Ishigaki Cruise

The Spectacular Nature in Kabira Bay

The Tropical Rain Forests on Iriomote Island

The Traditions of Taketomi

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Ishigaki

The primary nature of Ishigaki

Your MSC Cruise will take you to the Japanese city of Ishigaki on the island of the same name, in the Prefecture of Okinawa. The island, which is 124 miles from Taiwan, is in the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park, along with those of Iriomote and Kohama, Kuroshima and Taketomi.

Ishigaki has been registered as a city since 1947, and up until 1972 it was administered under the supervision of the United States, following Japan’s surrender in World War II.
You can go on an excursion to Kabira Bay, also famous for its black pearl cultivation and for being the first place in the world to cultivate them. White sand, turquoise water and dense green vegetation: the natural landscape of the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park will take your breath away. It is tempting to dive into the beautiful sea, rich in colourful fauna, but unfortunately it is not suitable for swimming due to the strong currents.
 
It is also possible to take an excursion to Iriomote Island, with its soft coral beaches and almost 90% of its surface covered in tropical rain forest and mangrove swamps. Inhabited by about 20,000 people, this natural wonder is home to unique specimens of local fauna, such as the coconut crab, which can weigh up to nine pounds, measure three feet across and is able to break a coconut (hence the name), and the Irimote cat, a subspecies of the leopard cat.
 
You can also visit the small island of Taketomi – it has an area of 3.4 square miles and a perimeter of 5.71 miles – inhabited by just over 300 people. Houses with red-tiled roofs, white sandy streets and an explosion of flowers and plants in the gardens protected by volcanic stone walls: while walking around the island you can see ox-drawn carts and the inhabitants immersed in their daily activities, adhering to traditions that have been handed down over millennia.

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    Japan

    A dìfferent planet
    A dìfferent planet

    There’s nothing quite like a cruise to Japan. The very quintessence of Eastern culture, it has long excited the imagination of the West, with a great many of its joys etched indelibly into the minds of folk who live oceans away.


    Sushi and sake, anime and manga, samurai, ninja and the bullet train: everyone knows something of this island nation’s culture, but there’s far more to discover beyond these highly enjoyable stereotypes. Prepare to be pleasantly disorientated. 

    One of the joys of visiting Japan is experiencing the ordinary ways in which the Japanese aesthetic enters into everyday life. The presentation of food, a window display or the simplest flower arrangement can convey, beyond the walls of any museum or gallery, the essential nature of Japanese art. 


    An MSC Grand Voyages cruise to Japan will reveal the major attraction of this “Land of contrasts”; it may be the world’s laziest travel cliché, but those who visit Japan find themselves constantly surprised at the easy co-existence between the country’s past and present. 

    Discover Japan and its unexpectedly beautiful landscapes, its charmingly courteous people and its tangible sense of history and cherished traditions – few will be able to resist the chance to get to grips with its mysterious, yet tantalizing, culture.