One way to beat the intense summer heat in and around Nagoya is to escape northwards on the Taiheiyo Ferry to Sendai and Tomakomai in Hokkaido.
It's 770km from Nagoya to Sendai and a further 560km to Tomakomai putting some serious distance between you and the pizza oven that the Chubu area becomes in August and September.
The Nagoya-Sendai leg of the journey lasts 21 hours, 40 minutes overnight and it's a further night on the ship for the remaining 15 hours, 20 minutes from Sendai to Tomakomai on the west coast of Hokkaido.
Ships leave Nagoya at 7pm arriving in Sendai at 4.40pm the next day. For the return journey the ferry leaves Sendai at 12.50pm arriving in Nagoya at 10.30am the next day.
The ferry continues from Sendai to Tomakomai after a three hour break at 7.40pm arriving in Hokkaido at 11am the next day. Ships leave Tomakomai at 7pm arriving in Sendai at 10am the next day.
The ferries are spacious with both cabins and cheaper open style rooms where people sleep in an alloted space and are provided with a blanket and pillow.
The cabins come with TV and bunk beds and sleep up to four people. Larger suites and semi-suites are also available. The cheapest fare is 7,000 yen for Nagoya-Sendai in the open style accommodation.
The ferry also carries cars, motorcycles and bicycles for an extra cost.
Facilities include a restaurant, vending machines, games room and Japanese-style baths.
Taiheiyo Ferry (in Japanese)