FerryJune 13, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C
It was already time to leave Shikoku again and set off for Kyushu or more specifically Beppu. When i was planning my trip i figured some days of rest would be welcome after Tokyo, Osaka and the Shimanami Kaido. And what better place to do this in one of the most renowned onsen towns. I had two options to get there. One was by train but it would be a long way around. The other was by ferry which was a bit more expensive but shorter and i figured also a nice experience. So i opted for the ferry. I had to take a train to get to the port of Yawatahama first and was surprised by the beauty of the surrounding mountains. The morning fog made it even more beautiful. I arrived at the ferry port just after 8am only to find out that the first ferry would not leave until 10.15am. So much for waking up early to catch the earlies ferry. There was nothing to do but wait and kill time by working on my blog and trying to catch some sleep. The ticket window opend an hour before departure and after filling in a form with my personal information i bought myself a 2nd class ticket for the ferry.
The ferry arrived and we got the sign to get onboard. After the obligatory ticket check i climbed the stairs to enter the ferry. I made sure to get onboard asap so i would get a seat with a nice view. But to my surprise there were only about seats for eight people, the rest of the interior was just basically an elevated floor where you had to take your shoes off and take one of the square pillows so you could comfortably lay down. I was suprised at first but soon realised that this was actually a pretty good idea. The ferry ride would last over 3 hours and only the first and last couple of minutes would be interesting. The biggest part of the journey was quite boring with nothing to see except the waves. So the best thing would be sleeping anyway. :-)
After a nice nap and some working on my blog the boat had arrived at the terminal in Beppu. I left the ferry and set off to walk into the town. I had read there was a really nice aquarium in Beppu and took the bus from Beppu station to go see some fish. The aquarium itself is not that big but nicely setup with some interesting themed basins with underwaterlife from all over the world. There was even a very nice coral display with live coral, something you don't see everyday as coral is not that easy to grow in an aquarium.
It had gotten time to get to the hostel and after check-in it was time for a shower and a short power nap. I noticed in the hall there were some tips for local activities and restaurants and i noticed one about a local Gyoza restaurant. Gyoza are fried dumplings of Chinese origin. I've had them a couple of times before as a side dish and these things are absolutely delicious. And to get a plateful of these little wonders for only 600 yen was something i could not resist. The restaurant was easy to find and there is no menu. The lady behind the counter only asks how many portions you want and if you want a beer with it. Now it may sound strange that a restaurant only serves one dish but it's not that uncommon and after trying the first you won't have any problems with the lack of choice. These dumplings are insanely good! The whole plate was gone within a minute even though i got in a converstation with Shinichisan, a local from Beppu. On the way back to the hostel i grabbed me a couple of cold brewskis. In the hostel's common room i met Daisy and Sunshine and wast later joined by Toshi and some other folks for some good talks before getting some well deserved sleep.Read more