Kampu Ferry
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More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

21 reviews
Very good

London39 contributions
May 2019 • Couples
My wife and I had been travelling through Japan. We were in Hiroshima and planned to visit Busan in South Korea next.

We had to decide between taking staying overnight in Hakata then taking the hydrofoil JR Beetle, or taking an overnight Kampu Ferry boat from Shiminoseki. We chose the overnight boat.

The boat wasn't offered by directferries, so we had to book direct. This involved sending them an email with our reservation details. No payment is made at this point. They replied to the email within a couple of hours in good English.

Note, some of their website is written in English, but you can see more if you click to change to Japanese language then let Google translate the pages into English.

We booked 2nd class for Y9000 per person which was a saving of around £50 total compared to a 1st class room. The deck plan on their website shows that in 2nd class there are both futon style rooms and bunk style rooms. We asked for futon style but they were sold out so we were given tickets for bunks. The room and bunk numbers are allocated and shown on the ticket.

When we arrived at the JR train station in Shimonoseki we asked at the information centre where there was a post box which we could use to post our sakura mobile SIM cards back. There was one near the station.

After walking 10 minutes from the station to the port we found the Tickets counter. She asked for our passports and printed a part completed form which she asked us to complete. We then made our payment for the tickets and supplementary taxes and she also gave us our Korea arrival cards and customs declaration to be completed before arrival in Busan.

We then waited to be allowed to board. There are seperate queues for individual travellers compared to groups. You take your luggage on board with you.

While waiting we noticed that there were probably only ten or so men and maybe one to two hundred women in large groups. We found out later that the groups were Korean. We only spotted two other noticeably western people.

Once on board we found our bunk room and were pleased to find that it was a mixed room and we were in bunks opposite each other. There was a space to put our large luggage and we kept our day bags with us. Each bunk had a curtain for privacy.

The website shows that the restaurant was due to be open from 7pm but a note suggested that we had to wait until 8pm as the groups were dining together pretty much as soon as they boarded. A menu board included English descriptions. You can also find the menu on their website. There was also a Grill room but we didn't see that in use.

Note, the onboard payments were in yen cash. We were on their Hamayuu boat which is their Japanese boat. They also have another which is a Korean boat, so the cash currency you need may differ.

We noticed that the deck plan showed a "multi hall" with a stage. So we headed up to see what was going on. There was some kind of Korean show going on with several acts with the Korean groups all getting involved.

Soon enough, a few ladies approached us and we were encouraged to join in drinking and dancing with them. Though we could hardly exchange a word, we had a great time and everyone was amazingly friendly.

After the show we headed to our bunks about 10:30. Overnight the sea was calm and quiet.

We were due to disembark in Busan at 8am but confusingly we were woken by people getting up about 2 hours earlier and saw that we were already there. We still weren't allowed to get off until 8 though which seemed odd, so we had breakfast.

After clearing customs there is an ATM and a counter selling Korean SIM cards. We then walked about 15 minutes to the subway.

Overall we were pleased we made this choice. Reservation and check in were simple, the journey was fine, we had fun with all the Korean ladies and we saved quite a bit of money compared to taking a Shinkansen from Hiroshima to Hakata and staying there overnight. It broke about even compared to taking the direct bus to Hakata instead of the Shinkansen.

Written May 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hong Kong, China140 contributions
Apr 2018 • Couples
We wanted to visit both Busan and Kyushu and originally was thinking of using the JR Kyushu Beetle service. But I wanted to visit Mojiko and discovered the Kampu Ferry actually arrives in Shimonoseki which is just across the Kammon straits, so I chose to use this instead.

I sent an email to the email address on the Kampu Ferry website and after submitting my information (name, nationality, passport number, date of travel etc) and received an email with a booking number. The check-in time is 10:00 to 18:00 with a sailing time of 21:00.

I booked a first class cabin for the two of us because I was concerned about theft and safety. The fare is 135,000 won which is almost the same as flying, but we saved time by arriving early and there is also the saving of one night's hotel accommodation.

We stayed in Toyoko Inn Busan Station 2, which has a regular free shuttle bus service from the hotel to Busan International Passenger Port. We took the bus at 4:45 pm and arrived in plenty of time. There were quite a few passenger ferry counters on the departure floor. We found the Kampu Ferry counter, we filled in a form and paid our fare as well as port charges and tax. The fare can be paid by credit card but the tax must be paid in cash. The girl there was very smart and helpful and she spoke Korean, Japanese and English. The check-in was soon completed. They do not take any luggage into the ferry's storage, all passengers bring all their luggage on to the ship by themselves.

Soon after 18:00 the departure gate opened and people began to go through customs and immigration. There were only two ferries at the time we traveled. Ours to Shimonoseki and the New Camellia to Fukuoka. The passengers for the New Camellia service were not boarding yet as they sail at 22:30. We went through customs and immigration as per normal and soon we were queuing to board the ferry.

Once we boarded we got to the reception on the ship to receive our room key. There were 3 passenger decks and we were on the 2nd deck. Our cabin was not big, it has a bunk bed, our own shower, toilet, sink and a small table and a chair with a TV set as well as life jackets. It was adequate for our needs and we were glad we were not in the big rooms. There was a hot water flask and we could get hot water from a pantry outside the room.

The passengers consists primarily of Korean housewives. They were clearly part of guided shopping tours to Shimonoseki. We saw them with ID tags around their necks and different groups had different colour tags. They began consuming their own food as soon as they boarded. A lot of them ate cup noodles. The restaurant was occupied by them and would not serve others until 20:15. But we also ate our own food too so it was okay.

At 21:00 the ferry set sailed. We sailed under the Busan Harbour Bridge and it was quite a sight. We took plenty of pictures from the deck. After that we retired to our cabin for the night. At 22:30, the door connecting our corridor with the open areas were locked.

We slept well, the sea was not turbulent at all. Next morning we woke up at 7am and found that the ferry had already docked at Shimonoseki. But we could not disembark yet. We went into the restaurant for some breakfast at 8:15 am. Our room key was collected from us by a crew member who knocked on our door. After that we saw people disembarking and we disembarked as well.

When we got to the Japanese customs officer, he said (in English) he had never seen people of our nationality (Chinese) travel on this route and wanted to see all our luggage. I understood his concern as there have been some Chinese gold smugglers. We just showed him and everything was okay.

We went out of the terminal and all the Korean housewives who came with us were nowhere to be seen. (Apparently they were collected by tour buses at the exit of the port terminal.) The port is connected to Shimonoseki JR station by a pedestrian bridge. It was only a few minutes easy walk and we soon got to the station to travel to Mojiko.

Overall the experience was fine if you just ignore all the Korean housewives like we did. (They don't speak much English so it is not like you can struck up a conversation with them anyway, unless you speak good Korean.) The 1st class cabin price is not much cheaper than flying but you do save money on one night's accommodation. Apart from Shimonoseki, It is also very convenient for Mojiko and Kokura in Northern Kyushu. It is a little sad that only Korean housewives on guided shopping tours use this service. It could do with more genuine travelers, too.
Written April 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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