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Cruises to Osaka

39 Reviews
Osaka (Photo:cowardlion/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Osaka

Osaka is part "Shogun" and part "Lost in Translation." Tidy Buddhist temples rub up against modern hotels providing a truly unique experience when cruising to Japan. 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.

  • More about Osaka

  • Why Cruise to Osaka?

  • Osaka Cruise Port Facilities?

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Celebrity Millennium
Celebrity Millennium

12 Night
Best Of Japan Cruise

1,735 Reviews
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Celebrity Millennium
Celebrity Millennium

12 Night
Best Of Japan Cruise

1,735 Reviews
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Norwegian Spirit
Norwegian Spirit (Photo: Adam Coulter)

11 Night
Asia - Japan

2,122 Reviews
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Celebrity Millennium
Celebrity Millennium

12 Night
Best Of Japan Cruise

1,735 Reviews
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MSC Cruises

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15 Night
Southeast Asia Cruise

780 Reviews
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9 Night
Asia - Japan

2,122 Reviews
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11 Night
Asia - Japan

2,122 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

14 Night
The Philippines Taiwan & Japan

826 Reviews
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11 Night
Asia - Japan

2,122 Reviews
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150 Night
150 Night World Cruise

392 Reviews
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12 Night
Asia - Japan

2,122 Reviews
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12 Night
Best Of Japan Cruise

1,735 Reviews
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11 Night
Best Of Japan Cruise

1,735 Reviews
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16 Night
16n Ultimate Japan, Vietnam & Singapore

1,674 Reviews
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11 Night
Asia - Japan

2,122 Reviews
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More about Osaka

Why Cruise 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 and ATM's are plentiful in the area. 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
Osaka city had the trees illuminated from dusk which made a beautiful scene of the main road at night. Sunset was 5pm. Dotonburi foodies area at night was busy with people tasting local street food. In the daytime Read More
Pocketrocketdownunder
We took the Kyoto on your own transportation. We were very confused as to why the excursion left so late when we docked the previous evening. Kyoto is not small and we only had time to see two sites - the Bamboo foRead More
ddpe
Wonderful in every way, we went for dinner in Dongbori and took a private tour of Kyoto one day. Fantastic! Read More
DCGuy64
It's easy to get around on the Osaka subway. Signs are in English and train operators announce stops in English. Read More
Rileyprime

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