Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Hey there, my ever-patient readers.

Sorry to keep you waiting. I keep thinking I should keep these shorter and update more often, but when I write I get caught up in my own prose, end up going off on pointless tangents and inevitably write the length of a novella, which in retrospect seems tiring. Then I put off writing my blog until I find a nice short-seeming topic, and the cycle begins again.

Anyways, this short seeming topic:
Went to Kyushu during golden week!
... what do you mean, golden week was a long time ago? it was just.. a month and a half... ok, you win. Anyways for those who don't know, GW is a week in may where nearly every day is a national holiday, causing massive traffic jams and crazy ticket prices to anywhere in, out of, or back into the entire nation of Japan. But since you get the whole week off, you have to at least TRY to go somewhere.
We went to Kyushu. Where is Kyushu? Western Japan.
Like most gaijin, I think of Japan in terms of north and south. when viewed as a tiny blob on the world map, it looks a bit like a lower case letter j, which is mostly up and down... except for when it veers off sharply to the left at the bottom.
The left most bit is Kyushu. It is so much more to the west that the sun sets a half hour later, and it is extremely close to Korea. you can even get korean radio stations, if you try.

Anyways, we went there because we are slowly but surely trying to visit all the major sections in Japan. Check it out: so far we have been to:

  • Okinawa
  • Hokkaido
  • Kyoto/Osaksa/Nara
  • Gunma, Nagano
  • Niigata
  • Nikko
  • Izu and two of it's surrounding islands, Koushima, Niijima

um.. probably some more. I think I will make a map with pictures at some point.

So this time we decided to go south by south west to the vast unexplored region of Kyushu, home to beautiful coastlines, hotsprings, hiking courses, lovely seaside villages...
... okay, much like the rest of Japan. But anyways the main point was we hadn't BEEN there yet.

So the plan was to start from Fukuoka in the north, drive to Nagasaki on the west side of the bay, take a ferry to Kumamoto and stay the night, then drive over towards Mt Aso, the huge crater with the green toxic looking onsen at the bottom. Then from there head to to seaside hotspring resort of Beppu, and leave from Fukuoka airport the next day.

Of course, this was golden week, so we spent a lot of time stuck in traffic, and did not make the ferry. instead we hung out in Nagasaki, takeshi got to fish, I got to paint, and the highway around the long way was not to bad at night.

Here's our course on Google maps:


I put up lots of pictures on Flickr, so take a peek if you like! Kyra on Flickr Here are a few to tantalize your tastebuds.

Well that wasn't so bad. Maybe I will write again a little sooner next time. *knock on wood*