Monday, 17 August 2015

Kagoshima Trip Part 3: Sakurajima

Alright, now we're at part 3 of the Kagoshima trip recap. It's also the last part, because it was a really short trip (I had to go back for a zemi dinner). Speaking of trips, I'll be heading to Tokyo tomorrow for a Church Youth Camp! YAY. I didn't get to go last year, so I'm really excited to be going this year. Plus, I'm going a day early, so I can meet Simone (after so long) and go around Tokyo hunting for delicious food. <- This is what happens when you do a part-time job translating a guidebook. You end up making a list of places you want to eat at even before you get paid.

Back to Kagoshima. On the day that we were meant to go back, we decided to fit in a quick trip to Sakurajima, which is this active volcano near Kagoshima. You have to take a ferry there, but in my opinion, the trip lasts as long as the ferry to Nokohoshima, but in a nicer boat and the trips take place much more frequently.

We arrived at the terminal less than 5 minutes before the ferry left, but that's ok, because you pay your fare at Sakurajima. So we just went right in and boarded the boat.

Bye mainland Kagoshima!
Because we needed to catch a 1pm bus, we didn't have much time. We wanted to ride some bus that tours the scenic spots, but we were way too early. So, we decided to go see the lava trail and the footbaths.

I'm don't think this is the right entrance, but we got to where we wanted to go. 
 Turns out the footpath is about a 10 minute walk away? And unlike Nokonoshima, Sakurajima seems to have a much bigger population. At least near the terminal, we could see a taxi place, and there were a few schools. There were a lot more houses too, things didn't get rustic until the lava trail.

View after walking through that vine-infested boardwalk. 
I must say, the views of everything on Sakurajima is gorgeous.

The free public footbaths. They actually continue down along a road. 
So we decided to walk from the start of the lava trail to one of the observation routes. The entire trail is about 3km, so you can guess what we spent most of our time on Sakurajima doing.

Start of the trail. The black thing is volcano ash, 
 But it was so pretty! If it wasn't so hot, I'd be happy just walking along the trail. But it was hot, so while I appreciate the beauty, I was also wishing for lower temperatures.

And because we spent two nights in a manga cafe, my walking speed was really slow. You can see how far behind the other two I was (they had to stop and wait quite a few times)

But, I'm happily taking photos. Oh, here's another edited photo (I haven't edited that many)

Most of the trail was hardened lava. I really wish we had more time, because I heard that on the other parts of the island, they have a torii that is buried almost to the top when the volcano last errupted. And a dinosaur park. But you know, tons of other volcano-related stuff. I heard if you're here at night, you can watch it errupt or something. But when I was there, I didn't really see any volcano ash falling on me. 

Am I the only one who sees the face here? None of the other two did. 
Oh, and another thing I heard you can do is to dig your own hotspring footbath on the beach. Another thing to do when I come back (I will come back. One day)

Although I don't think it's this beach.
 When we got to the end of the trail though, the views got really breathtaking.

So when we got to the top, the first bus of the day pulled up. But this bus is really cool, because it actually waits for people to climb up, take a look (and plenty of photos) then come back down. I guess because it's an hourly bus, they developed this system. So, we had time to climb up, grab some photos, and come down.

From there, we took the bus to various places, like this strange statue:

But the best spot was the highest observatory! 

But perhaps it was because we were slightly closer, but all my pictures turned out to be basically pictures of volcano ash. I had to edit them pretty heavily just to see the volcano. Take a look:


Anyway, for the rest of the trip, we just took a quick bus tour of the island, and then we had to rush back to the mainland to take the bus back to Fukuoka. This was an incredibly short Kagoshima trip, and I'm hoping that I have the chance to go back again, and very slowly explore the place.

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