Traveling by Ferry   全国のフェリー

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View of the Sea

While Japan is known for its exceptional trains and railway network, it is also possible, and enjoyable, to travel by ferry between the islands of the archipelago for a simple crossing or even a cruise.

It's an often forgotten fact, but Japan consists of hundreds of small islands stretching off the four main islands. Cat Island, Miyajima and Naoshima, they are each attractions in their own right. And part of the charm of visiting these beautiful islands is the boat trip that gets you there.

If the most important islands are now connected by bridges and tunnels that can go from one to another by car, many of the smaller, picturesque islands still depend on ferries.

By sea, it is possible to discover places of relaxation and bathing, such as Izu or Ogasawara, havens of peace that are often visited by Tokyoites themselves by boat with companies such as Tokai Kisen and Ogasawara Kaiun .

Long Distances

Ferries equipped for traveling long distances offer night services ranging from a single bed in a group dormitory, to private rooms, as well as restaurants and bathrooms. Those designed for shorter trips only offer seats and benches and, on certain routes, a charging point or free WiFi.

The most interesting routes are those departing from Osaka or Kobe to major cities bordering the Seto Sea, such as Matsuyama, Hiroshima or even Beppu. From the boat, you will discover Mediterranean-like sea, countless Japanese islands and more.

You can easily buy tickets online (in English) from the major shipping companies, such as Taiheiyo Ferry, which services the north from Nagoya, Hankyu Ferry serving Kyushu from Osaka and Kobe as does the Ferry Sunflower . As for A Line and Marix Line going from Okinawa to Kansai, and Ocean Tokyu Ferry going from the south to Tokyo, reservations can be made in the port offices of these companies, or by telephone in English.

All Inclusive

Discovering Japan by cruise can help you create special travel memories: on board the ship you can experience the Japanese way of life, and this type of trip also provides the ease of not having to change hotels constantly while you travel. Cruises also allow you to visit sites outside of the usual tourist traps.

The company Princess for example, offers all-inclusive trips around Kyushu and Hokkaido, often less crowded than the more well-known main islands.

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