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Riding Aboard the Orange Ferry

What a beautiful sunset! I wish I could have been on the ferry at that time.


I purchased my reservation ticket from the Orange Ferry or (オレンジフェリー)  website before my travels. There are a few ways to purchase a ticket before arriving at the ferry terminal: 

1. Buy in person: the ticket counter opens up at 6 pm but probably would not recommend as a tourist unless you are confident about being able to buy a ticket. There is nothing in the area if there are no tickets or if you change your mind.
2. Online: booking process can be somewhat restrictive, and is only available in Japanese.
3. Email: this is the recommended approach as mentioned in their website for tourists.  There is a form that you copy and paste into an email and then fill out before sending to them. I am not sure how fast they will respond so avoid any last-minute reservations. 


Boarding time is 8 pm and departure time is 10 pm.


At 6 pm, I went back downstairs to the ticket office to get my boarding pass. The ticket office is on the righthand side of the building when you enter.  Once I had received my boarding pass, I went back to the departure lounge to wait until it was time to board the ferry.

Another angle of the common area, with the front desk on the main floor

It was not very difficult to board the ferry as it was winter and there were very few passengers walking on. Inside, the main lobby of the ferry reminded me of a cruise ship because of the way it was decorated. The décor was bright, clean and modern.  There were three floors available to passengers, which included access to: sleeping quarters, washrooms, restaurant, vending machines, smoking room, outside deck, front desk and seating areas.  The ferry also had an elevator for those who require assistance in getting around.  

On each floor are large maps of how to find the various washrooms, sleeping quarters, and communal bathing area for each gender.  There is even an onsen for those who want to relax after their shower.    

Hallway leading to sleeping quarters and washrooms


Deluxe Single bedroom with table, sink and lockable door.


I booked a Deluxe Single as it allowed me to store my suitcase in my room.  On the website, it mentions that the Deluxe Single, Suite and Royal Rooms are the only ones with room keys. The Single and Single Plus do not have a room key, as they are similar to a capsule hotel, so any personal items would need to be stored with the Front Desk.  I picked up my key at the Front Desk when I boarded and needed to return it before I depart in the morning as the room key is a physical key. 

Inside my room, there was a comfortable bed for one, blankets, slippers, cotton yukata robe,  a small tv, a thermostat to control the room temperature, desk and a small sink.  


A handy guide of which showers are available

A great feature when going to the communal bathing area is the interactive light board that shows which shower stalls are being used. After settling in and going around to take photos and videos, I went back to the main floor where the restaurant is located.  There is only one restaurant which is located directly across from the front desk. The setup is similar to a cafeteria style, where you get a tray, select your dishes or order one of a few specials before you pay at the cashier.  The sign board at the beginning of the restaurant is handy in identifying the various types of food categories.

A helpful map as you move along the line to select your food


Shoyu ramen with chashu and beansprouts

Once I paid for my meal, I chose a table and proceeded to eat my dinner. At this time, the pandemic rules were still enforced so each table had their own plastic partitions.  After dinner, it was time for a quick shower and back to my room for some sleep.

In the morning the restaurant is also open for a few hours for breakfast.  The only catch is that the breakfast voucher needs to be purchased either at the time the tickets are purchased are at the front desk when you first board if you want the set meal. There are two set meal choices available (American or Japanese), so I opted for the typical Japanese breakfast, as I enjoy it and it would be a long morning as I navigated myself from the port in Osaka to my next stop – Kyoto!

An individual leaving the hold of the ferry after arriving at the port in Osaka.

Overall, the ferry experience was fun and interesting. Since the ferry is mostly a floating hotel and sleeping is what most people will do, there isn’t a lot to really do.  Although at first I thought this was a typical passenger ferry, I soon realized that the main purpose is to transport both truck drivers who needed to transport their goods across Japan easily and other individuals who want to visit another part of Japan with the convenience of their vehicle.  The passenger ferry is just a  bonus and is done in typical Japanese fashion with a ferry that is both aesthetically beautiful, and yet functional .  I look forward to trying another one in my future travels.     


I hope you enjoy this travel blog, for more information on my various travels around Japan, please follow my Instagram account @nippon_edo72 or read about it on my blog site http://www.nippon-edo.com/

Written by Edmund Lau (http://www.nippon-edo.com/)

The opinions expressed in the above article do not reflect the views of JNTO. All content and images are property of the writer unless otherwise specified.


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