Complete Japan: Cruise the Natural Beauty of the Archipelago

Japan, Far East,

For those looking for a taste of the exotic, Japan is a fascinating destination to explore in depth. The country’s ancient culture, rich natural gems and dramatic landscapes make for a wealth of exciting possibilities.

While the larger cities like Tokyo and Kyoto are absolute must-sees, there’s even more to discover travelling around some of the outlying islands of the archipelago – places that many travellers don’t even know about, let alone get to experience for themselves. So if you want to see the Land of the Rising Sun in a very different way, we can help you do it…

Explore Japan: Cruise the Islands

A Japan cruise with Jetline and Princess Cruises not only introduces you to a host of attractions in the cities but also gives you access to some of the country’s beautiful lesser-known gems. Travelling by water is really the only practical way of seeing many of these places and, even without disembarking from the ship, you can’t help but fall under the spell of these unique islands, which are all as different as they are picturesque. 

A Landscape Rich in Natural Wonders

With nearly 7,000 islands in the archipelago, it’s astounding to think that just over 400 of them are inhabited. They offer an incredible variety of geographical features and include pristine beaches, active volcanoes, deep lakes, and wildlife-rich rainforests. Here are just a few of them.

Hokkaido: Even though Hokkaido is the second largest of all the islands, it is sparsely populated and is renowned for its stunning wilderness areas. It’s characterised by its proliferation of hot springs, deep forests, azure lakes and pretty wildflowers in the summer. During winter it transforms into a world-famous ski destination, which, despite its popularity, remains largely unspoiled.

Rebun and Rishiri: These are two of the most remote land masses and are part of a designated National Park. In summer their landscapes are carpeted with a profusion of vibrantly coloured wildflowers. Rebun, particularly, is renowned for its more than 300 different species, which grow (uniquely) even at sea level.

Teuri: While the entire archipelago is a haven for birdlife, Teuri is absolutely alive with nesting seabirds – more than a million at any given time. It’s been awarded the title of National Natural Treasure and has latterly become popular with visiting birdwatchers. It is most notably home to one of the planet’s rarest species, the rhinoceros auklet.

Sakurajima: Making for a dramatic sight, the drifting smoke from this still-active volcano serves as a reminder of the might of Mother Nature. The constant eruptions can be seen and heard from a distance, but despite this vigorous and regular activity, many people still live within its shadow.

Kyushu: Following a previous eruption more than a century ago, Sakura is actually connected to neighbouring Kyushu, which has multiple volcanoes of its own, including the formidable Mount Aso, the largest in the world. As well as its fascinating and very tangible geological features, it is home to the UNESCO listed site Yakushima, which comprises a forest of 2,100-year-old cedar trees.

Ogasawara: This group of islands is renowned for its diversity of habitat and wildlife, and is quite often compared to the Galapagos. Home to a vast range of flora and fauna, the islands were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site nearly a decade ago.

Yaeyama: Surrounded by coral reefs abundant with marine life, this group is defined by gorgeous white sand beaches and tropical aesthetic. Often likened to the Caribbean, they make a stark contrast to the lush foliage and volcanic landscapes of many of the others.

With a distance of more than 3,000 kilometres from the top to the bottom of the archipelago, our Japan cruise itineraries encompass virtually every kind of landscape imaginable. They provide unparalleled exposure to some of the most inspiring, untouched views in the world and these islands above represent just a handful of those you may pass along your cruise.

See More with Jetline

The beauty of our Japan cruise itineraries aboard the Diamond Princess is that you don’t have to choose between experiencing the spectacular natural beauty of the archipelago and enjoying the well-known cultural and historical sights. You can have both. As well as the cruising aspect, when the ship docks, we’ll take you on escorted tours of iconic attractions including Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Lake Ashi and a bullet train journey, Kyoto, Hiroshima and the famous red shrine at Miyajima. Depending on what time of year you want to travel, our itineraries include the opportunity to view nature at its most spectacular, with the Fall Foliage or the Spring Flower Festival options.

For anyone who’s looking for a deeper cultural experience, our Jetline Japan cruise itineraries with Princess promise a truly immersive and unforgettable holiday.