Cruise Japan during its spectacular cherry blossom season with Country Living
A bucket list destination for many people, Japan rarely fails to impress travellers. While there are many ways to explore the Asian hotspot, a Japan cruise offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience, where you can explore multiple destinations in one trip.
An excellent place to experience a dream getaway, especially if you're reducing your carbon footprint by swapping a few holidays for one big trip, Japan is home to one of the world's most breathtaking natural phenomena, cherry blossom displays.
Each spring, millions of people in Japan wait for the first buds of the pink cherry blossom to appear. In March 2024, you can experience the breathtaking sight on an exclusive cruise around Japan with Country Living.
One of the world's most incredible sailings, Japan cruises are best booked early if you want to secure a cabin. Giving you a fortnight to discover the natural attractions, including the gardens, parks and (hopefully) the cherry blossom displays, this exclusive cruise takes you off the beaten path to get to know the lesser-known alternatives to popular Tokyo and Kyoto.
Country Living's 14-night Japan cruise in 2024 will take you on a journey far and wide through this fascinating land.
You'll fly from London to Tokyo and while you'll have a night in the capital and a few hours to explore the capital of Japan, this cruise will take you to some often-missed cities.
The cruise departs from the port city of Yokohama, which is south of Tokyo and the second largest city in Japan. A vibrant city that is often overlooked by visitors who can explore it as a day trip from Tokyo, Yokohama is home to microbreweries, a traditional Japanese garden and terrific places to eat. You'll board Holland America Line's elegant MS Westerdam in the evening.
After a day at sea, your first port of call will be Osaka, one of the best places to visit in Japan. The city is modern, fun and known for its outgoing residents. Loved for its street food, Osaka is famous for its tasty takoyaki and okonomiyaki.
Your next stop is Kochi, home to Kochi Castle, one of the few castles in Japan that still has a wooden structure. There's plenty of history and panoramic views to enjoy from the city, as well as the must-visit Hirome Market for fresh seafood.
Travelling on the MS Westerdam, you'll enjoy world-class facilities and dining, with seven restaurants on board. There is also a spa with a heated hydropool, a large open air pool and lots of entertainment venues, such as the Lincoln Center Stage, where top musicians perform.
Osaka and Kochi aren't the only destination highlights on this incredible 2024 cruise around Japan. You'll visit Hiroshima and see the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, or the Genbaku Dome, which was the only structure left standing when the first atomic bomb exploded and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You'll venture to South Korea to explore Busan, a haven for foodies, as well as a great spot to explore temples, the cliffs of Taejongdae and the golden beaches of Gwangalli and Haeundae.
Back in Japan, you'll stop in Sakaiminato, Tsuruga and Niigata, known for its natural beauty and top-notch sake.
Why choose a Japan cruise over a land tour?
Apart from the amazing views of vibrant destinations from the water, you'll also enjoy visiting South Korea.
You'll have a ship to call your home for the whole duration of the cruise too, so you don't have to worry about packing and unpacking as you arrive in a new place.
On MS Westerdam, you can also enjoy spa treatments, fitness classes, cooking demonstrations and wine tasting on a vessel that has won Best Cruise Ship awards.
Which sites can you visit on a Japan cruise?
From Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park to the chance to take the railway up to Mount Tateyama or cruise through a cherry blossom tunnel on the Matsukawa River when you stop in Toyama, there's so much to see during a spring cruise.
You'll love Hokkaido, the 'wild west' of Japan and the stunning Eihe-ji Temple when you stop in Tsuruga.
What's included in CL's cruise around Japan?
14 nights on MS Westerdam
A pre-cruise stay at a four-star hotel in Tokyo
Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board the cruise (drinks not included)
Return flights from London to Tokyo
Want to see Japan on a cruise with Country Living? Visit our holiday website to discover more about our exclusive trip departing in March 2024
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