Part I: Clothing - Cruising Land of the Rising Sun

There is much conflicting advice on the Internet about what to wear when touring Japan. If traveling on a business trip, more stringent dress code applies, but for this land-cruise trip, I offer the following advice.

Due to the small percentage of non-Japanese on the island, you will always look like a tourist, but will be taken more seriously if you dress appropriately. Most Tauck travelers will be over 50, so dress the way Japanese tourists of that age do – casual pants (chinos, microfiber), long or short sleeved shirts/blouses, sweaters, light jackets. T-shirts, especially ones with logos, are rarely worn except by young people. Very few tourists wear shorts. Women can wear either dresses or pants, but tights would be inappropriate. Athletic shoes for walking are fine, but you’ll want a nicer pair for dinner. For men, I’d suggest taking a sport coat, although it’s not necessary. Upscale Japanese restaurants prefer a sport coat and there are four dinner events when most travelers will wear one (welcome and farewell dinners for both land and ship portions of the tour). You can get by without a coat, but will be in the minority.


  • edited April 2017
    LarryC, there has clearly been some disappointment with this tour as already pointed out by Joyce recently. The first thing I would say that I would never ever consider touring Japan via a cruise. It is one of the safest countries on the planet, so its ideal for doing extra things in 'free time' without the more usual worries one might have, say being out after dark. Just walking around is fascinating. Regarding the hotel being over a train station, this is very common in Japan, which is a heavily populated country where space to live is at a premium. Being near a shopping center might be a plus for me, I love Japanese things. Could you say more about the type of food that was disappointing to you? When I ate in Japan, on land, I loved it.
    I must admit, if I was spending a lot of time in my room on a small ship cruise, I might find the room small, but otherwise I would chose a smaller room on this expensive tour because when I do the land tours, I rarely do nothing but sleep there.
    The tour obviously needs improvement, but my recommendation to anyone reading this is do a land tour of Japan for a better experience. I am hoping to do the land tour soon.
  • British,

    I am not a cruise person, but thought the 220 guest Ponant ship would allow visits to areas of Japan that would take an enormous amount of time to get to via land, therefore viewed the combined land/sea aspect to be bonus. My only two prior cruises were with Viking and Ponant's sister ship L'Boreal. Viking's cabins and food were superior to the French vessels. Fellow travelers that had taken many cruises all commented on the deficiencies of the Ponant ship. You're correct that much of the time is spent outside of the cabin, but that doesn't excuse poor cabin design that inhibits freedom of movement for even one person, much less a couple.

    I didn't view the Granvia Hotel over the train station as a negative, except for train noise in our room. Quite the opposite, it gave us instant access to a variety of enjoyable dining and shopping experiences.

    My negative comments on uneven quality of the food were about the L'Austral ship. Local dining in Japan was quite varied and good, often excellent. There was a reason I separated my comments about the ship and land portions of the tour.

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