Kapoors Year 10: Kyoto and Southern Japan travel blog

We Travelled To Near The Tip Of The Main Islands Of Japan,...

We Checked Into Our Hotel And Were Rewarded With This Amazing View...

The Sunrise The Following Morning Was A Real Treat Too, But The...

We Walked The Short Distance From Our Hotel To Explore The Museum...

It Was Here That We Learned Of The Region's Unique Social System...

This Part Of Japan Was Once Known As 'Satsuma', It Was More...

It's Famous For The Smallest Sweet Orange, And For The Largest Radishes...

'Sochu' Is A Popular Drink Here, We Tried Some One Evening Along...

Our Second Morning Dawned Sunny And Clear, We Started Out Walking To...

But Ended Up Taking The Tram The Last Part Of The Way,...

The New Trams Are Relatively Modern, But They Have Kept Some Old...

We Caught A Ferry At The Port For The 15 Minute Ride...

This Plaque Memorializes The Huge Eruption That Occurred In 1914, Three Billion...

The Lava Flow Engulfed Several Small Islands And Joined The Island To...

The Volcano 'Burp's An Average Of 1000 Times Per Year, The Weather...

We Took An Island View Bus For A Loop Along The Western...

There Wasn't Much Going On This Time Of Year, We Had A...

We Travelled Back To Kagoshima, The Closest Major City To An Active...

We Found A Lovely Restaurant Near Our Hotel, The Tempura Was Divine,...


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BACKGROUND

Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Japan chapter Kyūshū has to say about Kagoshima:

“Sunny Kagoshima has a personality to match its climate, voted Japan’s friendliest city nationwide. Its backdrop/deity is Sakurajima, a very active volcano just across the bay. Locals raise their umbrellas against the mountain’s recurrent eruptions, when fine ask coast the landscape like snow and obscures the sun like fog – mystical and captivating.

The entire prefecture even has a special ‘Ash Forecast’ as part of the weather report. Once ash starts falling you’ll understand why: it stings, coasts your teeth with grit, dirties futons and laundry and makes anyone who has just washed their car burst into tears.

Once called Satsuma, it was ruled by the Shimazu clan for a remarkable 700 years. The location helped it grow wealthy through trade, particularly with China.

Museum of the Meiji Restoration

The museum offers insights into the unique social system of education, samurai loyalty and sword techniques that made Satsuma one of Japan’s leading provinces. There are hourly audiovisual presentations about the groundbreaking visits of Satsuma students to the West and the Satsuma Rebellions told by animatronic Meiji-era reformers, including Saigō Takamori and Sakamoto Ryōma.

Sakurajima Volcano

Kagoshima’s iconic symbol Sakurajima has been spewing an almost continuous stream of smoke and ash since 1955 and its not uncommon to have over 1000 mostly small ‘burps’ per year.

In 1914 over three billion tonnes of lava swallowed numerous island villages – over 1000 homes – and joined Sakurajima to the mainland in the southeast.

Despite its volatility Sakurajima is currently friendly enough to get fairly close. Among the volcano’s three peaks, only Minami-dake (South Peak) is active. Climbing the mountain is prohibitive, but there are several lookout points.

On the mainland, Kagoshima residents speak proudly of Sakurajima. It is said to have nanairo (seven colours) visible from across Kinkō-wan, as the light shifts throughout the day on the surface of the mountain.”

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

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