Friday (30th) - With much excitement we boarded the first leg of our long way home voyage (which we realised crosses just shy of a complete circuit of the globe). The Shanghai Ferry, which was actually a Chinese vessel named the Su Zhou Hau, would take us from Kyoto to Shanghai. Although the name might suggest images of a creaky old Manly ferry beefed up for some sea going action, the Su Zhou hau was far from it, but rather was more like a small albeit basic ocean liner.
The accommodation options on the boat ranged from open tatami style rooms shared with 16 people, through to private suites. We opted for somewhere in the mid range, a 4 person cabin that we shared with a nice young couple who were heading across to Mongolia to meet the parents for the first time. Although it has to be mentioned they rarely left the cabin. Apart from the cabins, the ship also boasted a few lounge areas, a restaurant and a bar (which unfortunately only opened for a few hours at night). It was our home for 2 days, which literally flew, or should I say sailed by (couldn't be helped), with lots of lounging, chatting, cards, reading, eating and drinking. We met quite a few fellow passengers - a lot of whom were foreigners who had been working in Japan and were heading off on their own adventure before heading home.
Interestingly the route took us through the middle of Japan, going between Honshu and Kyushu islands before taking the open ocean to Shanghai, which provided for some great scenery and smooth sailing.
Our cabin, you can see the 4 berths and a room with table and tele at the back near the window.
Eating in the restaurant as the sun is setting over mainland Japan.
On the deck as we passed under a massive bridge connecting Japanese islands.
The view for pretty much the whole first day of sailing
We had a little Japanese boy make friends with us and constantly come over to play. He was very cute, but all we could only get out of him that he was 3 years old, even when we asked him his name! Perhaps his name was just 3 years old.
On the Sunday morning (1st) we got ourselves ready to disembark and headed up to the deck to watch the view as we passed down the Huangpu river into Shanghai, and of course we were not disappointed!
Chugging down Huangpu river before getting into Shanghai, the banks are lined for great stretches with cranes and docks loading and unloading cargo ships of all shapes, sizes and seaworthiness.
Us with the Shanghai skyline as a backdrop. we are about 10 min from docking here.