We left Toyama at 5:00 p.m. in the pouring rain.
We arrived at Niigata Port at 8:30 p.m. in the pouring rain.
We boarded the ferry at 11:20 p.m. in the pouring rain.
And that was the last time we saw rain.
Once on the ferry we immediately went to the sento (public bath -yes they even have them on ferries) Warmed up, dried off, got into our PJs, popped a Gravol pill and went to bed! When we woke up the sun was shining and there were blue skies in all directions.
We grabbed our cooler full of breakfast foods and headed out to the deck where basically stayed the entire day reading, lounging, sitting in the jacuzzi...it was one of the best boat rides I've ever taken.
We landed in Tomakomai around 5:00 and headed straight to the hostel we had booked. It took a couple of hours to get there, but we still had a little bit of daylight left when we arrived. We were given a warm greeting by the staff (we were one of two groups staying there that night) and after we settled in we sat around a campfire all evening staying warm (it was a bit cooler than we anticipated) and getting to know one another.