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Japan Cruise on Westerdam - 04/14/19 - Live(ish) report


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Hi guys!
After 20+ cruises, mostly on Celebrity, we will embark Westerdam in Yokohama today.
2 years ago we did a Japan cruise on Celebrity Millennium and absolutely fell in love with Japan. We had to do it again... Because of a more Japan focused itinerary we decided to try something new and to book with HAL. So in the next two weeks we will have the pleasure of taking you along on our trip around Japan ...
Japan Cruise 2019 - Day 1
After a 10 1/2 hours flight from Frankfurt we arrived at Tokyo‘s Haneda Airport. From there we took the train to Shinjuku Station. A loop bus runs from the station through Shinjuku and our hotel was just the second stop.
The Gracery Hotel is easily recognizable by the huge Godzilla statue on the roof. The rooms are clean and efficient... but so small, they could be swallowed whole by the Godzilla.
We only rested a few minutes and soon ventured out for dinner, diving into the buzz of Shinjuku. We had heard of some small alleys lined with tiny  restaurants serving Yakitori skewers.
Memory Lane aka „Piss Alley“ is the most famous one. It’s so narrow that two people can barely walk side by side. The air is filled with smoke from the many barbecues and the slurping sounds from the Ramen stalls. Delicious!
A good start of our next adventure...


































Edited by Miaminice
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5 minutes ago, kira5 said:

We are thinking of taking the Japan cruise on the Maasdam in August so I'm very interested in your report.


Japan is beautiful!

Click on the link in my signature to read our full travelogue of the previous cruise.

We just had to do it again... 


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I’m thinking of taking a cruise around Japan next year. I absolutely love japan, one of my favourite places to visit. 

Great pics, thanks for sharing these. Japanese hotel rooms are typically small though, so we normally use western brands for more room.

Oh, and if you haven’t tried Tokyo banana yet, (your third pic) I can highly recommend it, very delicious sweet snack.


Happy cruising.

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Our son lived in Tokyo for nearly 8 years, and we had the pleasure of visiting twice while he was there.  We loved Shinjuku, and all of Tokyo's environs.  Bon Voyage and thank you for taking us along with you!


Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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Japan Cruise 2019 - Day 2

We woke up to another sunny day looking at the skyline of Shinjuku. Time for breakfast...

While the hotel‘s rooms were on the small or rather minuscule side, breakfast was a treat. It was included in our rate and we had the choice of two restaurants - one with a sandwich buffet and one offering a Japanese/Western buffet. Those of you who know us already guessed it. We went for the Japanese buffet. The variety was broad and everything was yummy.

Since we were not in a hurry, we decided to visit Yoyogi Park and the Meiji-Shrine again. A place of which we had fond memories from our last visit to Tokyo. While we admired the wooden halls of the shrine we watched a wedding procession pass by.

Around noon we took an express train to Yokohama Station and continued by subway to the port. Our „home away from home“ for the next two weeks, the MS Westerdam, was already waiting for us.

After a quick bite at the buffet restaurant we went to our stateroom and already found our luggage on the bed.
Time to unpack...

























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7 hours ago, cat shepard said:

Thank you for sharing! The photographer has quite an eye! Spectacular.


Thank you all !!!

But I haven’t even unpacked my camera yet. I only took all these photos with the iPhone ☺️

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7 hours ago, cat shepard said:

Thank you for sharing! The photographer has quite an eye! Spectacular.


Thank you all !!!

But I haven’t even unpacked my camera yet. I only took all these photos with the iPhone ☺️

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The one thing we discovered when staying in hotels in Japan, is to book "twin" rather than "double" rooms.  With "twin" you get two twin beds (39" wide), while a "double" usually gives you a 54" bed.  You get more sleeping room per person with twin beds.


Loving your photos!

Smooth Sailing!     🙂🙂🙂



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Japan Cruise 2019 - Day 3 - Shimizu

I guess I don’t have to mention that we were happy bunnies when we woke up to blue skies in the morning and a view of an unveiled Mt. Fuji. We are so blessed!




We had arranged a tour with Koji, a guide we had already toured with two years ago, and connected with two other couples to join us. While having breakfast at the Lido restaurant we could already spot Koji on the pier.

He took us to Hongu Sengen Taisha shrine, a beautiful site which we hadn’t seen on our last visit.




















Impressed by our first stop we continued to the Shiraito and Otodome Waterfalls. 






Fuji san kept peeking through the clouds so instead of visiting a museum dedicated to the volcano, Koji suggested taking us to a scenic spot on Lake Tanuki. I cannot even begin to describe our joy when we got there. Just look at the photos and you’ll get what I mean.








Heading back towards Shimizu, Koji took us to a place he wanted to show us which is not visited by many tourists. It was a beautiful cherry tree which is said to be one of the oldest in all of Japan, approximately over 800 years old. Despite the fact that Mt. Fuji decided to become bashful again, the view on Mt. Fuji between the cherry blossoms and the yellow mustard flowers was beautiful.






Last but not least, Koji took us to a small tea farm. A family business run by a matriarch... a lady who left no doubt she is in charge, but incredibly friendly towards us. 








We left Shimizu early around 2pm. Just as if to say goodbye, Mt. Fuji presented himself to us as we sailed past.



Edited by Miaminice
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Thank you for taking the time for this report. In preperation for our Westerdam B2B next year in the same period, with most of the same ports, it is great information to use for our cruise. I have already digested your Celebrity blog from your earlier Japan cruise and have already taken in some very usefull tips from that one also. 

Enjoy your Westerdam take on Japan!

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