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Cruises to Osaka

Osaka (Photo:cowardlion/Shutterstock)
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.

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DAY 3: Osaka

13 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Yokohama
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Tokyo

30 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Tokyo
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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DAY 1: Singapore

14 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Phu My, Da Nang ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 3: Osaka

14 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Yokohama
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Tokyo
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Tokyo
Visiting:
Kanmon Strait, Beppu ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Phu My, Nha Trang ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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6 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Shanghai
Visiting:
Osaka, Kobe ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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36 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Tokyo
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Yokohama
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Tokyo
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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139 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama City ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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123 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Yokohama
Visiting:
Hakodate, Hokkaido ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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30 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Yokohama
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Tokyo
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Yokohama
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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111 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Tokyo
Visiting:
Wakayama, Cheju City ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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92 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Auckland
Visiting:
Napier, Wellington ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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78 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Brisbane ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Yokohama
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Tokyo
Visiting:
Shimizu, Osaka ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Osaka

Leaving:
Shanghai
Visiting:
Osaka, Kobe ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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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

Viking Orion
Rileyprime
Sail Date: Sep 2019
It's easy to get around on the Osaka subway. Signs are in English and train operators announce stops in English.... Read More
Lily George
Sail Date: Apr 2019
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... Read More
Quantum of the Seas
splashalot
Sail Date: Mar 2019
Osaka Visited Dotonbori mad shopping distrisct Kyoto Gion , geisha district and small wagyu beef restaurants and japanese sake and whisky bars... Read More
Diamond Princess
locosnotions
Sail Date: Mar 2018
Visited Osaka castle and went on ferris wheel, great day out.... Read More
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