Japan is a nation of islands, connected by numerous ferries of a wide variety of types and sizes. Ferry design in Japan has emerged from distinctive cultural conditions and shipbuilding traditions. Here, for the first time, a history of Japanese ferries from the latter nineteenth century to the present day is presented in the English language. The narrative is wide-ranging, commencing with early coastal packet vessels, continuing with the development of the Imperial Government Railways train ferries and the subsequent development of extensive networks of car ferry routes. The story concludes with the sales of Japanese ferries to Greece, Croatia, the Philippines and Indonesia. This book therefore covers a great deal of previously uncharted territory in ferry history. Richly illustrated, it brings a refreshing global perspective to ferry design and operation.