Sail away from the safe harbour
Travelling by boat really is quite indulgent. The next stop on my Japanese adventure is the port town of Takamatsu, on the smallest of Japan's four main islands - Shikoku. Takamatsu is a hub for the Seto inland sea of Japan, and one of the ways to get here is by ferry.
Jumbo ferry in fact, complete with Japanese jingle theme song, decked out in that classic 1990s decor that reminds us all that Japan's economic heyday has truly passed. You can also catch a train to get here, but figuring the difference in cost from Osaka (around ¥6000, or AU$70) for a trade-off of another hour's worth of travel time, we decided the ferry was the way to go.
There is something about travelling over water that gets me every time. It really makes me feel like I'm truly on an adventure, journeying in an old-fashioned world across vast seas to unknown places. I also find it incredibly indulgent - driving a car over land seems fairly straightforward, but there's so much more involved with sea travel.
There's a boat for starters, crew who know about nautical things, gangways, rudders, engines and a different sense of freedom. Boats are also much larger, allowing those on board to disperse into their personal nook or cranny to loll over the waves on their way to a new place.
On an ocean, there are few boundaries. Sailing out towards the horizon, the possibilities are endless (unless you've paid your fare to a particular port like we had). I grew up by the water, so I don't cope well being landlocked. Knowing there is a stream, a river, a tributary nearby almost eases my mind to think of the true freedom an ocean affords isn't far away.
I make a point of travelling by ferry almost every time I'm in Sydney. For those who have been on a ferry pulling into Circular Quay at sunset you'll understand the appeal of such a journey. I do this just to get a hint of what it would be like out on the open ocean, but since I lack any sailing skills, catching a ferry is a safer bet.
So, as Mark Twain would put it:
Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
Until next time.