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Japan is a spellbinding Asian island country in the North West Pacific Ocean. This magical destination is a fascinating blend of the ancient and modern, with attractions galore to create an unforgettable cruise holiday experience. The country’s big cities – including the capital Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Nagoya – are alive with dazzling neon streets and futuristic architecture which sits perfectly alongside imposing temples, towering castles and traditional Japanese gardens. The country is steeped in beauty and wonder, with enchanting mountains, lakes and valleys, epic volcanic peaks, powdery white sands and crystal-clear ocean waters. Ride a famous bullet train, sample the traditional saké rice wine or enjoy the national sport of Sumo wrestling in this awe-inspiring getaway which is fondly referred to as the Land of the Rising Sun.   

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Japan is a land full of captivating contrasts, which add to its charm as a compelling choice for a fabulous cruise adventure. Ancient and modern buildings, snow-covered ski resorts and sunny coastal beach retreats are among the delights in this amazing island nation in the North West Pacific Ocean. Gaze in awe at Shinto shrines and feudal castles, marvel at the towering skyscrapers in dazzling Tokyo or take a trip to the country’s beautiful lakes and mountains.
 Kyoto is Japan’s ancient capital which is home to enchanting gardens and temples, while today's capital Tokyo will wow you with its ultra-modern tech, superb museums and sakura tree-lined streets. Iconic Mount Fuji is a must-visit attraction which can be seen from miles away, although it will take you between 4 and 10 hours to reach its summit if you want to put on your hiking boots for the challenge. Nature lovers will be dumbstruck by the wonder of the Japanese Northern Alps and the mesmerising charm of sub-tropical Okinawa, while Hokkaido is Japan’s wildest and least-populated region which is home to fabulous ski resorts and magnificent national parks. Japan boasts amazing wildlife including snow monkeys, Japanese giant salamanders, sea eagles, Asian bears and Japanese macaques.
 A popular mode of travel in Japan is the Shinkansen bullet trains which are the fastest and most convenient way of discovering this amazing land. With its legendary sumo wrestlers, lively karaoke bars, traditional tea ceremonies, flavoursome saké rice wine, origami art, Geisha female performance artists and ancient Samurai warriors or yesteryear, what it there not to love about this awe-inspiring land?   

Food & Drink

Japan's incredible washoku food culture offers flavoursome gastronomic delights that will send your taste buds wild. Noodles are widely-used in many much-loved Japanese dishes – the most common types include ramen, udon, somen, soba, shirataki and harusame.

Sushi is one of the most popular culinary joys in dining venues across the land, from lively street food stalls to world-class gourmet restaurants. This consists of bite-size portions of rolled-up Japanese rice that has been seasoned with vinegar and combined with a variety of fillings including fish, avocado, pulled pork and duck. Tempura are pieces or slices of meat, fish or vegetables that have been coated in a light special tempura batter and deep fried until crunchy, while Yakitori are small skewers of chicken pieces, seasoned with salt or brushed with a sauce or mixture of soy sauce, mirin rice wine, saké and sugar. Miso soup is a scrumptious offering which is made by combining dashi stock mixed with miso paste, and then adding various ingredients which can include tofu, spring onions and vegetables. Sashimi is a sometimes-controversial creation consisting of thinly-sliced raw fish or meat which is normally served with daikon radish, wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce.

 Anmitsu is a traditional Japanese dessert featuring sweetened red bean paste, small jelly cubes and fresh fruit topped with kuromitsu, a dark sugar syrup. The national drink in Japan is saké (rice wine), but other popular beverages include green tea and shochu, a distilled liquor, similar to vodka.

Best Time

Japan is a year-round destination with four seasons that offer something for every type of visitor, whether you yearn for a thrilling adventure in the lofty mountain peaks or a relaxing time on the golden sandy beaches. Spring and autumn are great times to visit Japan when pleasant temperatures blend with the natural beauty of ‘sakura’ (cherry blossom season) and ‘koyo’ (autumn leaf viewing).
The days are sunny during the spring months of  March and April and the autumn months of October and November. The summer months of May to September are hot and humid in the cities, with heavy rainfall falling across the country in June and July, except for Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands. In Japan's winter season the days are crisp and cool, with heavy snowfalls in the Japanese Alps and Hokkaido. The country's mountain regions are a magnet for snowboarders and skiers in winter, while they are also a big attraction for trekkers during the summer months. In the southern islands of Japan the beaches become very busy as a result of very pleasant sea and air temperatures.      

Things To See and Do

There's so much to see and in sensational Japan, the aptly nicknamed Land of the Rising Sun, that your biggest challenge will be trying to fit it all in. Ornate temples and shrines, breathtaking mountain ranges, stunning sandy beaches and futuristic big city sights are just a few of the delights which await. Gaze in awe at Japan's most recognisable landmark, Mount Fuji; visit the picturesque gardens in Osaka, ascend to the top of the towering Tokyo Skytree or spend a day in the thought-provoking Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Tuck into delicious noodle dishes in the lively street food stalls, marvel at the scenic castles and ancient hot springs in Matsuyama, dive to the enchanting coral reefs in tropical Okinawa or jump on a Shinkansen bullet train for a high-speed travel experience. Other major attractions in Japan include the Imperial Palace with its 17th-century parks surrounded by walls and moats, the Island Shrine of Itsukushima, Osaka Castle, Chubu-Sangaku National Park, Fukuoka Castle Ruins and Hakone Open-Air Museum.
 Popular family attractions include Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, Universal Studios Osaka, Nara Park, Universal Studios Osaka, Kyoto Railway Museum, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and Tobu World Square. Japan is also home to many animal and wildlife attractions including Fuji Safari Park, Asahiyama Zoo, Churaumi Aquarium, Zoorasia, Jigokudani Monkey Park, Tashiro Island and Ishikawa Insect Museum. The country's most popular sandy expanses include Katsurahama Beach, Shirahama Beach, Miho Beach and Jodogahama Beach. Popular outdoor pursuits in Japan include canyoning, fishing, mountain biking, bird-watching, ballooning, caving, glamping, hiking, horse-riding, kayaking, mountaineering, white water rafting, snowboarding, trail running, stand-up paddleboarding and ziplining.

Japan Cruise Destinations

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