Yesterday at noon, the old Meon came to Takamatsu for its farewell ceremony!
It is being retired at the end of the week after almost 34 years of connecting Megijima and Ogijima to the rest of the world!
Unfortunately, I missed the ceremony, but as I happened to be in the area two hours later, I went to Sunport, and there it came, right on time.
Apparently, yesterday there had been some misunderstandings because I was under the impression that it was its last day running before being retired, and seeing the number of people who had come for the same reason, I think I wasn’t the only one who was mistaken.
Meon will actually run until February 28th, so if you’re in Takamatsu and want to bid it farewell, you still can.
Talking about the people doing exactly the same thing as me, their presence tells you how beloved this little ferry is. It’s hard to explain why. Of course, both Megijima and Ogijima are close to many people’s hearts in Takamatsu and beyond, but it’s not just that. This ferry had this pretty unique look, a real personality. It belongs to the local landscape even more so than any other ferry in the area.
I mean, there’s a reason why it was chosen for the visuals of the Setouchi Triennale, not once, but several times.
There was an old man right next to me who wasn’t even taking pictures. He just watched it coming and then leaving, and I could see something that looked like a tear in his eye. I wonder what his history with the ferry was.
Because many of us have one. While my first trip to Ogijima was on Meon 2 (I only know because of this picture), I clearly remember that my first trip for my first day of the Setouchi Triennale in 2010 was on Meon. I even remember that passengers still used to board the boat through the side door at the time (I’m not sure why they stopped doing it, probably not as convenient, or safe?).
I rode it quite a few times since then.
By the way, and as I just mentioned, if you’ve been to Ogijima before, you’re probably aware that there are actually two Meon ferries. Meon and Meon 2.
Nowadays, Meon 2 is the main ferry, and it has been for quite a while. It’s a bit bigger and more recent (only 22 years old). And Meon 2 is not going anywhere for the time being.
However – and this is the other piece of news – a new Meon arrived at Ogijima yesterday and it will become the new main ferry.
I only have seen pictures of it. While it came to Takamatsu yesterday for “gauging” (I wasn’t at the port at that time), it will make its first official trip on February 28th. I’ll try to be at Sunport then so that I can show it to you first.
Be prepared and warned, its appearance is a bit… surprising…
(I’m not going to lie, it will take me some time to get used to it).
But that’s for next week.
Now, let’s bid farewell to this landmark ship. These pictures most likely being the last time I see it:
Farewell Meon, you will be missed.