Japan cruises are a wonderful way to experience the many faces of the Land of the Rising Sun, calling at some of the country’s most vibrant and fascinating ports to discover new and intriguing cultures. Japan is an island nation with a long and illustrious history, dating back thousands of years, alongside a modern and contemporary culture, famous for harnessing and developing state-of-the-art technologies. This blog will take a look at some of the marvellous destinations available on Japan cruises, picking out the best sightseeing opportunities and cultural experiences available to the droves of tourists who pass through the country every year.
We start our journey through the ports available on Japan cruises in the nation’s bustling capital of Tokyo. Tokyo is a vast and sprawling metropolis, which can make it difficult to do everything within one short stay in the city, but there are several sightseeing and excursion possibilities that every tourist should consider.
Tokyo shares aspects of its rich heritage through the many historic structures and ancient religious buildings distributed across the city. Trips to the incredible Imperial Palace, Meiji Shrine and Sensoji Temple are an excellent way to appreciate the city’s ancient culture. A stroll through the Imperial Palace gardens is rewarded with stunning scenic views and a chance to observe a wide variety of beautiful Japanese flora.
Alternatively, tourists on Japan cruises can choose to experience the nation’s modern side at a range of fun-filled and fabulous attractions. Wander through the glittering neon jungle of Shibuya, where colossal, glowing signs line the street and bustling shops welcome tourists until late. If you have time, consider spending time at Tokyo’s Disney Resort, a magnificent amusement park incorporating Disneyland, DisneySea and Sanrio Puraland, which offers Japanese slant on a western theme.
Osaka is Japan’s third-largest city and home to a wide range of brilliant tourist attractions, making it a hotspot for tourist activity and a popular port on Japan cruises. There is so much to see and do it is difficult to include all of the best sites in this blog, let alone within a short stay in the city. Like much of Japan, Osaka has an intriguing mix of historic and modern culture to create an absorbing atmosphere.
Osaka Castle is perhaps the city’s most famous structure, but is more of a museum than an actual historical castle. It is still, however, a strikingly beautiful building surrounded by tranquil gardens, which make the perfect place to relax with friends and family. For an alternative historic experience whilst in Osaka on Japan cruises, head to the Sumiyoshi Shrine, Shitennōji Temple or the open air museum of old farmhouses to get a taste of authentic Japanese culture.
A profusion of modern-day attractions are also littered across Osaka. Take a ride on the Tenpozan Ferris Wheel, spend a day relaxing at the superb Spa World or visit the amazing Kaiyukan Aquarium, one of the biggest aquariums in the world. People with a bit more time in Osaka should also go to the fantastic Universal Studios theme park, which is full of exhilarating rides and thrilling live shows for all the family.
Another port available on Japan cruises is the world-famous city of Nagasaki. A number of tremendous experiences are accessible across the city, from terrific museums celebrating the region’s rich culture and heritage to stunning areas of natural beauty, perfect for hiking and exploring. A stay in Nagasaki would not be complete without taking in at least a few of the following sights.
On a pleasant day, a trip up the imposing Mount Inasa offers intrepid travellers astonishing panoramic views of the entire city and harbour, often referred to as the ’10 million dollar view’. For a unique experience, take a boat to visit Gunkanjima. This haunting ghost island was once a densely populated mining community until it was completely deserted after years of forced labour. The island offers a chance to experience a side of Japan not often seen by tourists.
Nagasaki is also home to many tremendous museums and exhibitions, including the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture, the Prefectural Art Museum and the wonderful Penguin Aquarium. Don’t forget to make time to see the region’s impressive historic structures, such as the Oura Cathedral and Koshibyo Confucius Shrine.
As one of the lesser known ports on Japan cruises, Sapporo is often underappreciated by tourists. This fascinating city, however, offers visitors a unique slice of Japanese culture, unlike anywhere else in the country. As quite a new city, Sapporo is somewhat lacking in authentic Japanese culture and history, but is does boast a number of beautiful locations and great places to spend a day.
Sapporo is best known for its tranquil parks, gardens and areas of natural beauty in which visitor can relax and soak up the region’s peaceful ambience. The Sapporo Art Park as well as the Asahiyama and Moerenuma Parks are great green spaces in which to relax or, alternatively, head down to the Hokkaido University Botanical Garden to observe a range of beautiful and varied plant life.
A number of quirky attractions are also scattered across Sapporo, including the Ishiya Chocolate Factory and Sapporo Beer Museum. These novel facilities offer a different kind of excursion for tourists on splendid Japan cruises.
The city of Kobe offers yet another impression of the fascinating Japanese way of life, through its unique culture and distinctive architecture. The city’s European influences are evident all over the region, especially in the design of a number of western-style houses, many of which date back to 1868 when the port was opened for international trade.
Informative exhibitions are also located throughout the city, including the Sawa-no-Tsuru Museum and Takenada Carpentry Tools Museum as well a number of alcohol-themed attractions such as the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, the Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Company and the Hamafukutsuru-Ginjo Brewery and Shop.
Calling at Kobe on Japan cruises is a great way to appreciate a more culturally diverse and westernised side of Japan, in terms of the man-made attraction. The region’s natural attractions, however, which include the towering Mount Rocco and the beautiful Nunobiki waterfall, demonstrate the natural beauty found in locations all over this magnificent nation.