No, we’re not making this up. But, of course, to get this price you do have to travel by boat, in “economy” class, which means 36 people per room. But, hey, it’s an option, and it could be interesting — you’d have about 48 hours to strike up some conversations. We learned about the Shanghai-Osaka ferry (English version) on the Coming Anarchy blog. Here is what they had to say about it:
Several passenger boats operate between Japan and the Asian mainland. Two weeks ago, my traveling partner and I took a ferry from Shanghai to Osaka. The trip takes two days and a roundtrip ticket is about $300.
We were the only Americans on board, and most of the passengers were Japanese. Some were tourists, but many had a familial or business connection to the continent. Over the two days on the boat I talked with a Japanese-Tibetan couple, an Osaka woman preparing to start a business importing Chinese medicine, a group of Shanghai teenagers off to study in Japan, and many Chinese-Japanese couples and their young children. With little to do for entertainment, it’s a great way to meet people and make new friends. I just recieved a letter from one of those new friends, an 80-year old man from Hokkaido who grew up in Manchuria and who spent December visiting the town he lived during the 1930s. He wrote a Japanese Buddhist idiom in the letter: “With the brush of sleeves come the meetings of former lives.”
Shanghaiist has taken the overnight boat to Putuoshan a couple time, and we have friends who have traveled further inland by boat on the Yangtze. But we never thought about traveling abroad by boat. And now we wonder what other (affordable) travel-by-boat options exist from from Shanghai. Anyone got any stories to share?
Another Shanghai-Osaka ferry (in Japanese)
Qingdao-Ｓhimonoseki ferry (in Japansese)
Some more expensive all-inclusive Shanghai-Japan boat tours