2025 The Empire of Japan & Korea Cruise with Larry Gelwix

Dates May 6-16, 2025
Destination Yokohama, Japan Toba, Japan; Osaka, Japan; kochi, Japan Hiroshima, Japan; Kanmon Straight, Japan; Busan, South Korea; Nagasaki, Japan; Philippine Sea; Shimizu, Japan
Duration 11 days 10 nights
Price From 1,634
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Cruise with Getaway Guru®

What a great way to see Japan in the comfort of an elegant cruise ship.  Larry Gelwix, Getaway Guru®invites you to join him in spring 2025 to explore this impressive country sailing on the Diamond Princess which is a luxury destination in itself.

The Empire of Japan holds a mystery and intrigue.  Long isolated from the outside world, Japan has maintained its cultural heritage and unique traits not seen elsewhere in the world. The “Land of the Rising Sun” is unlike anything you have ever experienced. We travel during the cherry blossom festival, a spring celebration of culture, history, food, trees, and blossoms held throughout Japan symbolizing a time of renewal and the importance of the moment. This will be a journey never to be forgotten.

It is always good to arrive a few days before your cruise to ensure you don't miss the ship! To complete the experience be sure to add on the Pre Cruise-Tokyo Tour to visit Japan’s busy capital, which mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples.  

Highlights of the Tour:

  • Travel with Larry Gelwix, Getaway Guru®, as your cruise host for the whole trip
  • The most affordable and convenient way to see Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun
  • We are visiting Japan during the Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Licensed, insured, and bonded travel agency with 65 years of experience!! IT MATTERS!

Tour ID # 9225E06

Questions? Contact:

Julie DeMille, Tour Manager

(Tel) 801-483-6172

Day 1: Tuesday, May 6, 2025

Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan

Yokohama and Edo began life as sleepy fishing villages. That changed in the early 17th century after Tokugawa Ieyasu became Shogun. Edo became the center of political power in Japan, a position the city retained even after the restoration of Imperial rule in 1866.

Contemporary Tokyo may be the most astonishing city on earth. It's a paradoxical mix of ancient tradition and postmodern culture. The Ginza - an international shopping mecca - stands near the serene grounds of the Imperial Palace, and the hyper-speed of 21st century consumerism is mysteriously reconciled with the elegance and serenity of traditional culture. Tokyo provides the traveler with a dizzying experience.

With the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Edo was renamed Tokyo, the "Eastern Capital," to distinguish it from the old imperial capital at Kyoto, the "Western Capital."

Day 2: Wednesday, May 7, 2025

Toba, Japan

Toba, located at the northeastern end of the Shima-hanto Peninsula in Mie, flourished as the castle town of the Kuki family who ruled this region from the 16th century. It was also a landing spot for visitors on the sea route to Ise-jingu Shrine and belongs to Ise-Shima National Park.

Day 3: Thursday, May 8, 2025

Osaka, Japan

For centuries, Osaka was Japan's cultural and commercial gateway to Asia - the point of entry both for trade goods and, most importantly, cultural influences that shaped Japanese society. From tea to Zen, from art to science and philosophy, Osaka was Japan's contact with the great East Asian cultures that flourished in China and Korea. The city reached its zenith in the late 16th century, when the great feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi made Osaka his capital. Toyotomi was master of Japan, and an immense administrative and commercial center rapidly developed around Osaka Castle. After Toyotomi's death, the nation's seat of power shifted from Osaka to a sleepy little fishing village called Edo - modern Tokyo. While overshadowed by Tokyo, Osaka remains Japan's second largest city and a vital commercial center.

Modern Osaka is home to monuments from Japan's past including Toyotomi's immense castle and the Sumiyoshi Shrine. The city is also your gateway to Kyoto, Japan's ancient imperial capital and the nation's cultural and spiritual center.

Day 4: Friday, May 9, 2025

Kochi, Japan

Kochi sits on the broad alluvial plain facing Urado Bay. This city in Shikoku takes its name from the great feudal castle that sits at its very heart. Completed in 1611, Kochi Castle was the seat of Yamauchi Kazutoyo, a noted warrior who supported Tokugawa Ieyasu in his successful quest to become Shogun. Tosa Province and Kochi Castle were Yamauchi's reward for faithful service. There is an historical irony here: 250 years later, a Kochi native son - a former low-ranked samurai and now ronin named Sakamoto Ryoma - played a pivotal role in bringing the Tokugawa Shogunate to an end and restoring the Emperor of Japan to political prominence. The prize once awarded for faithful service had become a hotbed of support for the Meiji Restoration.

Kochi is one of the wettest places in Japan - and a frequent target for cyclonic storms or typhoons. Southeast of the city, warm oceans currents washing against the Aki Mountains create a subtropical landscape of hibiscus, palm and ficus at Muroto-Anan Quasi-National Park.

Day 5: Saturday, May 10, 2025

Hiroshima, Japan

On August 6, 1945, human history was irrevocably altered when the American bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The bomb was code-named "Little Boy," but its detonation left half the city in ruins and aflame. Today, Hiroshima is a monument not only to the destructive forces harnessed by men but also to the indomitable will of the human spirit to overcome tragedy. At the heart of the city lies Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome. The gutted walls of the city's old Industry Promotion Hall and the skeletal frame that supported its copper dome, vaporized in the blast, are instantly recognizable symbols of Hiroshima.

Travelers to Hiroshima will discover a more serene note at nearby Miyajima Island. One of the top-three scenic spots of Japan, the island is home to ancient Itsukushima Shrine, a designated National Treasure.

Day 6: Sunday, May 11, 2025

Kanmon Straight, Japan

The Kanmon Strait is a narrow channel of water that separates two of Japan's main islands, Honshu and Kyushu. The channel has long been important to maritime transportation and cargo ships, as it connects the Sea of Japan and the Inland Sea. The battle between the U.S. and Japanese navies that presaged the Shimonoseki Campaign in 1863 took place here, and eventually led to Japan's opening up to Western powers. The cannons used during the campaign can today be seen near Shimonoseki’s port, where you can also dine at gourmet restaurants serving local delicacies such as fugu (blowfish), shop at venues like the Sea Mall, and connect with ferry service to Busan, in South Korea, and the island of Kyushu.The port at Kitakyushu (Moji Port) is equally historic and attractive, serving as a gateway to Honshu and Kyushu for centuries as well as an important international trade hub since the late 19th century. Although more industrial than Shimonoseki, it has many Western-style buildings, including the neo-Renaissance Mojiko Station, constructed in 1914, as well as other tourist attractions such as a developed promenade and the Kawachi Fuji Gardens.

Day 7: Monday, May 12, 2025

Busan, South Korea

The second largest city in South Korea, Busan is your gateway to a fascinating land whose culture is a unique amalgam of old and new. Modern high-rise towers dwarf ancient Buddhist temples. The city's bustling business district offers a stark contrast to the serene grounds of Yongdusan Park. In short, Busan is a microcosm of South Korea, a nation whose startling economic success often obscures one of Asia's most sophisticated and venerable cultures.

Busan was the scene of bitter fighting during the Korean War. The United Nations Memorial Cemetery marks the final resting place for the troops from 16 nations who gave their lives during the conflict.

Day 8: Tuesday, May 13, 2025

Nagasaki, Japan

For most travelers, Nagasaki is a symbol of the horror and the inhumanity of war. An estimated 75,000 people perished in 1945 when the city became the second target of a nuclear attack. Today, Nagasaki's Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum draw visitors from around the world.

But this beautiful city on Kyushu offers other sights. Often described as the San Francisco of Japan, the city occupies verdant hills surrounded by a deep-water bay. For three centuries, Nagasaki was Japan's sole window on the world. The city is also celebrated as the setting for Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly."

Day 9: Wednesday, May 14, 2025

Day at Sea: Philippine Sea and North Pacific

Enjoy a day at sea!

Day 10: Thursday, May 15, 2025

Shimizu, Japan

A mesmerizing landscape, a revered cultural history, and Japan's most sacred volcano are just a few of the many delights beckoning you to come and explore this ancient city. While Shimizu may have the reputation as being bustling and modern, its cultural and spiritual side is on display in the form of ancient and enthralling shrines. Of course, it may be the sacred and snow-capped Mount Fuji that garners the most attention. Towering over the region at approximately 12,388 feet above sea level, the active volcano, designated a "place and source of artistic inspiration" by UNESCO is just one of the many unforgettable adventures Shimizu inspires.

Day 11: Friday, May 16, 2025

Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan - Home Cities

Depart for our homes with memories to last a lifetime!

All This Is Included:

  • 10-night-11 day cruise on the Diamond Princess, with Princess Cruise Line
  • All meals and entertainment provided during the cruise
  • Cruise Hosted by Getaway Guru®, Larry Gelwix
  • Onboard group meetings & activities hosted by Larry Gelwix
  • Opportunity to book into Private Group tours and excursions 

Not Included:

  • Airfare from your home city to Tokyo Roundtrip. - Group flights pending
  • Government Taxes of $155.00
  • Shore Excursions
  • Cruise gratuities $186.00
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance

Optional Pricing:

  • Inside Cabins Starting at $1619.00 ** subject to availability at time of booking, call today
  • Outside Window, Cabins Starting at $1819.00 ** subject to availability at time of booking, call today
  • Balcony Cabins Starting at $2859.00 ** subject to availability at time of booking, call today
  • Triple, Quad, and Single based - Call for pricing
  • Pre-Tour in Tokyo coming soon
  • Private Group Shore Excursions coming soon

Payment Terms:

  • $400.00 pp deposit at the time of booking
  • Final Payment due February 5, 2025

This tour is based on a minimum of 30 passengers

Terms & Conditions:

Cancellation Policy:

  • Free cancellation up to 7 days from deposit
  • After 7 days there is a 50% cancellation fee of your deposit or full transfer to future cruise credit
  • The cruise tour is fully non-refundable after the final payment