Japan is a study in contrasts. Modern skyscrapers soar high above ancient shrines. The country is full of natural wonders and ancient sites. Are you looking for the perfect time to take an Asia cruise for your dream holiday to Japan?
As the World's Leading Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line will help you discover the very best when it comes to the flavors, colors, and cultures of Japan. Explore four of Japan's top cities at the height of the national holiday season on an 8-Day Golden Week cruise from Tokyo.
About Golden Week in Japan
What is so special about Golden Week? The country celebrates four national holidays that fall between late April and early May. Golden Week, also known as Ōgon Shūkan, gets its name from the fact that multiple national holidays take place during this time. This week is a major event in Japan. Many Japanese businesses close during this week so workers can celebrate. The four holidays that occur over Golden Week include:
- Showa Day (April 29) — Showa Day celebrates the late Emperor Hirohito's life. Showa Day is a day of rest for many Japanese people. If the holiday falls on a Friday or Monday, many workers enjoy a long weekend break.
- Constitution Memorial Day (May 3) — This important holiday celebrates the declaration of the 1947 Constitution of Japan. Locals take the day to reflect on the value of democracy in Japan.
- Greenery Day (May 4) — Greenery Day is a celebration of nature. This holiday is a wonderful opportunity to explore outdoor activities in Japan. Many locals take trips to the countryside on Greenery Day.
- Children's Day (May 5) — Children's Day is a day of prayer and celebration for children. It is a tradition for Japanese families to hang streamers outside their doors on this day. The streamers symbolize success for their children. You might also see samurai dolls, known as May dolls, displayed in the homes of Japanese locals. This beautiful warrior doll symbolizes strength.
During the 8-Day Golden Week cruise from Norwegian Cruise Line, you'll have a chance to see and experience authentic Japanese traditions and culture during one of the most important weeks in the country.
Cruise from Tokyo, Japan
The 8-Day Golden Week cruise departs from Tokyo — one of the largest and most fascinating cities in the world. You'll find an eclectic mix of things to explore in this cosmopolitan city. Arrive a day or two before your cruise and take the bullet train from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. You can take an aerial tram to the top of Mt Komagatake for spectacular views that you won't soon forget. If you'd rather stay in the city, you'll still find plenty of things to do. Spend a day exploring some of the best sights in Tokyo. The following are must-see sights in Tokyo:
- Hama Rikyu Garden — This Edo-period Japanese strolling garden will delight you no matter when you visit. During Golden Week, look for cherry blossoms as they are in bloom. Plum blossoms in the late winter and golden foliage can be seen in the fall.
- Imperial Palace — This palace sits on the site of the former Edo Castle. It is now the residence of Japan's Imperial Family and is surrounded by a large park area. Although it is not open to the public, the two bridges that form the entrance to the inner palace grounds are visible, and what you can see is quite breathtaking.
Kobe, Japan Port Stop
After exploring Tokyo, you'll step onboard Norwegian Jewel for the start of your exciting Golden Week journey. The first port stop on this 8-Day Golden Week cruise is Kobe, Japan — a lovely city that is located right between the sea and the mountains. The port is famous for its scrumptious cuisine. In fact, it is the birthplace of Kobe beef, an excellent delicacy that you'll find in many fine restaurants in Japan and elsewhere.
For a more active excursion, climb or take a cable car to the top of nearby Mt Rokko. You'll be rewarded with spectacular views. You'll also find an observation deck, botanical gardens, and other outdoor activities to enjoy at the top.
After departing Kobe, you'll spend a day of relaxation and fun onboard the ship. Celebrate Golden Week with Champagne at Bliss Ultra Lounge. Take a relaxing soak in one of the six hot tubs onboard Norwegian Jewel, and try your luck at Blackjack at Jewel Club Casino.
Okinawa and Ishigaki Cruise Port Stops
The next stop on this cruise is Okinawa, Japan. Soak up the sun in Okinawa. The weather is warm all year long, which means that Golden Week is the perfect time to swim in the clear blue ocean. For outstanding views of the sea, tour the lavish Shuri Castle. This UNESCO heritage site provides wonderful views of the surrounding city, Naha. Visit Shikinaen Garden, which is another UNESCO Heritage Site. You'll find an array of fauna and flora to photograph at these Japanese-style gardens.
After spending a day exploring Okinawa, you'll sail to Ishigaki, Japan. Tour this lush island's beautiful beaches, striking mountains, and colorful coral reefs. Hike through dense jungles and mangroves. See a native palm forest or simply explore the town's many great restaurants.
Book your Asian Golden Week cruise with Norwegian today. Experience the unique cultures and customs of Japan during Japan's most important holiday week. There is no better time to cruise to Japan than at the height of Golden Week.