Steeped in tradition and lore with ancient sites and natural wonders

Princess Cruises is the #1 North American Cruise Line in Japan. Travel through Japan with Princess and immerse yourself in the history, culture, and cuisine of Japan. Cruise from Tokyo, Kobe, or Otaru on an invigorating journey to Japan’s most legendary destinations.


Discover the Beauty of Japan

Japan is a study in contrasts: tranquil retreats of profound beauty lay just outside cities where skyscrapers soar over stunning temples and shrines. Neon-bright architecture and pink cherry blossoms vie for attention amid the colorful Harajuku district and traditional kimonos. As the No. 1 North American cruise line in Japan with the “Best Asia Itineraries,”† you can be assured that Princess® will be your guide to the colors, cultures and flavors that define this exciting country.

Art and Museums

Admire the delicate work of 19th century “ukiyo-e,” traditional woodblock prints, with a tour of Shimizu’s Tokaido Hiroshige Art Museum. Continue your artistic journey as modern bronze statues depicting the spirit monsters known as “yokai,” greet you along the streets of Sakaiminato. Chill and thrill at the sight of sea ice with a visit to Abashiri’s Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum (Ice Flow Museum).

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Take a scenic cruise into the remote wilderness of Abashiri’s Shiretoko Coast. Explore the historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama outside Toyama, well known for an intriguing architectural style called “gasso-zukuri” or “prayer-hand” construction. Behold the stunning beauty of Kyoto, home of 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 400 shrines and over 1,600 Buddhist temples, including the Golden Pavilion, which boasts two floors completely covered in gold leaf.

Natural Wonders and Landscapes

Be dazzled by the panoramic views of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji, an active volcano and the most popular tourist site in the country. Admire the spectacular views of Akita’s Oga peninsula, home of Godzilla Rock and mythical creatures called “Namahage.” Take in the sheer magnificence of Shiretoko Peninsula, an acclaimed Condé Nast Traveler 7 Cruise Wonders of the World – it may just leave you breathless.

Unique Experiences

Learn the ways of samurai warriors with a visit to Nagoya’s medieval castle. Enjoy an authentic “yakiniku” lunch in Sakaiminato. Observe as skilled artisans use native Tochigi bark, iron-rich mud and their own unique vision to create delicate pieces of pongee silk in Amami Oshima. Japan is a land of festivals, and on select sailings you can experience the mesmerizing spectacle known as the Awa Odori Dance Festival in Tokushima or get an up-close look at the exquisite parade floats used in Aomori’s annual Nebuta festival.

Lifestyle and Culture

Delight in a traditional Bunraku puppet show, recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, in Osaka. Grab a wicker basket and head to the fields for a hands-on tea-picking adventure in the countryside of Shimizu. Discover the health benefits and social atmosphere of an “onsen” hot spring bath in Aomori. Tour Kagoshima’s shochu factory and learn how grains and vegetables create one of Japan’s spirited elixirs.

Onboard Enrichment

The journey is as extraordinary as the destination when you travel to Japan with Princess® – awarded "Best Cruise Line in Asia." From the time you step on board, you’ll be surrounded by a wide variety of Japanese sights, sounds and flavors. Delight in the 400-year-old tradition of comic storytelling known as “rakugo.” Join in an evening of karaoke and watch folkloric dancers bring Japanese culture to life. Watch Japanese-inspired films with Movies Under the Stars®. Indulge in delicious regional dishes from the Noodle Bar or freshly prepared sushi. Sample spirited drinks such as fine Japanese whiskeys, sake and shochu.


Explore Kochi Castle, a designated Japanese National Treasure, and the only castle in the country with its original wooded interior, castle tower, and impressive entrance still intact. Step into Japan’s ancient past with a tour of Aomori’s Sannai-Maruyama ruins, which date back 5,500 years and are designated a Special National Historical Site. Get a bird’s-eye view of Tokyo and Mount Fuji from the special observatory atop Tokyo Tower. Wander through the narrow, winding streets of Kanazawa’s samurai district known as Nagamachi Samurai House Row, which sits at the foot of Kanazawa Castle.

Shore Excursions

Experience Japanese culture with an adventure in Tokyo that celebrates tea, the art of calligraphy, and the essence of the Japanese spirit. Get off the beaten path and discover Taketomi Island, the site of a beautifully preserved, traditional Ryukyu village just off the shore of Ishigaki. In Kochi, don a helmet and headlamp and explore the cavernous natural wonder known as the Ryugado Cave, a National Natural Monument. Stroll through a 17th-century garden and survey 700 years of history at a museum devoted to Satsuma’s Shimazu clan in Kagoshima.

Cruise Wonders

Embark on a magical tour of the Shiretoko Peninsula with Princess that leads you through the wilds of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, where a variety of whales make their home and the verdant coastline is nothing short of spectacular that it was named a Cruise Wonder of the World by Condé Nast Traveler.

Cruise Tours

Highlights of Japan

Embark on a magical voyage that leads you along the shores of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. Visit Nara’s impressive Todaiji Temple and the breathtaking Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Gaze out over the city from Tokyo’s Skytree Tembo Deck perched 1,148 feet. Experience the breathtaking beauty of Kyoto with stops at Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) and Nijo Castle.

Temples andTraditions of Japan

Delve into Japan’s rich heritage with an adventure that features a full day of sightseeing in Kyoto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the city of Kanazawa and visit the Higashi Chaya (Geisha) district, or relax in a hot spring spa. In Tokyo, awe in wonder at the majestic splendor of Mount Fuji, the ancient Asakusa Sensoji temple, or take in the beautiful Meiji Jingu Shrine.


Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan

There’s probably no other city on earth that embraces the future while honoring its beloved past the way Tokyo does. From its captivating architecture to its meticulously maintained gardens, shrines and temples, Tokyo never fails to delight and inspire. Here, you can learn the miraculous legend surrounding Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple; savor the perfect cup of tea during a traditional tea ceremony; or peer into steaming sulfur springs inside Japan’s famed Hakone National Park, home of Mount Fuji.


Yokohama and Edo began life as sleepy fishing villages. That changed in the early 17th century after Tokugawa Ieyasu became Shogun. Edo became the center of political power in Japan, a position the city retained even after the restoration of Imperial rule in 1866.

Contemporary Tokyo may be the most astonishing city on earth. It’s a paradoxical mix of ancient tradition and postmodern culture. The Ginza - an international shopping mecca - stands near the serene grounds of the Imperial Palace, and the hyper-speed of 21st century consumerism is mysteriously reconciled with the elegance and serenity of traditional culture. Tokyo provides the traveler with a dizzying experience.

With the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Edo was renamed Tokyo, the "Eastern Capital," to distinguish it from the old imperial capital at Kyoto, the "Western Capital."

  • Imperial Palace Plaza

    The residence of Japan’s Imperial Family boasts a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls in the center of Tokyo.

  • Meiji Shrine

    Dedicated to the Emperor Meiji, the father of modern Japan, the Meiji Shrine stands in a dense forest glade at the very heart of Tokyo. Its setting symbolizes the separation of the spiritual from the worldly.

  • Sensoji Temple

    Sensoji was built to honor Kannon, the goddess of mercy in the early 7th century. Today, Sensoji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest temple.

  • Tokyo Tower

    Taller than the Eiffel Tower by approximately 30 feet, Tokyo Tower is in the record books as Japan’s 2nd highest self-supporting iron structure at 1,092 feet.

  • Great Buddha of Kamakura (Diabutsu)

    This monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha is located at the Kôtoku-in Temple in Kamakura. According to temple records, it probably dates back to 1252 in the Kamakura period.

  • Hakone Ropeway-Owakudani-Lake Ashi

    Japan’s famed Hakone National Park, a ropeway journey that promises such spectacular views as the crystal-clear waters of Lake Ashi and the volcanic fumes of Owakudani.

  • Mount Fuji

    Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 12,389 feet, and one of Japan’s "Three Holy Mountains." Its exceptionally symmetrical cone is a well-known symbol of Japan.

  • Sankeien Gardens

    Once the private gardens of a wealthy silk merchant, Sankeien Gardens features sculpted trees, lily ponds, graceful bridges and historic buildings collected from around Japan.

Kobe, Japan

This prominent port may be famous for its succulent beef, but it’s also renowned as the gateway to the splendid sights of Kyoto, Osaka and Nara. Kobe was once considered the cradle of Japanese art and culture during the 8th century. Through Kobe, you can access Nara, home to the immense Todaiji Temple, which holds a bronze Buddha statue that is nearly 50 feet tall and weighs 500 tons!


Kobe is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyogo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshu. Its name comes from "kanbe", an archaic title for supporters of the city’s Ikuta Shrine. With a population of about 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin (Keihanshin) metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto.

The earliest written records regarding the region come from the Nihon Shoki, which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingu in AD 201. For most of its history the area was never a single political entity, even during the Tokugawa Period, when the port was controlled directly by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Kobe did not exist in its current form until its founding in 1889.

Kobe was one of the cities to open for trade with the West following the end of the policy of seclusion and has since been known as a cosmopolitan port city. While the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake diminished much of Kobe’s prominence as a port city, it remains Japan’s fourth busiest container port. The city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef as well as the site of one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts, Arima Onsen. Kobe is also your gateway to Kyoto, Japan’s ancient imperial capital and the nation’s cultural and spiritual center.

  • Golden Pavilion (Kyoto)

    The Golden Temple is considered the premier example of Muromachi Era (1337 - 1573) design.

  • Ryoanji Temple (Kyoto)

    Ryonanji famous Zen rock garden features 15 rocks set in meticulously raked white gravel.

  • Nijo Castle

    Built by Tokugawa’s first shogun, the majestic 410-year-old castle is the site of two lavish palaces.

  • Kitano-cho (Kobe)

    Explore the former mansions of foreign merchants that are now preserved as museums in this city district nestled at the foot of the Rokko Mountains. The cafés and shops you will see are converted from these homes.

  • Mt Rokko

    Climb to the highest peak for panoramic views of Kobe from this 3,000-foot vantage point. A botanical garden, observation deck, aerial cable car and other outdoor activities can be enjoyed.

  • Sake Brewery Museum

    Tour an original museum, showcasing Kobe’s excellence in sake production. Here, you’ll learn the history and production of this rice-based liquor through life-size exhibits.

  • Awajishima Island

    At this largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, visitors marvel at the natural scenery, including the whirlpools of the Naruto Strait. The longest suspension bridge in the world links the island with Kobe.

  • Ishiyama-dera Temple

    Founded in 749 as the headquarters of one of the Shingon Buddhist sects, this magnificent temple complex is situated on a mountaintop.