Starting the year off by booking 3 cruises in Japan to South Korea and Taiwan.
Checked in for the flight to Japan, packed, and completed the required COVID testing.
Flying on my [sarcasm] favorite [/sarcasm] airline to Japan.
Planes, Trains and (no) Automobiles. I arrived in Japan today (by plane) then took the train to Yokohama (Narita Express). I explored Yokohama in the afternoon and enjoyed the sunset at Osanbashi Pier.
I used the free morning to explore Yokohama on foot. I walked through Chinatown and a few parks. I got to see the massive robot at the Gundam factory from a distance. I walked through the historical western styled houses used by foreigners before returning to the hotel and boarding the ship. Luckily the ship fit under the Yokohama Bay Bridge and we were on our way to hopefully see cherry blossoms.
A busy day at sea learning about the next two destinations and some Japanese.
A wonderful visit to Hiroaki Park and castle as well as the Nebuta Wrasse museum in Aomari.
A visit to Hokkaido island including a fort based on a western design and a gondola ride to the top of a mountain.
Normally a relaxing day at sea was a busy day sitting in presentations for the upcoming ports
The first port in South Korea – Busan. Another day exploring on my own as the shore excursion I was interested in was cancelled. The highlights of the day was Haedongyonggungsa Temple and the Gamcheon Cultural Village. I also stopped at the local market on the way back to the ship.
Man Overboard! A visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Memorial Park in Nagasaki, Japan.
A relaxing sea day. Spent some time catching some rays in the hot tub. Dinner at the specialty restaurant – Sabantini’s.
End of the first cruise, start of the second cruise and a day to explore more of Yokohama. I visited the Nogeyama Zoo and the Customs Museum.
Another sea day on the Diamond Princess to prepare for the adventure ahead.
Second and last visit to Nagasaki while sailing on the Diamond Princess. It’s an opportunity to see more of the city that I was unable to earlier in the trip. I walked through Glover Gardens, a couple of temples and a small zoo.
The second and last stop in South Korea for the Diamond Princess – Seogwipo on Jeju Island. Today is a stress-free shore excursion through the ship. The tour went to Yakchunsa Temple, Cheonjeyeon Falls, the Yeomiji Botanical Garden and the local market where I bought Dalgona candy (it’s a Squid Game thing).
A very special day visiting an Sakurajima, an active volcano in Kagoshima, Japan. The volcano is only a short ferry ride across from the city.
A relaxing sea day with tour of the bridge of the Diamond Princess.
At the end of the second cruise the Diamond Princess arrived in Kobe where I went for a nature hike behind the Shin Kobe station to see the Nunobiki Falls.
Another relaxing sea day on the Diamond Princess, complete with a Champagne fountain.