Guntu, Seto Inland Sea

​Dreaming of a private exploration of Japan’s Inland Sea? A private, luxurious floating adventure, undisturbed by any except the local seabirds.

Dreaming of a private exploration of Japan’s Inland Sea? A private, luxurious floating adventure, undisturbed by any except the local seabirds. A cross between a ryokan and a yacht, this floating hotel offers a truly unique way to explore Japan’s many islands. Guntu hosts 19 luxurious cabins and sets sail from Onomichi in Hiroshima prefecture before cruising around Japan’s Seto Inland Sea.

Bookable as a totally private adventure with your closest family and friends or on a single cabin basis, choose from four different types of on-board cabins, including the Guntu suites, the Grand

Suite and the Terrace Suite. Each suite is located near sea level to offer sea views. They also come with their own double bedroom, private outdoor terrace with living room, mini bar, full bathroom with shower and outdoor bathtub. At the top of the range, the Guntu suite offers 90 square meters of luxurious space and is the largest cabin on the ship. It promises a quiet haven from which to enjoy a moment of rest and panoramic views during the trip.

Soak in the scenery of Setouchi as you unwind in the hinoki cypress bath, or practice yoga on the Open Deck whenever you please. Dining options are varied and flavourful, with the staff’s motto being ‘whatever you want, whenever you want it’, indulge in as many dishes as exist on the menu anytime night or day. Chef Kenzo Sato from Shigeyoshi, a venerable restaurant in Tokyo, plans traditional Japanese cuisine using local ingredients to bring the flavors of Setouchi to you. Nobuo Sakamoto, who mans the six seat sushi bar, demonstrates how to cut and roll fresh fish from the surrounding waters flavored with hints of citrus and wasabi.

The boat’s warm, wood-paneled ­interiors—­designed by architect Yasushi ­Horibe—give the small hotel an inviting atmosphere, but the draw of setting sail on the Guntu is easy access to the sea’s over 700 islands. More than just a sailing trip, onshore activities range from a visit to Naoshima, an art­-filled island that’s home to Yayoi Kusama’s famous dotted pumpkins, to sampling soy sauce at a local brewery to excursions with local fishermen.

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