Sailing roundtrip from Tokyo, this 10-night voyage on Queen Elizabeth offers time to explore in Kobe, Kochi, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima, along with a stop in the city of Busan in South Korea.

Your ship: Queen Elizabeth
Join us on Queen Elizabeth and immerse yourself in her evocative art deco elegance. This stunning Queen exudes style and has an especially refined feel. Prepare yourself for a truly remarkable voyage.

Apr 16, 2024 – Apr 26, 2024

Travel: 10 Nights, Departs : Tokyo, Japan
Arrives : Tokyo, Japan
Cruise: Aboard the Queen Elizabeth
CONTACT AN AGENT

Itinerary

Apr 16, 2024
Japan’s vibrant capital has beckoned visitors for many centuries, offering a perfect balance of futuristic curiosities and unique traditions.
Tokyo port guide
Streets adorned in colorful posters and neon signs. Beautifully decorated Shinto shrines. Sweet and spicy aromas escaping from local yatai (food stalls). Tokyo is a treat for the senses, bringing opportunities for unforgettable experiences at every corner.

Perhaps you’d love to simply get lost on purpose, among the unending high rises and contemporary architecture. Would you prefer to seek out a more tranquil spot, spending a quiet moment or two in one of the city’s fairy-tale-like parks? Should you prefer an active day, seeing as much as possible of this metropolis, you’ll find plenty of iconic landmarks to choose from.

Top landmarks and sights in Tokyo
While skyscrapers and modern architecture abound, so too do historic buildings and peaceful greenspaces. Take time to gaze skywards, peer round corners, wander beneath intricately carved archways, and be rewarded with a glimpse into Japan’s fascinating history and culture.

Tokyo Skytree

At 634 meters, Tokyo Skytree is one of the tallest structures in the world. It’s a broadcasting and observation tower, and on a clear day, not only does it offer a one-of-a-kind view of the sprawling city, but also the snow-capped slopes of Mount Fuji behind.

Shibuya Crossing

Tokyo is renowned for its contemporary feel and fast-pace, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the streets surrounding Shibuya Crossing. Known to be the world’s busiest crossing, where an estimated 3,000 people cross at one time, to many people this is the very essence of Tokyo.

Sensō-ji

You could choose to explore Japanese history and culture, at sites including the oldest temple in Tokyo, Sensō-ji. This Buddhist temple, first opened in 645 AD, showcases fine Japanese craftsmanship with its carefully carved pillars, walls, and curved red roofs.

Things to do in Tokyo
Tokyo is where past meets present. It’s where ornate details meet flashy blocks of color. It’s where you can spend a morning breathing in the scent of incense in a beautiful Buddhist temple, and an afternoon playing arcade games and shopping for shirts and spices in vending machines. No matter where your interests lie, you’ll find that Tokyo is a city with something for all.

Yoyogi Park

Escape the electric energy and flurry of Tokyo in Yoyogi Park, home to the ornate and photogenic Meiji Shrine. Parks like this offer a wonderful respite from the city streets, with plenty of green space, wooden sculptures, water features, and rippling ponds.

Arcades

Japan is known for colorful anime and video games, and there’s nowhere better to explore this side of the country than in one of Tokyo’s many arcades. The Akihabara district is home to plenty of arcades with hundreds of different games, including classics like Tekken and Super Mario.

Chiyoda City

In the center of Tokyo is the Chiyoda district, known as Chiyoda City. It’s here you’ll find the Imperial Palace, an iconic piece of ornate Japanese architecture, and home to Naruhito, the Emperor of Japan. A maze of streams and moats are framed by ornate stone walls and bridges, while at the same time contemporary architecture looms above picturesque gardens and fountains.

Eating and drinking near Tokyo
Sticky sweet treats. Delicate fresh fish. Nourishing bowls of flavorsome soup. Tokyo is a haven for foodies, offering plenty of new and interesting choices as well as some familiar favorites.

Many visitors to this part of the world go in search of the best sushi and sashimi. Sushi, typically raw pieces of salmon, prawns, or tuna is usually served with flavored rice and vegetables. Sashimi, on the other hand, comprises simple, thin-cut pieces of raw fish or meat served alone. Both perfectly showcase the skills of Japanese chefs and make for a fresh and light meal.

Ramen, miso soup, and udon noodles in broth are also excellent, lighter options. In these dishes, you’ll find a tasty stock base complimented by different vegetables, meat or tofu, noodles, and sometimes dumplings, along with a hearty goodness that will leave you feeling happy, full, and ready to explore.

Takoyaki is a wonderful snack when you’re looking for a little dessert. They’re small parcels made with pancake batter and can be filled with chocolate, custard, or red bean jam (anko). You could also try anmitsu, which is made with a gelatine-like ingredient called agar-agar and adzuki red beans, served with fruit and syrup.

Shopping in Tokyo
As a center of commerce, dealing in everything from electronics and technology to colorful anime toys and cutting-edge fashion, it will come as no surprise to learn that shopping in Tokyo is almost impossible to avoid. The different districts each offer their own charm, and often specialize in something different.

Ameyoko is a vibrant market street with vendors selling a wide variety. You’ll find dried food and spices just a few yards from another stall offering bags and clothes, and another with cosmetics. This street comes with an interesting history too; it was home to a black market selling American products after World War 2, and before that the main commodity was candy, hence the full name Ameya Yokocho, translating to ‘candy store alley’.

For more traditional and local goods, visit the Nihonbashi district. Here you’ll find the first branch of Japan’s department store, Mitsukoshi, as well as other shops with a history dating back centuries.

Getting around: Tokyo transport
While the cruise port is quite central, at more than 2,000km squared Tokyo cannot be described as a walkable city by any means. Luckily, Japanese public transport is reliably punctual and easy, and throughout Tokyo you’re never too far from a metro station. There is a station at the cruise terminal itself, and a train can take you almost anywhere you’d like to go in the city, with more than 175 stations located across 195km of track. It’s also easy to grab taxis in Tokyo if you’d prefer.

Tokyo port facilities
Opening in September 2020, Tokyo International Cruise Terminal is a modern facility featuring plenty of amenities. It was built to accommodate events as well as cruise passengers, and as such it boasts spacious meeting rooms, communal areas, and even an art gallery. There is also an observation deck on the fourth floor. For more basic needs, you’ll find toilets, Wi-Fi, a nursing room, and a smoking room.

Top tips for Tokyo
Currency

The currency used in Tokyo and throughout Japan is the Yen (JPY). At the time of writing, £1 GBP works out to around 163 JPY. Card payments are widely accepted in Tokyo, although it’s advisable to carry some cash if you’d like to visit smaller establishments, such as street food vendors, small cafes, and market stalls. You’ll find plenty of ATMs all over the city, or you can also purchase Yen on board your ship.

Tipping

Tipping is not expected in Japan, and many cafes and restaurants actually require you to pay your bill upfront, rather than after dining. The cultural expectation here is that you’ve already paid for good service by visiting the establishment, and the offer of a tip may even lead to an awkward scenario, as it’s likely to be turned down.

Weather

Tokyo is a city that sees all seasons. The coldest months are January and February, when temperatures sit at around 41 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer months of July and August, on the other hand, are much warmer at around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, some of the warmer months are also when Tokyo sees the most rain, with June and September being the wettest.

At sea
Apr 17, 2024

Kobe, Japan
Apr 18, 2024
Arrives Early morning
Departs Early evening

Kobe begins your exploration of the cultural fountainheads of Classical Japan. From here, ride the rapid bullet train to the classical pavilions and calm temples of Kyoto, capital of Japan until 1868.

Kyoto is notable for its elegant timber buildings, and imbued more than any other Japanese city with the divine spirit, Kami. There are countless Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples here.

Kochi, Japan
Apr 19, 2024
Arrives Early morning
Departs Early evening

Kochi is the capital of the Kochi Prefecture, which is located on Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands which make up Japan, in a region scattered with temples and forested mountains.
One of Kochi’s main sights is the castle complex, whose main tower, or donjon, is one of just twelve to remain intact across Japan. Its origins lie in the early 1600s, even if most of the buildings were rebuilt after a devastating fire in the mid-1700s. Several points make it unique, notably that its donjon served not just a military function, but as a residence too. Wooden interiors show how the castle would have looked during the Edo Period, and its lookout point offers fine views over the city.

There are 88 sacred temples on Shikoku Island, reputedly established by a Buddhist monk over 1,200 years ago. Today they form an important pilgrimage route, and the reward for visiting each is claimed to be freedom from material desires. Sixteen of these temples are situated in Kochi, including Chikurinji, crowned by a beautiful five-tiered red pagoda.

For those with an interest in Japanese history, Kochi is also the proud home of Sakamoto Ryoma, and his statue appears around the city. He played an important role in the Meiji Restoration, when the emperor Meiji replaced the ruling feudal shogunate and moved the capital to Tokyo. This also marked the start of a modern Japan, and the story can be brought to life at the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum.

In heart of the city, a famous landmark is a small red bridge, Harimayabashi. It’s central to a doomed love story, the secret meeting place of a priest from Mount Godaison and a girl from Kochi. As his temple forbade such relationships, they were forced to flee together.

One of the local delicacies here is “katsuo no tataki,” very lightly seared slices of skipjack tuna served with spring onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and citrus. Sake connoisseurs may also visit one of the breweries nearby where you can appreciate the techniques that are specific to the region, handed down from generation to generation.

If you’re in the market for souvenirs, you’ll find several arcades and attractive shopping streets. In particular, Kochi Prefecture is known for its high-quality “washi” or handmade paper. At the Japanese Paper Museum, you can even try your hand at paper-making and create your own unique keepsakes.

If you venture into the countryside, Shikoku’s landscapes reflect the beauty of the seasons. Spring brings cherry blossom, autumn adds rich colors to the trees and snow is common through the winter. One of the island’s many natural attractions is Ryuga-do Cave, a vast limestone cavern filled with stalactites, stalagmites and formations that resemble flowing water or folded fabric. There’s an archaeological element too, as it contains an earthenware pot that’s around 2,000 years old.

At sea
Apr 20, 2024

Busan, South Korea
Apr 21, 2024
Arrives Early morning
Departs Afternoon

Busan is South Korea’s second-largest city and seaport, and it’s a laid-back, metropolitan destination. Its pace is slower, and its diversity more pronounced, than the country’s capital city of Seoul.
Busan has an intriguing medley of culture and history, beautiful natural settings and exciting adventures. It’s also near South Korea’s cultural capital, Gyeongju, and the fortress of Jinju.

The area has a long history dating back almost 2,000 years. Though the city of Busan itself was first designated as a port at the beginning of the 15th century, primarily trading with Japan. When Japan invaded Korea later that century, the role of the port diminished somewhat, until 1876 when Korea assigned Busan as its first international port.

During the Korean War, Busan was one of just two cities which remained in South Korean control, and thus served as a refugee camp throughout the conflict as well as temporarily functioning as the country’s capital city. Busan transformed into a self-governing metropolis and in 1995 became a metropolitan city. Today the city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, possessing an alluring international character.

Busan cruises will transport visitors into the southeastern province of South Korea. Here you will find a subtropical climate where hot humid summers are best enjoyed on the beach and cooler springs make for wonderful conditions to explore the city and its natural surroundings. Such is the city’s diverse array of offerings, you can easily enjoy a beach break, a cultural escape or an active getaway in Busan all in one trip.

Foodies will also find a special place in the city, with a great range of restaurants and dishes promising a memorable culinary experience. As a coastal city, fresh seafood is a common sight on any menu and there are some fantastic dishes specific to Busan which utilize these ingredients. Dong-nae pajeon is an affordable and popular dish consisting of a seafood and green onion pancake, while daegu tang is a tasty cod and vegetable soup, best enjoyed beside the beach.

The city is home to some stunning temples, most notably Beomeosa Temple with its breathtaking mountain location. Yonggungsa Temple is spread along the shoreline and is home to some remarkable Buddha statue sculptures. Gamcheon Cultural Village is another great location for those interested in local culture and history, with its colorful alleyways and eye-catching layout proving extremely photogenic.

Enjoying the great outdoors in Busan

For an unbeatable panorama of the city, head up Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park, set on a pretty hillside and proving a relaxing place to spend a hot afternoon. You can also hike up Dalmaji Hill, nicknamed Busan’s “romantic road,” where you can enjoy fantastic views of the ocean, even reaching across to the Japanese island of Daema.

After viewing the coast from up high, getting to ground level and onto the beach is one of the big drawing points of the city. Good quality water and great facilities guarantee a rejuvenating beach experience, particularly on the sandy cove of Songjeong Beach and on popular Haeundae Beach. For more outdoor experiences, hiking is a popular pastime, something best enjoyed in the mountainous trails surrounding Busan, including a rewarding hike up to Seokbulsa Temple.

Nagasaki, Japan
Apr 22, 2024
Arrives Early morning
Departs Early evening

Japan’s first real contact with the West was through Portuguese explorers and Jesuit missionaries, and then Dutch merchants. Apprehensive Shoguns thus closed Japan to foreign trade except at Nagasaki.
Stop by Peace Park for a moment of serenity, or visit the Confucian Shrine to see the influence that the Chinese community has on Nagasaki.

At sea
Apr 23, 2024

Hiroshima, Japan
Apr 24, 2024
Arrives Early morning
Departs Afternoon

With moving peace monuments to the end of World War II, Hiroshima is a modern city that has emerged from its defining days with purpose and confidence. This is a forward-looking yet traditional city.
Beyond the evocative Atomic Bomb Dome, you’ll find the landscaped Shukkeien Garden, the Mazda Museum, and the okonomiyaki, a batter and cabbage pancake topped with octopus, shrimp or pork.

At sea

Apr 25, 2024

Tokyo, Japan
Apr 26, 2024

Japan’s vibrant capital has beckoned visitors for many centuries, offering a perfect balance of futuristic curiosities and unique traditions.
Tokyo port guide
Streets adorned in colorful posters and neon signs. Beautifully decorated Shinto shrines. Sweet and spicy aromas escaping from local yatai (food stalls). Tokyo is a treat for the senses, bringing opportunities for unforgettable experiences at every corner.

Perhaps you’d love to simply get lost on purpose, among the unending high rises and contemporary architecture. Would you prefer to seek out a more tranquil spot, spending a quiet moment or two in one of the city’s fairy-tale-like parks? Should you prefer an active day, seeing as much as possible of this metropolis, you’ll find plenty of iconic landmarks to choose from.

Top landmarks and sights in Tokyo
While skyscrapers and modern architecture abound, so too do historic buildings and peaceful greenspaces. Take time to gaze skywards, peer round corners, wander beneath intricately carved archways, and be rewarded with a glimpse into Japan’s fascinating history and culture.

Tokyo Skytree

At 634 meters, Tokyo Skytree is one of the tallest structures in the world. It’s a broadcasting and observation tower, and on a clear day, not only does it offer a one-of-a-kind view of the sprawling city, but also the snow-capped slopes of Mount Fuji behind.

Shibuya Crossing

Tokyo is renowned for its contemporary feel and fast-pace, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the streets surrounding Shibuya Crossing. Known to be the world’s busiest crossing, where an estimated 3,000 people cross at one time, to many people this is the very essence of Tokyo.

Sensō-ji

You could choose to explore Japanese history and culture, at sites including the oldest temple in Tokyo, Sensō-ji. This Buddhist temple, first opened in 645 AD, showcases fine Japanese craftsmanship with its carefully carved pillars, walls, and curved red roofs.

Things to do in Tokyo
Tokyo is where past meets present. It’s where ornate details meet flashy blocks of color. It’s where you can spend a morning breathing in the scent of incense in a beautiful Buddhist temple, and an afternoon playing arcade games and shopping for shirts and spices in vending machines. No matter where your interests lie, you’ll find that Tokyo is a city with something for all.

Yoyogi Park

Escape the electric energy and flurry of Tokyo in Yoyogi Park, home to the ornate and photogenic Meiji Shrine. Parks like this offer a wonderful respite from the city streets, with plenty of green space, wooden sculptures, water features, and rippling ponds.

Arcades

Japan is known for colorful anime and video games, and there’s nowhere better to explore this side of the country than in one of Tokyo’s many arcades. The Akihabara district is home to plenty of arcades with hundreds of different games, including classics like Tekken and Super Mario.

Chiyoda City

In the center of Tokyo is the Chiyoda district, known as Chiyoda City. It’s here you’ll find the Imperial Palace, an iconic piece of ornate Japanese architecture, and home to Naruhito, the Emperor of Japan. A maze of streams and moats are framed by ornate stone walls and bridges, while at the same time contemporary architecture looms above picturesque gardens and fountains.

Eating and drinking near Tokyo
Sticky sweet treats. Delicate fresh fish. Nourishing bowls of flavorsome soup. Tokyo is a haven for foodies, offering plenty of new and interesting choices as well as some familiar favorites.

Many visitors to this part of the world go in search of the best sushi and sashimi. Sushi, typically raw pieces of salmon, prawns, or tuna is usually served with flavored rice and vegetables. Sashimi, on the other hand, comprises simple, thin-cut pieces of raw fish or meat served alone. Both perfectly showcase the skills of Japanese chefs and make for a fresh and light meal.

Ramen, miso soup, and udon noodles in broth are also excellent, lighter options. In these dishes, you’ll find a tasty stock base complimented by different vegetables, meat or tofu, noodles, and sometimes dumplings, along with a hearty goodness that will leave you feeling happy, full, and ready to explore.

Takoyaki is a wonderful snack when you’re looking for a little dessert. They’re small parcels made with pancake batter and can be filled with chocolate, custard, or red bean jam (anko). You could also try anmitsu, which is made with a gelatine-like ingredient called agar-agar and adzuki red beans, served with fruit and syrup.

Shopping in Tokyo
As a center of commerce, dealing in everything from electronics and technology to colorful anime toys and cutting-edge fashion, it will come as no surprise to learn that shopping in Tokyo is almost impossible to avoid. The different districts each offer their own charm, and often specialize in something different.

Ameyoko is a vibrant market street with vendors selling a wide variety. You’ll find dried food and spices just a few yards from another stall offering bags and clothes, and another with cosmetics. This street comes with an interesting history too; it was home to a black market selling American products after World War 2, and before that the main commodity was candy, hence the full name Ameya Yokocho, translating to ‘candy store alley’.

For more traditional and local goods, visit the Nihonbashi district. Here you’ll find the first branch of Japan’s department store, Mitsukoshi, as well as other shops with a history dating back centuries.

Getting around: Tokyo transport
While the cruise port is quite central, at more than 2,000km squared Tokyo cannot be described as a walkable city by any means. Luckily, Japanese public transport is reliably punctual and easy, and throughout Tokyo you’re never too far from a metro station. There is a station at the cruise terminal itself, and a train can take you almost anywhere you’d like to go in the city, with more than 175 stations located across 195km of track. It’s also easy to grab taxis in Tokyo if you’d prefer.

Tokyo port facilities
Opening in September 2020, Tokyo International Cruise Terminal is a modern facility featuring plenty of amenities. It was built to accommodate events as well as cruise passengers, and as such it boasts spacious meeting rooms, communal areas, and even an art gallery. There is also an observation deck on the fourth floor. For more basic needs, you’ll find toilets, Wi-Fi, a nursing room, and a smoking room.

Top tips for Tokyo
Currency

The currency used in Tokyo and throughout Japan is the Yen (JPY). At the time of writing, £1 GBP works out to around 163 JPY. Card payments are widely accepted in Tokyo, although it’s advisable to carry some cash if you’d like to visit smaller establishments, such as street food vendors, small cafes, and market stalls. You’ll find plenty of ATMs all over the city, or you can also purchase Yen on board your ship.

Tipping

Tipping is not expected in Japan, and many cafes and restaurants actually require you to pay your bill upfront, rather than after dining. The cultural expectation here is that you’ve already paid for good service by visiting the establishment, and the offer of a tip may even lead to an awkward scenario, as it’s likely to be turned down.

Weather

Tokyo is a city that sees all seasons. The coldest months are January and February, when temperatures sit at around 41 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer months of July and August, on the other hand, are much warmer at around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, some of the warmer months are also when Tokyo sees the most rain, with June and September being the wettest.