Posted by: Darrell | December 24, 2008

Ferry Boats

Kansai Kisen Ferry

Kansai Kisen Ferry

A relatively unknown secret is that you can charter a ferry from Beppu to Osaka for half the price of the Shinkansen and you don’t have to pay the cost of a hotel as the ferry is an overnight trip. It can compared to the overnight bus, except WAY better in comfort, style and experience. A recommendation from my homestay family, Liz and I were wonderfully delighted with the ferry that I though it was important enough for it to warrant it’s own blog post.

Our 4 person room

Our 4 person room

Although hesistant at first, this blog post written by another traveler who discovered the joys of ferry boating is what really convinced us to go ahead with it (that and the substantial savings). While we are guilty of valuing time over money and consistently taking the Shinkansen or the fastest transportation available, the ferry is actually the cheapest AND fastest way to get from Beppu to Osaka. It is fast because, instead of sleeping over night in Beppu and then taking the first Shinkansen to Osaka, the ferry sails over night and arrives in Osaka at 6am, just in time for the first trains.

Leaving Beppu Port

Leaving Beppu Port

The room choice are sleeping on a floor with other people (it’s a lot better than it sounds) or requesting a room that can be shared with 4 to 12 other people. However, on our trip we lucked out as the sailing wasn’t full and we were given a 4 person room without other roommates! The bed are great, facilities are even better and the comfort is 10 times better than a night bus (or so I have heard). One caveat is that you should eat BEFORE you board the ferry as the canteen food is expensive and underwhelming. Beer and snacks are also expensive, so buy before you board. However, the ship is vast and there are many areas to peacefully write a blog post, have a beer or just relax. The night view is also nice, although cold and probably less nice than the day view. If you are reading my blog and there is once advice to take; it is to take the ferry boat when traveling from Kyushu to Honshu.

More Information
A primer on Japanese Ferries

Route Guide for Japanese Ferries

Kansai Kisen (Beppu-Osaka) Service


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