Kyoto to Osaka
Osaka ferry to Korea

June 10, 2007
Distance: 76 km
Top Speed: 52 kph
Average Speed: 23 kph
Time: 3:00
Mood: Excited!!!

I woke up in my tent with the sounds of early morning Sunday walkers and a few homeless guys doing their 6am routine of packing up their boxes and sleeping bags. The sun was up and peeking outside my tent I could see that there were enough people up and about in this park that I should pack up and move on.

One last view of Osaka as I approach on the bike path from Kyoto. This was an awesome bike path! I'll miss it.

The strange ferry terminal/immegration terminal in Osaka.

Inside the ferry, they had several entertainment areas. This was a tacky dinning room with a stage for entertainment all night long.

In order of importance: your room number, the karaoke rooms, the deck (where I guess we get rescued by helecopter?), and water fountains.

The only cool thing about this boat was the staircase, and...

...the onsen!! Awesome! Has a window that looks out over the water (but is totally steamed up).

Main lobby

A private bedroom for those willing to pay serious $$$ (this trip cost me the SAME price as flying... so why do people take the ferry??? Everyone must have too much baggage to fly - for instance, if I checked my bike as luggage, it would have cost an extra $300!!! So the ferry was economical for me - but what about everyone else?! Why in the world don't they fly??)

My bunk. I believe the one under me had been 'used' by a couple the next morning - let's just say there was visable and olfactoral evidence.

The entire trip from Osaka through all the islands of Japan takes more than 8 hours. It's amazing because the route is so densly packed with islands that they are really never too far in the distance. Sometimes I'd swear we should be scaping our bottom on these islands. Also, since the passage from East to West through Japan can only be done in one place (liken it to the Panama Canal being the only place to get from East to West without going all the way around) the whole route is shared with ALL the other boats trying to do the same thing.

If you've ever taken a cruise, you may be surprised to find thatIi can pinpoint the exact nationality of your crew: Filipino! Yup, even if you didn't realise it, those 'Asians' on your cruise ship were invariabley Filipino. Why? I'm not sure, but I could do a lot of guessing (cheap, fluent in English, maritime culture?). I didn't know this myself until chatting it up with the crew of my ship. The Japanese and Koreans don't speak a lot of English, and the Filipino crew only learn enough basic Korean and Japanese to do their job. English, however, is an official language of the Philippines! So when a Westerner gets on board (which is RARE because it's cheaper and faster to fly), they get really excited to talk to us. This, to my surprise, was not a pose for MY camera. They all wanted pictures of me for their cameras! It was at this point that I began to remember what the Far East really is like. Sayonara Japan!

On deck (Notice, no helicopters. What was that sign talking about?)



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