Sapporo (Tomakomai) to Sendai
I found the ferry to be very convenient and extremely cost efficient. It took 14 hours overnight from Sunday to Monday morning and only cost us 9,500 yen or less than $95. This was the same as a hotel and transportation. The ferry itself was much bigger than I imagined. I was expecting a smaller vessel that held maybe 100 people and a few cars, but this held 850 people and a few hundred vehicles.
It departed at 7pm and we were allowed to board at 5:30. There was a restaurant onboard that was open from 8-10, but I didn't eat there. I ate some fries at the gate kiosk before we boarded. The restaurant was 1,800 yen for a buffet, which would have been fine had I had the money and/or been that hungry.
There was an onsen, arcade, theater (which showed Harry Potter 2), a gift shop, and several outdoor decks. There was always something to do if you wanted, or you could sleep. There were a few options to choose from as far as sleeping went. The cheapest, which would be very economical was a big floor with about 300 mats and pillows where everyone just goes and sleeps.
Not really my preference, and I figured the girls wouldn't have liked it either. There was an upgrade option from here to the next level which was a bunk bed type thing, but I didn't think it had much more privacy.
It would be worth it to upgrade
since it would only cost about 1,000 yen more to get this, but we wanted more.
So I upgraded us all the way to the capsule hotel style rooms/beds which most people wanted to try at some point anyway.
This was convenient for me since I was able to take more photos to update my capsule hotel page. I even got a close up of the control panel so I can add info about that as well. We took up 17 of the 40 available.
I didn't know that the vehicles loaded from the front, so that was interesting to watch as they unloaded.
There is a vast ferry network, as explained by this sign titled:
You can see my reflection, taking the picture and Oli and Katherine in the background.
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