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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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Seven Seas Explorer
Seven Seas Explorer
Seven Seas Explorer

18 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

216 Reviews
Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
$11,999*pp
$667/night • suite

RegentCruises.com

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Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun

11 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun

12 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Noordam
Noordam
Noordam

28 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Virgin Voyages

Norwegian Sun

10 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Westerdam

14 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Celebrity Solstice

12 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises

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Noordam

14 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Hong Kong
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Norwegian Sun

12 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Norwegian Sun

12 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Norwegian Sun

12 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Noordam

14 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Noordam

14 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Norwegian Sun

9 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Diamond Princess

9 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises

CruisesOnly

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Spectrum of the Seas

9 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

37 Reviews
Leaving:Hong Kong
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean

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Diamond Princess

9 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises

American Discount Cruises

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Norwegian Sun

9 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Direct Line Cruises

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Diamond Princess

9 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Tokyo
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
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Celebrity Solstice

12 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises

Luxury Cruise Connections

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Noordam

28 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Hong Kong
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Silver Muse

14 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Seward
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises

Silversea

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Westerdam

28 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Celebrity Solstice

12 Night
Cruise to OsakaDetails

Leaving:Yokohama
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises

Luxury Cruise Connections

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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... Read 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 bars... Read More
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splashalot
Visited Osaka castle and went on ferris wheel, great day out.... Read More
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locosnotions

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