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All Ashore! — Cruise Excursions in Japan



Traveling to Japan by cruise is quickly becoming one of the more popular ways to experience this diverse destination with cruise lines from all over the world now docking in Japanese ports. Seeing more of the country, from the wild northern peaks of Hokkaido to the tropical beaches of Okinawa has never been easier with convenient access from ports to tourist highlights and must-see attractions. Check out this list for inspiration on planning the perfect excursion when going ashore in Japan. For this and more information, be sure to email us at infolax@jnto.go.jp for a copy of our “Cruise Japan: A Destination Guide”.





Otaru is a quaint port town steeped in history from its days as a major herring fishing center. Nostalgic warehouses still line the picturesque canal district which is a few minutes’ walk from the cruise port. Take a further jaunt to the famous Nikka Whisky Distillery, located in Yoichi city about 12 miles west of Otaru, to find out what makes Japanese Whisky some of the best in the world.

Access Information from Otaru Port:

  • City Center: 5 minutes by taxi or 15-minute walk
  • Nearest Public Transit: Otaru Station (JR Hakodate Main Line) 5 minutes by taxi or 15-minute walk





Aomori City is located on the northern most portion of Japan’s main island. Annual festivals and beautiful natural scenery make Aomori an exciting port of call. The Nebuta Masturi Festival, a mainstay of summer, has giant paper lantern floats taking over the city. Hirosaki Castle is a must-see destination located about 1 hour from the cruise port.

Access Information from Aomori Port:

  • City Center: 5 minutes by taxi or 15-minute walk
  • Nearest Public Transit: Aomori Station (various lines) 5 minutes by taxi or 15-minute walk





Nagoya is an oft overlooked hub of Japan. Located between Tokyo and Osaka, the city boasts many interesting destinations such as the Toyota Automobile Museum and Nagoya Castle Park complete with Samurai Greeters. Try some of the local favorite dishes like grilled chicken wings or fried pork cutlets covered in a miso sauce. As a hub, Nagoya is also a jumping off point to see other great destinations in Japan.

Access Information from Nagoya Port:

  • City Center: 20 minutes by taxi or 26 minutes by public transit
  • Nearest Public Transit: Nagoyako Station (Meiko Subway Line) 2 minutes by taxi or 5-minute walk





Beppu, located on the eastern coast of Kyushu, is one of the most famous hot springs in Japan and by far the largest. Beppu is divided into eight hot spring areas. A sightseeing highlight is the “Tour of Hell,” a path in the Kannawa area. This tour is comprised of eight spectacular hot springs in a variety of colors to dazzle the eye. So, do like the locals and relax your travel weary body at any of the hot springs.

Access Information from Beppu Port:

  • 10 minutes by taxi or 20 minutes by public transit
  • Nearest Public Transit: Beppu Daigaku Station (Nippou Main Line) 5 minutes by taxi or 15-minute walk





Ishigaki Island is located about 260 miles southwest of Naha on the main island of Okinawa. This island is covered with mountains rising 1700 feet above sea level, the highest in Okinawa. Plunge underwater at Shiraho, famous for its array of colorful coral covering the bottom below the translucent waters. Take in the pristine waters of Kabira Bay, which is said to have the bluest ocean in all of Okinawa. Black pearl cultivation thrives in this area, making them a wonderful choice for souvenirs.

Access Information from Ishigaki Port:

  • City Center: 5 minutes by taxi or 15-minute walk
  • Nearest Public Transit: Ishigaki Bus Terminal 3 minutes by taxi or 5 - 10-minute walk

For more complete port information in Japan, please visit: http://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/cruise/



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