Ferry to Osaka
Several passenger ferry boats operate between Japan and the Asian mainland, linked here for reference:
* Osaka - Shanghai
* Kobe - Shanghai
* Shimonoseki - Qingdao
* Kobe - Tianjin
We traveled from Shanghai to Osaka. The trip takes two days and a roundtrip ticket is about US$300. My traveling companion and I were the only two Americans on board, and the remaining 90 passengers were Japanese and Chinese. The ship can hold about 400 passengers.
The hazy Shanghai skyline and the Pearl Tower.
These four photos were taken after departing the Shanghai ferry terminal.
Cross cultural socialization.
It was interesting to be with such a group of people. Right now, Japan and China are worlds apart and bitterly divided over issues of history, politics, social norms, education, and foreign affairs. You never would have guessed it by looking at these people: Chinese residents of Japan, Japanese residents of China, interracial couples, students, small businessmen, and others chatting into the wee hours of the night as if they were best friends.
Approaching Osaka -- nothing like the hustle and bustle of Shanghai.
Upon arrival, we met up with Adamu (of Mutantfrog fame!) and Mrs. Adamu. We had time for a delicious lunch of okonomiyaki and great conversation before parting ways.
By the way, that backpack you see was my only luggage. Traveling light is the key to successful travel. To quote the man who inspired this site:
I congratulated myself on my decision to travel for six weeks with only a single rucksack, about half of whose space was occupied by old books and toiletry items, meaning that I could take only one change of clothes... I was already raking in the benefits: the ability to travel spontaneously and to stop wherever I liked, without worrying about left-behind luggage, taxis, or hotel reservations. Robert D. Kaplan, Balkan Ghosts