Singapore To Tokyo Cruise ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Singapore , Singapore | Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) , Vietnam | Nha Trang , Vietnam | Hong Kong , China | Okinawa (Naha) , Japan | Hiroshima , Japan | Kobe , Japan | Kyoto (Osaka) , Japan | Mt. Fuji (Shimizu) , Japan | Tokyo (Yokohama) , Japan

YOUR SHIP

OVATION OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

OVATION OF THE SEAS

OVATION OF THE SEAS

ELEVATED EXPLORATION

Welcome to one of the world's most innovative ships, filled with game changers, edge-of-your-seat entertainment, and dining that defies the imagination. Score 300-foot high views from the North Star®, order up a cocktail in binary at the Bionic Bar®, and enjoy a full-sensory aerial adventure in Live. Love. Legs.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Singapore, Singapore

DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

EXPLORE SINGAPORE

The Singapore Cruise Centre sits near famous Sentosa Island, an entertainment complex that includes high-end restaurants and well-manicured beaches, so you might consider arriving an hour or two early to enjoy some time here before your cruise from Singapore. The cruise port is about 20 minutes from Changi Airport, and about 10 minutes from the city center.

Beautiful day at Chinese Garden Twin Pagoda in Singapore
Day view of the Supertree Grove of the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
Beautiful sunny day with the skyline of Singapore

The Singapore Cruise Centre sits near famous Sentosa Island, an entertainment complex that includes high-end restaurants and well-manicured beaches, so you might consider arriving an hour or two early to enjoy some time here before your cruise from Singapore. The cruise port is about 20 minutes from Changi Airport, and about 10 minutes from the city center.

Beautiful day at Chinese Garden Twin Pagoda in Singapore
Day view of the Supertree Grove of the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
Beautiful sunny day with the skyline of Singapore
Things To Do

in Singapore

View of the street with Masjid Sultan in the background in Singapore

Multicultural Medley

Singapore has four official languages and even more ethnicities that have influenced its culture. Discover the city's Muslim heritage at Sultan Mosque along Arab Street and its Chinese character (and food!) in Chinatown. Little India is the heart of the city's Tamil Indian community, while Kampong Glam is the epicenter of Malay-speaking Singapore.

Sculptural vegetation towers from Gardend by the Bay in Singapore

Two Sides of Nature

Singapore's tropical landscape is as diverse as its culture. The Singapore Botanic Garden (and adjoining Orchid Garden) approach horticulture from a more traditional perspective, while the spacey Supertrees of Gardens by the Bay would seem more at home in "Avatar" than an issue of "Better Homes and Gardens."

Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore

Zoom In, Zoom Out

Head to the rooftop of the massive Marina Bay Sands to enjoy a panorama of the Singapore skyline, which is also beautiful as seen from the city's symbolic Merlion statue on the other side of the bay. Or visit a more inward-looking Singapore icon when you order an original Singapore Sling cocktail at the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel.

Wantan Mee, popular street food noodles with bbq pork, in Singapore

Local Cuisine

The best way to get a cross-section of Singaporean cuisine is to visit its street vendors, or hawkers, in hubs like Tiong Bahru. Jump onboard a Singapore cruise to try Cantonese-derived wantan mee noodles, with dumplings and yellow egg noodles topped with slices of char siu pork. Snack on chai tow kway, also called carrot cake, even though it's made from rice flour and daikon radish fried with eggs in pork fat.

Colorful variety of chopsticks in a small shop in Chinatown, Singapore

Shopping

Singapore is a shopper's paradise, whether you stick to the high-end boutiques of Orchard Road or the local shops throughout the city. One way to guarantee a special souvenir during your Singapore cruise vacation is to shop in the city's ethnic neighborhoods: Seek out chopsticks and lacquerware in Chinatown or incense and South India dolls in Little India.

INSIDER TIP

Taxis in Singapore are plentiful, but locals increasingly use applications (namely, the "Grab" app) to get around. Consider downloading this before you dock in Singapore.

DAY 2 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T-MISS FAVOURITES

North Star Raised Above Rear of the Ship
Guests Watching a Man Enjoying the iFly

North Star Raised Above Rear of the Ship
Guests Watching a Man Enjoying the iFly

Things to Do

North Star Lounge Chairs in the Upper Deck
North Star®

THE SKY'S THE LIMIT

Stand in a jewel-shaped capsule that reveals breathtaking 360-degree views as you gently ascend 90 metres (300 feet) above sea level.

iFly instructor on Anthem in the Skydiving Tunnel, wind tunnel, skydive, skydiver, skydiving simulator, iFly by Ripcord, instructor in the Anthem ifly
RipCord® by iFLY®

GRAVITY-DEFYING FUN

Experience the sheer thrill and exhilaration of flying in an air machine that lets you soar in a safe, controlled environment.

Xbox One Consoles at the SeaPlex Arcade
SeaPlex®

HAVE THE PLAYTIME OF YOUR LIFE

The largest indoor active space at sea is only on Royal Caribbean®. Basketball and bumper cars — it's the first time you'll ever play like this on a cruise.  

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM

Explore Ho Chi Minh City

When you arrive, take a port shuttle into the city to explore. Head to the park Cong Vien Cang Du Lich Bach Dang, where you can catch a water bus for river tour of the city. Later, see a traditional Vietnamese bamboo dance at the Opera House. Or stroll through the Saigon Botanical Gardens, and see exotic lizards and tigers at the attached Saigon Zoo.

The Buu Long Pagoda at District 9 ornated with gold finishings on a sunny day in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Historical Ben Duoc Temple entrance with a rainbow shining over it in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
City hall with a garden and statue at the entrance of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

When you arrive, take a port shuttle into the city to explore. Head to the park Cong Vien Cang Du Lich Bach Dang, where you can catch a water bus for river tour of the city. Later, see a traditional Vietnamese bamboo dance at the Opera House. Or stroll through the Saigon Botanical Gardens, and see exotic lizards and tigers at the attached Saigon Zoo.

The Buu Long Pagoda at District 9 ornated with gold finishings on a sunny day in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Historical Ben Duoc Temple entrance with a rainbow shining over it in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
City hall with a garden and statue at the entrance of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Things To Do

in Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My)

Topiary elephant in a botanical garden, Saigon, Vietnam

Escape the Traffic

Saigon's one million motorbikes don't make for calm explorations, but you can escape the fray at the 130-year-old Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Wander the vast green park with its bonsai trees and orchid collection, and check out elephants and tigers in the zoo.

American military planes on display at Vietnam Remembrance Museum

Get a History Lesson

The War Remnants Museum in District 3 has immaculate tanks and planes outside, as well as sobering exhibits detailing the realities of the war. Note it's closed for an hour and a half starting at noon. Outside town, visit the Cu Chi Tunnels to learn how the Viet Cong moved underground.

Bitexco Financial Tower, the tallest building in Vietnam,  view from below looking up

Architecture Old and New

See District 1's ultra-modern Bitexco Tower with its sky deck and extending helipad, or the actively used Jade Emperor Pagoda with its fertility goddess statue in District 3. Also in District 1 is the 1975 time capsule of the Reunification Palace where the Vietnam War ended when a North Vietnamese tank drove through its gate.

Traditional vietnamese noodle soups pho in bowls

Local Cuisine

Try pho in the birthplace the now-popular soup, made with a rich, long-simmered broth and flavored with cloves, cardamom and other spices. During your Vietnam cruise, feast on a banh mi sandwich, which integrates Vietnam's French colonial past with pork, pickled vegetables and herbs on a crusty baguette. Or try banh tam bi, thick noodles with pork in a coconut cream sauce.

Souvenir lacquer bowls with cover in Vietnam

Shopping

Lacquerware, in the form of bowls, trays and vases, is a popular souvenir in Vietnam. You'll see it everywhere, but head for the An Dong Market, Binh Tay Market and Ben Thanh Market. Dong Khoi Street is considered the main shopping street with a mall and the Parkson Department Store.

INSIDER TIP

Crossing the street in Vietnam is not for the timid. But just keep a steady pace with no sudden moves and traffic will weave effortlessly around you.

DAY 4 - TENDERED

Nha Trang, Vietnam

ARRIVES:
9:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

Find relaxation

Kick off your day at Nha Trong's Oceanographic Museum, housed in a French colonial building — see exotic underwater specimens like reef sharks, lionfish and puffers. Then, take the cable car to the Vinpearl complex on Bamboo Island for spectacular views of the bay. Make sure to allot time for oceanside relaxation: Bai Duong Beach is pleasantly quiet and offers mountain views while you wade in the turquoise waters.

Giant white buddha statue at the top of a wide stair case in a temple in Nha Trang, Vietnam
Hon Chong cape, popular tourist destinations at Nha Trang, Vietnam
Po Nagar, temple tower, in Nha Trang

Kick off your day at Nha Trong's Oceanographic Museum, housed in a French colonial building — see exotic underwater specimens like reef sharks, lionfish and puffers. Then, take the cable car to the Vinpearl complex on Bamboo Island for spectacular views of the bay. Make sure to allot time for oceanside relaxation: Bai Duong Beach is pleasantly quiet and offers mountain views while you wade in the turquoise waters.

Giant white buddha statue at the top of a wide stair case in a temple in Nha Trang, Vietnam
Hon Chong cape, popular tourist destinations at Nha Trang, Vietnam
Po Nagar, temple tower, in Nha Trang
Things To Do

in Nha Trang

Aerial cable car over ocean in Nha Trang, Vietnam

High in the Sky

The gondola ride over the sea leading to Vinpearl and Hon Tre, or Bamboo Island, is the world's longest. Here, you'll find the Vinpearl Amusement Park, a waterpark with a lazy river, a wave pool, an aquarium and a golf course. The cable car entrance is close to the cruise port.

Sleeping Buddha at the Long Son Pagoda in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Buddha Basics

Learn about Buddhism by visiting the Hai Duc and Long Son pagodas. The latter has a giant white Buddha statue which can be seen from anywhere in Nha Trang. Look for dragons and other mythical animals in the temple designs, inside and out.

Po Ngar Cham Towers in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Rejuvenate Mind and Body

The Po Nagar Cham Towers are less than two miles north of the city. Only four of the eight towers built in the 7th to 12th centuries remain. Find your inner calm at this ancient worship site, which blends Buddhist and Hindu traditions in its statues and architecture. Then, head to the hot springs and mud baths at nearby Thap Ba to refresh your body, too.

Seafood sold on the beach in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Local Cuisine

Nha Trang is well-known for its excellent seafood. Locals farm lobster just offshore — have a feast on the beach or at one of the city's many restaurants. Or try the Vietnamese version of steak and eggs, bo ne, traditionally served on a hot plate for breakfast with lime and chili sauce.

Silk vietnamese scarves o fall sorts of colors

Shopping

Check out street markets like Dam or Vinh Luong. Here, you'll find souvenirs like pearl jewelry, clay pots painted with Champa designs or hand-embroidered artwork. Peruse Tran Phu Street along the beach — look for silk clothing in the form of shirts, skirts and scarves.

INSIDER TIP

Don't be surprised if you see Russian signs and menus; Nha Trang is a popular beach holiday for Russians.

DAY 5 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

Delicious Lobster Al Forno
QN Culinary, specialty dining, smoking eggs, Wonderland, culinary, cuisine

Delicious Lobster Al Forno
QN Culinary, specialty dining, smoking eggs, Wonderland, culinary, cuisine

Things to Do

Chicken Porcini Bruschetta with Zesty Lime
Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver

FAMOUSLY FANTASTIC ITALIAN

At Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver, you’ll enjoy Tuscan-inspired dishes like the crowd-pleasing Famous Plank and pastas made in-house – all crafted by one of Britain’s most famous chefs.

Baby Vegetables in the Garden at Wonderland on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Wonderland

VENTURE DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

Our Wonderland chefs twist their culinary kaleidoscopes, inventing elaborate dreamscapes of never-before-seen fare. The story begins as you 'brush' the menu and find your element – Sun, Ice, Fire, Water, Earth and Dreams.

Assorted Sushi Rolls Platter served at Izumi, Japanese Restaurant. One of the best fine dining cuisine on a cruise.
Izumi

A FAR EAST FEAST

Say “Konnichiwa” to a reimagined favorite. Sushi, sashimi and more, all made-to-order with intense flavors, the best ingredients and impeccable presentation.

DAY 6 - DOCKED

Hong Kong, China

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

ASIA'S URBAN HEARTBEAT

Begin your day in Hong Kong with a vigorous hike — or a cable car ride, if you're strapped for time — up to Victoria Peak for an iconic view of the city, the harbor and (if it's clear enough) the mountains of Kowloon.

A red bridge leading to a temple Chinese architecture in a garden in Hong Kong, China
Ferris wheel and skyscrapers during the day in Hong Kong, China
View from a mountain top looking down at the Hong Kong skyline

Begin your day in Hong Kong with a vigorous hike — or a cable car ride, if you're strapped for time — up to Victoria Peak for an iconic view of the city, the harbor and (if it's clear enough) the mountains of Kowloon.

A red bridge leading to a temple Chinese architecture in a garden in Hong Kong, China
Ferris wheel and skyscrapers during the day in Hong Kong, China
View from a mountain top looking down at the Hong Kong skyline
Things To Do

in Hong Kong

The Victoria peak tram arriving at a station overlooking the skyline in Hong Kong, China

Peek From the Peak

The Peak Tram takes you up to Victoria Peak, Hong Kong's 1,800-foot-high mountain. Less expensive buses will get you there, too. Once you're up top, admire the views over the city from the hiking trails. The Peak also offers an escape from the subtropical climate below — the air here is cooler and less humid.

Boats out on the harbor alongside a rocky coast in Hong Kong

Scenic Ride to Stanley

Stanley Harbour, on the other side of Hong Kong Island, will give you a taste of a different Hong Kong. It's a fishing village on Repulse Bay with a lovely seaside walk (snap some photos of the fishing boats) as well as a famous street market. There's lots of British history, a boardwalk and even a few beaches. You can take the bus from Central for a scenic trip, though the express bus is faster.

Tourist sailboat crosses Victoria Harbour to the Hong Kong Island with skyscrapers in the background

Out on the Harbor

Use an Octopus card for a ride on Hong Kong's iconic Star Ferry for inexpensive views of Hong Kong's harbor. The tour makes a scenic circular route between Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island, stopping at three piers. Skyscrapers are everywhere, but look closely for the smaller Golden Bauhinia near the Wan Chai Pier, a golden flower statue where the handover of Hong Kong took place in 1997.

Delicious array of dim sum in bamboo steamers in Hong Kong, China

Local Cuisine

Hong Kong is famous for dim sum, a meal of bite-sized foods with various selections brought to your table. Traditionally eaten for brunch, you'll find it at other hours, too. Choose from steamed buns, dumplings or fried rolls filled with spinach, crab or chicken. You'll likely need to share a table — but then you'll have help deciding what to order. Restaurants with lots of locals are a sign of quality and good prices.

Traditional Jade necklaces sold in markets while souvenir shopping in Hong Kong, China

Shopping

Head to Causeway Bay for modern retail therapy: This stretch of Hong Kong is virtually covered in malls and shops. Central is the district to go to for upscale designer clothes, shoes and other items. But don't overlook the markets for local handicrafts during your Hong Kong cruise. Pick up an inexpensive but distinctive jade necklace or ornament, or look for poetry-inscribed paintings and bamboo handicrafts from the antique dealers on Cat Street.

INSIDER TIP

The Hong Kong dollar (HKD) is the official currency. Some larger stores will accept Chinese yuan (also called renminbi and RMB), but the exchange rate isn't great. Withdrawing cash from an ATM almost always means the best exchange rate.

DAY 7 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SHOW-STOPPERS

Two 70 Virtual Concert "Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns"

Two 70 Virtual Concert "Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns"

Things to Do

Logo for the Pixels original production show with the word in Rainbow pixels.
Pixels

PIXEL PERFECT

Art meets technology in this epic fusion of live performance, music and experimental cinematography. Pixels will show you how to view the world through a whole new filter.

Acrobatic Performers on Live, Love, Legs Show
Live. Love. Legs.

THRILLING THEATRICS

From lavish costumes and vocal performances to jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics, engage all your senses in Live. Love. Legs.

Dancer and Singers Performing on the Starwater Show
Two70®

AHH-INSPIRING IN ANY LIGHT

Go on a transformative journey from day to night in this grand room. By day, it's an open area living room with panoramic views. By night, the lights go down and the music fades up to reveal a spellbinding aerial show.

DAY 8 - DOCKED

Okinawa (Naha), Japan

ARRIVES:
1:00 PM
DEPARTS:
9:00 PM
ISLAND LIFE,

JAPAN-STYLE

Soak in the splendor of the former Ryukyu Kingdom at the vermillion-red Shujiro Castle. Then, walk around the private garden of a king at the tropical Shikinaen Gardens. Finish your time here by taking in Okinawa's pristine coastline at Okuma Beach, where you can swim, snorkel or kayak in the brilliant waters of the East China Sea.

Rocky cliff at a beach in Okinawa, Japan
Gate of Shuri Castle's main hall in Okinawa, Japan
Arched rock at beach in Miyakojima, Okinawa

Soak in the splendor of the former Ryukyu Kingdom at the vermillion-red Shujiro Castle. Then, walk around the private garden of a king at the tropical Shikinaen Gardens. Finish your time here by taking in Okinawa's pristine coastline at Okuma Beach, where you can swim, snorkel or kayak in the brilliant waters of the East China Sea.

Rocky cliff at a beach in Okinawa, Japan
Gate of Shuri Castle's main hall in Okinawa, Japan
Arched rock at beach in Miyakojima, Okinawa

THINGS TO DO

Ancient Kyueimon Gate in wall of Shuri Castle in Okinawa, Japan

Live Like a King

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shurijo Castle's bright red exterior is instantly striking. Destroyed and rebuilt many times over, this building offers you a sense of life during the Ryukyu Kingdom's golden years. Then, see the former residence of the Japanese king at the Shikinaen Gardens populated by tropical flora.

Beautiful Beach with resort in Okinawa, Japan

Where Sea Meets Sky

Explore the depths of the bay at Nami-no-ue Sea and Sky Park. With guided snorkeling tours and diving equipment, you can see 95 types of coral and 53 species of colorful fish. Finish up with a beach party and a barbeque under the golden sun.

A house of traditional construction in Okinawa, Japan

Okinawan Education

At Ryukyu Mura village, you'll find a recreated village and practical demonstrations of old crafts. The vibrant village welcomes visitors with dances and celebrations of traditional festivals and arts. Complete your day of learning at the Okinawa Prefecture Museum, home to a massive 85,000 artifacts dating to the 12th century.

Bowl of Okinawa Soba Soup with thick noodles in Okinawa, Japan

Local Cuisine

The food here is both distinctly Japanese and uniquely Okinawan, with Chinese and South Asian influences creating a cuisine all its own. Okinawa cruises allow you to try Okinawan soba (actually more reminiscent to udon noodles because they're so thick) served in a ramen-like pork broth and topped with slow-cooked pork spare ribs. Don't miss out on Agu, the Wagyu beef of pork, with its tender texture and sweet flavor.

Traditional Ryukyu Shisa Guardian Lion Clay Pottery in Okinawa, Japan

Shopping

Many craft techniques are unique to Okinawa. Head to Kokusai-Dori (International Street) to browse for Ryukyan glass and lacquerware or colorful Shuri-ori textiles. On Tsuboya Yachimun-Dori Street, you can pick up intricate Tsuboya-yaki pottery — choose between decorative traditional statues or plates, bowls and other home-use items.

INSIDER TIP

If you're here in October, join in the fun of the famous Naha Tug-of-War Festival.

DAY 9 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SUN-DRENCHED DAYS

Guests Enjoying the Solarium
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

Guests Enjoying the Solarium
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

Things to Do

Girl Surfing Flowrider at Daytime with a Smile
FlowRider®

NOW BOARDING FOR ADVENTURE

Grab your board and get ready for 100,000 litres of rushing amazingness headed your way. The surf’s always up on the 12-metre-long FlowRider® surf simulator.

Guests Enjoying the Drinks and Pool at the Solarium
Solarium

SUN AND SERENITY

Slip away to this adults-only indoor and outdoor retreat. The Solarium is your slice of paradise, with soothing whirlpools, warm sunshine and a refreshing water mist.

DAY 10 - DOCKED

Hiroshima, Japan

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

Historic Temple

Don't miss Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park — learn more about that fateful day in 1945, or take in the contemplative feel of the park's simple, austere monuments like the Peace Flame and Cenotaph. Hop on the tram system to explore more: Check out the traditional Japanese architecture of moat-surrounded Hiroshima Castle. Or stroll through Shukkei-en, a traditional Japanese-style garden that dates back to 1620 during the Edo Period.

Floating shrine over the water in Hiroshima, Japan
The entrance of the Hiroshima castle with the reflection on the lake
Views of Hiroshima with lush Spring landscape

Don't miss Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park — learn more about that fateful day in 1945, or take in the contemplative feel of the park's simple, austere monuments like the Peace Flame and Cenotaph. Hop on the tram system to explore more: Check out the traditional Japanese architecture of moat-surrounded Hiroshima Castle. Or stroll through Shukkei-en, a traditional Japanese-style garden that dates back to 1620 during the Edo Period.

Floating shrine over the water in Hiroshima, Japan
The entrance of the Hiroshima castle with the reflection on the lake
Views of Hiroshima with lush Spring landscape
Things To Do

in Hiroshima

Tori gate of Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, Japan

Shrine on the Sea

Miyajima Island is home to one of the most photographed sights in Japan: Itsukushima Shrine. The buildings of the revered shrine float mysteriously on top the water at high tide, and a single blood-orange torii gate appears marooned in the Seto Inland Sea. Mt. Mizen provides a spectacular view as you approach the treasured island via high-speed ferry.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan

Homage to History

Hiroshima has rebuilt and recovered since it became the first city in the world to be hit by an atomic bomb in 1945. Today, the Peace Memorial Museum recounts the somber history of the event. Outside, the Peace Memorial Park is dedicated to the joy of life and holds simple, commemorative monuments like the Peace Flame and Memorial Cenotaph.

Hiroshima Castle in Hiroshima, Japan

Classic Castle

Hiroshima Castle is a classic example of traditional Japanese archictecture. First constructed in 1589 by a feudal lord, it was rebuilt in the 1950s retaining its original style. Check out the moat that surrounds the castle, head to the top floor for views of the city, or see the museum within that houses samurai arifacts.

Japenese style pancakes known as Okonomiyaki drizzled with sauce

Local Cuisine

Hiroshima is famous for its take on the traditional dish okonomiyaki. Also called Japanese pizza, this comfort food is a mix of flour, cabbage, egg and meat — but this city takes it to a new level by frying it all on top of a delicious pile of noodles. If you're looking for something a little lighter during your cruise, try grilled oysters from Hiroshima Bay.

Colorful kimonos on a rack of clothing found shopping in Hiroshima, Japan

Shopping

As one of the largest regional shopping arcades, Hiroshima Hondori Shopping Arcade is the perfect place to pick up some keepsakes. Jump onboard a Japan cruise and pick up the latest fashion prints or indulge in beautiful ceramics and lacquerware. You can even explore traditional Japanese clothes shops and pick up a decorative kimono.

INSIDER TIP

The taxi drivers here are honest — just keep the port address written down in Japanese for easy communication.

DAY 11 - DOCKED

Kobe, Japan

ARRIVES:
9:00 AM
DEPARTS:
11:59 PM

Japanese Foliage

Kobe has a melting-pot cultural allure that reflects its origins as a 19th-century port city. The city is also all about its world-famous beef, served up by humble street vendors and Michelin-starred chefs alike. Once you've taken in the mountain views and strolled the historic streets, passing mansions once owned by well-to-do foreign merchants, catch a train to Osaka and eat like a sumo wrestler.

View of the Suma Temple in Kobe, Japan surrounded by lush trees
A picturesque view of the Kobe, Japan skyline
The Himeji Castle in Kobe, Japan

Kobe has a melting-pot cultural allure that reflects its origins as a 19th-century port city. The city is also all about its world-famous beef, served up by humble street vendors and Michelin-starred chefs alike. Once you've taken in the mountain views and strolled the historic streets, passing mansions once owned by well-to-do foreign merchants, catch a train to Osaka and eat like a sumo wrestler.

View of the Suma Temple in Kobe, Japan surrounded by lush trees
A picturesque view of the Kobe, Japan skyline
The Himeji Castle in Kobe, Japan
Things To Do

in Kobe

A Japanese hot spring bath

Get in Hot Water

Onsen – a hot spring bath – is a unique Japanese pastime that will get you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, and Arima Onsen is where you go to partake when in Kobe. Baths are filled with naturally occurring hot spring water, which locals claim has medicinal effects. Choose from day, half-day or spa packages, or sample a few different baths.

The Nunobiki Falls in Kobe, Japan

Hike the Heavens

The Nunobiki – or 'Divine' – Falls are a natural wonder at the back of Mt Rokko. A quick 15-minute walk will get you to the first of the four waterfalls – the biggest is a thundering 43 metres high. If walking isn't your thing, take the Shin-Kobe cable lift to the top. It takes you past all four falls and stops at the Nunobiki Herb Garden, where you can experience the colours and aromas of 200 different types of herbs and flowers.

An aerial view of the Historic Kitano District in Kobe, Japan

Go Mansion-Hunting

Got a taste for classic luxury? Kobe's Kitano-cho district contains more than a dozen ijinkan, historic mansions formerly owned by foreign merchants who settled here. Today, they're open to the public as museums. The England House, France House and Dutch Museum reflect the origins of their former owners, who brought European sensibilities to their new Asian home.

A chef slicing Kobe beef on a grill

Local Cuisine

There's only one city to go to if you want serious Kobe beef. Hang out with the locals at Nankingmachi Square, home to street-style Kobe beef à la carte. Want dinner and a show in one? Head to a teppanyaki restaurant, where your chef will cook your meal in front of you. If meat's not your thing, don't worry: Any steakhouse will also serve crunchy Yakiyasai (grilled vegetables) and Agedashi-dofu (crispy tofu with dipping sauce).

A traditional Japanese tea set

Shopping

To sample the freshest seafood that Kobe has to offer with your Japan cruise, visit the Uonotana Fish Market, a wholesale marketplace boasting the day's catch. Later in the day, move on to the bustling Sannomiya shopping area, where streets are packed with shops selling everything from the latest fashions to traditional tea sets.

INSIDER TIP

You don't need to tip in Japan — save some cash (and an awkward moment) and only pay the amount of your bill.

DAY 12 - DOCKED

Kyoto (Osaka), Japan

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
4:00 PM
A TASTE OF

OLD JAPAN

At once a modern metropolis and a bastion of traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto is home to more than 1,600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines and 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After you take the 30-minute train journey from Osaka, see the iconic red gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine. Then, stroll through Nishiki Market and pick up yakitori grilled chicken for a snack, and take in a panoramic view of the city from Kyoto Tower.

The Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, Japan surrounded by pink flower trees
Beautiful Japanese red temple with a green pond and trees in Kyoto, Japan
A walking path through the bamboo forest in Kyoto, Japan

At once a modern metropolis and a bastion of traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto is home to more than 1,600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines and 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After you take the 30-minute train journey from Osaka, see the iconic red gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine. Then, stroll through Nishiki Market and pick up yakitori grilled chicken for a snack, and take in a panoramic view of the city from Kyoto Tower.

The Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, Japan surrounded by pink flower trees
Beautiful Japanese red temple with a green pond and trees in Kyoto, Japan
A walking path through the bamboo forest in Kyoto, Japan
Things To Do

in Kyoto (Osaka)

The Kinkakuji Temple, also called the Golden Pavilion for its yellow-colored walls atop a pond in Kyoto, Japan

Golden Pavilion

A traveler's favorite for centuries and one of Japan's most famous sights, the gold-covered main hall of Kinkaku-ji temple seems to float between the sky and the pond of Kyoko-chi that it stands over. It was originally built in the 14th century as a villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, a samurai lord. Snap photos while walking around Kyoko-chi, and see the temple from Sekka-tei Cottage — the view from here can't be beat.

A zen rock garden in the Ryoan Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Garden Without Plants

Not far from the Golden Pavilion, the Zen temple of Ryoan-ji is famed for its mysterious yet beautiful rock garden. This grouping of 15 rocks set in raked gravel is a delight to contemplate from the veranda of the Hojo, the residence of the temple's head priest. Walk around the tatami rooms, and admire the painted fusuma sliding doors. Don't miss the picturesque tsukubai stone washbasin with a bamboo pipe in the back — designed for the tea ceremony, it's inscribed with a Buddhist maxim saying one should be happy with what one already has.

The red Tori Gates pathway with tall red columns with Japanese letters written in black in Kyoto, Japan

Ten Thousand Gates

Beloved for its spectacular rows of red torii gates, this hilly, sprawling Shinto shrine is dedicated to Inari, the god of rice and business; you'll see statues of his messenger, the fox, everywhere. During your visit to Osaka, take the four-kilometer path up the mountain and lose yourself in this vermilion wonderland — the number of gates totals around 10,000. Small restaurants along the paths sell kitsune udon noodle soup and inarizushi rice balls.

Kaiseki and traditional Japenese cuisine layed out on a table

Local Cuisine

As the kitchen for Japan's imperial court for centuries, Kyoto has a long tradition of excellent food. Get the full experience with Kyo-kaiseki-ryori, a multicourse meal of seasonal Kyoto cuisine: You'll be treated to many dishes made with exceptional attention to detail, including gently sashimi-style raw fish and vegetable dishes like turnips simmered in local water with white miso.

A kimono on a mannequin on the streets of Kyoto, Japan

Shopping

Head to the Kyoto Handicraft Center near Heian-jingu shrine for a wide selection of Kyoto crafts including ironware kettles, woodblock prints, Japanese dolls, lacquer ware, as well as kimono and yukata (lightweight summer kimono). Visitors can also try their hand at making handicrafts, such as painting folding fans.

INSIDER TIP

For popular sites like the Golden Pavilion, be sure to arrive as early as possible to beat the crowds.

DAY 13 - DOCKED

Mt. Fuji (Shimizu), Japan

ARRIVES:
11:00 AM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM

Unforgettable

Mt. Fuji sightseeing is the name of the game in Shimizu. If there are no obscuring clouds, head to Miho-no-Matsubara<i>,</i> an emerald green pine grove next to the ocean, backdropped by the soaring volcano. Spend the rest of your time picking tea in the tranquil countryside, or indulge in the freshest sushi at the Shimizu Sushi Alley in S-Pulse Dream Plaza.

A tea farm mount with views of Mount Fuji in Spring at Shizuoka, Japan
Views of the city of Shizuoka City and Mt. Fuji, Japan
Cherry blossoms with views of Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji sightseeing is the name of the game in Shimizu. If there are no obscuring clouds, head to Miho-no-Matsubara<i>,</i> an emerald green pine grove next to the ocean, backdropped by the soaring volcano. Spend the rest of your time picking tea in the tranquil countryside, or indulge in the freshest sushi at the Shimizu Sushi Alley in S-Pulse Dream Plaza.

A tea farm mount with views of Mount Fuji in Spring at Shizuoka, Japan
Views of the city of Shizuoka City and Mt. Fuji, Japan
Cherry blossoms with views of Mt. Fuji
Things To Do

in Mt. Fuji (Shimizu)

Miho no matsubara is a black beach with Fuji mountain

White Peak, Black Sand

On cloudless days, the views of Mt. Fuji are everywhere. Head to the magical Miho-no-Matsubara Park pine grove. This black-sand beach framed by bright green pines gives you a clear view of the bulk of Mt. Fuji. Pay your respects for the sheer natural splendor at the nearby Miho Shrine during your Mt. Fuji cruise.

Close up shot of tea leaves in a green tea plantation in Mt. Fuji

Tea Time

The Shizuoka prefecture is the most famous tea-producing region in the whole of Japan. From April to October, you can learn how to pick tea at Nihondaira Ocha Kaikan farm. Take the leaves you pick home with you, and learn about the history of tea at the Ocha-no-Sato Tea Museum. At the garden and teahouse on the museum grounds, you can enjoy matcha tea and sweets while gazing out over a Japanese garden.

A bunch of chopsticks laid out together

Get Crafty

At the Sumpu Takumi Shuku Workshop, you can learn to make Japanese Sugura Crafts using age-old techniques passed down from the Edo era. Make your own lacquered chopsticks, learn how to dye a handkerchief with real indigo and create a delicate Mariko Koma basket.

Raw fish tuna sashimi in traditional Japanese style

Local Cuisine

Shimizu's fishermen haul in some of the highest-quality tuna in the whole of Japan. Head to Shimizu Sushi Alley and take your pick of the many delicious sushi restaurants, where you can enjoy this cold-water catch's delicate texture and nuanced flavor in its unadulterated form. Cruise to Mt. Fuji and venture out and try Sakura shrimp, tiny shrimp served raw or dried for a crunchy texture.

Vintage Japanese black lacquer tea caddy with auspicious gold makie bamboo forest design, used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony

Shopping

Sugura crafts have been a high-quality export of Shizuku artisans for generations. Intricate gold and silver lacquerware (makie), handpainted banners (sashimono) and bamboo baskets (sensuji saiku) are beautiful examples of Japanese artisanal skill. Find these traditional handicrafts the S-Pulse Dream Plaza Souvenir Shopping Area.

INSIDER TIP

From October to November there is an international street performers competition in the center of town called the Daidogei World Cup.

DAY 14 - Arrival Day

Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM

Yokohama is the central gateway to exploring Tokyo, a once-humble fishing village that is now one of the world's biggest, most densely populated cities. You'll find an eclectic mix of traditional shrines and soaring skyscrapers lining these neon-lit streets. Walk the Rainbow Bridge over Tokyo Bay alongside the Yurikamome Rail Line, a futuristic, operatorless train system. Then, see old Tokyo at the Imperial Palace, an Edo Castle surrounded by moats and gardens perfect for strolling. Cruise to Tokyo and head to iconic Sensoji Buddhist Temple and pass below the massive red paper lantern of the Thunder Gate. Then, unwind in Yoyogi Park, a literal forest in the heart of the city, complete with Zen gardens and a gingko tree forest.

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