Phileas Fogg, Detective Fix, and John Bunsby, "master of the Tankadere", are headed for Shanghai from Hong Kong. Fogg, who has missed the Carnatic, the ship on which he was originally supposed to sail, needs to be in Yokohama by the 14th in order to catch a boat to San Francisco. The Tankadere is only a pilot-boat "of scarcely twenty tons" however, and it would be too risky to take such a small vessel on such a long voyage at this particular time of year. John Bunsby suggests that they head for Shanghai instead. The journey there would be half the distance of Fogg's originally planned destination at Yokohama, and, with "good luck and a southwest wind", they would be able to get to Shanghai on time to enable Fogg to catch his ride to San Francisco, which actually originates there in Shanghai (Chapter 21).
Passepartout, meanwhile, having been left intoxicated at an opium den by the treacherous Detective Fix, has managed to make it to the Carnatic before it sails, only to discover once they are at sea that Fogg is not there. Passepartout believes that Fogg has been detained by Fix in Hong Kong and forced to miss his ship. He thinks that Fogg is now "certainly ruined, his bet...lost...and he himself perhaps arrested and imprisoned" (Chapter 22).
Passepartout arrives in Yokohama "poor, jaded, (and) famished". Realizing that he must find a way to earn some money in order to get by, he decides to "use the strong, if not melodious voice which nature had bestowed upon him", and try his hand as a traveling musician. He first goes to "a native dealer in old clothes", where he trades in his European attire for "an old Japanese coat, and a sort of one-sided turban, faded with long use". In addition to the clothes, he receives 'a few small pieces of silver", which tides him over until he hires on as a clown with an "Acrobatic Japanese Troupe" (Chapter 23).