The vast city of Tokyo contains over 12 million people and has an array of life and activity to satisfy the most discerning traveler. The Imperial Palace's East Gardens are open to the public almost daily and the temples of Asakusa and Tokyo National Museum are both on most tourists' daily agendas. Eat a sushi breakfast at one of the many fish markets or shop for funky accessories in the Harajuku district. Tokyo is also the home of many amusement parks, including Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and the Japanese Sanrio Puroland.

PORTS

Hong Kong

With a cityscape that seemingly juts straight out of the sea, Hong Kong blends sleek modernity with centuries-old charm. Visits here should start with a ride on the world's steepest funicular railway to The Peak, the highest point on the island. From various viewing platforms atop this promontory, you can see the full expanse of the city, Victoria Harbor, Kowloon Peninsula, and the mountains beyond. Snap photos in front of the emblem of Hong Kong in Golden Bauhinia Square, take in the scenery while strolling the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and experience the dichotomy of the Aberdeen district, where skyscrapers tower over locals residing on fishing boats. The Ocean Park theme park features a wildlife exhibit with pandas, while Lantau Island, accessible via cable car, is home to a 111-foot-tall Buddha statue. At Stanley Market, bargains abound on jewelry, ornaments, and Chinese novelties.

HONG KONG.jpg

Language: English

Currency: Hong Kong dollar (HKD)

Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan

The port of Keelung is the entry point for visiting Taipei, Taiwan's economic, political, and cultural center located on the northern end of the island. Tourist sites include the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, New Park, Long Shan Temple, Confucian Temple, the Taipei City Gate, and the botanical gardens. Built at the foot of forested mountains, the National Palace Museum -- an architectural delight in itself -- houses historical relics. Among the collections displayed at the Taiwan Provincial Museum and the National Museum of History are works of art that are up to 3,000 years old.

Language: Mandarin

Currency: Taiwan Dollar (TWD)

TAIPEI KEELUNG TAIWAN.jpg

Scenic Ishigaki Island is famous for its net-protected beaches and clear swimming waters. Small, deserted islands and coral reefs that attract scuba divers by the hundreds surround the island. Ishigaki has an abundance of nightlife and open-air cultural festivals that take place during warmer months.

ISHIGAKI ISLAND JAPAN.jpg

Language: Japanese

Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)

Okinawa (Naha), Japan

Okinawa is a subtropical paradise where flowers bloom the year-round and the emerald-green sea is full of beautiful coral reefs. Step back in time while visiting Shurijyo Castle, or enjoy Ryukyu Kingdom, a 17th century theme park and setting for a popular Japanese tv show. Take a tour of the Gyokusendo stalactite cave, with more than 900,000 stalactites, stalagmites, and pillars.

Language: Japanese

Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)

OKINAWA NAHA JAPAN.jpg

Ishigaki Island, Japan

Like Naples, to which it is always compared, Kagoshima is dominated by the smoking cone of a volcano, towering Mt. Sakurajima. See where St. Francis Xavier arrived in 1549, the West's first contact with Japan. Wander the colorful stalls of the morning market. Visit the exquisite Iso-teien garden and villa.

KAGOSHIMA JAPAN.jpg

Language: Japanese

Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)

Kagoshima, Japan

Miyazaki (Aburatsu), Japan

Located on the southeast coast of Kyushu, Miyazaki is known for its warm temperatures and relaxing atmosphere. Local botanical gardens surround the city, and aquamarine waters provide the best surfing in Japan. Miyazaki-jingu is a famous shrine that was restored in 1907 and is known for the oshirafuji (white wisteria) that are located on the shrine grounds. A trip to Miyazaki can reward travelers with a visit to Sea Gaia Ocean Dome, the world's largest indoor water park with indoor beach oasis, high-tech wave machinery, and a flaming volcano. Other activities include the Miyazaki City Phoenix Natural Zoo, Heiwadai-koen Park, Tachibana-dori shopping street, Haniwa Gardens, and more.

Language: Japanese

Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)

MIYAZAKI ABURATSU JAPAN.jpg

Kochi is home to almost half of the island of Shikoku's population, and even more of its attractions. Its widespread bus network and historic trams make Kochi a fun and accessible stop for many travelers. Kochi Castle, a remarkably well-preserved castle from feudal times, sits atop a hill downtown, and remnants of another castle can be found near Urado Bay. The city is also home to Makino Botanical Garden and several miles of street markets. If you happen to travel in August, be sure not to miss the city's most famous festival: Yosakoi, which features thousands of dancers performing throughout the city.

KOCHI JAPAN.jpg

Language: Japanese

Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)

Kochi, Japan

Osaka, Japan

The city possesses a plethora of museums, with focuses ranging from ethnography to art to natural history. Osaka Castle is regarded by locals and visitors alike as a historical and cultural symbol of the city that is not to be missed. Unforgettable are the various types of bridges that span Osaka's waterways and the many sloping roads throughout the metropolis. Sky-scraping landmarks like the Tsutenkaku Tower, the WTC Cosmotower and the Floating Garden Observatory are interesting sights from ground level, but they offer spectacular views from their top stories. Adventurous types may want to brave the Tempozan, the world's largest Ferris wheel.

Language: Japanese

Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)

OSAKA JAPAN.jpg
TOKYO HARUMI JAPAN.jpg

Language: Japanese

Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)

Tokyo (Harumi), Japan

construction_edited.png