best known for Sakurajima, an active volcano facing Kinko Bay. Take a tour to the Shiroyama Observatory or to the peaceful Edo-period Sengamen Japanese Garden. Visit the Ishibashi Park and the three Edo-period stone bridges or travel to the nearby village of Chiran to see the well-preserved Samurai Houses and the Chiran Peace Museum, exploring the background of kamikaze pilots.
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Day 6: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: Hiroshima
Largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during WWII, Hiroshima today is a modern city on the island of Honshu. The Hiroshima Memorial Peace Arch, a UNESCO site commonly referred to as the Atomic Dome, commemorates the 1945 event.  One feature is a colorful memorial to Sadako Sasaki, a young woman whose dying wish for peace was told in the story A Thousand Paper Cranes. Also worth seeing is the Hiroshima Museum of Art displaying paintings from Monet, Van Gogh, Fujishima and Asai and the UNESCO red torii of Miyajima.
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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: Osaka
Osaka is the gateway to Kyoto with great street food, bright lights and delightful night life. Its main historic landmark is the 16th century Osaka Castle surrounded by a moat and many flowering trees. Kyoto is famous for its numerous Buddhist temples, gardens, imperial Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It is also known for formal traditions like kaiseki dining (multiple courses of precise dishes) and geisha entertainers.
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Day 11: Osaka, Japan
Disembark from your lovely ship and an English-speaking guide will be waiting to show you Osaka Castle, one of Japan's most famous castles built in the late 1500s. This tour will be followed by Kasuga Shrine, which is Nara's most celebrated shrine. After visiting Kasuga Shrine, you will enjoy Japanese cuisine at a local restaurant in Nara. Your next stop will be Todaiji Temple, one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara. Finally, you will be driven to Intercontinental Osaka to check-in. Enjoy free time at your leisure for the rest of the day.
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Day 12: Kyoto Half-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)
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.
Attentive Crew
Signature Onboard BBQ
Shopping With The Chef
Watersports Platform
Cooking Demonstrations
Open Bridge
Local and Live Performances
Signature Sail Away
Crew Talent Show
Enjoy regionally inspired treatments at World Spa by Windstar
Take In The Sun
24 Hour Room Service
Relax At The Pool or Hot Tub
Relax With A Morning Yoga Session
Accommodations & Pricing
This all-suite ship will complete renovation as part of the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative to provide more of what our guests love.
Guaranteed Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed cabin , chosen by Windstar
Call For Availability
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.
$5,799 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.
$5,999 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.
$6,099 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.
$6,299 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.
$6,399 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.
$6,599 per guest
Guaranteed Bridge Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Bridge Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Guaranteed Bridge Suite** (chosen by Windstar)
Call For Availability
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.
$7,599 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.
$7,799 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.
$7,899 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.
$8,099 per guest
Deluxe Suite
Deluxe 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.
$8,799 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.
$9,999 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, two flat-screen TVs and DVD players, and a full master bath and separate powder room indulge you in spacious comfort. 
$11,299 per guest
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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