Saturday, 5 May 2012

Nigata to Otaru on Shin Nihonkai's Lilac and a visit to Sapporo

Here are more images from Japan. We begin at Nigata ferry terminal, where the Lilac of Shin Nihonkai Ferry was awaiting. Uniquely, on this particular day, the weather was dull and rainy - but that was fine for a long day at sea:

Boarding announcements by transistor radio:

The lilac's entrance hall - not bad for a ro-pax ferry:





The cinema:

Observation lounge:

 A quite basic cabin:


'Japanese-style' cabin:


'Western-style' luxury cabin:


Scenic grand bath for one:


Endless supply of green tea:


Leaving Nigata:

Me on deck:

A la carte restaurant out of use:


Cafeteria very much in use - and the venue for luncheon:

Mmmm - a most delicious thing:

Trying on the captain's uniform:

Shipboard hygeine advice:

Pouring with rain out on deck:

Time to visit the scenic grand bath, which was very exclusive on this occasion:


In the evening at the ship's cafe:

Early morning off Otaru:

Snowy mountains:

Lilac at the berth in Otaru:

Downtown Otaru:

 The 1950s-built 'moderne' railway station:

The fish market:

Otaru suburbia:

Seen in the window of a shop selling ceramic items - a karaoke-singing mole with the most ridiculously enormous testicles:

A companion-piece, again with bloated bollocks - but why?



Me in a touristy bit:

Construction workers lined up to receive their morning instructions:

Wax models of seafood in brilliant orange hues, seen in a cafe window:

One of Otaru's slightly more picturesque corners:

The lilac leaves for Nigata:

Otaru railway station:

On the train to Sapporo:

Sapporo station concourse:


Cute giraffe purple luggage lockers:

 Downtown Sapporo:

Talented crab:

Boringly picturesque touristy thing:

Ah, that's more like it:

 The sort of administrative building we like to see:

Train to Tomakomai:

Every self-respecting chimpanzee and bear needs an Eneos card:

More to follow shortly!


  1. I believe the hedgehogs with giant testicles are in fact tanuki (raccoon dogs) are according to Japanese folklore are shapeshifters and for some reason are always decipted with grossly oversized testicles.

  2. Kalle - as a man of the world, please can you tell me what a shapeshifter is? And why, to shift shapes, might one need a ceramic raccoon/hedgehog/mole hybrid with gigantic nuts? I feel in need of being informed further about this most curious phenomenon.