Monday, 7 May 2012


Another day, another train: this time, it's a scenic journey from Tomakomai to Hakodate:

Standard car:

Green car with 'panoramic' windows:


Some views from the train:



Luncheon bento boxes are ordered in advance from the stewardesses and delivered fresh at a station further along the line:

Me with stewardesses:

Luncheon bento box, freshly delivered:

More scenic views from the train:

The train at Hakodate, which was the end of the line:


A more modern 'Heat 789' train at the next platform:

Nothing out of service:

A slightly sick-looking monkey:

Hakodate Station:


Downtown Hakodate:

Snow piled up under a motorway:

 The Seikan route from Hakodate to Aomori is Japan's oldest ferry service. Until the latter-1980s, it was operated by a large fleet of train ferries, one of which, the Mashu Maru, is preserved as a 'museum ship' on Hakodate's waterfront:


A modern-day car ferry to Aomori leaves the harbour:

Hakodate tram cars:


 The KFC Colonel - patron of those who don't really care what they put inside themselves.

A rather eccentic Japanese fast food diner, near the ferry terminal:

The ferry terminal:


Our ship, the Asakaze 21:

A full load of freight for off-loading in Aomori:


For the return leg, the Virgo:

Non-scenic, not very grand baths, not in use:

Pink cafeteria:


Vending machines for food:


Looks ghastly. Nearly all is forgiven, KFC:

I fashioned a bed for the night in one of the dormitories from all the unused headrests. It was remarkably comfortable, actually:

Approaching Hakodate once again:

Laid-up InCat Natchan World:

Virgo at Hakodate:

The terminal at Hakodate in the morning:


Nice paper models of the local ferry fleet:




Some of the Natchan World's hull art:

The fish market in Hakodate:

A visit to the veteran train ferry Mashu Maru:

Onboard, there was a very detailed and enlightening exhibition  about the history of the Seikan route's train ferries:

Lovely models:

The 1960s train ferries were mechanically innovative. Each was powered by eight V-diesels, four coupled via gearboxes to each of the two propeller shafts:

Mashu Maru's navigation bridge - a fine and intact example of 1960s whizziness:

Wearing the wireless operator's hat (again too small):

Harbour movements:


The train back to Tomakomai:

One more bento box:

Next: the best ever Japanese ferry Ishikari. Watch out for the forthcoming installment!


  1. You know where to get the papercrafts seen on your photo?

  2. Did you bring those paper models home for us. :)
    This is a wonderful trip. Thank you so much.

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