Busan and all that . . .

This was the second part of our ‘back to back’ cruising from Sydney in Diamond Princess.

We spent a day in Yokohama before sailing to cruise the Japanese coast and a single foreign port in South Korea, Busan, which is across from Japan via the southern part of the Sea of Japan. We would stay there for a day, before sailing back to the western coast of Japan, and then to return to Yokohama where we would leave the ship and fly home.

DSC01439rEntering Busan port. Busan used to be called Pusan, but was renamed in 2000. We sailed passed miles of container storage areas, cranes and wharfs, confirming that Busan is Korea’s busiest port, and the ninth busiest in the world. We then sailed under the  Gwangandaegyo or Diamond Bridge, before going alongside.

DSC01454r.jpgMaureen and I had booked the 100 steps climb to a temple – not being a keen viewers of temples the tour included a visit to a famous fish market, which for us was the main reason for taking the tour.

The one thing that has stuck in my mind of our visit to Busan was the very large number of apartments – block after block, it reminded me of a Lego city that my grandchildren build. I suppose with a population of about 3.6 million and the usable land being hemmed in by two rivers and a range of mountains the only place left was to build upwards.

DSC01492rAll the city photographs were taken from our coach, some might appear slightly blurred.


DSC01495rNote that this is block number 108 so they have 107 others just like it, but how many more are in this area?

DSC01498rAs we crossed the Diamond Bridge the shoreline had larger and more expensive looking apartments. A nice coincidence that the Diamond Princess sailed under the Diamond Bridge.

DSC01456rAfter over an hours dive we left the bus and started the climb, not the hundred steps, just a inclining path, which got steeper. The above is a picture of Monuments to family members of the past.


The start of the Beomeosa Temple, which is 1300 years old.
The lanterns are lit at night and I should imagine would add to the overall ambiance of the climb.

As you see we are now at the beginning of the temple area – still haven’t reached the hundred steps.

The Gate of the Four Heavenly Kings is guarded by theses statues – they guard the entrance to heaven. They look like the do, because they wish to subdue any unruly spirits to their will.




DSC01467rThe final few steps of the one hundred to the top.

DSC01468rInside the temple grounds.

DSC01476rIt was a lot easier going down, but one had to be careful as the height of the steps varied, and in places there weren’t any side rails to hold. A sign of age when you look for rails at the side. . .

DSC01483rAt least going down, once one had passed from the hundred step area, the sound of the small river was pleasant.

DSC01485rOnce we were all down, it was back on the bus for the trip to the fish market, just under an hours dive – the traffic was a little lighter.

DSC01502rNot sure if they were a type of octopus or ????

DSC01507rVarious crustaceans, which I don’t like.

DSC01510rAll In know is that the pale worm things were not sausages.

Overall I was disappointed in the fish market – not a bit like I imagined.

DSC01503rIt was not at all like other fish markets that we’ve seen – plastic containers holding packed fish, (still alive) and filled with continuous running water from hoses. Nothing on display, I suppose it is all about what one is used to seeing.


If you can’t afford a place within the market, use the pavement outside.

From the fish market we moved across a main road to the market. Very few items for sale that were not food. The market entrance is under the pink hoops.



DSC01519rWe were only allowed a very short time in both the fish market and this market because we were running late due to traffic jams.

DSC01520rStrawberries on a stick – you bought the whole stick, which was dripping in some kind of syrup.  I wasn’t sure what they were until I got a very close look.

The road we crossed to get to this market looked interesting with int’l shops and local shops all mixed, but we didn’t have the time to explore.



It was getting dark so it was back to the ship, which wasn’t all that far from the two markets, and shortly after we sailed for Japan.


 Gwangandaegyo or Diamond Bridge -the same bridge as in the first picture.



Diamonds of Japan

Three guesses for our next destination. I was eighteen when I first visited Japan and have always wanted to take Maureen, so when a positioning cruise came up, at the right price, – I booked Diamond Princess. 

Diamond Princess1

We sailed in the Diamond Princess from Sydney to Singapore in 2016 so hopefully it’ll be like coming home. If you like days at sea, which we do, look for a positioning cruise because they are nearly all cheaper than a standard cruise, as long as you don’t mind flying home.TYO VoyageWe sail from Sydney to Darwin, Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Phu May (the port for large vessels visiting Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) in Vietnam, Nha Trang (Vietnam), Hong Kong, Osaka (Japan), Shimizu (the main port to see Mount Fuji in Japan) and Yokohama (also listed as Tokyo) The transit time from Sydney to Tokyo will be twenty two days.

Once in Yokohama many of the passengers will leave the ship and be replaced by a large number of local Japanese for a coastal cruise, which will also call at Busan in S. Korea.

When I made the booking I offered to the cruise company that we would do a back to back i.e buying a further cruise, as long as we didn’t have to move cabins.  They agreed, so we have extended our time onboard by a further seven days for the coastal cruise.

JapanWe sail from Yokohama to Busan (S.Korea), Sakaiminato (Japan), Tsuruga, Akita and finally Yokohama where we leave the ship and fly home.

I’ve not been to S. Korea, nor the western side of Japan, so this trip will be new for both of us.

The passengers will be predominantly Japanese, so it should be an interesting trip. I’ve been dragging the old grey matter in an effort to remember a few polite Japanese greetings. When I was at sea, the company for which I worked, traded between the Persian Gulf, Japan & China so I made a point of learning some Japanese and Cantonese. The Cantonese didn’t help much on the China coast, because they didn’t speak Cantonese outside of Hong Kong!

We are hoping that we will be able to repeat the pleasant time that we had in 2016, when sailing from Sydney to Singapore. I doubt that the same piano player, Paul Burton  will be still around, he was very popular.

We sailed from Sydney in 2016 on the 23rd March, and this year (2018), we sail on the same ship on the 22nd March.

This will be our second Easter at sea, and on the same ship – 2016 Good Friday was 25th March, which was in Melbourne, and this year it is 30th March, when we will be at sea.

Easter Sunday 2016, was in Adelaide, and this year we will still be at sea. It’ll be interesting to see if Easter at sea is acknowledged as a Christian celebration, or just a choco-holiday.


The picture shows 2016 Easter on the Diamond Princess, but as the ship was in port, passengers had the choice of churches in Melbourne & Adelaide.




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