Japan is an island nation, so there are countless water-based sightseeing locations. In addition to the ocean there are also many lakes, so why not go on a cruise and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Japanese waters? Here are 5 recommended Japanese pleasure cruises.
Gozabune Atakemaru is a pleasure cruise that goes around Tokyo Bay. On this cruise, the view of the city of Tokyo can be observed from a 400-year-old restored gozabune (a boat for feudal lords). The highlights of the afternoon cruise (from 1,030 JPY (incl. tax)) are the views of major sightseeing locations like Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge. In good weather conditions, places like Tokyo Skytree and Mt. Fuji can also be seen. On the 90 minute night cruise (from 5,500 JPY (incl. tax)), you can enjoy a breathtaking night view. A cruise plan with a show offers entertaining dances and songs with authentic theater elements including kabuki and courtesans.
This is a cruise that offers a beautiful view of Lake Ashinoko, one of the major sightseeing locations of Hakone. There are four ports at the lakeside where liners and boat cruises come and go. The 360-degree scenic panorama from the viewing deck of any of these boats is incredible. Of all the courses, we recommend the 70 minute course from Kojiri Port (1,840 JPY). The view of the red torii gates of Hakone Shrine and of the Kuzuryu Shrine that stand in the lake can be seen. Liners are recommended for those who would like to explore the area of each port, as you may get off at any port you like. Please enjoy Lake Ashinoko using the cruise style that suits you best.
Shikaribetsu Lake is the lake in Hokkaido with the highest elevation, with a primeval forest that has rare trees like Todomatsu fir, Ezomatsu spruce, and Dakekanba Erman's birch. The Shikaribetsu Lake Sightseeing Boat offers a boat cruise (from 650 JPY) that goes around this beautiful lake. The cruise we highly recommend is the morning cruise. A glimpse of the mystic lake in the morning mist and early morning fresh air is revitalizing. The night cruise is also tempting for its captivating view of the moonlit lake. The sky will be filled with stars, and shooting stars can also sometimes be seen. The lake is frozen during winter, so the boat will not be operating from November 4th to May 19th (subject to change).
3. Shikaribetsu Lake Sightseeing Boat (Hokkaido)
This is a cruise that goes around the southern part Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. The boat has a luxurious interior to suit the special hours to be spent on board. The view of the vast lake, observed from the sky deck on the top floor, is breathtaking. The 60-minute Michigan 60 course (from 2,260 JPY) is suitable for those who would like to have a quick experience of this cruise. In the 80-minute Michigan 80 course (from 2,780 JPY), and Michigan Night (from 2,980 JPY) with its beautiful sunset and night view, a tasty light snack, buffet, or course meal can be enjoyed. This can be a perfect detour when touring in Kyoto, as Shiga and Kyoto are close.
Shimizu Port Bay Cruise (from 1,000 JPY (incl. tax)) goes around Shimizu Bay, one of the three most beautiful ports in Japan. The views of Miho No Matsubara, Nihondaira, the Izu peninsula in the distance, and other famous scenic sites can be observed from the Ocean Room on the second floor and the Promenade Deck on the third floor. The highlight of this cruise is the incredible panorama view of the ocean and Mt. Fuji. The view is especially stunning in fine weather. There is a lunch option (2,780 JPY (incl. fare, food charge and tax) reservation required) for a cruise during lunch hours.
5. Shimizu Port Bay Cruise (Shizuoka)
There are plenty of other options for cruises in Japan. Each cruise has its own unique charm, so please find your favorite and enjoy a special experience.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.