Osaka cruises

Osaka is Japan’s second largest city and offers an eclectic mix of the modern and the historical. The city is home to the famed Osaka Castle which has had a dramatic past having to be rebuilt twice, once due to a siege and once due to a lightning strike. Osaka also provides the opportunity to see the temples, geisha houses and gardens of Kyoto, the former capital of the country, and Japan’s spiritual centre.

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.

  • Sumo Wrestling & Japanese BBQ Dinner

    A mixture of spectacle and superstition, Japans national sport of Sumo Wrestling is a sight to witness and experience.

    Sumo Wrestling & Japanese BBQ Dinner

    Sumo wrestling dates back millennia; however it only really started to flourish as a spectator sport in the 1600’s. Today there are only 6 tournaments a year, held in different cities around Japan, therefore attaining tickets to a Sumo match is quite difficult, especially as a tourist. This is your rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Sumo.

    As a novice to Sumo wrestling, it is essential to have a guide with you, as what is perceived as wrestlers pushing each other out of a circle to the west, is in fact a deeply spiritual and ritualistic practice. The ring itself is a reflection of a Shinto Shrine and there is hidden meaning in every colour, shape and material used.

    Your guide will explain to you the strict hierarchy that exists within the sport and how the wrestlers themselves belong to a ‘stable’ of wrestlers, where young men join and act as unpaid servants until they attain success in the ring. The highest rank possible is ‘Yokozuna’ however throughout the history of the sport there is only a record of 70 men attaining this title, 2 of which are still currently competing. The noise and atmosphere of watching these titans clash will be an unforgettable experience and you’ll be present for the highlight of the day’s tournament, the last 2 hours of the matches.

    After your introduction to these beefy gladiators, you’ll be able to sit down and enjoy a delicious Teppenyaki dinner and discuss the evening’s events.


    This excursion is conducted by coach and on foot. Early booking is recommended as seats are limited, tickets are non-refundable. Seating locations may vary. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

    Tour code

    OSA_017

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    5¼ hours

  • Osaka Introduction

    See the sights of Osaka. Explore Castle Park and stone 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 first and seventh floors are various weapons and armoury. A viewing platform on the eighth 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 three 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 excursion 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

    OSA_004

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4½ 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 storey 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.

    Indulge in a Japanese-style dinner of Shabushabu (sliced beef and boiled vegetables) in a local restaurant. During your meal, you will also enjoy some Meiko or Geisha entertainment. Have your camera ready to capture the wonderful traditional costumes of the Maiko or Geisha.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. 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. Kodai Yuzen-en is a four-storey building with no lifts. Please remember Japanese Yen for shopping. Early booking is recommended due to limited capacity.

    Tour code

    OSA_006

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    8½ 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 Nijo 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 excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Guests are advised that the stop at the Golden Pavilion is for photographs only. 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

    OSA_009

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    8 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 Sanju 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 lunch at a local restaurant, before visiting the Jisho-ji Temple, a two-storey structure that was built in 1489 during during the Muromachi period by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. After his death, the villa was converted to Ginkaku-ji Temple, the name meaning ‘Silver Pavilion’ after the temple which stands in the grounds. The garden is an outstanding example of Muromachi Period landscape architecture.

    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. Photography is not allowed at Sanju Sangendo Temple.

    Tour code

    OSA_012

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    9½ 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, Niyo 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 or hotel.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey time to Kyoto is approximately 1½ 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 Nijo Castle may be covered due to ongoing restoration work. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

    Tour code

    OSA_002

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    9½ hours

  • Sky Walk & Sake Brewery Museum

    See the sights of Osaka from a high on a Sky Walk and sample traditional Sake, rice wine.

    Sky Walk & Sake Brewery Museum

    Embark on a scenic drive south east to the Kobe’s Nada district. The area is famous for its Sake production, due to the availability of high quality rice and water and its proximity to Kobe Port. With your guide, visit the Sake Brewery Museum, where you’ll be able to follow the brewing process and sample the unique taste of Sake.

    Upon returning to Osaka you’ll visit the Umeda Sky Building - Floating Garden, for spectacular views of the city. Umeda Sky Building is 173 metres high and is formed by 2 skyscrapers connected by their top floors, creating a huge atrium. At the very top of the skyscraper, you’ll enjoy an outdoor Sky Walk, which affords 360-degree panoramic views (weather permitting).

    This tour is conducted by coach and on foot. Passengers will require Japanese yen for purchases at the museum shop. There are several steps to negotiate at the Sake Brewery Museum, no lifts or ramps are available. There is approximately 2 hours of walking and standing included during the tour.

    Tour code

    OSA_016

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours