JAPAN CRUISE 2018
This cruise covered the southern islands of Japan plus Shanghai and Busan (Korea) during Sakura (Cherry Blossom Time). Enjoy !
TOKYO during Sakura (Cherry Blossom Time) - slideshow
Amami Oshima (奄美大島 Amami Ōshima), literally "Big Amami Island", is the largest of the Amami Islands, a small archipelago south of Kyushu, Japan. Here we saw Cycads - one of the earliest form of tree on earth. Next we moved to the Oshima Tsumugi silk-dyeing museum where bundles of silk thread are dipped in muddy water many times to create various shades from yellow to near black. Then the silk is hand dyed and hand woven into cloth. Finally we went to the local distillery where they make various varieties of the local spirit "Shochu" made from sweet potatoes.
From Naha we first went to the Peace Memorial that remembers those who perished during WWII during the battle for the island of Okinawa. Hundreds of civilians committed suicide rather than surrender to the American forces. Many thousands of American troops also fell during the fierce fighting that took place. The Peace Memorial is a beautiful but sad place built near the cliffs where many civilians jumped to their death. Next we went to a long cave system and museum/shopping complex. The next stop was Shurijo Castle which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally we went into Naha and saw the fascinating fish market.
We were very fortunate that our small ship was able to dock in the centre of Shanghai near the Bund. This is the last time a cruise ship will do this as in future all ships will use a new port outside the city. The skyline is split between the modern skyscrapers of Pudong district and the old imperial style of the Bund.
A TRIP TO SUZHOU
Suzhou is a city just west of Shanghai that has an old canal system and a major tourist attraction THE HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR'S GARDEN (Not so humble looking at the size of the garden)
SHANGHAI - Museum and Yuyuan Garden
We didn't have long in Shanghai Museum but it was a fascinating place with lovely jade, painting and ceramics. The whistle-stop tour was well worth it. Next came the Yuyuan Garden in the heart of the city - a tranquil respite from the bustle of the city - except for the hundreds of tourists !