Ancient Traditions of the Inland Sea of Japan

Explore Japan and South Korea during a seven-night cruise aboard the small ship m.s. L’Austral along the Inland Sea of Japan, plus two nights in Kyoto. Visit five UNESCO World Heritage sites. Explore Kyoto’s Nijō Castle; Hiroshima’s Memorial Peace Park; Miyajima’s inspiring Itsukushima Shrine; and the Buddhist wonders of Gyeongju, South Korea. Optional pre-trip extension in Tokyo and post-trip to Kanazawa’s gardens and historic Samurai residences.

May 8 - May 18, 2018  (11 Days)

from $5,995, per person, double occupancy

For more Information

(415) 597-6720

Tuesday, May 8
Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. and cross the International Date Line.

Wednesday, May 9
Osaka, Japan / Kyoto

Arrive in Osaka, then transfer to beautiful Kyoto, the impeccably preserved former imperial capital of Japan. Check into the ideally located deluxe Kyoto Hotel Okura. The remainder of the day is at leisure. 

Thursday, May 10

In timeless Kyoto, discover an ethereal setting of grand imperial castles, tranquil Zen gardens and graceful Shinto shrines that manifest Japanese culture in its purest form. Many of Kyoto’s ancient buildings and gardens are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites, including grandiose Nijo Castle, built by the shogun of the powerful Tokugawa dynasty (1603 to 1867); iconic Kinkaku-ji Temple, the famed 14th-century Temple of the Golden Pavilion, whose top two fl oors are adorned completely with gold leaf; and the Ryoan-ji Temple, originally an aristocrat’s villa during the Heian Period (794 to 1185), featuring a famous contemplative rock garden. Drawing inspiration from the Zen gardens of Kyoto, Apple™ co-founder Steve Jobs used Ryoan-ji Temple as a place of meditation, and its minimalistic simplicity was the guiding aesthetic principle of the company’s products. Join your traveling companions for a Welcome Reception this evening. Kyoto Hotel Okura (B,R) 

Friday, May 11
Kyoto / Himeji

This morning, visit the captivating Fushimi Inari Shrine, dedicated to the deity of sake and rice and one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan—the earliest structures were constructed in A.D. 711. Its thousands of carefully aligned, iconic, red-orange tori gates lead to the magnifi cent Inari Mountain. Enjoy lunch and a scenic transfer en route to the extraordinary Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site comprising 83 buildings and the largest and best-preserved feudal castle complex in Japan. From the hilltop castle grounds, admire the elegant structures, crafted entirely of wood and dating from the 14th to 17th centuries. Later this afternoon, embark the five-star L’Austral.
L’Austral (B,L,D)

Saturday, May 12
Hiroshima / Miyajima

Visit Hiroshima’s compelling Peace Memorial Park, a tranquil, urban green space where the remains of the Genbaku Dome, which survived the forces of the atomic bomb, are a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and a universal symbol of peace. See the solemn Children’s Peace Monument and explore the Peace Memorial Museum, which chronicles the history of Hiroshima. Continue to the small island of Miyajima, or “Shrine Island,” and go ashore via Zodiac to tour the impressive sixth-century Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site. See its stunning vermilion Great Torii Gate, which appears to float on water during high tide. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening. L’Austral (B,L,R,D)

Sunday, May 13

Originally a small fishing port, the cultural town of Hagi was fortified by Môri Terumoto in 1604. Walk through the old samurai quarter past its many former samurai dwellings along roads lined with original 19th-century earthen walls. Visit the early 17th-century Kikuya House, the former residence of a merchant wealthy enough to live among the samurai and one of the best-preserved examples of merchant-style architecture from the Edo Period. Tour the 17th-century Toko-ji Temple, from the Obaku School of Japanese Zen Buddhism, and see its 500 moss-covered stone lanterns honoring the Môri clan lords. Visit the Hagi Uragami Museum, which displays over 5000 traditional woodblock prints and porcelain pieces. L’Austral (B,L,D)

Monday, May 14
Sakaiminato for Matsue

Enjoy a scenic drive through Matsue to tour the acclaimed Adachi Museum of Art. This stunning combination of Japanese art and garden design features a collection of 20th-century paintings and modern art along with six perfectly landscaped gardens, seen through the museum’s vast windows as “living Japanese paintings” and widely considered to be the best in the country. See distinctive Matsue Castle, a feudal structure whose five-story keep is the tallest in Japan, before returning to the ship for an afternoon of cruising with onboard lectures. L’Austral (B,L,D)

Tuesday, May 15
Ulsan, South Korea, for Gyeongju

Travel across South Korea’s verdant rural landscape from Ulsan to the cradle of the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. to A.D. 935) in the historic city of Gyeongju. Visit the glorious Bulguksa Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site and part of a religious architectural complex that represents a material expression of Buddhist utopia on Earth. The complex is divided into three areas—the Vairocana Buddha Hall, the Hall of Great Enlightenment and theHall of Supreme Bliss—and is home to several national treasures including stone bridges and two pagodas. Visit Gyeongju National Museum, which houses priceless archaeological and historical artifacts. Enjoy a specially arranged Korean lunch and a traditional dance performance. Visit the Royal Burial Mounds at Tumuli Park where, in 1974, the 43-foot-high Cheonmachong (Heavenly Horse) Tomb, dating from the fifth century, was excavated, revealing over 10,000 royal treasures inside. L’Austral (B,L,D)

Wednesday, May 16
Moji, Japan

Visit the impressive Akama Shrine, built in 1191 and dedicated to the child emperor Antoku. Then, stroll through the Karato Ichiba Fish Market, specializing in the delicacy of locally sourced fugu (pufferfish). Market-goers gather here to enjoy sushi and sashimi bento, while professional chefs come to purchase the freshest seafood to prepare time-honored recipes in their restaurants. Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board this evening. L’Austral (B,L,R,D)

Thursday, May 17

From the port of Uno, participate in one of two included excursions. Enjoy a scenic drive to the lovely town of Kurashiki, which translates to “storehouse village,” one of the best-preserved mercantile towns in Japan—its distinctive black and white latticed buildings remain from the 17th-century Edo Period. Visit the old merchant quarter and walk among the traditional kara (granary) buildings beside small, tranquil canals framed by languid weeping willows. Or, choose to visit the famous Koraku-en Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, situated on the outskirts of Okayama. Commissioned by Lord Ikedo in 1686, it is a classic strolling garden graced with bamboo groves; pine, plum and cherry trees; and tea bushes. L’Austral (B,L,D)

Friday, May 18
Osaka / U.S.A.

Disembark in Osaka and continue on the Kanazawa post-trip extension, or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B) 

Iconic Tokyo: May 5-9

Begin your journey in Japan’s vibrant and iconic capital city of Tokyo. Beneath the layers of thriving business districts, amid the contemporary architectural achievements and a wellspring of Japanese pop culture, you will find venerable wooden houses fronted by bonsai trees and shrines wreathed in incense smoke—the inherent cultural core of this historic city. Explore Tokyo’s most important Shinto shrine—the Meiji Shrine—and the magnificent East Garden and Plaza of the Imperial Palace. Enjoy a full-day excursion to Hakone to view the tallest peak in Japan—the iconic Mt. Fuji—a UNESCO World Heritage site. Experience a high-speed transfer aboard the legendary Shinkansen bullet train to charming Kyoto. Accommodations are for three nights in the prestigious Five-Star ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo.

Kanazawa’s Cultural Landscape: May 18-21

Step back in time in the remarkably well-preserved city of Kanazawa, dating from the early 16th century.  Visit Kenroku-en Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, created in the kaiyu (many pleasures) style for the enjoyment of feudal lords who lived in its 16th-century castle; the Higashi Chaya district with historic teahouses where geisha once lived; and the Nagamachi samurai district. Experience the art of Washi papermaking, a centuries-old Japanese handcrafting tradition, noted on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Enjoy an excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of historic Shirakawa-go and the village of Ogimachi, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri (praying hands) farmhouses—a reference to the shape of the roofs. Travel to Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa and for one night in the Five-Star ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo.

Cabin Categories (Prices are per person, double occupancy)

8 - $5,995   Ocean-view, one large window, shower. Deck 3, Calicut, forward.
7 - $7,595   Ocean-view, small window and single door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower. Deck 3, Calicut, aft.
6 - $7,995   Ocean-view, small window and single door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower. Deck 3, Calicut, midship.
5 - $8,395   Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private, partial wall balcony, shower. Deck 4, Chandernagor, forward.
4 - $8,995   Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower. Deck 4, Chandernagor, midship.
3 - $9,395   Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower. Deck 5, Bengale, forward. 
2 - $9,795   Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower or tub/shower. Deck 5, Bengale, midship.
1 - $10,195 Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower or tub/shower. Deck 6, Mahe deck.

Deluxe Suite - $10,795  Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, tub/shower and sitting area with sofa. Deck 6, Mahe. (limited availability)
Prestige Suite II - $11,795  Two-room, ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto large private balcony, two bathrooms: tub/shower and shower, large sitting area with sofa, two closets, writing desk and dressing table. Deck 5, Bengale.
Prestige Suite I - $12,795  Two-room, ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto large private balcony, two bathrooms: tub/shower and shower, large sitting area with sofa, two closets, writing desk and dressing table. Deck 6, Mahe.
Owner’s Suite - $14,795  Two rooms, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors onto two private balconies, one and a half bathrooms, separate tub and shower, sitting room with sofa, table and four chairs and writing desk. Deck 6, Mahe.

Singles are available in category 6 at $15,095 and in category 4 at $17,295 on or before December 15, 2017. (Assistance with finding a roommate can be provided.)

Prices above reflect the Early Booking Discount. Add $1,000 for reservations made after December 15, 2017. Taxes are an additional $455 per person and are subject to change.

Two nights in the deluxe Kyoto Hotel Okura; Welcome Reception; Seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star L’AUSTRAL; Cruise from Himeji, Japan, with port calls at Hiroshima, Miyajima, Hagi, Sakaiminato for Matsue, Moji, Uno for Kurashiki or Okayama, and Osaka, Japan; and Ulsan for Gyeongju, South Korea; Meals as specified in the itinerary; Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise; Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions; Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship; All entrance fees and tours as described in the itinerary; Transfers and luggage handling abroad for participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers; Hospitality desk in the hotel and aboard ship; Experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Directors throughout the program; Pre-departure materials, including a reading list; Automatic $250,000 flight insurance policy for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company.

Not Included
International airfare; Port Taxes of $455 per person (subject to change); Gratuities to ship personnel ($105 per person); Hotel staff gratuities ($2 per person per day) and gratuities for activities on your own; Passport and visa fees; Meals and alcoholic beverages not listed as included; Transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); Any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access; Accident/sickness, trip cancellation and baggage insurance; Baggage charges on aircraft; airfare and associated local taxes not listed as included; Airport facility taxes and federal inspection fees not listed as included; All other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included” section

Optional Pre-Tour: Iconic Tokyo
$1,595 per person, double occupancy
$2,295 single occupancy room

Optional Post-Tour: Kanazawa Cultural Landscape 
$1,425 per person, double occupancy
$1,725 single occupancy room  

What to Expect

All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Travelers must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from your traveling companion and climb stairs and step over raised thresholds without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

Cancellations for all or any part of the trip including Pre/Post Program(s) reservation(s) will not be effective until received in writing in the offices of The Commonwealth Club. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply:

From the time of booking through 120 days prior to departure: $200 ($50 Pre/Post Program(s)) 
From 95 to 119 days prior to departure: $800 ($200 Pre/Post Program(s)) per person
From 60 to 94 days prior to departure: 70% of the published full regular tariffs
59 days or less prior to departure: No refund

A “no-show” or early return from the trip will result in forfeiture of 100% of the published full regular tariffs.

In addition, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply. 

Discounted Reservations
Discounts apply only to those reservations received in the offices of The Commonwealth Club in writing, accompanied by the required deposit, by October 10, 2017. In the event a “discounted” reservation must be cancelled, no “replacement” reservation can be substituted at the discounted rate. A “replacement” reservation is a new reservation and can be substituted only at the full-fare tariff. Cancellation penalties may apply.  

Trip Insurance
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.

We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Airfare is subject to change and availability and, depending on the fare basis, likely is nonrefundable. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between you and the airline, even if purchased through Gohagan.

Luggage allowance policies are set by the airlines and may change without notice.

Physical Accessibility
All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Travelers must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from your traveling companion and climb stairs and step over raised thresholds without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

Prices quoted are based on fares in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change at any time. On land and/or cruise programs, even after full payment, Gohagan reserves the right to increase the tour price in the event of cost increases due to changes in supplier costs, currency fluctuations or fuel or energy surcharges and all such increases are to be paid to Gohagan upon notice to the tour participant of such increases. On programs which include Gohagan purchased interstate or international air (which originates or returns to the United States), no increased costs will be passed on after final payment except for subsequently imposed governmental tax increases.

Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Binding Arbitration Agreement Responsibility  
The Commonwealth Club and Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and its and their employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors, and assigns (collectively “Gohagan”), do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Gohagan is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party. In addition and without limitation, Gohagan is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to person or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God or force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely. If due to weather, flight schedules or other uncontrollable factors, you are required to spend an additional night(s), you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers and meal costs. Baggage is entirely at owner’s risk. The right is reserved to decline to accept as a trip participant, or remove from a trip, without refund, any person Gohagan judges to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the activities, or who is abusive to other trip participants, leaders or third parties, or who Gohagan determines to detract from the enjoyment of the trip by others. Specific room/cabin assignments are within the sole discretion of the hotel or cruise line. Gohagan reserves the right to change the itinerary or trip features at any time and for any reason, with or without notice, and Gohagan shall not be liable for any loss of any kind as a result of any such changes. Ship schedules, port calls, hours of arrival and departure, sightseeing events, special programs and guest lecture series (if applicable), are subject to change or cancellation. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical or other conditions beyond the control of Gohagan. Gohagan is not responsible therefor and is not required to compensate passengers under these circumstances. Gohagan may cancel a trip (or an option) for any reason whatsoever; if so, its sole responsibility is to refund monies paid by the participant to it. Gohagan, however, is not required under these circumstances to refund the cost of any purchased travel insurance. Gohagan is not required to cancel any trip for any reason including without limitation, United States Department of State, World Health Organization or other Warnings or Advisories of any kind. Gohagan is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers resulting from operational and/or itinerary changes, even if Gohagan makes the flight arrangements or cancels the trip. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute vessels, hotels or attractions of a similar category for those listed in this brochure.

Binding Arbitration
Any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this Agreement, the brochure or any other literature concerning the trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. Please understand that by agreeing to these terms and conditions, the participant and Gohagan are waiving the right to a trial by jury.

Acceptance of Contract
By forwarding of deposit, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants and accepts the terms contained in this Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement.

Commonwealth Club CST#: 2096889-40; Gohagan CST#: 2031868-40, WST#: 601 767 666, OST#: TA 0905.