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 Kantō region on the main island of Honshū is the nation’s most heavily populated region.

The nation’s capital city of Tokyo, as well as the city of Yokohama, a major “turnaround” port where voyages begin and end for cruisers.

Kantō is definitely the economic and political center of Japan. In addition, there are plenty of beaches in the area offering a variety of recreational opportunities.

Major attractions in the Kantō region include:

  • Shinsho-ji (Buddhist temple) in Narita
  • The historical city of Kamakura
  • The Imperial Palace
  • Ginza shopping district
  • Akihabara electronics district
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • National Museum of Western Art
  • Ueno Zoo
  • Asakusa Kannon
  • Yoyogi Park
  • The fashion district of Harajuku
  • Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea
The Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
Capital city of the shogun (1185-1333), with its iconic Great Buddha
Meiji Shrine
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UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kantō region include the Shrines and Temples of Nikko, a nice day trip from Tokyo.

The National Museum of Western Art, designed by architect Le Corbusier, is located in Tokyo. Further afoot are the Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites and the Ogasawara Islands, which are technically a part of Tokyo prefecture but are far from the city and a destination in their own right.

Important cruise ports are noted with an asterisk:

  • Oarai, Ibaraki prefecture
  • Tateyama, Chiba prefecture
  • Tokyo*, Shinjuku ward, Tokyo prefecture (2015 Tokyo population - 13,491,000, Japan’s largest “city”)
  • Yokohama*, Kanagawa prefecture (2016 population - 3,732,539, Japan’s second largest city)
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