Cruisers’ Guide to Japan

Cruiser’s Guide to Japan

Regions of Japan

There are several different ways to label the geographical regions of Japan. For the purposes of cruising, we will break down Japan into ten regions: Hokkaidō, Tōhoku, Hokuriku, Kantō, Chūbu, Kinki, Chūgoku, Shikoku, Kyūshū, and Okinawa. We hope the information will help the reader prepare for their cruises to Japan.


The Hokuriku region runs along the central northern portion of the main island of Honshū along the Sea of Japan.

The area is known for its cloudy skies and heavy snowfall in the winter and hot summers. It is known for its traditional lacquerware and ceramics. This area is also famous for its rice. As with many parts of Japan, onsen hot springs baths are in abundance.

Major attractions in the Hokuriku region include

  • Kurobe Gorge
  • Chubu Sangaku National Park
  • Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route
  • Noto Peninsula Quasi-National Park
  • Hakusan National Park

It boasts numerous, important Buddhist temples and works of art, notably Eiheiji Zen Buddhist temple. The region is also home to the Historic Village of Gokayama, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Important cruise ports are noted with an asterisk:

  • Fushiki-Toyama*, Toyama prefecture (city of Takaoka, 2016 population - 171,750 )
  • Kanazawa*, Ishikawa prefecture (2016 population - 466,003)
  • Nanao, Ishikawa prefecture
  • Niigata, Niigata prefecture
  • Ogi, Niigata prefecture
  • Tsuruga*, Fukui prefecture (2016 population - 65,830)
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