Japan is one of the most bewildering and beautiful countries in the world. A land of two halves, yacht charterers can enjoy everything from ancient temples to futuristic skyscrapers, traditional tea ceremonies to themed cafes, tranquil hot springs, to cosplay fan conventions. This mystical country is also home to high fashion, incredible cuisine, dramatic mountains, lush forests, beaches and vibrant coral reefs. With so much to offer, it is no surprise that Japan is one of the most popular destinations to explore on a luxury yacht charter.
On a Japan yacht charter, you can explore some of the country’s most stunning landscapes. Approximately 3,000 km from North to South, with more than 7,000 islands and 50% more coastline than the United States, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Each of Japan’s regions has its unique culture and attractions, allowing you to experience the best of the country from the comfort of your rental yacht.
Of course, no visit to Japan would be complete without experiencing its delicious cuisine. From fiery ramen to delicate sushi, Japan’s culinary culture is a true delight, and can be found in both traditional restaurants and trendy cafes. Whether you’re dining on yakitori in the heart of Tokyo or sampling local sake in a rural village, Japan’s culinary scene is sure to leave you satisfied. In fact, Tokyo has more Michelin stars than London, New York and Paris combined.
Find out more about the best things to see and do on a Japan yacht charter.
8 tips for the ideal Japanese yacht charter experience
1. Experience a Hanami
If you are lucky enough to charter a yacht in Japan in the springtime while the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, Hanami is a must-see. This Japanese pastime is celebrated by gathering under the blooming cherry blossom trees and enjoying the view of the flowers while eating, drinking, and sharing stories. Boat rental guests are encouraged to bring picnic mats, food, and drinks while they take in the view of the cherry blossoms. Visitors will often play games and share stories with family and friends as they appreciate the pink hue of the flowers above them.
There are also traditional customs associated with Hanami, such as bringing sake or alcohol and pouring it on the ground as an offering to the gods, as well as sharing a traditional Japanese sweet named “sakuramochi”. Locals typically flock to top blossom spots like Mount Yoshino and Himeji Castle, but Hanami can be enjoyed anywhere. It’s more about who you’re with than where you are, and by yacht, you can venture to some of the more remote and untouched spectacular cherry blossom locations like Iwagi Island in the SetoNaikai (Inland Sea).
2. Soak in an onsen
Indulging in an onsen is an extraordinary experience and the perfect way to make the most of the Japanese yacht charter experience in the winter months. Onsens are volcanic hot springs found throughout the country, often located on the mountainside. NyutoOnsen in Akita Prefecture is hidden away in the mountains offering total seclusion to unwind.
They are renowned for their healing properties and are used by locals and tourists alike. The warm, soothing waters of the onsen, coupled with the calming sounds of the ocean, create a truly blissful experience. Visitors will also enjoy a range of activities while in the hot springs, such as lounging in the warm waters after a long day of travelling and taking in stunning views.
3. Wander through an onsen town
If you want the full onsen experience while on your Japan yacht charter, head to an onsen town. These small resort towns are usually located in rural settings and are flanked with many different onsens to indulge in. Make sure to put on the provided yukata (cotton kimono) and geta (wooden sandals) before hopping from one onsen to another and relaxing in the steaming waters.
KinosakiOnsen is one of the most adored onsen towns, easily accessible from Kyoto and Osaka. The traditional Japanese village is particularly mesmerising in the spring when the canals are lined with cherry blossoms and spectacular local restaurants.
4. Join a tea ceremony
The Japanese tea ceremony is a wonderful way to experience the culture and beauty of Japan in an intimate setting. A traditional tea ceremony is more than just sipping a cup of tea – it is a tranquil, meditative experience laden with spiritual meaning. Once inside, you are welcomed with a warm cup of tea and a traditional Japanese snack, such as mochi or manju. The aroma of the tea fills the teahouse, and an experienced host will guide you through each step as you sample a traditional sweet and one or more kinds of tea.
Some of the most popular tea houses to visit on your private yacht charter in Japan are found in Kyoto and Kanazawa. In fact, Akasakayama Park in Niigata will offer a truly unique and unforgettable experience during your Japan boat rental.
5. Explore the Yaeyama Archipelago Islands
Visiting the Yaeyama Archipelago Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can be even more special on a private crewed yacht. This island chain is located in the Southernmost tip of Japan and offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
From the comfort of your private yacht, explore the intricate coral reefs and snorkel in the crystal clear waters witnessing the giant manta rays at play. You can also explore the unspoiled beaches and spot some of the islands’ wildlife.
The Yaeyama Archipelago Islands are also known for their picturesque scenery that can take your breath away, from ancient temples to towering cliffs. As the islands are situated away from the mainland, it is easy to find a secluded spot to appreciate their beauty.
As evening comes, head ashore to take in the lively island atmosphere of this holiday town dotted with Japanese handicraft stores and casual eateries offering exceptional cuisine. Finally, what better way to end the day than enjoying a sunset dinner or watching the sun dip below the horizon?
6. Experience Kyoto town
The charming town of Kyoto is situated in the central part of Japan and easily accessible from the yacht in about 25 minutes by using the Shinkansen (bullet train). Kyoto has exquisite traditional architecture, impressive temples, and modern luxuries. Step off your Japan boat rental and spend the morning shopping at the local markets, visiting the famous shrines, and sampling the fresh cuisine.
You can also visit the famous Golden Temple, the Gion Geisha District and Kiyomizu Temple on the hill overlooking the city. In the evening, enjoy a dinner with traditional entertainment with a Geisha; or bullet train 25 minutes to Kobe to dine at one of the many famous Kobe Beef restaurants before heading to the top of Rokko Mountain to take in the outstanding views of Kansai and the entirety of Osaka Bay.
7. Visit Zamami Island and the Kerama Retto
The journey to the island starts with a relaxing cruise along the coast of Okinawa and a short hop over to the Kerama Retto (Kerama Archipelago) and the Island of Zamami. This National Park is largely a secret, even to Japanese and once anchored, you can soak up the sun’s rays on white-sand beaches, explore the crystal-clear waters, and even spot abundant sea life along the coastline.
With some of the most pristine beaches in the world, you can explore Kerama Retto on a luxury yacht. Visitors can enjoy various activities, such as kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, and water skiing. There are also opportunities for the adventurous charterers to head ashore and climb parts of the forested island with experienced guides or just wander the tiny local streets of Zamami town.
After dark, the island transforms into a place of magical beauty. The stars shine brightly in the night sky, and the reflection of the moonlight on the water creates a romantic atmosphere while you enjoy dinner onboard.
8. Watch a sumo wrestling match
No Japanese yacht charter experience would be complete without experiencing a sumo wrestling match. One of Japan’s oldest sports, sumo is a martial art unlike any other. The atmosphere of a sumo match is a one-of-a-kind experience, as the crowd roars and cheers as the two competitors wrestle in a bid to become the winner.
Matches still include rituals that date back to their ancient origins as part of the Shinto religion, such as purifying the ring with salt. You can see sumo wrestling at one of the sumo tournaments that happen a few times a year or take a tour to a sumo stable in Tokyo to see the wrestlers’ morning training session. Tournaments happen in January, May, and September in Tokyo and in March in Osaka.
Contact your chosen yacht charter broker to request a yacht and start planning your itinerary for the perfect Japan yacht charter.
Article Submitted By Community Writer