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Cruises to Osaka

Osaka (Photo:cowardlion/Shutterstock)

About Osaka

Osaka is part "Shogun" and part "Lost in Translation." Tidy Buddhist temples rub up against modern hotels and pachinko parlors. In the center of town, the iconic Osaka Castle and its ancient moats and beautiful grounds are ringed by high-rises. Flattened during World War II, Osaka is a tangle of bridges, elevated roadways and skyscrapers, but surprisingly, Ferris wheels are also a big part of Osaka's visual signature, throbbing at night in neon color.

With 2.6 million people, Osaka is Japan's third-largest city after Tokyo and Yokohama. Another 1.5 million businesspeople and students crowd into town on weekdays. The city, located at the mouth of the Odo River on Osaka Bay, has a high energy quotient, which ticks up several notches at night when people spill into the entertainment and restaurant districts. And there are thousands of restaurants. Osaka has a longstanding reputation as "the kitchen of Japan," a culinary mecca known for its hearty cuisine. It's a city, it is joked, where people eat and go broke.

Osaka is also known for its stylish malls and shopping arcades, basically roofed shopping streets. It's a good thing some cruise ships choose to overnight here. With its many dimensions, Osaka is a town to take your time with.

  • Why go to Osaka?

  • Osaka Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel

10 Night
Asia - JapanDetails

2,295 Reviews
Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Mar 11, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Azamara Quest
Azamara Quest

12 Night
Hong Kong To Tokyo VoyageDetails

684 Reviews
Leaving:Hong Kong
Cruise Line:Azamara
Mar 7, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Westerdam
Westerdam

14 Night
China & JapanDetails

1,067 Reviews
Leaving:Hong Kong
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seven Seas Explorer
Seven Seas Explorer

28 Night
Southeast Asia CruiseDetails

227 Reviews
Leaving:Singapore
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Feb 7, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

25 Night
Transpacific CruiseDetails

900 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Feb 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
Far East CruiseDetails

1,705 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Apr 6, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Southeast Asia CruiseDetails

707 Reviews
Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Apr 13, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Best Of Japan CruiseDetails

1,679 Reviews
Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

91 Night
Grand Pacific ExplorerDetails

474 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Sep 17, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Far East CruiseDetails

900 Reviews
Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Japan Taiwan & The PhilippinesDetails

1,067 Reviews
Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Asia - JapanDetails

2,295 Reviews
Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 19, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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28 Night
China Japan Taiwan & The Philippines CollectorDetails

1,067 Reviews
Leaving:Hong Kong
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Feb 3, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

14 Night
Far Eastern HorizonsDetails

474 Reviews
Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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150 Night
150 Night World CruiseDetails

365 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 7, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to Osaka?

Pros:

The port is situated within a short walk of the Osaka Aquarium and other popular tourist sites

Cons:

It's at least an hour from both Kyoto and Nara, which boast ancient temples and palaces

Bottom Line:

It's a modern cruise terminal offering good subway transport into the city center and beyond

Osaka Cruise Port Facilities?

It would be easy to spend a full day in the area around the port, called Tempozan Harbor Village. Just steps from the pier, the terrific Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium is home to nearly 600 species and 30,000 marine animals that come from the Pacific Rim. You'll find Pacific white-sided dolphins from the Tasman Sea, penguins from Antarctica, giant spider crabs from Japan, green sea turtles from Cook Strait and an impressive jelly fish collection. The aquarium's headliner is a whale shark that presides over the planet's largest fish tank. Exhibits are labeled in English and Japanese. Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Also nearby is the stylish Suntory Museum, which features a 3D IMAX theater and rotating exhibits of art and design based on everyday life. The museum is open 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday). Tempozan Marketplace is loaded with souvenir shops and restaurants and a food court offering Osaka specialties like Takoyaki octopus balls, broiled blowfish and okonomiyaki, a Japanese-style pancake or pizza topped with ingredients such as red ginger, udon noodles, squid, shrimp, bean sprouts and thinly sliced pork.

Getting Around?

Osaka has a convenient subway system (easily navigable by non-Japanese speakers), and there's a stop at Tempozan Harbor Village. It's also easy to hail a taxi on the street or at taxi stands. A cab ride from the pier to the Sony Building in Shinsaibashi, a central area of downtown for shopping and dining, costs 3,000 yen (about $30). Editor's note: It's not customary to tip your driver.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The national currency is the yen -- visit www.xe.com for up-to-the-minute exchange rates. ATM's are plentiful. Credit cards are widely accepted in finer stores and restaurants. Many taxis also now accept credit cards.

Language?

Japanese is the language, so don't count on hearing much English spoken or understood. Editor's tip: If you plan on using a taxi, it's a good idea to have your destination written in Japanese characters to show the driver.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock at the fabulous Tempozan Pier, which basically puts you smack dab in the center of Osaka's ever-developing waterfront. You can't miss the huge neon-lit Ferris wheel, said to be among the largest in the world. In advance of disembarking, passengers must go through a rigorous immigration inspection, lasting several hours and including fingerprints and photographs.


Osaka Cruise Reviews
It's easy to get around on the Osaka subway. Signs are in English and train operators announce stops in English. Read More
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Rileyprime
Very easy to use underground trains , we visited the Mint museum , out of station cross river then walk beside the river you then arrive at the mint we just missed the cherry blossom here by a day but it was still goRead More
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Lily George
Osaka Visited Dotonbori mad shopping distrisct Kyoto Gion , geisha district and small wagyu beef restaurants and japanese sake and whisky barsRead More
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splashalot
Kyoto we’ll worth them trip. Beautiful views.Read More
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fsw92677

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