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Toba, Japan - tips and things to do

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I just returned from taking a group of 29 clients on a Diamond Princess Southeast Asia & Japan cruise. Below is information from a web site I set up for the group, to provide them with information. Now that the trip is over, I wanted to pass this information along, in case it is of help to other travelers. 


Visa: not needed for Japan for US citizens.

Money: Japanese Yen JPY and credit cards accepted, but it's more of a cash society.

Average temperatures in January: 36-47 degrees.

Special Notes: tipping not the custom in Japan, and it can even be seen as offensive.

Arrival: the dock is walking distance to town.

Seeing the sights: Toba is a small town popular as a tourist destination with locals. It is the home of the Ama, a community of fisherwomen who have practiced "pearl diving" for more than 1,000 years. These women go into the water and dive without equipment for shellfish and pearls. Walk over the small bridge to Mikimoto Pearl Island, where you can witness the divers in action, and tour the large pearl museum, approx. $14 usd. Wander around town. Possibly visit Toba Aquarium, Toba Observatory, or Shinmei Shrine. Take a walk up the hill to the castle ruins, and for a good view over harbor. Enjoy grilled oysters and seafood at one of the many small restaurants. This is a small port and a small town. I plan to DIY in this port, and will be checking out the pearl divers, probably the pearl museum, and wandering about.

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