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Home to more than 127 million people, Japan is an archipelago island nation comprising 6,852 islands. Most of the population lives on its four largest islands, which include Tokyo and Nagasaki - cities that are popular ports on cruises to Japan.
The Land of the Rising Sun is a popular destination on the itineraries of cruise lines operating world and Far Eastern cruises. Japan cruises visit a number of fascinating, historic and exotic ports of call - from the futuristic mega city of Tokyo to historic Nagasaki - and they are all yours to discover.
The capital of Japan, the largest metropolitan area on Earth and one of the most popular ports on Japan cruises, Tokyo is one of the world's most famous cities. Tokyo is every bit the neon metropolis you would imagine, and just walking through the bustling streets and soaking up the atmosphere is a great way to appreciate the city. However, a popular excursion choice is an exploration of the old town, where you will venture through the city's ancient cultural heart and see numerous temples, shrines and museums. Or how about a trip to Hakone National Park for an amazing view of the majestic national landmark, Mount Fuji?
Nature and culture abound in Nagasaki, where the spectacular seaside views are apparent from the moment you arrive. It is especially poignant that this beautiful city, rich in temples and historic sites, was once the site of such destruction. Indeed, a visit to the Nagasaki Peace Park, built to honour those who lost their lives when the atomic bomb was dropped, is a popular excursion on cruises to Japan. Or perhaps you will visit Shimabara, a fascinating old city which is home to Shimabara Castle, now a museum of Christian history?
The tempting sake isn't the only thing that makes Kobe a key destination for Japan cruises, though a visit to the Sake Brewing Museum is certainly a popular excursion. A trip up Mount Rokko to the mountain's observatory is another popular choice and, as you can imagine, at 3,000 feet the views are spectacular. Nearby Kyoto is another well-visited cruise port of call and also an excursion destination for cruisers visiting Kobe. The historic sites are steeped in tradition and an enchanting Eastern atmosphere. Visit the gold-covered Heian Shrine which was built to honour both Tokyo's founder and its last emperor, and the vibrant Nishiki Market. You may also have the chance zoom back into the present day, as the Shinkansen Bullet Train runs regularly between Kobe and Kyoto.
Like that of Nagasaki, Hiroshima's moving past cannot be ignored and indeed, the Hiroshima Peace Museum and National Park are two of the city's most enduring attractions. Hiroshima boasts ten parks in total and each is a joy to explore. Cultural attractions include the famous Hiroshima Castle and national landmark Mitaki Temple, as well as the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island: a World Heritage Site which is home to a number of beautiful temples.
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