Enjoy a magnificent summer discovering the hidden gems of Japan on-board the MSC Splendida or MSC Bellissima

In Summer 2020, MSC Cruises would like to bring you to the Far East so you can discover this amazing region, famed for its rich culture, beautiful landscapes and unique cuisine! Sailing on either the MSC Splendida or the MSC Bellissima, we’ve got one of the easiest and most luxurious ways for you to experience the best that East Asia has to offer. Cruises will be sailing from either Tokyo - Japan or Shanghai - China. Some of the destinations our Asia cruises will visit include Shanghai and Hong Kong in China, and Busan in the Republic of Korea, a city with both beautiful white beaches and tall glass skyscrapers. Japan has many unique locations for you to visit; find out about some of them by reading on below!
The first of these is Osaka, which was established on the island of Honshu in between the Yamato and Yodo rivers, and you’ll quickly learn that its situation isn’t the only thing that’s special about Japan’s third largest city. Once the trading capital of the country, Osaka is now a stunning metropolis, which is noticeable not only for its modernity and nightlife, but also its rich historical heritage. One of our MSC excursions will take you to an ancient castle that was built from 1583, where you can discover the city’s vibrant history; an imposing building, the castle is set in a beautiful park filled with picturesque cherry blossom trees. 
Much smaller by population, Kagoshima is a city of just over half a million people nestled at the foot of the active volcano Sakurajima. An excursion can take you to Shiroyama Park in the city centre which stretches up the volcano, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the town and surrounding bay. The Senganen gardens are the perfect place to appreciate traditional Japanese gardens, complete with ponds, streams, shrines and a bamboo grove. Kagoshima is a beautiful place to see a different side to Japan, that isn’t dominated by skyscrapers and offers a truly unique experience. Across a large bay from Osaka is the city of Kobe, which sits in between the sea and the Rokko mountains that offer panoramic views of the port you can take the cable car up to see. Kobe is world famous for its local wagyu beef, making it the perfect place to experience authentic Japanese cuisine!
Further south is Wakayama, situated on the Kii peninsula. Facing the Pacific Ocean with the mountains at its back, Wakayama City was established during the Edo period (1603-68) to control a region of strategic significance. You can visit a replica of the Wakayama Castle to enjoy the panoramic views over the city and over Wakaura Bay. It is also an excellent place to sample local fresh seafood and enjoy some of Japan’s most famous food: sushi!
Japan’s dynamic capital city, Tokyo is undoubtedly one of East Asia’s must-see destinations! It is easily one of the region’s most exciting cities and is characterised by a unique combination of modern, futuristic lit-up glass skyscrapers and ancient traditions and culture. This dynamic metropolis has an abundance of art, music, shopping and theatre for you to experience, as well as plenty of historical monuments, ancient districts and lush parks that are a joy to discover. You can explore the historical Asakusa district and its Senso-ji Buddhist temple; the Sumida Hokusai museum in the Shibuya district, famed for the busiest intersection in the world; or take an excursion specially planned to take you to the best museums across the city.
After visiting TokyoYokohama might feel comparatively airy thanks to its open harbour frontage and low-rise skyline, but it’s actually Japan’s second largest city. When foreign trade with Japan began in 1853, Yokohama went from a small fishing village to a hub of innovation and new ideas. Today, it is one of the world’s largest ports, with a distinctly cosmopolitan feel that comes from the variety of western-style buildings, Chinese temples, a global culinary scene and a large international community.
Hiroshima today has lovely, wide treelined streets and a low skyline, as well as beautiful Japanese landscape gardens such as the Shukkeien Garden, which are just a few of the features that make Hiroshima a thriving cosmopolitan community. The original Hiroshima castle was reconstructed, and the Peace Park marks the site for remembrance of the 1945 destruction. Vibrant and friendly, it’s definitely a worthwhile stop on our cruise of East Asia’s best destinations.
In Yokkaichi port, you’ll have the opportunity to go in the observation room that offers scenic views of the city’s famous industrial landscape. Yokkaichi was also historically a point on the road used by pilgrims on their way to the Ise Grand Shrine; some of these pilgrimage routes make up several World Heritage Sites that are well worth a visit if you’re interested to unravel the spiritual side of Japan’s culture.
Discover the best of Japan and East Asia with MSC Cruises by booking your trip now for Summer 2020, Don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity to explore one of the most dynamic and culturally rich parts of the world.