Day 3: Onwards to KAGOSHIMA
(Continuation of Kirishima tab)
I did make it to Kagoshima in time to visit the Kotsuki riverfront park, Ishin furusato no michi, and Saigō Takamori's birthplace. Takamori was the real "last samurai" and Kagoshima played an important role in the modernisation of Japan alongside Yamaguchi prefecture. As such, in this park is also the Kagoshima City Museum of Meiji Restoration, which I also visited, with information on that period. The museum has a fun little theatre inside too.
Day 4: SAKURAJIMA
I had two days in Kagoshima open for two days trips. The first day promised to be sunny and clear, so I headed to Sakurajima hoping for some good volcanic views, and the second was cloudy and grey so I took a morning bus and headed to the mountains instead.
For my Sakurajima day, I walked along the dock in Kagoshima again, this time with daylight, until the ferry departure location and set off to the volcanic island. Many people rent bikes in Sakurajima but I think the sites in the town can easily be done on foot and, without a bike, one can then take the loop bus up to the observation decks.
I started first at Tsukiyomi Shrine, just a small shrine, nothing grand, and then headed to the footbath onsen. I bathed my feet for a little, as always I'm the first person to start sightseeing in the mornings so I had it to myself. When the first group of people arrived some time later I set off to walk the Hakamagoshi-Karasujima Lava Trail, a trail that goes along the coastline for a bit, until the Karasujima Observatory. Here I hopped on the loop bus and the bus stopped for a while at the "Portrait of a Shout" Monument and Akamizu Observatory, for everyone to get off, take some photos and hop back on the same bus.
We then headed inland, up some curvy roads to the Yunohira Observation Point. Here too, the bus stopped for a while and I had plenty time to visit the gift shop. I bought some seaweed, supposedly it had a more unique flavour because the ash of Sakurajima volcano falls on the sea where it is cultivated. And then we came back down the other side, dropping us off back at the port area. I visited the Sakurajima Visitor Center before leaving, since it had been closed when I passed by earlier, saw some "ash art" pictures on the cement floor there and also spotted some giant Sakurajima daikon and a tanuki!
Day 5: CHIRAN
I have already written about my visit to Chiran on my blog so you can see photos there. In the evening I took a night bus back up to Fukuoka.
#kyushu #christmas #rural #ruraljapan #bustour