Itinerary Overview

Explore Japan, from its ancient history to its vibrant present-day culture

Step back in time on a voyage into Japan’s riveting history, from the historic castle towns of the Edo period to the elegant shrines and merchant districts of the Meiji era, to the poignant sites of World War II. As we trace the shores of Honshu and the islands of the Seto Inland Sea aboard the National Geographic Orion, venture into the homes of samurai and feudal lords and discover exquisite centuries-old gardens and temples. Take a detour to South Korea to spend a day exploring the ancient city of Gyeongju; and explore Japanese artistic traditions of the past and present.



  • Delve into the history of the samurai and their feudal lords while visiting castles and samurai districts in Kanazawa, Matsue, and Uwajima.
  • Explore the rich cultural legacy of Korea’s Silla Dynasty among the incredible ancient ruins of Gyeongju, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Get inspired on the art-filled island of Naoshima, and visit museums and studios dedicated to artists and traditional handicrafts in Matsue and in Takamatsu.
  • Meander through Kenroku-en, Koraku-en, and Sengan-en, three unique Japanese gardens considered some of the most beautiful in the country.

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