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Old 29-05-2010, 11:41   #1
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Cruising Japan

I'm a little surprised to find so little discussion of cruising in Japan. Why is that? Is the navigation treacherous? Is the weather bad? Certainly Japan seems to have an interesting coastline with lots of islands, etc.
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Old 29-05-2010, 12:51   #2
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Ken's Blog has some interesting observations on cruising Japan. He is with the GSSR group that cruised from Seattle - Alaska - Russia - Japan last year and is now continuing. Lots of hoops to jump through. Even hassles about what anchorages can and can not be used.

(Home): Passagemaking with a Nordhavn PRIVACY...
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Old 29-05-2010, 14:00   #3
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I'm a little surprised to find so little discussion of cruising in Japan. Why is that? .
Its a 2 season jaunt to the most expensive country in the world and then the only exit is back to the beginning of the longest passages in the cruising world.

I would love to do it sometime, and then head up the Alutions to Alaska and down the inside passage back to warmth

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Old 29-05-2010, 14:16   #4
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Actually Ken's blog on the GSSR (last years blog) mentions running into several boats up in the Aleutians that were coming from Japan. One was a sailboat and the other a powerboat. Unfortunately the blog didn't say much about the other boat's experiences in Japan and I don't remember the names of the boats. And now to read the blog it looks like you have to buy the book...
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Old 29-05-2010, 14:40   #5
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I just read a bit on that blog.

A couple of speed boats going the wrong way, from USA, Aleutiansthen Japan.

I ain't gunna even think of doing it that way



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Old 29-05-2010, 14:47   #6
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There are a couple of blogs that have been that way
http://illywhacker.com/ who also wrote a book about their experiences and Alvah Simons blog on Cruisingworld.com

Lots of good info.
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Old 29-05-2010, 16:44   #7
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Why is everyone talking about going via the Aleutians? Why not from the Philipines, to Taiwain, to Okinawa and then up the Ryuku island chain to Kyushu?
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Old 29-05-2010, 18:12   #8
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Whoa, I wasn't suggesting anyone go TO Japan via the Aleutians, only pointing out a blog with some pertinent comments about boating in Japan. Yes, they knew they were going the "wrong" way but did it anyway. Big Nordhavn trawlers. However if one is going FROM Japan to NA then the Aleutians track is one that I wouldn't mind taking. Course I'm used to cool weather, not like some people...
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Old 29-05-2010, 18:23   #9
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Actually after reading the blog, Japan seems alot more interesting than many places. Yes there is red tape and the Japanese coast guard is watching. That may be one of the reasons why there is so little crime.

The navigational challenges do not seem insurmountable at all, even in a sailboat as opposed to a trawler.
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Old 29-05-2010, 21:17   #10
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I live in Korea, and I met this couple (Carol and Brian) from NZ who cruised Japan last year and came to Korea (at the time cruising South coast of Korean peninsula), then returned to Japan for the last six month (mostly cruised Setonaikai-Inland sea area between Osaka and Kyushu-area) and then again returned to Korea (this time cruising East coast and West coast).

I am sure they can answer some of your questions, and you would get some information from their blog.
Their blog: Kiwis cruising in Charioteer

Hope it helps.
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Old 29-05-2010, 22:49   #11
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Why not from the Philipines, to Taiwain, to Okinawa and then up the Ryuku island chain to Kyushu?


Yes, that the way I was suggesting in my post. The difficulty is that its a 2 season cruise there i.e. 2 years to get there, and then a long trip back to the warmer areas of Central America or the south Pacific.

Pelagic would probably like to comment on the typhoon situation there, but its a little tricky.

Relevant cyclone/hurricane/typhoon months are:

North East Pacific, Central America, Mexico: June- October
South West Pacific, Australia: November to April
North West Pacific, Philippines and South China Sea: May - December

So unless you want to do a dedicated run across the Pacific not stopping too long , one would need to leave USA, Central America November and arrive Japan before May. However, one would think most would want to stop in the Pacific for ages and the Philippines for ages too.

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Tropical Cyclones occur all year round over the northern South China Sea. However, the "Typhoon Season" is taken to be from the Autumn transition (Oct) to the first half of the Northeast monsoon (Nov-Dec), when they occur most frequently in the South China Sea.
Storms that occur during the Southwest monsoon usually form well east of Luzon. These system initially move to the northwest towards Taiwan, but later recurve sharply to the northeast into southern Japan. Such storms indirectly influence the South China Sea by causing "surges" in the Southwest monsoonal flow, which would cause high seas, strong winds and squalls over the South China Sea.
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Old 15-06-2010, 03:43   #12
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Japan is very appealing. Here's another link.... looks like they had a great time.

Cruising in Languages | S.V. Shadow of Lorelei
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Old 15-06-2010, 06:22   #13
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I have cruised twice in Japan, each time for about 4 months, in 1989 and in 1996.

We would time it to leave Hong Kong in February so that we got a chance to experience the Cherry Blossom Season that starts earlier in the South and can last up to June further North.

A Beginner's Guide to Cherry Blossom Viewing: Popular Hanami Spots

It is a wonderful time of festivals, great food, special sakes and the Japanese at their most relaxed and hospitable best.

We liked southern Japan better as they see fewer foreigners and the small towns you visit by yacht will treat you like royalty.

My favorite route when reaching the main islands was to go up the west side of Kushyu… out to the Goto Islands then refurbish in Nagasaki before heading north, exploring the island castles near Sasebo, then turning towards the Inland Sea stopping near Fukuoka for their wonderful cottage industry of incredible porcelain at Arita

The Inland Sea (Seto Nakai) is a huge transport hub but what amazes me about Japan is that heavy industry and bonsai gardens can co-exist. If time permits, the SW area of Shikoku Island have some incredible monasteries and baths.

Heading back up towards Hiroshima there is Miyajima famous for its Tori Gates
Miyajima Travel Guide

Great place to tie up for a while and wander an island full of tourists, free roaming deer and rascally monkeys up on the mountain top. A world heritage site and religious island with apparently no recorded births or deaths allowed on the island.

From there towards Osaka, there are hundreds of interesting stops with Museum Islands housing national treasures (mostly samurai swords) and puppeteers near the fast waters and whirlpools of Awaji Shima.

In general, the further north you go, the more industrial and the people tend to give you a New York minute, so we stayed low before heading across to North America.


On a sad note Mura on S.V. Shadow of Lorelie (Fast Forward’s link) died a few months ago here in Subic, few times I spoke with him, they loved Japan and certainly had a full life cruising.
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Old 15-06-2010, 08:22   #14
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Thanks Pelagic. How was the passage back to NA? Did you follow the route that Jimmy Cornell outlines?

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Old 15-06-2010, 08:35   #15
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Both times quite different as Seward near Prince William Sound was a destination and Seattle the other time.

I tend to watch the TD activity below me and modify the GC / RL options to keep in harmony
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