So the daily research for my trip to Japan has come to an ugly standstill.

I’m almost sure I cannot find appropriate travel possibilities in the winter season. I’d be limited to freighter trips alone, as regular cruise ships stop sailing between September and October. Alas, the idea of taking a freighter ship has been almost shot down, since yesterday I found out…


WTF If you port there, unload there, etc. can’t you let me out?? 😥 Some people have pointed out to me, the reason may be due to human trafficking laws. I think that’s a forgivable reason but STILL, how do I get to Japan?

What this means.

I need to pick a route that allows me to get off the boat in Busan (Korea) and then board a ferry to Japan.

That’s all good and fine, but the delays to my itinerary are adding up. I’ve seen no other possibility than trekking across Canada by uncomfy Greyhound bus for 3 days straight with almost no breaks from sitting in their very uncomfortable seats with little leg room. Otherwise, I’ll need to spend quadruple the price to board a train that takes FOUR days and promises lengthy track delays. The Canadian rail system is a complete ripoff and you get no perks for the amount of money you spend. So Greyhound it is.

Once I reach Vancouver, I’ll need to hop on this freight ship, which MAY NOT port to pick me up on the day I’m expecting. Ta-dah! More expense for accommodations while in Vancouver overnight or up to an undetermined amount of nights.

For about 150$ USD a day, freighter ship was supposed to be a decent way for me to get to Japan. I’ve now learned that because the boats don’t have stabilizers like luxury cruises do, I will be rocking and swaying for 15 days (or more) until I reach Busan. Did I mention my eye condition that doesn’t allow me to fly also causes severe motion sickness? I thought I could knock out with anti-nausea meds but… for a whole 2 weeks? The ship’s vibrations alone will do me in before we even have a chance to hit rough seas 😦

Assuming I make it to Korea alive, I’ll then need to find an affordable ferry to Japan that doesn’t take another 24 hours (to avoid worse rocking since it’ll be a much smaller boat). Prices are in the 70-150$ USD range.

Once in Japan, I’ll need to spend more time and money on Shinkansen, slow train or buses to reach whichever city I choose as my base (I’m thinking Osaka, Tokyo or Nagoya). JR (Japanese Rail) Pass for foreigners is a bargain but still several hundred dollars (probably in the 600$ USD range for the length of time I plan to be in Japan) and doesn’t give access to the separate Nozomi line, which I’ll most likely need to use.

I’ll then need to do the same trek in reverse but…the options are not identical. For example, port of Busan allows some ships to disembark their passengers, but not embark any. How do I get home again?

I’ve been looking into longcuts that may be less expensive, less daunting, etc, but most options from Europe for example, are 40-day cruises on a luxury line. To get to Europe, I’m again stuck with cruises from Canada or the US.

This is when I’d love to have a contact in the waterways travel industry. Inside info, perks, tricks…

So I’m a little frustrated. I don’t want to give up this dream, but what else am I to do? I’d travel from Singapore if it were affordable. I’d stop over in Australia, HK, Hawaii. I’d get multiple VISAS and vaccinations for unnecessary stopovers in countries I don’t even care to visit. I’d ride ferry to ferry if need be, but I don’t have access to enough info for that.


Any tips and support are very welcome. I’m at a loss. I prefer if you donate knowledge over $$, but hey, monetary donations would be above and beyond!

(Do I really want to set up a sponsorship/donation button? Hmm.)


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