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worldtraveller99

Which are Must Visit Ports on a Japan cruise?

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Planning a round Japan cruise - will have our own time in Tokyo before we start, and in Kyoto & Osaka after we land. And I know we want to see Hiroshima and Miyajima on the cruise.

 

But then all the lines - large and small - go to different places as they circumnavigate Japan!!  None of which I know much about - and do have guide books.

 

So which please are your favourite Must See Ports apart from the above - and what specifically is there to see in them? Thank you very much for your help.

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We have done two Japan cruises and enjoyed both of them immensely. And we have already booked a third...
A must see town definitely is Kyoto - which can be reached from Osaka or Kobe.

 

Our first cruise was on Millennium from Tokyo to Shanghai. Our second on HAL Westerdam circumnavigating Japan. Both itineraries were good.

 

Here´s more about it:

 

Millennium 

http://www.travelandcruise.net/travellove_en/Our-Trips/Celebrity-Millennium-Japan/celebrity-millennium-japan.html

 

or Westerdam

 

 

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We really enjoyed the smaller places we visited on the Westerdam circumnavigation.    I would suggest you add a day or two to your Kyoto portion and stay in Hiroshima.  It was one of our favourites.   

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I really can't add any more days sorry. But Hiroshima will be a good day in the cruise. Any other ports you particularly recommend? 

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Depends on the cruise whether you will visit Hiroshima.   We enjoyed Kanazawa to visit shirakawa.  We liked Kochi, Otaru, Sakaiminato, Hakodate, Aomori.   I would suggest you look at lonely planet and the Michelin guide to see what interests you.   Then trip advisor for what is available.  Miaminice has some great photos of the cruise we were on. 

The thing about Japan is that even the less touristy places are amazing. The food, the people and the scenery.  

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Brilliant thank you! You are right - I haven't heard of those places and will look them up. Of course that means that all cruises will be great, so - how to choose which line?

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1 hour ago, worldtraveller99 said:

... how to choose which line?

 

Easy - by itinerary and price :-)

 

We did our first cruise to Japan with Celebrity. It was and still is our prefered cruise line.

We then did the second Japan cruise with HAL and chose it mainly for the more Japan intesive itinerary. The (much) lower price was also a factor. 

Although we still prefer Celebrity because we prefer the ship design and other things, HAL was also a good experience and we would cruise with them again any day. We met great people (incl. Bennybear) on that cruise and had a blast.

We booked another cruise including Japan for 2021 and had our eye on a Celebrity cruise. However, the prices became unreasonable and we now booked the cruise with Royal´s Ovation of the Seas for less then half. The Grand Suite on that cruise would have been less expensive then a regular balcony stateroom on Celebrity...

Botom line: Japan is always great. Book the itinery you like most with a cruise line you feel comfortale with.

 

However, I would recommend doing individual SMALL GROUP tours. Either organized yourself or by joining people from the roll call. Following a number together with 30+ people on a tour is just not the same experience at the places.

 

Most ports are also very easy to do DIY. You can find info and maps on websites or at kiosks at every port. They are very helpful...
 

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I echo Miaminice,    we chose based on time and price.   We went during cherry blossom time and it was amazing,  though the cruise was pricier than at other times.   I wouldn't stress on including Hiroshima on the cruise,  it is easily visited from  Kyoto by bullet train.   Though truly deserves its own overnight.     I think summer is very hot,  and you want to avoid typhoon season  which I believe is in the fall.  Other than that,  what ever most appeals.    Let us know what you choose and we can be of more help.  

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Thank you all - it isn't for a couple of years, so I have lots of time to look at your suggested ports and work out which itinerary we would like. But at the end it will probably be who does it in May which is the month I want to go in! Not all lines do Japan all the time, sadly.  

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We did 3 Japan cruises and 2 land trips. Ship lines were Ponant, Azamara, and Holland America. Azamara's itinerary included the most ports. We were there in May, peak of cherry blossoms in the northern ports of Aomori and Hakodate. One Princess ship cruises around Japan regularly out of Yokohama. They advertise in Japan which means that you will have polite and well dressed Japanese co-passengers.

 

If you can swing it, spend some time in Japan before or/and after your cruise. Kyoto is most people's favorite but be aware that it is as overrun with tourists as Rome, Venice and Barcelona.

 

We loved the small ports like Sakaiminato and Kochi. Do some research to get a feel for the country's sights.

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Am doing thank you Floridiana - gosh you like going to Japan! Thank you all again for your help - will not be booking for a couple of years due to prior commitments (and not yet got the money oh well)

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Miaminice, what can I say?  Fantastic review of your Japan cruise, first rate info for anyone planning future visits to Japan.  It’s a year before we set sail, but I consider my card well and truly marked!  So much valuable info.

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I'm following this topic because we too are looking at Japan in a couple of years time, awaiting cruise programmes to come out for late 2021.

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