Andrea and David's trip to Japan, July 2011

Day 13-14: 29 & 30-7-11 Nemuru to Osaka - (Day 12; Day 15) - birdlist - bird gallery

29/7-11 was the start of 36 hrs travel from Nemuru (43 20' N 145 35' E) on eastern Hokkaido to Osaka (34 41' N 135 30' E) on Honshu, over 1500 km as the crow flies, starting with the 8:22 to Kushiro. During the hour in Kushiro, Andrea bought three marimos for Tut's aquarium, and David bought lunch for the 4hr train ride to Sapporo. The half hour in Sapporo was spent finding an ATM. We arrived at Otaru at about 5 pm and took a taxi to the ferry terminal, checked in for the 23:30 departure, dumped our bags and fled into town. We hit the biggest tourist trap so far, along the canal system between the ferry terminal and town centre. Many souvenir shops, specialising especially in glass. One even had an exhibition of Venetian glass. We succumbed, of course, and bought some small glass fish for Tut's aquarium, a dangly owl and a wind chime. We then enjoyed a blue (!!!) beer and found the local microbrewery - very Bavarian, also the menu. We walked to the ferry terminal.

The ferry departed on time, of course, and the next 22 hrs were spent relaxing on the ferry. Sailing across a millpond. The bird list was two - a starling and over the day, about 40 Streaked Shearwaters. The highlight was two blue tuna fish that jumped out of the water while watching a shearwater through the telescope. We landed, exactly on time at 9 pm, and had a bus connection to Osaka, which we reached some two hours later. As the hotel booking was on hotmail and David had forgotten to download the precise details, we were fortunate to have remembered the name (Hostel 64) which we were able to get a young passer by to look up on his i-phone before we entered one of the taxies. To this should be added that we couldn't find the station at which we were delivered to on the map (it was the northern station Shin-Osaka, and not main line station) and the metro had stopped for the night. Fortunately it was only 7 km, and about 15 minutes taxi ride, and the check-in was open to greet us. An excellent place.