Trip to Shikoku in 2015 spring – Part 1, taking Orange Ferry from Osaka to Toyo port.

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When I went back to Japan in this past March, I wanted to visit my friend’s grave in Iyo-Saijo, Shikoku. I though it was a great chance to travel Shikoku. But my 6 years old daughter and my wife were with me. My trip is usually very busy and squeeze the things as many as I can. But at this time, I had to make easy and slow itinerary.

In this post, I would like to show you my trip to Shikoku in spring, 2015. I hope this trip report to give you some idea about travel with small kids.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Itinerary

Day 1 Osaka south port (Orange Ferry) / Overnight on board
Day 2 Toyo port > Nyugawa > Iyo-Saijo > Matsuyama > Uwajima > Matsumaru / Overnihgt at Nametoko gorge
Day 3 Matsumaru > Kubokawa > Kochi / Overnight at Kochi
Day 4 Kochi > Tosa-Yamada – Ryugado cave > Tosa-Yamada > Oboke > Okayama > Shin-Osaka

I tried to make slow and easy itinerary but it was very busy itinerary.

At the first night, I took overnight ferry service. But this was my daughter’s request. She wanted to stay overnight in train or ship. I was also very interested in overnight ferry service too.

Nametoko gorge is not very popular spot. But there is “Morinokuni hotel”. I found this hotel a few years ago. Since then, I had been on my wish list. At last, I thought to visit cave (Ryugado) or whirlpool (Naruto). My daughter picked cave.

In this post, I would like to show you Orange Ferry.

Depart from Osaka-Nanko

Osaka-Nanko means Osaka south port. Many ferry services depart from this port. This place can be accessed by Osaka subway and New Tram.

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I supposed to take New Tram to get there. But my brother came home early and he gave us a ride. The terminal is connected to the ferry terminal by overpass.

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There is no wall at some part of overpass. You may be wet when it is stormy.
There is no wall at some part of overpass. You may be wet when it is stormy.

There are several ferry services to get Shikoku from Osaka. This ferry service that is called “Orange Ferry” depart from Osaka-Nanko at 22:00 and arrive at Toyo port in Ehime, Shikoku at 6:00. The website is in Japanese only, but detailed PDF English info is available.

Orange Ferry official site (Japanese)
PDF English info

But we can board at 20:00 and can stay until 7:00. I could make easier schedule for my daughter.

This ferry goes Setonakai sea. It is between Honshu and Shikoku. The ship does not pitch and roll because it is very calm water. We did not worry about sea sick.

Welcome aboard

Waiting area
Waiting area

It was raining very hard. When you board as foot passenger, we have to walk outside but lots of umbrellas are prepared.

We found escalator when we step into the ship. It took us to passengers deck on third floor.

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On third floor, there are front desk, lobby, restaurant and kiosk. Front desk can keep your valuable and large luggage.

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This is the stairs to four floor and fifth floor. This is overnight local ferry but it looks so gorgeous.

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I expected to see night view of Osaka and Kobe. But it was hard raining and I could not see anything.

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Passenger’s cabin

There are many types of cabin, such as Special Suite, Special Cabin A, Special Cabin B (room+berths), First Class (room+berths), Second Class (berths) and Second Class Common Space. I stayed in first class cabin and I saw Second Class Common Space.

Second Class Common Space is like this.

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It does not give you any privacy. You should ask to keep valuables to Front Desk if you use this class.

I stayed First Calss (room+berths). If I travelled by myself, I might choose Second Class. But I was with my daughter and wife. I wanted to have some privacy and pick up this class.

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This compartment can accommodate four passengers. But I booked the entire cabin for my family only.

I did not see Second Class (berths). But the layout is very similar to First Class. Second Class has four more berths and does not have TV and sofa.

First Class includes amenity kit (towel, tooth brush and comb). This ferry has public bath room. But this towel is like hand towel. You should bring bath towel if you intend to use bath room.

Restaurant and public bath

You can pick these dishes or order what you want.
You can pick these dishes or order what you want.

This is not very fancy restaurant. The level is okay. The price is not very cheap but acceptable.

I had Pork Cutlet on the rice (Katsu-Don).

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And my wife had dried small fish on the rice (Kamaage chirimen Don). Both dished were 670 yen.

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I wanted to have some beer but I had all you can eat BBQ beef in previous day. I had too much and my stomach was very rough. My wife did not allow me to have beer.

After dinner, I enjoyed bath. I could not take a photo, of course. But it was like small size Onsen bath. It can accommodate 10 or more guests.

The entrance of bath.
The entrance of bath.

It departed on time at 22:00. We were ready to sleep when it departed.

Shuttle bus

The shuttle bus to Nyugawa station.
The shuttle bus to Nyugawa station.

There are many shuttle available, to Imabashi, Niihama, and many more cities and towns. We took the shuttle to Nyugawa station that is the nearest JR station from the ferry terminal. It took only 10 minutes. And the ferry arrived at 6:00 am. But as I mentioned, we could stay in the ferry until 7:00 and bus left at 7:00 too. We could get one extra hour sleep.

This is free shuttle service. But when you use shuttle, you have to get a ticket before on board. When I was on board, we could get a ticket in the ship too. But in peak season, it may not available in the ship. We should get it before boarding.

Ferry ticket and bus ticket
Ferry ticket and bus ticket

Continue to the next post, Trip to Shikoku in 2015 spring – Part 2, from Toyo port to Matsumaru via Matsuyama.

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