Diamond Princess Review

Sea of Japan Spring Flowers

Review for Asia Cruise on Diamond Princess
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6-10 Cruises • Age 30s

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Sail Date: Apr 2023
Cabin: Balcony
Historic Chaya district in Kanazawa
Display in Pokemon Center shop in Kanazawa
Sakurajima Volcano in Kagoshima
Neputa Festival float display in museum in Hirosaki, Aomori
Garden visit in Sakaiminato
Sakuras in bloom at Hirosaki Castle, Aomori
Kenroku-en (garden) in Kanazwa

Overall, a wonderful experience. The itinerary was great, and we enjoyed all of the ports and excursions. We felt blessed to see peak sakura blooms at Hirosaki Castle in Aomori, and wandering Kanazawa on our own was a highlight.

The send-offs and performances from the locals at each port during sailaways are not to be missed. Really, truly lovely and touching. You must make sure to be out on deck, preferably the promenade, when leaving each port in Japan.

As for critiques: embarkation could have been improved. Our sailing did not board at the main passenger terminal in Yokohama as usual but rather at the pier across the bay. Princess provided a free shuttle but did not provide good information/instructions about where to board the shuttle. Luckily, we found info here on CruiseCritic from other cruisers and were able to locate the shuttle in Yamashita park. But we later met a group of ladies that ended up having to take a taxi as they couldn't locate the shuttle bus stop.

Cabin Review


Bathroom was clean but clearly in need of refurb. Toilet seat and cover were both discolored and should have been replaced long ago. Desk chair and balcony furniture also needed cleaning and/or replacement.

Port Reviews


We went on an excursion to Hirosaki Castle Park to view sakura (cherry blossoms). Beautiful views, with flowers, castle and mountains. Friendly guide. Might choose a different excursion or just walk around town at another time of year if no blossoms to view, though.


Interesting port, and doable on your own if you're adventurous. There is a nice park area at the pier, with great views, but everything else is quite a bit away.

We took the provided shuttle bus into town and rode the ferry to Sakurajima. We then walked to the Geopark, where there are free hot-spring-fed footbaths that were fun and relaxing to use. Also had lunch at a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant near the shuttle stop prior to getting on the ferry. Recommend bringing a parasol for some shade.

Immigration process when getting off the ship in the morning was quite slow. (This only applies if your ship has been outside of Japan before docking here. We had just come from Busan, Korea.)

Pusan (Kyongju)

Lots to do, but of course nowhere near enough time to do it! We went to Gamcheon Culture Village, which was fun and scenic. Good cafes and shopping opportunities. Our tour also stopped at the beach to walk on the Songdo Skywalk, which was very pretty, and a quick tour of some markets. Pier is not really close to any sights, so you'll need a tour or transport of some kind.


We did a tour that packed *a lot* into one day here:

We started at the Adachi Museum of Art, which also has immaculate gardens to view (but you can't enter them).

We visited Matsue Castle and were able to climb the (many) steep steps to the top.

We went to a lovely garden, Yuushien, with beautiful peonies in peak bloom. A beautifully presented Kaiseki-style lunch was also served at the garden.

We visited Shigeru Road, with charming bronze statues of "yokai" characters (ghosts) from an anime show.

Great day, but the port area itself is not near much of anything, so be sure to book a tour. There was a small setup of local vendors at the terminal, and there was a cute bird mascot to greet us as well.


Extremely welcoming port, small-town feel. The weather was poor the day we visited, but the locals still set up a reception area at the pier for us, with a craft market and food trucks with the local specialty ramen to try. We liked the red truck best, the one with the shrimp wonton ramen. Delicious on a cool, windy, and rainy day. There were even tents with tables set up to eat.

They gave us a great send-off, probably our favorite of the trip, with lots of dancers and performers, even in the poor weather.

We visited Kano Aquarium on our tour, which has an impressive collection of jellyfish. The drive along the coast to reach the aquarium was also scenic. After the aquarium, we also stopped at a local park, which was having a small cherry blossom festival at the time, with food vendors. Cute place but not super memorable. We also visited the vintage rice warehouses, which are picturesque but not super exciting, in my opinion. There was a nice shop there with lots of local products, though.

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