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While many visitors to Japan are marveled by the buzzing cities like Tokyo & Osaka, these busy metropolises are only one dimension of Japanese culture that you experience on a cruise with Adventure Life. Sail aboard first class cruise ships like Caledonian Sky, or Silver Discoverer, or luxury-class L'Austral or Le Laperouse where you will see Japan's imperial past & architecture. Take some time to honor the harrowing history of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, where the world first witnessed the devastating power of the atomic bomb, and then pay a trip to the Shinto Izumo Taisha Shrine - one of the oldest monuments in the country. Cruises to Japan also occasionally feature destinations in Taiwan, and other fascinating destinations of the Bering Sea, between Japan, Russia, and Alaska. Contact us to get started planning!
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10 Best Cruises to Japan for 2022-2023

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Top 2 Luxury Cruises of Japan for 2022-2023

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Expedition on the Kitamae Route$1148012Apr 11, 2023This 12-day trip onboard Le Soleal takes you from Otaru to Osaka and includes stops in Sakata, Sado, Toyama, Ine, Tottori, Hagi, Busan, Moji, …
Expedition in the Seto Inland Sea$62908May 15, 2023Discover the hidden gems of the Seto Inland Sea's lovely villages and cities. Embark aboard the elegant Le Soleal on an eight-day trip from Osaka to …

Best Japan Small Ship Cruise Lines for 2022-2023

  • Ponant - offers engaging discussions onboard with Smithsonian Journeys Experts, including Japanese Film, Culture, Literature, History expert Jonathan Hall and Japanese art historian Timon Screech. Sail through Japan's stunning cultural and historical traditions and landscapes on the 264-guest five-star ship Le Soleal.
  • Aurora Expeditions - is an Australian adventure company with its headquarters in Surry Hills, Australia, specializing in small-group trips to the Polar Regions and other far-flung regions. Offers extension tours that let you visit some of the most iconic venues on offer in the amazing City of Tokyo. 
  • Lindblad Expeditions - builds on a legacy of over 50 years as a leader in responsible travel and sustainability, is a 100% carbon neutral company committed to green business operations and preserving our planet for future generations. Island-hop your way from Japan to Taiwan aboard the National Geographic Resolution, experiencing a wide array of natural wonders, historic sites, and cultural treasures along the way. 
  • Heritage Expeditions - is a family-owned and operated cruise line based in Christchurch, New Zealand, established in 1985 to promote environmental awareness and conservation through responsible expedition travel. Join a western pacific birding odyssey from New Zealand to Japan on the Akademik Shokalskiy
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Japan Travel Guide & Cruise Tips

Japan Highlights
Japan's storied history dates back thousands of years. While it crossed with Western history in the mid-20th century during World War II, the 70+ years since then has been an era of unprecedented growth and development for this small Asian island nation. It has earned a place in world economics and now not only hosts a wealth of modern culture, but also a rich ancient cultural identity that we showcase on our tours of Japan:
  • Tokyo - the bustling capital city where most of our Japan tours begin and depart
  • Visit the traditional morning markets of Abashiri & Hakodate
  • Shikotsu-Toya National Park - a UNESCO Global Geopark that features a volcanic crater lake.
  • The "Floating Island of Flowers" on Rebun Island.
  • Russia - Crossing the sea of Japan, some of our tours also feature stops in eastern Russia, and the Northeast Passage tours navigate as far west as Europe.
Japan Travel FAQs
Do I need a visa to travel to Japan?
Visas are not required for US citizens staying up to 90 days in Japan. Check the visa requirements for more specific information.

Is tipping customary in Japan?
Tipping is not an expectation in Japan, and waiters and hotel porters will often decline tips. Guides and drivers will accept tips between $5-20 per day.

What is internet access like in Japan?
Internet access in Japan is on par with any other developed country - in the major cities, you can count on having access to WiFi and high speed internet, especially in the hotels, cafes, and restaurants. There also might be public WiFi in parks. If you are traveling to more rural areas, naturally you might find yourself out of range.

Can I use my cell phone while in Japan?
The best way to use your phone is to have your service provider unlock it and then purchase a SIM chip once you arrive in Japan. Then your phone will work on the local network. If you can't unlock your phone, then consider an international plan, renting a phone, or simply using WiFi networks when they are available.

Do I need power adapters?
Japan has the US/ North America style plugs (A&B) with either two flat prongs or two flat and one round prong, and runs on 100v power. If you are traveling from Europe, you will need plug adapters. 

What are the toilets like in Japan?
Japan is a very developed country, and you will find a mix of squat and bowl toilets, but mostly bowl toilets in the hotels and ships where you will be staying. Bring your own toilet paper just to be safe and never flush it - rather, put it in the waste basket next to the toilet.

Can I drink the water in Japan?
Japan is our only destination country in Asia where it is safe to drink tap water. You will also always have access to bottled water if you prefer.

Are credit cards accepted in Japan? Will I be able to find ATMs?
Credit cards are widely accepted in Japan, and it's quite easy to find ATMs throughout the major cities. More isolated parts of the country either might not have ATMs or the networks could be down for days at a time. Many smaller vendors throughout the country also only accept cash, which can be easily withdrawn from an ATM.

Should I purchase travel insurance?
Yes, purchasing travel insurance before going on vacation is always a good idea. Fortunately, we offer some great comprehensive deals through TravelGuard on our Once You're Booked page.
Fun Facts about Japan
  • In Japanese, it is called "Nihon," meaning "sun origin."
  • Iconic Mt. Fuji stands at an altitude of 3,776m above sea level.
  • Although it is relatively smaller than many of the world's countries, it has the 10th largest population, with over 127 million people.
  • This booming population frequently must deal with strong and often devastating earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis due to its location in the ring of fire.
  • Sushi and tempura are signature dishes of Japan and are trademarks of the seafood diet.
  • The renowned Samurai warriors are from Japan.
  • While Japan has many of its own pastimes, baseball is also a popular sport.
  • Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in Japan, most of which is imported from Jamaica.
  • The literacy rate in Japan is close to 100 percent, making Japan one of the best-educated people in the world.

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