Kobe, Japan - Far East Cruises

Kobe is the starting point for excursions to the cultural fountainheads of Classical Japan. Ride the bullet train to the classical pavilions and castles of Kyoto. Until 1868, Kyoto was the capital of Japan, filled with elegant timber buildings and, perhaps more than any other Japanese city, imbued with Kami, the divine spirit. You’ll sense it everywhere, for there are hundreds of Shinto shrines and over a thousand Buddhist temples.

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Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Ancient Japan

    Simply two of Japan’s best; Kyoto and Nara both former capitals, which are brimming with fascinating tales from the past.

    Ancient Japan

    One of Japan’s most famous temples is the Todaiji Temple in Nara. Known for the great image of Buddha, which has become a symbol of Nara, the building itself is the largest existing wooden structure in the world.

    The Kasuga Taisha Shrine was originally constructed in 768 AD, and has been rebuilt over 50 times in accordance with Shinto custom to purify the site. View the 2,000 stone lanterns lining the pathways, before passing through the ‘Torii Gate’ to see the unique architecture and the brilliant vermilion and green halls.

    Luncheon is a combination of Western and Japanese-style cuisine served at a local hotel or restaurant.

    The Golden Pavilion (Exterior View) is one of Kyoto’s ‘must sees’. The three storey pavilion is covered in gold leaf, and also features tranquil gardens and a serene pond.

    Pillars against the side of the mountain support the magnificent wooden construction of the Kiyomizu Dera Temple. The temple, which was built in ‘Yosemune-zukuri’ style, is unique in that not one nail has been used in its construction. From the balcony there are wonderful views over the city of Kyoto (weather permitting.


    This tour operates by coach and on foot. Traffic delays are to be expected. A visit to the interior of the Treasure Hall at Kasuga Shrine is not included. This tour involves a substantial number of steps and uphill walking. Comfortable, non-slip shoes and bottled water are recommended. Some parts of Kiyomizu Temple may be undergoing restoration work. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

    Tour code

    KOB_001

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    10½ hours

  • Kyoto by Day & Night

    A fantastic introduction to Japanese culture, traditions, food and performing arts, on a tour which spans afternoon and evening.

    Kyoto by Day & Night

    Enjoy a visit to one of Kyoto’s main highlights, Kinkakuji Temple, the ‘Golden Pavilion’, this architectural masterpiece features on the World Heritage list. The three storeys high temple is covered in pure gold leaf and the mirror reflection of the temple on the serene pond creates a striking scene; one that should feature in any world-traveller’s album. (exterior view)

    At Marumasu Nishimuraya discover the art of Yuzen-zome. A magnificent dyeing art with marvellous colours and patterns spread over kimonos. Yuzen-zome was established 330 years ago in the Edo period. Learn of the Yuzen stencil dyeing process by making your own souvenir to remind you of this unique and enjoyable experience.

    A Japanese-style dinner of Shabushabu (sliced beef and boiled vegetables) will be served in a local restaurant. During your meal, you will also enjoy an exclusive Maiko or Geisha performance. Have your camera ready to capture the wonderful traditional costumes of the Maiko or Geisha.


    The journey time to Kyoto is approximately 1½ hours. Traffic delays are to be expected. This tour involves a high level of activity with uphill walking and numerous steps. Please remember Japanese Yen for shopping. Early booking is recommended due to limited capacity.

    Tour code

    KOB_004

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    9 hours

  • Skywalk & Sushi Dinner

    Sample both Japanese architecture, engineering and the greater Osaka Kobe area at a glance and enjoy a traditional sushi dinner.

    Skywalk & Sushi Dinner

    Sit back, relax and enjoy a panoramic tour through Osaka to the Umeda Sky Building - Floating Garden.

    With your guide, explore the Umeda Sky Building, the seventh tallest building in Osaka, and one of the city's most recognisable landmarks. At 173 metres the two 40-storey skyscrapers are connected at their top floors by a bridge and an escalator crossing the wide atrium-like space in the centre. From the Sky Walk, enjoy spectacular 360-degree panoramic views (weather permitting).

    After experiencing such heady heights, it’s time to sample a traditional sushi dinner with Japanese tea.


    This tour will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking over flat even ground. Dinner includes two glasses of either a soft drink, beer, wine or Japanese Sake.

    Tour code

    KOB_009

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Osaka Introduction

    See the sights of Osaka. Explore Castle Park and stroll the lantern-lined path to a Japanese national treasure.

    Osaka Introduction

    Osaka first gained prominence when Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a well known warlord, built Japan’s most magnificent castle here in the 16th century. Osaka Castle was destroyed by a series of fires throughout the ages. The present structure dates from 1931, and although not as large as the original, this is still one of Japan’s most famous castles. On display between the 1st and 7th floors are various weapons and armoury. A viewing platform on the 8th floor offers bird’s-eye-view of the city.

    One of Japan’s most famous shrines is the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, headquarters of over 2,000 Sumiyoshi-sha Shrines nationwide. Over 3 million people visit this shrine at the beginning of a new year, and it is widely respected as the home of the guardian deity of sailors. Each of its sanctuaries has a straight roof - the oldest shrine architectural style, and all are designated as national treasures.



    This tour will operate by coach and on foot. There is a 20 minute walk between the coach parking area and Osaka Castle. Ramps and lifts are available within the Castle itself. Photography is not permitted inside the Castle Museum. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

    Tour code

    KOB_003

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    5½ hours

  • Hiroshima by Bullet Train

    Experience a magnificent feat of engineering on the world famous ‘Bullet Train’ and visit the sights of Hiroshima.

    Hiroshima by Bullet Train

    Step aboard the world famous JR Supper Express ‘Bullet Train’ and experience a 240 kilometre-per-hour journey to Hiroshima.

    Drive through the city and pass the imposing Hiroshima Castle. The fortress was completely destroyed by the firestorm that followed the atomic explosion. Rebuilt in 1958, its central keep is now a local museum, afterwards Luncheon will be served at a local hotel.

    Visit the Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to the victims of the first atomic bomb. The Park is home to the Peace Memorial Museum and eloquent monuments, exhibiting photographs and artefacts from the bomb’s aftermath. The Children’s Peace Monument depicts a young girl, named Sadako, who died from leukaemia caused by radiation. The girl believed that if she folded 1,000 origami cranes - the crane symbolizes long life - she would be cured. Sadako finished 1,300 cranes before her death.

    You will also see the Atomic Bomb Dome, an internationally recognised symbol of Hiroshima and the old Industry Promotion Hall which was one of the few buildings near Ground Zero to survive the blast - although its dome was vapourised. Shukkeien Gardens were created by the feudal lord, Nagaakira Asano in 1620. The serene oasis of ponds, small streams and sculpted pines was inspired by Chinese landscapes and a perfect location for your last stop.


    This tour will operate by coach, bullet train and on foot. This is a tour with sensitive materials including graphic pictures and displays on the atrocities of war. Comfortable shoes are recommended for this tour. Please carry Japanese Yen should you wish to make any purchases.

    Tour code

    KOB_008

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    10 hours

  • Japanese Culture

    This exclusive tour provides a unique opportunity to gain a closer insight into Japanese cultures and customs.

    Japanese Culture

    Embark on a scenic drive to Kyoto.

    Upon arrival you’ll visit the famed Kiyomizu Temple, known for its principal sanctuary, built on a steep cliff. Kiyomizu was registered as a World Cultural Heritage site in 1994. Enjoy spectacular views of the city of Kyoto. Next, you’ll visit the Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden Pavilion, a key highlight of Kyoto. This World Heritage architectural masterpiece is three storeys high and covered in pure gold leaf. The mirror reflection of the temple on the serene pond creates a striking scene; one that should feature in any world-traveller’s album. Have your camera at the ready as you admire exterior views of the Temple. Following your visit you’ll enjoy a Japanese style luncheon at a local restaurant.

    A unique experience awaits you, as you participate in a traditional tea ceremony and kimono wearing. You’ll have the opportunity to sample the traditional values of wabi (elegant stillness) and sabi (antiquated elegance with calm), which is essential to traditional Japanese art. Allow yourself to become absorbed into the serene lifestyle of ancient Japan.



    This tour will operate by coach and on foot.The journey time to Kyoto is approximately 1½ hours. Traffic delays are to be expected. Guests are asked to dress and act respectfully during the Japanese cultural demonstrations, as the venue is not a regular sightseeing venue. You may be asked to remove your shoes. Photography is not permitted. There is some uphill walking, and up to 30 steps to negotiate. Comfortable, non-slip shoes and bottled water are recommended Some parts of Kiyomizu Temple may be undergoing restoration work. There are approximately 150 steps to the Temple. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors. Early booking is recommended due to the limited availability.

    Tour code

    KOB_006

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    10 hours

  • Kyoto Panorama

    This tour showcases the cityscape of Kyoto from the comfort of your coach with a short photograph stop at the famous Golden Pavilion.

    Kyoto Panorama

    Kyoto served as the imperial capital of Japan for over a thousand years. The city has over sixteen hundred temples and several hundred shrines. During a drive around the city, you will pass the Heian Shrine, built in 1895 on the 1,110th anniversary of the Heian Capital foundation. You’ll see the Kamo River, running through the city centre and Nijyo Castle with its outer fortifications and moat. Other landmarks will come into view en route, such as the Kyoto Station, Kyoto Tower, and Toji (East Temple).

    No visit to Kyoto would be complete without seeing the famous Kinkakuji Temple, or Golden Pavilion. You will have the opportunity to take a photograph of this glorious building, its serene gardens and mirror-like lake (exterior view).

    Seven storeys of traditional crafts, works of art, clothing and souvenirs such as dolls, paper lanterns, kites, and Japanese sandals await you at the Kyoto Handicraft Centre, the ideal place to purchase a souvenir of your visit.

    Relax over a mixture of Western and Japanese-style luncheon, which will be served in a local restaurant in Kyoto.


    This tour will operate by coach and on foot.Guests are advised that the stop at the Golden Pavilion is for photographs only. The drive between Kobe and Kyoto is approximately 1½ hours The view of the Golden Pavilion is from a distance and the tour involves a short walk over a gravel path at the Pavilion. Guests must be able to negotiate the steps onto and off the coach. Traffic delays are to be expected. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

    Tour code

    KOB_005

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    9 hours

  • Highlights of Kyoto

    Kyoto, with its wealth of temples, shrines, and traditional arts, is an immensely popular destination, which never fails to charm.

    Highlights of Kyoto

    Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden Pavilion, is a key highlight of Kyoto. This architectural masterpiece, featured on the World Heritage list, is three storeys high, covered in pure gold leaf. The mirror reflection of the temple on the serene pond creates a striking scene; one that should feature in any world-traveller’s album. Enjoy an exterior view of the Temple.

    Built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shogun, Nijyo Castle has a solemn exterior, contrasting sharply with its beautiful interior. The Castle is famous for its cultural treasures from the 16th century, such as the Chinese Gate and the Ni-no-maru Garden.

    The bright vermilion and blue-tiled Heian Shrine has enchanting gardens and ponds, reflecting the graceful life of Kyoto’s medieval court. The shrine was built in 1895 to mark the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto.

    Traditional crafts, works of art and souvenirs await at the Kyoto Handicrafts Center.

    Luncheon is a combination of Western and Japanese-style cuisine served at a local restaurant.



    This tour will operate by coach and on foot. The journey time to Kyoto is approximately one and a half hours. Traffic delays are to be expected. Photography is not permitted inside the Castle or the Heian Shrine. Shoes must be removed to enter Nijo Castle. There is approximately three hours of walking involved on this tour, and 30 steps at the Kinkakuji Temple. Comfortable, non-slip shoes and bottled water are recommended. Some parts of Nijyo Castle may be covered due to ongoing restoration work. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

    Tour code

    KOB_002

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    10 hours

  • Kyoto's Treasures

    Explore the spiritual side of Kyoto, with a visit to three of its most beautiful temples and shrines.

    Kyoto's Treasures

    Travel to Kyoto to the Fushimi-Inari Taisha. The head shrine for 40,000 Inari-jinja shrines all over Japan; here people pray for success in business, good luck and better skills. Red torii gates lining the path are so close together they resemble a tunnel all the way to the top of Mount Inari, rising high within the grounds of the shrine.

    Visit the Sanjyu Sangen-do Temple. The temple hall is Japan's longest wooden structure. Sanjusangendo literally translates as 33 intervals and refers to the number of intervals between the building's support columns, a traditional method of measuring the size of a building. In the centre of the main hall sits a large, wooden statue of a 1000-armed Kannon (Senju Kannon) that is flanked on each side by 500 statues of human sized 1000-armed Kannon standing in ten rows. Together they make for an awesome sight.

    Enjoy a Japanese-style luncheon at a local restaurant, before visiting the Kiyomizu Temple, where the unique mortise and joint structure of pillars and beams used no nails for the construction of the temple structure. The panoramic view (weather permitting) of Kyoto City from the balcony is magnificent.


    The journey time to Kyoto is approximately 1½ hours. Traffic delays are to be expected. There is up to three hours of walking involved on this tour, including a substantial amount of steps. Comfortable, non-slip shoes and bottled water are recommended. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

    Tour code

    KOB_007

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    9½ hours

Our Ships

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Christened by her namesake, Her Majesty The Queen in October 2010, Queen Elizabeth is the newest Cunard ship and the third to bear the name. Modern and spacious, she has everything you’d wish for on board.

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2

The newly Remastered Queen Mary 2 is the epitome of a luxury liner. The flagship of the Cunard fleet offers the last word in travel luxury – from the largest ballroom at sea to the sumptuous Commodore Club.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria is exactly what a Cunard ship should be. She’s sleek and contemporary, with a traditional red and black exterior. Inside is all about warmth and luxury, privacy and comfort.