Ferry Niigata Otaru
Consisting of several thousand islands, Japan is naturally home to an extensive network of domestic ferry routes. While Japan’s four major islands, Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, are connected with each other by bridges and tunnels, most smaller islands can only be reached by ship. But even between the major four islands, ferries can be an interesting, if not particularly fast alternative to trains, buses and airplanes. Large ferries can carry hundreds of vehicles and passengers and are usually equipped with a range of amenities such as public baths and restaurants. Some come close to being luxury liners. Ferries are mostly popular among people bringing their own cars to Hokkaido [ref]. Below the pictures I took of the ferry ride between Niigata and Otaru from the Shin Nihonkai Ferry including some images of the first hours spent in Hokkaido around Otaru.