Had heard whispers that the domestic ferry services have many options on the Japanese islands and are a great and affordable option . Needing to plunge Deep South , before heading back to the bikes in Busan , I decided it was time to realise the dream of trying this service. Having Barb and Carl and Rose as recruits on this crazy adventure was an added bonus.
The route is quite long , about 1300 kms and takes 2 nights . It stops for about 3 hours at Sendai Port , the port so badly ravaged by the Tsunami in 2011. The place is back to normal again , the Japanese people just rebuild and move on at an astonishing pace.
The ship , MV Ishikari is a pretty big vessel at 200 metres long , 27 metres wide , 15,762 tons and can move at a max 26 knots.
Has capacity in a range of sleeping options , from tatami mat communal sleeping area to about 150 cabins. Can take up to 777 people but on this sailing we think it must be only 25 % max.
Really a very nicely appointed ship , plenty of amenities , free entertainment in the form of 3 young ladies who have a classical trio with piano , flute and violin. The food — Oh the food , so much and all part of the deal .
We had very nice cabins ” special class cabin ” with a nice window looking out towards the distant Japanese coastline as we cruised serenely past. The ship has great stabilisation technology so remained a very smooth passage. The onboard onsen was a nice added bonus that I enjoyed very much . I feel like a civilised man here in Japan 😊
Been like the ” slow boat to China ” time to kick back , relax and enjoy the tranquility that a sea trip affords. We have been reflecting on our amazing trip , including Korea , which we all agree has been a gastronomical adventure Par excellence. So many different ” that’s excellent ” meals that things are almost a blur.
On this boat we think it is entirely non tourist , Just ordinary Japanese travelling. We spotted only one European lady and when we finally spoke it emerged that she was a young single American girl who, way back when , traveled to Japan , fell in love with a local man , stayed and raised a Japanese family . So no tourists onboard apart from us. It turns out that this service is actually cheaper than the fast trains. It cost only approx $300 nz $ per person which included all the meals. Pretty good and we have all had a ball.