I decide to travel down to the bottom of Japan for a quick, one day trip around Kogoshima. Kogoshima is set at the bottom of BLAH prefecture at the southernmost tip of the island of Japan. It is picturesquely situated right beside Sacurajima, an very active volcano which daily sprouts ash and smoke into the atmosphere.
I head off in the evening to climb up to a viewing point above the city where there are amazing views of the city and, beyond, the volcano perched on the water. The view is great but my legs are fucked from my mamoth walk up Miyajima yesterday and start giving out as soon as I start the steep walk up to the top. Also, I hit the top at sundown and have to make my way back down on my own in the dark a few minutes later.
I find a restaurant in a street near the base at my return and have one of the nicest fucking meals I have had in years. I’m nervous when the leg of pork arrives because how the fuck am I to tear meat off the bone using chopsticks. But the meat just drops off the bone. Even the fat, which I ususally hate, is easy to chew and full of taste. The restaurant is so good that I return the next day for my lunch.
I decide to go find a nice bar and start looking for a jazz bar nearby where I have eaten. I end up going into the wrong bar but the better for me as a really nice couple, one of whom is Sweedish, take me under their wing and I have a make a really good night out of it.
The next day on to Sacurajima. A quick ferry over. I find a quaint little coffee shop/guest house run by a hippyish Japanese lady and sit down for a coffee and, as it turns out, a chat with her.
She tells me, well, pretty much everything she knows about anything over a really nice hot coffee cooked on a stove. He cat comes and sits on my knee as she tells me about the island (unlike most Japanese school kids who wander around with yellow caps, Sacurajima School Kids wander around with hard hats (I don’t get to see this to take a picture, which is a pity) She sends me over to the local foot spa where I have a really relaxing half hour rest and watch the volcano as it sporadically deposits dust and soot into the air. Within minutes of any deposition there is a musty, eggy smell (not too strong). Above me, eagles hover in the sea breeze.
I was a bit worried about whether I could see Kagoshima in a day but in the end I am glad that I do, a day is a perfect amount of time. That evening I get a train to Fukouka for my impending flight to Okinawa in the morning. I have booked a single room in the hostel in Fukouka so I am really looking forward to a quiet nights sleep in a room of mine own. Having the company in a hostel is great when you’re travelling alone but it’s also good to have your own space every once in a while.