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Embarking on a cruise through Japan unveils a captivating journey through a country steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. Each port of call presents a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Japan’s diverse landscapes and traditions.

To ensure you make the most of your time ashore, careful planning of your shore excursions is paramount. From the vibrant metropolis of Tokyo to the ancient temples of Kyoto, here are some must-do shore excursion ideas for the most popular ports of call in Japan.

These experiences promise to provide a glimpse into the heart and soul of this enchanting nation, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


Dynamic Tokyo

As Japan’s enormous, energetic capital, Tokyo offers endless possibilities for incredible day trips from port. With so much ground to cover, organized excursions make navigating Tokyo easy.

The Prince Park Tower Tokyo 668

Join a guide for an overview of Tokyo’s top sights. Visit revered temples like Senso-ji and Meiji Shrine, glimpse the Imperial Palace Gardens, and shop bustling Ginza. Experience a tea ceremony, wander gardens, and soak in city views from skyscraper observatories.

For anime fans, embark on an otaku tour to explore Tokyo’s anime and manga subcultures. Browse stores filled with comic books, dolls, and collectibles. Peek into a manga kissaten – a uniquely themed café. With cosplay photo shoots and a visit to the Ghibli Museum, animate your Tokyo explorations.

Food is also a fantastic window into Tokyo’s culture. Book a foodie tour for a local’s look at specialties like sushi, yakitori, and soba noodles.


Tranquil Osaka

Though a major city, Osaka offers a more relaxed pace alongside incredible food and historic sites. Balance busy port days with excursions to serene spaces.

Retreat to Nara Park, home to over 1,000 deer roaming freely amidst temples and shrines. Feed the gentle animals while learning about Nara’s history at sites like 8th-century Todai-ji, the world’s largest wooden building.

hotels osaka japan

For garden lovers, stroll the moss garden at Saiho-ji, requiring advance reservations. Reflect at the contemplative grounds of Shitenno-ji Temple. Then taste sake at a nearby brewery before returning to port.

End your day soaking weary muscles in mineral-rich hot springs. With quick access to rejuvenating natural spaces, Osaka lets you unwind away from port crowds.


Sacred Kyoto

With over 2,000 temples and shrines, Kyoto delivers the quintessential glimpse of historic Japan. Visit UNESCO sites like Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, and Ryoan-ji’s Zen rock garden.

hotels kyoto japan

Join a tea ceremony with a master to learn this beautiful ritualistic art. Take a guided walk through Fushimi Inari Shrine’s iconic 10,000 vermilion gates. Dress up in elegant kimono or samurai costumes and pose for photos.

For an immersive experience, book an overnight temple stay. Share vegetarian monk cuisine, unwind in hot spring baths, and roll up futon mats alongside novice monks to start your day. Kyoto transports you to old-world Japan through sacred sites and ancient traditions.


Charming Hiroshima

Though infamous for WWII history, vibrant Hiroshima offers delightful discoveries beyond its past. Visit Peace Memorial Park and Museum to reflect on the 1945 atomic bombing before exploring other attractions.

hotels hiroshima japan

Sail with a last-minute offer for a peaceful break to Eco park Isle of Olive and stroll through its olive groves. Cruise the Seto Inland Sea to sacred Miyajima Island to see the iconic floating Torii Gate. Sample Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, a delicious savory pancake cooked right at your table.

Nature lovers can journey into the mountains outside Hiroshima. Hike trails through the forested sacred grounds of Mount Misen. Ride the cable car up for sweeping panoramas over island-dotted seas. Just steps from port, lovely Hiroshima captivates with natural beauty.



A cruise around Japan lets you experience this fascinating country through diverse ports of call. Excursions into Tokyo’s dizzying size and energy, Osaka’s blend of city and serenity, Kyoto’s ancient aura, and Hiroshima’s charm showcase Japan’s many facets.

With great shore trips, you can maximize every moment in port to discover incredible destinations.

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