It is smoking here in Kagoshima (Day 210)
Moving on from Hiroshima, when we arrive we find that it's smoking here in Kagoshima!
Now on our way to Yakushima via Kagoshima from Hiroshima – They like their shima’s here in Japan! Apparently, it means “island”, however, this doesn’t necessarily mean an island with water around it. So, I assume Hiroshima is an island as it has mountains surrounding it. (Please correct me if I am wrong)
Our 3 hours on the bullet train zoomed by with the occasional glance out of the window whilst reading and researching. We arrived in Kagoshima (there’s that Shima again) and when I poodled off looking at the very nice market stalls, Tim got chatting to a lovely elderly gentleman. He was 79 and looked much younger. When I returned Tim was asking him if he knew where we could buy tickets for the ferry to Yakushima. He wasn’t sure and after a while, we said sayōnara and off he trundled. He was soon back after finding a leaflet with the Ferry times for us. How kind of him.
I found an information centre to find out the bus number to get to the Ferry terminal. We aren’t going until tomorrow, but wanted to check about tickets today – better to be safe than sorry don’t you think? It was either bus 16 or 25. We found the bus station and I asked a young lady if this was the right bus stop. It wasn’t, and she insisted on taking us to the correct stop, which took quite a few minutes. Another kind person. We hope she didn’t miss her bus.
We got down to the Ferry and eventually found the correct Terminal, however, the tickets are only sold the day of the departure. Never mind, I’d rather know exactly where to go tomorrow – first thing in the morning isn’t the best time for either of us!
Looking across the Bay, we noticed a dark cloud. No, it wasn’t about to rain, it was a beautiful clear day. We realised that It was coming from one of the mountains, but this is no ordinary mountain it’s a volcano – smoking! Crikey! Having explored further, the last time this volcano, Sakurajima, had a really big eruption was in 1915 when it destroyed hundreds of homes with its hot lava, however, it’s been erupting smoke almost non-stop since 1955! I’m not sure I’d want to live near it, yet about seven thousand people actually live on it! The children have to wear helmets when they are playing outdoors so that they aren’t hurt by the odd rock that the volcano occasionally spews out!
We walked through the city to find our Airbnb. What a lovely place. Lots of pretty streets adorned with flowers, and well-kept arcades with very nice shops. The Japanese have great taste and I love their clothes. It is a shame that a) I am not buying anything – no room in the rucksack and b) most clothes would be too small for me anyhow. I feel like a giant here in Japan.
After finding our small apartment – with proper beds in – hurrah! – we did go and do some window shopping, including finding two fabulous second-hand groovy clothes shops. I was in my element, look, but no buy. Dinner time – we found a busy Sushi bar with a jolly chef yelling out and his fellow sous chefs joining in. Great fun to watch. We only managed 9 plates between us, the couple next to us had 16 – how do they pack it all in?
Back here for an early night before our early morning ferry – let’s hope that volcano behaves itself in the meantime.