Futuristic Luxury In Tokyo’s Heart
High above the city, Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo is a five-star luxury hotel with views to take your breath away. Exuding crisp, contemporary style, this city-center gem prides itself on its excellent technology… a renowned spa featuring a range of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments and therapies… seven innovative restaurants offering a variety of cuisines… several lounges and bars…. and impeccable service.
What Is There To See And Do In Japan
Japan is a melting pot of culture and contemporary life, fused with the history and traditions of the regions.
Follow the neon lights of Tokyo to some of the world’s top restaurants, which have helped pinpoint this city as one of the best places to dine in the world – it has 314 Michelin stars!
Climb to the top of the world’s tallest tower, Tokyo Skytree and witness the landscape of this remarkable city, spotting the peak of Mount Fuji as it pierces the skyline above the skyscrapers and bright lights.
Pay your respects at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, before exploring the leafy boulevards and streets. Meanwhile, Kagoshima offers a mild climate and the tranquil Japanese gardens of Sengan-en to walk around, where you can view the constantly smoking volcano, Sakurajima.
Visit the many temples of Kyoto, famous for its Buddhist temples, gardens, and imperial palaces. Enjoy learning of geisha traditions, witnessing kaiseki dining and viewing Shinto shrines.
Enjoy A Japanese Bath In Beppu
Beppu is renowned throughout the country for its onsen, the Japanese term for volcanic hot springs. Many locals flock to these baths with friends or family to relax and enjoy the soothing properties of the mineral water. There are no fewer than 3,000 onsen in Beppu, in addition to numerous wellness centres. In the south-east of the city, the village of Usuki shelters 60 sculptures of Buddha, which were carved into the rock between the 12th and 16th centuries.
Japan Cruises Blend Bustling Cities With Tranquil Spaces
Japan is a country rich in history and nature. Japans past and natural scenery seem to blend effortlessly with its frenetic cities, creating an interesting dichotomy that provides a mix of relaxation and action for travelers on a Japan cruise.
Mt. Fuji towers up over the southeast coast of Japan with a snow-capped rim atop it that is a chilly juxtaposition to the simmering heat found within. Mount Fuji is an active volcano that hasnt erupted since 1707 and is the tallest peak in Japan, making for an epic photo opportunity for visitors.
Kyoto is often considered the cultural capital of Japan. Kyoto was the Imperial Capital for over 1,000 years and has an abundance of historical structures. The city is home to many temples, castles, shrines, and tea houses while the most popular attractions would have to be the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Fushimi Inari Taisha, the famous shinto shrine with thousands of vermilion torii gates.
Located an hour away from Hiroshima, Miyajima Island is easily accessible via ferry and is known for its Itsukushima Shrine and torii gate. Both of these landmarks are built over water and seem to float on the water during high tide. The island is also home to many scenic walking trails .
Cherry Blossom Trees
Frequently Asked Questions About Japan Cruises
Every port of call on a Japan cruise is worth a visit, as each has its own unique flavor and sights to see.
If you visit Tokyo , you won’t miss Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak. This mountain is actually an active volcano, and dominates the skyline from over a hundred kilometers away. Within the city itself is the Imperial Palace, surrounded by parks, walls and moats. The palace is closed to the public, but the grounds are beautiful, particularly in the spring when the blossoms bloom.
Hiroshima’s recent past is known all over the world, so a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is the perfect place to pay respects. Other than monuments and memorials, there’s also a museum and several buildings left standing as a reminder of that fateful day.
We also recommend the Golden Pavilion and Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Fukuoka Castle and Canal City Hakata in Fukuoka, and;Ninja-dera Temple and the famous seafood of Kanazawa.
The geography of Japan makes it a perfect destination to visit by cruise: with over 6,000 islands and over 18,000 miles of coastline, even the days between port calls are full of adventure. Every port has its own atmosphere, flavors to taste and sights to see; seeing several on a cruise offers an experience that a single location could never match up to.
Things to avoid:
- Wearing all black: in Japan, this is most associated with funeral wear
- Revealing shorts or tank tops: try to keep shoulders covered with a light blouse over the top
Dive Into The Subtropical Islands Of Japan
Shining like green gems in the clear water, Japan’s subtropical islands show the Land of the Rising Sun in a different light. These small islets are full of surprises, from idyllic beaches to magnificent coral reefs. To the south of Okinawa and east of Taiwan, Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park is one of the best-preserved locations in the region. The two islands from which the park takes its name are very different but equally fascinating. With beautiful beaches and fish-filled waters, Ishigaki is a paradise for divers and snorkelling enthusiasts. Around 90% of Iriomote is covered with old-growth forests and mangroves, creating a far wilder landscape, but its waters are also teeming with rich fauna, including many fish and manta rays.
Best For Cultural Insight
Ponant’s 260-guest Le Soléal offers an Immersion in Japanese Culture departing 30thMay 2020, with lots of fascinating inclusions and enhancements suchas a private audience with the Abbot of Kofukuji Temple inNagasaki, and lectures and discussions with cultural historianTimon Screech and landscape design experts Holly and Osamu Shimizu.For a Japan trip with a difference, this is one to look at.
Read Also: When To Go On An Alaskan Cruise
Experience Paradise At Sea
Experience a journey like no other on a vacation across the Pacific Ocean aboard Celebrity Eclipse®, Celebrity Solstice®, or Celebrity Millennium®. Enjoy relaxing days at sea with our 15 to 19-night cruises as we make our way to some of the most incredible destinations on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Set sail from British Columbia to Tokyo, Japan, or from Hawaii to Sydney, Australia on a Pacific crossing.
As we sail, youll discover all the distinct features that make our transpacific cruises extraordinary. Sit poolside and sip delicious hand-crafted drinks or learn to make your own with our professional mixologists. Savor a different globally inspired dish every night at our specialty restaurants. Experience the sophisticated ambiance and captivating atmosphere of the casino or take in dazzling live shows and theater productions. And, after eventful days, youll enjoy restful nights in luxurious accommodations that rival the worlds best boutique hotels.
Our Transpacifc itineraries include stops in wonderful destinations not to be missed. Choose from hundreds of shore excursions from Auckland to Hilo and Bora Bora, and youll discover some of the most stunning ports of call in the world.
It’s The Perfect Excuse For A Pre
While cruising around Japan is a great way to take in as many different places as possible without any language barrier, several ports will have you clamoring to stay longer. Kyoto, with its ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites is one such place. Tokyo is another, where an extended stay leaves time to ride the subway, visit temples, shop till you drop and even climb Mount Fuji. Or you could just spend a day riding a bullet train — which, when in Japan, is a must-try experience.
Don’t Miss: What Ships Cruise Out Of New Orleans
Experience A Moment Of Peace In The Temples Of Kyoto
The imperial capital of Japan for ten centuries, from 794 to 1868, Kyoto is packed with impressive sites. One of these iconic landmarks is the Kiyomizu-dera or “pure water” temple, which is named for the waterfall within the complex. Topped with a traditional hip-and-gable roof, its main building is known for its hillside veranda and its breathtaking views of the city. Another unmissable temple is Nanzen-ji, one of the five great Zen temples of Kyoto and one of the most important Buddhist centres in the world. It is set apart from other religious structures by its unique gardens and aqueduct.
Japan Offers Good Clean Fun
Japan is one of the cleanest countries in the world, with its streets free of litter, dirt and gum. And you know why? It’s because the Japanese are taught how to clean while at school. Happily, this hygiene habit extends to their public toilets. They are in plentiful supply, spotlessly clean and best of all, they’re free. No fears about ever being caught out here!
Japan’s Cruise Ships Cautiously Return To Sea Amid A Pandemic
Tokyo The U.S.’s “no-sail” order expired over the weekend, opening the door to a gradual return of cruise ship tourism. Japan offers a glimpse of what may be in store, as its cruise ships head back to sea for the first time in eight months.
Based in an archipelago with as-yet unusually low infection rates, Japan’s tiny cruise ship industry is literally testing the waters with a handful of short cruises traversing a few domestic ports, under a plethora of new rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Front of mind is February’s Diamond Princess crisis, at the time, the worst outbreak of coronavirus outside China. As the world watched, 712 Japanese and foreign passengers and crew aboard the Yokohama-docked, American-owned cruise ship became infected, 13 fatally. The Japanese government’s perceived halting and bureaucratic response quarantining passengers and crew onboard for weeks came under withering attack at home and abroad.;
The disaster underscored how cruise ships are a perfect vector for coronavirus. Still, in an attempt to prove sailing can be safe, on October 25 the Nippon Maru, run by Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Lines, sailed out of Niihama Port, Ehime, in southwestern Japan, the first cruise since February 26. Occupancy was restricted to just 200, less than half capacity, with 100 crewmembers, for the three-day voyage.;
Vladivostok Russia Sakaiminato Japan
Home to Russia’s largest port on the Pacific, Vladivostok lies just east of Russia’s border with China and North Korea. DBS Cruise Ferry operates a single ferry that departs every Wednesday for Sakaiminato in Tottori Prefecture, making a stop in Donghae, South Korea, on the way. It’s 19 hours from Vladivostok to Donghae, then a further 15 hours to Sakaiminato. One-way tickets range from US$240 for economy class to US$545 for a junior suite in first class. You can also embark starting at Donghae for KRW 115,000 to KRW 320,000 . Be aware that Sakaiminato is pretty far removed from Japan’s bullet train lines, and it’s about 3.5 hours on local express trains to the nearest Shinkansen station in Okayama. However, if you’re open to an unconventional starting point, Tottori is an oft-overlooked gem, known as home to some of Japan’s earliest human settlements, with Matsue Castle and the ancient shrine of Izumo located just to the west.Note that there was also once a ferry between Sakhalin Island and Wakkanai in Hokkaido, but it was suspended in 2018, and it’s unclear whether it will resume.
Also Check: What Cruise Lines Go Out Of Mobile Al
The Best Cruises To Japan
As host to the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympics in 2020,Japan is firmly on the radar for travellers right now.
Quite apart from the vibrant cities, the spectacular scenery andthe contrasting islands, visitors to Japan return talking ofsomething else altogether: the calm, the strangeness, the momentsof zen beauty, the bowing, so respectful and contained; in short,the graciousness of an ancient heritage.
Japan boasts a multifaceted culture, steeped in the most ancienttraditions overlaid by extraordinary fashions and technologicaldevelopments. Every region is different, with amazing contrasts:the soaring mountains of the Japan Alps, the volcanic landscapes ofKyushu island, the temples and shrines of Kyoto, and the northernisland of Hokkaido. To experience these contrasts, a cruise is anexcellent option, carrying you effortlessly from region toregion.
Along the way you will learn so much about the people and theirreligion and conventions, the Geisha and the Samurai, theatre,manga and anime, and above all, the extraordinary obsession withhanami – cherry blossom viewing – in the Spring. If you arewondering why there are so many April and May departures, cherryblossom is the answer!
If Japan is on your list, we recommend you don’t delay – someitineraries as far ahead as 2021 are already sold out. Here are ourtop five Japan cruise options for 2020 and 2021
Japan Tours Travel Tips
- It’s common to use a card for payment in the major cities, but you should also carry cash if you’re planning to shop in the local markets or smaller towns.
- Bring a power plug converter. Depending on where you’re traveling from, you might need an adaptor to charge your electronic gadgets.
- Many of the popular tourist attractions in Japan are sacred or religious sites. Proper clothing might be required to enter many of the temples and pagodas.
- During the peak season, tourist sites get very crowded. Avoid the crowds and get the best photos by arriving early.
- Slurping your food is part of the Japanese culture and signifies that you’re thoroughly enjoying your meal.
- Purchase a train pass to save money traveling on the bullet train or local metro system. There are multiple cards, but either is typically accepted on the major systems.;
Also Check: What Night Is Pirate Night On Disney Cruise
Reasons Why You Should Cruise To Japan
Japan’s unique blend of beaches, mountains and temples — served with lashings of sushi and shopping — has made it one of the world’s hottest holiday destinations. And the good news is that cruise lines are catching on. There’s more on offer to this high-tech country than ever before, with most of the big lines offering sailings here, including Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises and Cunard Line.
Seabourn, Silversea and Ponant all have smaller ships sailing the region and this is where there’s been the biggest change, with an increase in more intimate voyages offering longer stays in port. Regent Seven Seas and Oceania offer three-day pre- or post-cruise land tours in Tokyo. Tauck includes two nights in Tokyo and three in Kyoto as part of its program. And in 2019 both Crystal and Azamara will offer immersive overnights as part of their country-intensive itineraries.
Here are nine reasons why you should book a cruise to the land of the rising sun right now:
Helpful Tips Before You Go
When you cruise around Japan, youll find ports of call on every side of the nation. The southeast side of Japan is home to Tokyo, from where your Japan cruise will likely embark. Tokyo is a great place for a City Stay before or after your cruise so you can experience more of its cosmopolitan wonders.
Along the southern coastline of Japan is where most of the ports of call for Japan cruises lie. As you cruise around Japans southern coast, your cruise may take you to popular cruise destinations like Kyoto, Kobe, Kochi, Hiroshima, and the famous Mt Fuji.
As your ship sails around the southwest corner of Japan, you also may stop in Kagoshima, Nagasaki, or Fukuoka. After that, your Japan cruise will travel up to the northern tip of Japan, where youll come to Hakodate and Aomori.
If your cruise itinerary includes ports of call in Taiwan and Vietnam, you also may stop in Okinawa, a small Japanese island located south of Kagoshima within the East China Sea.
Japan cruises typically sail in spring or fall. The spring dates may get you to Japan during prime cherry blossom season, but the autumn months will be after the peak seasons of sakura and summer vacation. The weather in spring and fall is usually warm and mild, but may get cooler in certain ports, particularly in the early mornings and evenings. Due to this, packing layers is wise as is sticking in a light jacket to your day pack in ports where you might encounter rain or cold breezes.
Also Check: What Does An All Inclusive Cruise Include
History Past And Present
From shoguns to samurai to emperors, Japan’s history is rich and fascinating and permeates the walls of its ancient temples, shrines and castles. Not to miss are the 15th-century donjon in Inuyama , which can be visited from the popular cruise port of Nagoya and the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo with its botanical garden. And let’s not forget Japan’s more recent, poignant history. Many cruise ships stop in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki, where the museums are a stark reminder of why the world should never again witness the explosion of an atomic bomb.
Explore The Inimitable Streets Of Tokyo
With a total population of nearly 43 million, the Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world. This bustling city may not seem like the ideal choice for a relaxing break, but the Japanese capital is nothing if not unpredictable. For example, the Meiji Shinto shrine is a haven of tranquillity, hidden in a forest in the heart of the city. In the historic district of Asakusa, the SensÅ-ji Buddhist temple has maintained its peaceful ambiance in spite of the crowds. The East Gardens, the only part of the Imperial Palace open to the public all year round, are also well worth a visit. However, no trip to Tokyo is complete without a visit to the busy neighbourhood of Shibuya and its famous pedestrian crossing, or the crowded aisles of the Tsukiji fish market, the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. Alternatively, visitors can enjoy a night out in the real city that never sleeps!
Don’t Miss: Where Is Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal