Port of Sakai Plans New Terminal to Boost Sea of Japan cruising

The port of Sakai is located close to the culture rich and naturally stunning prefectures of Tottori and Shimane. Once a little known port, growing interest from international cruise vessels has made Sakai Port authorities, neighboring ports and tourism partners, increase their efforts at promotion and developing cruise infrastructure. The region’s natural attractions include Mt Daisen, revered as Japan’s second Mount Fuji. Its hiking trails are exceptional, boasting various hues from spring cherry blossom time to autumn.

Some 30 cruise ships have called at Sakai this year while more than 50 calls are expected in 2017. Following this increase, Sakai port is planning a new berth to ease congestion, as well as a cruise terminal in 2020. The Port has developed a number of initiatives to ensure visitors a memorable cruise experience. Life-sized cartoon characters the ‘grim reaper’ and ‘cat girl’ (popular creations of artist-philosopher the late Shigeru Mizuki), are on hand to greet passengers as they disembark. Passengers can also walk along an 800 meter long stretch with 53 bronze statues of mythical spirit-monsters or visit the Mizuki Shigeru Museum.

Some 30 cruise ships have called at Sakai this year, including Ovation of the Seas with around 4,000 passengers, which tested logistics and facilities to their limits.

>> See all features from Cruise Asia January 2017