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Photo By: PIXTA/ D-Cat
Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Osaka
Population
8,804,806

Sunflower Ferry

A relaxing overnight voyage down the Seto Inland Sea all the way to Oita Prefecture.

By Runako Thornhill

Below a breathtaking night sky, the Sunflower ferry sails passengers along the coast of Honshu and meets the sunrise in Kyushu. Ferries sail nightly from either Kobe’s Rokko Island port to Oita port or from the Osaka port to the Beppu Sunflower Ferry terminal.

The sailings are particularly beneficial for travelers heading to Kyushu with motor vehicles or pets. The low hassle voyage, accented by the views of sea and sky, disembarks a short bus ride away from major train stations.

For readers in Oita, this all applies in reverse as well.

Take It Easy

Photo by: Runako Thornhill The ferry offers an added discount for these same-day return itineraries.

A range of cabin choices means you can treat the trip as either reasonably priced sleeper transport or a fun overnight stay in a floating hotel. The prices vary by season and booking is available in English on the Ferry Sunflower website. Whether you’re headed for an extended tour of Japan’s southernmost major island or just a weekend away, the ferry is perfect for bringing as much or as little as you need.

Looking for a quick escape without much fuss? Arrive in Oita in the morning, spend the day sightseeing and then hop on a return ferry that night–the company even offers an added discount for these same-day return itineraries.

Up On Deck

Photo by: Runako Thornhill Enjoy dazzling sunrises stretching across the water.

The deck is accessible for the entire voyage and offers city-bound folk an opportunity to drunken themselves on fresh ocean air. In the early hours of the sailing, the hills framing the coastline are beautifully illuminated by suburban lights. Further away from inhabited land, the unobstructed view of the stars is unmatched. The beauty of the trip isn’t only available to night owls, early risers can also enjoy dazzling sunrises stretching across the water.

What to do on board

Photo by: PIXTA/ いけちゃん Dinner with a view.

The ferry facilities include an onboard public bath, showers, a games room, a shop and a restaurant serving dinner and breakfast buffets. There are also general seating areas for solo passengers who might feel cooped up in their cabins. The larger private cabins hold up to four people and are a great way to start an enjoyable group trip.

How To Get There

Address

By train

Departing From Osaka

The Osaka Sunflower Ferry terminal is five minutes from the Trade Center Mae Station on the Nanko Port Town line (New Tram).

Departing from Kobe

The Ferry Sunflower Kobe port is accessible by a five-minute ride on the Kobe Ferry bus from Island Kitaguchi Station on the Rokko liner. The Kobe Ferry bus also stops near JR Sumiyoshi Station, Hanshin Mikage Station and Hankyu Mikage Station.

Where To Stay

Sakishima Cosmo Tower Hotel
  • 1-14-16 Nankokita, Osaka-shi Suminoe-ku, Osaka, 559-0034 Japan
  • ¥10,880 - ¥15,200
  • 4.34/5 (408 reviews)
  • 0.3 km
Grand Prince Hotel Osaka Bay
  • 1-13-11 Nankokita, Osaka-shi Suminoe-ku, Osaka, 559-0034 Japan
  • ¥32,361 - ¥40,751
  • 0.4 km
Quintessa Hotel Osaka Bay
  • 1-13-65 Nankokita, Osaka-shi Suminoe-ku, Osaka, 559-0034 Japan
  • ¥9,900 - ¥13,000
  • 4.23/5 (909 reviews)
  • 0.5 km
Guest House Rice Chikko
  • 4-9-11 Chikko, Osaka-shi Minato-ku, Osaka, 552-0021 Japan
  • ¥4,800 - ¥4,800
  • 2.5 km
Business Ryokan Reimeien
  • 4-2-10 Chikko, Osaka-shi Minato-ku, Osaka, 552-0021 Japan
  • ¥9,020 - ¥9,020
  • 5/5 (19 reviews)
  • 2.5 km

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