Party Time on The Yacht ‘Big Elle’ in Wakayama

Today we get to visit Wakayama where we will prepare things for tomorrows sailing on the yacht ‘Big Elle’. Before we go though we must do some shopping for food in a local Japanese supermarket, where we buy some unusual items for party night on Big Elle.

Day 40 – April 12th, 2014.

Before we make our way to Hirano we fuel up ourselves with an early lunch at our favourite place.

“we exchange our second JR Pass voucher for the actual JR Pass”

Arriving at Osaka station we exchange our second JR Pass voucher for the actual JR Pass at the ticket office, before we take the subway to meet up with Toshi.

JR Osaka station JR Pass voucher exchange

JR Osaka station JR Pass voucher exchange


Everything went smoothly and hence we were early so decided to have a coffee. I asked the server if we could have coffees in the non smoking area which is where we sat.

“It was the worst coffee ever”

Moni had a cappuccino and I had ordered a flat white, mine was just black juice to which I added milk. The milk came in the smallest of jugs, very much like a thimble, needless to say I was not impressed.

Coffee in Hirano with a thimble full of milk

Coffee in Hirano with a thimble full of milk


“shopping in Hirano Japan”

Soon after we walk to Toshi’s place before taking the car to go shopping for provisions. A nice shop where Yumi goes often for her groceries.

Images from shopping in Hirano Japan

Images from shopping in Hirano Japan


Having got what we needed, Yumi then drove the hour and half journey to Wakayama, picking up Tom on the way from a fuel station where he was waiting.

Yumi drove us right to the point where we could go no further in the car, it was the end of the road basically, here we just had to walk the plank to board the yacht, and it was exactly that, just that a plank, which was very wobbly and no hand rail.

“First glimpse of Big Elle”

First glimpse of Big Elle

First glimpse of Big Elle


Toshi who we now call ‘captain’ whilst onboard Big Elle, along with Tom make there way out to the yacht in a small ‘tinny’ a bit like a floating bath tub. Once aboard they then manoeuvre ‘Big Elle’ to take on freshwater and diesel.

Images from Big Elle captain in the 'bathtub' tinny

Images from Big Elle captain in the ‘bathtub’ tinny


After refuelling is completed at the other side of the port, captain ties Big Elle up alongside an even bigger yacht, actually it is Japans biggest yacht which often stays in the safe waters of Wakayama. The rest of us can now board by walking over the other boats like stepping stones.

When all the important checks are completed the party can begin… drinking, eating, chatting and having a great time.

Check the dials John... yeah right!

Captain screams “check the dials John”… yeah right!


“Party Time on The Yacht ‘Big Elle’ in Wakayama”

Eventually we get to know what switch turns certain items on etc, but right now I’m lost…

The afternoon was fun to say the least, I mean it’s not everyday that you can enjoy good company onboard a yacht in Japan. Check out more photo’s on Captains blog

Party on Big Elle

Party on Big Elle, as we ease into the new food culture gently with some European dishes


Once the sun goes down and the cold night air rolls in we move the party down inside the yacht and close the hatch to keep the warm in. It is cold and Moni & I fell it more than these hardened Sailors.

Next up are a few new delicacies to sample…

“Eating whole baby squid”

Eating whole baby squid

Eating whole baby squid


These baby squid which are only available at this time of the year (just our luck) are actually nice, quickly cooked (and I mean quickly) then while still warm, coated in a wasabi dressing and then gobbled up… They are very nice.

Next up was the 'Turban Shell' this time eaten raw ... I think Moni's expression say's it all

Next up was the ‘Turban Shell’ this time eaten raw … I think Moni’s expression say’s it all


Thankfully we have some excellent alcohol to wash it down with.

“I had a try of these ‘Turban Shells’ and they are tough”

to me, have strong flavour of the sea, I managed just the one small piece. Then Yumi steamed them, and even that didn’t do it for me.

Wine and a Spanish dish which I can't remember

Wine from Chile and a Spanish dish which I can’t remember


The fun continues for many hours and even though we have to be up early, we are late going to bed, but hey, you only live once right!!

You can read more and see Toshi’s photo’s on his blog over at Big Elle Club

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