Japan & South Korea Expedition

All-Kosher, All-inclusive Expedition Ship

KRC Expeditions Presents:

All-Kosher, All-inclusive Expedition Ship

Japan & South Korea Expedition

With the world’s sixth longest coastline and more than 6,800 islands and islets, Japan and its seamless blend of ancient customs, ultramodern living, neon-lit cities, temples, rich culture and wildlife-filled national parks is perfect for exploring by expedition ship.

Surrounded by the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea, Japan’s archipelago of volcanic islands stretches along a northeast/southwest axis located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, resulting in a dramatic landscape that is best explored by sea.

KRC Expeditions Japan cruise offers the ultimate way of both exploring and experiencing the best that Japan has to offer. We travel in comfort and ease on an off-the-beaten-path to areas that larger vessels cannot access. This allows for a truly unique, intimate cultural emersion sailing from iconic cities to remote coastlines and islands. Carefully curated, our voyages are designed to showcase contemporary cities, modern museums and art galleries alongside medieval castles, shrines and temples, world famous gardens, samurai legacy, hot springs, sake, exotic art and more!

The Journey: Japan, “the Land of the Rising Sun” with KRC Expeditions, pioneers our all-kosher, authentic small-ship expedition cruising. Our Japan & South Korea Expedition has been carefully planned to showcase Japan’s seamless blend of ancient customs and ultramodern living, culinary creativity, arts and gardens as we cruise from iconic cities to seldom-visited remote coastlines and islands that are best explored by sea aboard our all-kosher expedition ship.

Historic highlights on our journey include the five-story Pagoda of Miyajima, the 17th Century Matsue Castle, the sobering Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with its eternal Flame of Peace, Teramachi District with its temples and shrines, including the famed “Ninja Temple,” the Jokamachi District with its old Samurai houses, Hagi Castle ruins and the beautiful Zen Tokoji Temple, and Japan’s iconic Shinto Shrine and Torii Gate. During our expedition we will explore Japan’s traditional and contemporary side as we visit galleries and meet local artists, allowing for unique shopping opportunities. On a day in South Korea’s Ulsan we’ll explore UNESCO World Heritage Site Gyeongju – the “museum without walls” and visit the Haeinsa Temple, considered one of the three great temples in South Korea. We’ll also moor at Uwajima, one of Japan’s premier pearl producers, with the opportunity to visit one of the city’s traditional pearl farms.

For those with a passion for nature, we plan to visit Daisen-Oki and Hakusan National Parks, Kenrokuen Garden (one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan), Samurai-era Tenshaen Garden, and one of Japan’s most famed gardens, the 28-acre formal 17th Century Koraku-en Garden. We’ll also tour one of Japan’s main bonsai centers at Kinashi.

Helping us to understand all we will see and experience, and travelling with us throughout the voyage, will be our expert guest speakers and Japanese guides who will add immeasurably to your enjoyment and understanding of this captivating country. Adding to the Jewish experience is our KRC Resident Historian & Lecturer Dr. Henry Abramson, culinary Adventures with Naomi Nachman, and our on-board Rabbi Stewart Weiss, who will lead us in our meaningful Shabbat programming and Torah shiurim.

This perfect adventure is capped by our culinary team, led by Master Kosher Chef Malcolm Green, creating throughout our voyage signature, sumptuous kosher buffets that our guests have enjoyed for over 25 years of cruising with us!

Join us for this rare opportunity for an all-kosher, in-depth exploration around the coastline and islands of Japan, as we discover the unspoiled nature, primeval wilderness, incredible gardens, cultural treasures, traditional villages and futuristic cities resplendent with their unique charms. KRC Expeditions creates on each of its voyages a unique family atmosphere as we explore and travel together as a community on our all-kosher Expedition Ship!

Itinerary

Day 1 (Tu): Osaka
Arrive at Honshu’s largest port city of Osaka, where modern architecture and a vibrant dining scene are nestled alongside the 16th Century shogunate Osaka Castle. Make your way to your ship where you will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening, meet your fellow voyagers and expedition guides over dinner onboard as your Captain and Expedition Team welcome you and we set sail for Takamatsu.
Day 2 (We): Takamatsu
Shikoku Island’s Takamatsu has had a long history as a port town, earning itself the nickname ‘Gateway to Shikoku’, although more recently locals have been calling it “Udon Kingdom.” If you have an interest in flora and fauna, a visit to Ritsurin Park, considered one of Japan’s finest gardens, is sure to be a highlight. Next you will enjoy a visit to Kinashi, one of Japan’s main bonsai production centers, where you will learn about traditional methods of growing bonsai.
Day 3 (Th): Hiroshima & Miyajima
Despite a history that includes being the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack on August 6, 1945, Hiroshima is a vibrant and thriving cosmopolitan community. We plan to visit the beautiful Peace Park and Museum, with its somber cenotaph containing names of atomic bomb victims, and the permanently lit ‘Flame of Peace’. After visiting the Peace Park we will travel to Miyajima Island, considered one of Japan’s most scenic spots and the location of the Torii Gate and the Daisho-in Buddhist temple. For those looking for a nature fix, ascend Mount Misen on Miyajima Island by cable car and enjoy a beautiful hike, admiring the views below of the Shinto Shrine and Torri Gate.
Day 4 (Fr): Uwajima & Shimonoseki
This morning, we reach Shikoku Island and the port of Uwajima, situated deep inside the saw-toothed coast of Uwajima Bay. The city of Uwajima is emerging as the nation’s largest pearl cultivation center and we will learn the process of implanting, harvesting, extracting and sorting pearls on our visit to a pearl farm. We will also see Uwajima Castle, which is built on top of the hill with panoramic views of the town, harbor and Tenshaen Garden, built in the Samurai era. In the afternoon we sail to Shimonoseki where we dock and prepare for a magical Shabbat together.
Shabbat docked in Shimonoseki
Day 5 (Shabbat): Shimonoseki
Day of Shabbat programming, prayer and study while anchored in Shimonoseki, a marvelous day with our old and new friends.
Shimonoseki Port is perched above the 650-metre-wide Kanmon Straits and tucked away at the western end of Japan’s main island Honshu. Surrounded by water on three sides, Shimonoseki is rightly famous for its seafood and, in addition to being considered the gateway to Kyushu, is also known as “Japan’s Pufferfish/Fugu Capital.” This potentially deadly local delicacy requires takumi-level preparation by specially trained Fugu chefs. Other highlights include the city’s iconic Kanmon Bridge spanning Honshu and Kyushu Islands, world famous Karato Fish Market and the beautiful Akama Shinto Shrine, built to honor drowned child Emperor Antoku. Our Shabbat walking excursions from the boat include an exploration of Mekari Park with its mural depicting the 1185 Battle of Dan-no-ura, and the world famous Karato Fish Market adjacent to where we dock on the shores of the Kanon Strait.

After a musical Havdalah we depart to our next port of call.

Day 6: (Su) Hagi
Hagi was a minor fishing port until Mori Terumoto fortified it in 1604; it was Mori Samurai that helped spark off the anti-Tokugawa revolt in the mid-19th century. Today it is better known for its traditional pottery making. This morning, we will explore the Teramachi District with its temples and shrines; the Jokamachi District, where we find the old Samurai houses; and take time to explore Hagi Castle, Shizuki Park and Tokoji Temple. This afternoon we travel to the outskirts of the city and the Yoshika Taibi Memorial Museum, which is dedicated to a large collection of Hagiyaki pottery, which was highly prized in the Edo period as wares for tea ceremonies. Alternatively, choose an adventure to explore the natural wonders of the 300-million-year-old limestone Akiyoshido Caves.
Day 7: (Mo) Ulsan, South Korea
Today we cross the Sea of Japan to Ulsan in South Korea, where we plan to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gyeongju. The capital of the Silla Dynasty, dating back to the first millennium, Gyeongju is known as “the museum without walls” and is full of ancient Korean history and Buddhist culture. Enjoy strolling through hundreds of excavated monuments, temples, tombs and pagodas and cultural performances as we visit the National Museum with its gold jewelry, metal weapons and distinctive pottery. This day provides a perfect taste of the best that South Korea has to offer.
Day 8: (Tu) Matsue
This morning, we arrive at the port of Sakaiminato, entry point to Matsue, known as “the town of water,” due to it being situated between Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi. We plan to visit Matsue Castle, a national treasure and one of Japan’s few largely intact 17th Century castles. Other options today may include exploring Daisen-Oki National Park; steeped in beauty and history, it’s also the home of rare flora and fauna that includes the giant salamander. We’ll also visit the picturesque Yuushien Garden. At the Adachi Museum of Art, learn about the art of Japanese paper-making at the Yakumo-mura village, or perhaps you may wish to spend some time exploring the picturesque streets and local canals.
Day 9 (We): Kanazawa
Options today include exploring the historic mountain settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go, high in the remote mountains of the Shogawa River Valley in Hakusan National Park. Take in the sights on mountain walks and experience the unique cultural traditions that include the region’s iconic Gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Some of these are more than 250 years old, designed to withstand the heavy snow in winter and providing a large attic space for cultivating silkworms. Alternatively, explore the rich art center of Kanazawa and discover some of the unique styles of Japanese art. Kanazawa is rightly famous for its Kutani-style pottery, exquisite lacquerware, gold-leaf workmanship, hand painted silk, and classical Noh dance-drama performed since the 14th Century. Wander through winding cobblestone streets, elegant restaurants and craft galleries, and visit the impressive Edo-period Kenrokuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. You may also explore the Omicho Market that boasts everything from flowers to crafts and food.
Day 10: (Th) Kanazawa/Tokyo
After breakfast and final farewells, we board a Shinkansen ‘bullet train’ to Tokyo Station and continue our travels. To allow time for disembarkation procedures and travel from, we do not recommend booking flights departing from Tokyo airport before 16:00 hours.
Please note pricing is yet to be finalized. Pricing below is an approximation. For this reason, we are taking non-committed pre-registration requests. You may pre-register to tentative hold your cabin space and category based on availability on a first come first served basis. Once prices are finalized you will be contacted and at that time you may secure your registration with deposit.
Approximate starting price from: $8,990 pp/dbl 10
days
*Once final pricing has been confirmed, Booking registration will be open to reserve your cabin along with deposit. Pre-registration is now open to indicate your interest.

June 9-18, 2026 (Tentative)

10-Day Adventure

Explore Japan Off-The-Beaten Path

We’ve included everything you need in order to get the most out of your cruise, so you won’t have to spend a penny extra if you don’t want to. Our all-inclusive program provides you with unique encounters, sure to become the highlight of your adventure. Handpicked by our KRC designers, you’ll meet locals from ancient communities, take part in insightful activities and adventures, and embark on guided tours of some of the most prestigious and pristine locations in the world. There is something for everyone on this expedition – from low impact to the more active guest – and our excursions of cultural tours to guided hikes provide an alternative perspective on our destination.

Please note pricing is yet to be finalized. Pricing below is an approximation. For this reason, we are taking non-committed pre-registration requests. You may pre-register to tentative hold your cabin space and category based on availability on a first come first served basis. Once prices are finalized you will be contacted and at that time you may secure your registration with deposit.

CRUISE RATES

ACCOMODATIONS

Our Ship: Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. She is often referred to as the “Grande Dame of Expedition Cruising” due to her celebrated history and refined design. She was purpose-built for adventure and specifically designed for Polar exploration, setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel. Carrying just 120 expeditioners ensures a truly unique, spacious, stylish and comfortable voyage, while a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures that all guests can maximize their expedition adventure. KRC Expeditions and Heritage Adventurer proudly continues our traditions of exceptional, personalized expedition experiences as a floating Jewish community exploring together the off-the-beaten-path.

SCHEDULE

Our all-inclusive river cruise vacation includes daily tours at each of our ports of call.

Cruise Tour

  • Day 1  (Tu) Day 1 (Tu) Osaka
  • Day 2  (We) Takamatsu
  • Day 3  (Th) Hiroshima & Miyajima
  • Day 4  (Fr) Uwajima & Shimonoseki 
  • Day 5  (Shabbat) Shimonoseki
  • Day 6  (Su) Hagi
  • Day 7  (Mo) Ulsan, South Korea
  • Day 8  (Tu) Matsue
  • Day 9  (We) Kanazawa
  • Day 10  (Th) Kanazawa/Tokyo

*Please note that itinerary is subject to change

Air Booking

For those who need assistance with booking with your air flight, please call us and we can supply you the contact information for an outside air agent. Please note there will be a ticket-issue fee of $50 per person for this service.  

Embarkation & Disembarkation

Embarkation (Osaka):

Guests arriving on the day of ship embarkation on June 9 should arrive at Osaka airport no later than 15:00. Guests will be transferred (as part of a group) directly from the airport to the ship. Private transfers are available for an additional fee.

Disembarkation (Tokyo):

Guests will disembark the ship at 9:30 am with transfer to the Tokyo Central Train Station by Bullet Train (included).  From Tokyo Station guests can transfer on their own by taxi to the airport or hotel. All return flights should be arranged to depart Tokyo after 16:00.

Gentle Walkers

We welcome guests with limited mobility but want all guests to understand that challenges will exist both on board and during shore excursions. There are stairs between decks and our ships do have an elevator. In addition, there are split-level decks and/or significant thresholds that can make movement difficult. Shore excursions are a mix of activities that require movement over uneven ground, with some boat launches via Zodiacs to and from our vessel. Therefore, a physically-challenged guest will require the services of a responsible adult as crew members are not available or allowed to assist. Motorized scooters are not suited and may not be used on-board.  

Security: The safety of our passengers is something we take very seriously, and we consider it our most important responsibility. Our policy is to be in constant contact with local municipalities as to our arrival and departure at our various locations.  

 

Connect With Us

 

Call Us: USA +1 310-237-0122

Call Us Toll Free USA: 800-923-2645

WhatsApp SMS: +1 (206)-536-3150

Office hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm PST

Israel: 052 836 2661

United Kingdom: 020 3393 6823

 

Fax us: USA (888) 589-6498
E-mail: info@kosherrivercruise.com

Web: kosherrivercruise.com

 

Our Newsletter

Get the latest news and updates on Kosher River Cruise