If you plan to travel to Hokkaido during your visit to Japan,
how do you intend on going?
By bullet train (shinkansen)? By plane? Drive?
Have you ever considered taking a ferry and
resting in peace during the trip?
This time, JAPANKURU tried traveling to Hokkaido
via the Ferry Sunflower from Oarai in Ibaraki Prefecture
for the first time!
Shosen Mitsui Ferry Sunflower (商船三井さんふらわあ)
⏰: Oarai departure → 19:45 pm · Tomakomai arrival → 13:30
Tomakomai departure → 6:45 pm · Oarai arrival → 2:00 pm
💴: from 8740 yen
*Fares vary depending on the room type and season,
more details are available on the website
🚢Sailing Route: Tokyo → Ibaraki → Hokkaido
Recently, more and more travelers want to visit Hokkaido. There are many ways to travel from Tokyo to Hokkaido. Of course, the easiest and quickest way is by plane. However, if you have enough time, we recommend everyone an economical and affordable way, ferry.
Take the ferry, not just to go from Tokyo to Hokkaido, but also to see some new places, the first stop to take this ferry is from Tokyo to Ibaraki Prefecture's Oarai Port Ferry Terminal, and finally sail to Hokkaido's Tomakomai Port to enter the island of Hokkaido⚓
- Ibaraki Prefecture → Hitachi Flower Park
- Hokkaido → Otaru Canal
Although this journey may seem like a long one, everyone can enjoy full relaxation and enjoy the facilities on board. It is also a fun travel experience!
🚢Your First Step to the Sea: Buy a Ticket!
- Tickets start from choosing your room
- There are many different types of cabins in the ferry to meet the various needs of travelers. The price ranges from 8,740 yen to 44,000 yen. This time we will give a light introduction of these places to give you a better idea!
For more information on booking tickets online!
- An indispensable part of the sailing tour is yummy food
- The ticket fee does not include meals. Before entering the restaurant, you must first purchase meal tickets. Everyone can choose to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you want to eat the meal, you can purchase meal tickets directly. There are single, two-course meal tickets, and three-course meal tickets on board. Depending on what your needs are, choose the combination of meal tickets you want.
🚢Departing from Tokyo!
First thing you need to do is head to the Oarai Port Ferry Terminal. To reach the port there are several solutions are available to you:
> If you want to take the bus
If you want to use public transportation to Ibaraki, we recommend that you take a bus from Tokyo Station and go to Oarai Port. Worried about taking a bus from Tokyo Station? Don't be! It's not very difficult at all! Once you reach JR Tokyo Station, head to the Yaesu South Exit. After exiting, you can find the JR Expressway Bus Terminal at Tokyo Station. Here are buses that go all over Japan lined up!
> If you want to drive
Of course, if you are a master of self-driving traveler, you can of course drive to the ferry! As long as you are ok with paying extra, you can have the car transferred in the ferry with you so that you can drive to Hokkaido's Honjo Island (or Ibaraki Prefecture) immediately after the ferry arrives.
The additional cost of the car will vary depending on evening and night voyages and the size of the vehicle. Please check on the official website
JR Expressway Bus Terminal once you exit
Yaesu South Exit of Tokyo Station.
Use ticket vending machines to buy bus tickets!
If you have any questions when buying tickets you can ask the counter staff.
Just park your car below and you're ready to go!
🚢WHAT ABOUT INSIDE THE FERRY!?!
Priceless Super Seaview Restaurant
No matter if you have lunch or dinner, you can enjoy endless sea views while you eat. This is why we recommend that you definitely go to the restaurant for a meal! If you can, absolutely choose the seat next to the window!
> Single meal ticket
Breakfast 1,050 Yen / Lunch 800 Yen / Dinner 1,900 Yen
> Two-course meal ticket (breakfast and lunch) 1,550 yen
> Three-course meal ticket (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) 2,400 yen
⏰Dinner 6:30pm ~ 8:00pm
Breakfast 7:30am ~ 9:00am
Lunch noon ~ 12:45pm
- Dining environment
- The dining room is modest but rather nice. Different spaces are available according to your desires or just the group with which you travel. Bottom tables are popular so come early if you want to enjoy the view!
- Varied dishes
- In the evening, different dishes are offered: meat, fish, curry, etc. And a panoply of desserts: cakes, fruits, and ice cream.
🚢Exclusive Spaces for Children and Pets
- Children's corner
- Even if you are accompanied by young children you can find activities for them to spend time in the 'Kids Land' available inside has a lot of small games for your children to spend.
- Dog run
- Pets are accepted on the boat. It's nice because you can even walk around and let them do their needs outside.
🚢DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE ROOMS!
1. Prestige Room
Prestige Suites offer a very private space for passengers to rest, and the room is spacious, even if it is the use of wheelchair passengers, you can easily come and go freely!
💴 Cost: 26,110 yen
2. Suite Room
There is only one Suite on the ferry, so it is considered a special space. From its privatized balcony you will have a clear view of the ocean. If you want to take full advantage of this trip, it is certainly the luxury you could pay for yourself.
💴 Cost: 44,000 yen
3. Got a Pet?
As mentioned earlier, this ferry allows pets to get on the boat, and there are spaces for dogs to run around. Such a friendly ferry also has room types that allow you to live with pets. Even cleaning supplies and feeding utensils can help you. You're ready to go!
💴 Cost: 17,910 yen
4. Comfort Room
Similar to a capsule hotel structure,
the Comfortable Room includes a TV, headlamp, hanger, outlet,
and more necessities for a comfortable and affordable stay.
💴 Cost: 13,330 yen
5. Looking to Save Money?
If you are a backpacker and want to save money, dormitories are there for you. You will not have much space, but enough for a trip of this kind. All the equipment you will need is available: storage for your suitcase, electric outlets, and comforter.
💴 Cost: 8,740 yen
🚢Other Intimate Services
The ferry also offers many other facilities to make travel easier for those on board.
Upper row: Game room, space for pets, baby room (purified hot water server for milk formula also included!!),
and coin-operated washing machines
Lower row: Information desk, souvenir and snacks shop, sauna, public baths
Finally Arrived in Hokkaido!
Hokkaido is the northernmost island of Japan. It's extremely cold in the winter but very nice and comfortable in the summer! Every year around August, Hokkaido is a place where many people want to get away from the heat and humid summer. Whether visiting Sapporo's famous attractions or driving around the island, Hokkaido is a great place to explore!
Some places that we advise you check out:
❄Winter → Otaru, Biei, Noboribetsu
🌞Summer → Furano
🚢Shosen Mitsui Ferry Sunflower (商船三井さんふらわあ)
・Oarai ➡ Tomakomai: Depart at 7:45pm, arrive at 1:30pm (next day)
・Tomakomai ➡ Oarai: Depart at 6:45pm, arrive at 2:00pm (next day)
・Oarai ➡ Tomakomai: Depart at 1:45am, arrive at 7:45pm
・Tomakomai ➡ Oarai: Depart at 1:30am, arrive at 7:30pm
💡🐩Please be aware that not all animals are allowed to board the boat, and that there is an added 8,000 yen fee.
The detailed cost information can be found on the official website
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