Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kyushu day Four: Kirishima and Aoshima

Hello All,

Well, I made it through the night, and, to my disappointment, there was no knock on the door in the middle of the night telling me that the mountain was about to blow. I was holding out hope, but that didn’t happen, and when I woke up, the same little cloud was still blocking my view of the peak of the volcano. I did make it up for the sunrise, but soon went back to sleep for about an hour before heading back to Kagoshima. The ferry goes across the bay 24 hours a day, but the busses in the tourist areas had not started yet (it was still pretty early). I found the bus stop that I had used earlier, and figured out that I could make it halfway to the train station before the buses started. I started walking and after about 30 minutes of walking the fairs wheel came into view and I knew that I was getting close.

This was my view of sunrise from the end of the hall of the youth hostel

I got son the express train, and then decided that I would make a quick stop in Kirishima on the way to Miyazaki. I jumped on the local train, and then on the bus to the famous shrine in Kirishima. It was about a 20 minute ride, even though it was a tiny town, but I was soon hiking the short distance through the wood to Kirishima-jinja Shrine. It was one of the largest shrines that I have seen since I have been in Japan. I took a few pictures, but I was only there for about 20 minutes before I decided to head back down to the bus stop. I had wanted to go find some waterfalls that I had seen in a travel magazine I got in Kagoshima, but nobody could figure out where they were. I decided to go to the Kirishima information desk and see if they knew anything. He could not tell me any information about that, but he did tell me that I would have to wait over an hour for the bus to come to take me to the train station. Then, I would have to wait another hour at the train station to catch the local train out of Kirishima. So much for a short little pit stop.

I was about to leave the office when I noticed a picture of some different waterfalls. I asked him just out of curiosity where those were, and he told me that they were only about a five minute walk from the office. I took the little walk since I had so much time to wait for the bus to come. I found that the only way to get to the waterfall was to walk through a “restaurant” which was just a few tables next to the waterfalls. I walked through, because there was only a couple of people at one of the tables, and I hoped that I would not get into any trouble. They weren’t nearly as nice as the ones that I had found the picture of, but they were still very nice. I then walked back out to the information office and took a quick soak in the foot hot springs and tried to have a conversation with the older couple that was there, and the one older lady that spoke three or four words of English. I soon had to leave to go back to the bus stop. I decided I would rather get there a few minutes early and wait, rather than take the chance of having to wait another tow hours for the next bus.

After waiting the hour for the local train, I made it to the next large station where I could get on the express train again. I didn’t get into Miyazaki till it was already 4:30 and the Ocean Dome, which I had really wanted to see (it is the world’s largest indoor water park and only 2,000 yen ($20)), closed at 5:00. The lady at the information desk could see that I was really disappointed, and made the suggestion to take the train south to Aoshima Island. It was already late so I just grabbed a train timetable and ran back to the train terminal. While I was on the train headed for Aoshima Station, I realized that the train situation was as bad as in Kirishima, and because I realized that, I wouldn’t be able to go to Beppu anymore. Now I was really frustrated with myself. The only good thing was that I had found a night train I could take back to the northern part of the island and I wouldn’t have to pay for a motel (I have to be in Miyajima by tomorrow afternoon and that is why I couldn’t do either of these things in the morning).

Aoshima is the small island to the right

I decided I would walk around the beach near Aoshima till I had to get to the night train at 11:45 in Miyazaki. While I was walking along the beach, I realized that I had been carrying my swimming trunks around Kyushu the entire weekend in hopes of staying at a hotel with a pool, and had not used them once. I found something that looked like a restroom, but, just my luck all day, there was only Japanese writing on the entrances (no little stick figures with and without a dress). Of course it was in the middle of nowhere, and I could tell that the only person in sight wouldn’t speak any English and I was right. I finally managed to a get him to point to one side, and that was good enough for me. I got changed and walked down the beach, and I had been walking so long, I wasn’t even sure exactly where I was anymore. Then, to my surprise I found a white guy walking down to the water, and decided that I would ask him because he might be the only person that would find that would speak any English there.

It turned out that he was a German guy that had learned how to speak English perfectly while he was in Hong Kong. He showed me on the map where I was on the beach, and said that he was going to go for a swim. I decided that I would go in even though I didn’t have a towel. By this time, I didn’t really care. The water was great. It wasn’t cold at all, and we were able to go out pretty far before the waves got to high. We talked for a while as we swan around, and I learned that he had been traveling all over the world since he was just a bit older than me. He now worked in Miyazaki, and took the 20 drive to the beach every day after work. It sounded like a pretty nice life to me. The sun was starting to go down, and he said that he was leaving so I decided to get out too. He said that he had a friend that might be able to give me camping gear if I wanted to say on the beach.

Here is sunset from the bridge to Aoshima

We headed over to the friend’s house, and it turned out that he was German to and he was famous in the area for making pottery. After we all talked for a while, we decided that the night train would probably be the best option. I offered to take me back to Miyazaki, but I just wanted a ride back to the island (earlier, I went a bit further on the train because I knew I would have extra time, and decide I would just walk back to the island). We made it there just in time to see the sunset. I walked across the bridge and took a quick walk around the island. It was small, but I knew if I didn’t walk to fast it would be pitch black before I got back to civilization. It was a nice walk and I could see the waves crashing against the reefs.

I headed back to the train station, but since I had read the time table wrong, I had to wait half an hour for the train. I decided that I would get out at the first train stop in Miyazaki and walk back to the main station because I still had quite a while before it would be 11:45. I found something to eat and then went into Mr. Doughnut, because they were the only place open. I bought a few doughnut and found a table near a power outlet and started trying to catch up on the blog entries that I completed. I finally got on the train at 11:30, and found that I could have been using my computer the entire trip on the train. This was the only train that I had made reservation, and I had been put in the first seat, which has a little bit less space than the others. I soon that that there was a little outlet, which made up for the lack of space. Now that I am done with this entry I am going to bed because it is already after midnight and we will arrive back at Hakata station at about 6 tomorrow morning.

This was my view of Miyazaki from a bridge as I walked to the train station

Till next time,


For Map Click Here


Busses - 2
Trains – 7
Shrine – 1
hot springs – 1
Boats - 1
Oceans - 1
Islands - 1

Buses – 7
Trains – 21
Trams – 2
Castle – 2
Bridge – 2

Streetcars – 5
Subways – 2
Museums – 2
Volcanos – 1
Hot Springs – 2
Boats - 2
Shrine – 1
Oceans - 1
Islands - 1


Blogger Miklos Fejer said...

Great pictures, and great experiences to go along with them.

I live an hour down the road from Miyazaki City.

Sounds like you've had a wonderful trip around Kyushu.

Good luck with your studies!

12:06 PM  

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