This is it, the last leg of the journey. Tomorrow we will be back in Hokkaido.

We boarded the ferry just before midnight, and learning from past experience Risa rushed in early to secure a room (since second-class rooms cabins can’t be reserved) while I waited in the car.

The ferry was the same as the one we usually catch to Niigata from Hokkaido (to go to Fuji Rock Festival), so we felt at home straight away on the hard floor with the square pillows and scratchy wool blankets. We were lucky to get the room to ourselves, it’s always a gamble, you could end up in a room full of old snoring men, or worse, crying children.

The seas were calm and we slept comfortably (as much as you can sleeping on the floor) through the night. Risa heard over the PA that there was a bingo game happening soon, so with nothing much else to do we went and tried our luck. We missed out on a fancy cheesecake and other gifts, but came away with a Shin-Nihonkai Ferry lanyard each. Woo!

In between watching movies and editing photos, we killed time soaking in the bath. So relaxing being rocked inside a hot bath, looking out at the ocean.

The ferry arrived in Otaru late in the evening. We’d heard from friends (and saw photos through facebook) of lots of snow from an early snowfall in Hokkaido, which was slightly concerning because I still had my summer tyres on the Delica. Turns out, we were lucky. The roads were mostly clear by the time we’d arrived, and it wasn’t cold enough to freeze the roads at night. A couple of days earlier and it could have been a different story.

We headed to a friend’s house in Niki-cho and passed out. It’s surprising how tiring being uncomfortable for an entire day on a ferry can be.

But this was it. We were nearly home. Tomorrow we only had a short trip to Niseko where we were going to set up our little log house for the coming winter.