KagoshimaOctober 25, 2014 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C
So I ended up here as a last minute decision as I couldn't hike the Aso volcanic crater due to a level 2 eruption warning.
There's not an awful lot to do here but I came here to take a ferry across to the island to see Mt. Sakurajima, Japan's most active volcano.
I met another backpacker on the tram on my way to the hostel to drop off my extremely heavy bag. He was a German by the name of Danny. It turned out he was staying at the same hostel.
When we got to the hostel I mentioned I was going to see the volcano and he decided to join me. But first we both wanted some food so he took me to a chain called Mos Burger which is a like a good quality Japanese version of McDonald's.
We stopped to take a photo of the island and volcano from the mainland and Danny wanted me to take a picture of him. He showed me some of his pictures from his travels so far and he always has his back to the camera with a natural pose looking at something spectacular. I'm quite self conscious so I hate taking selfies but at the same time you want pictures with you in them. This idea of having my back to the camera was the perfect solution for me so expect to see a lot of my back in the pictures I take from now on.
Anyway I took a picture but Danny was quite specific about the angle of the shot and wanted multiple shots so he could pick and choose the best. I was already regretting asking this guy to hike with me.
Anyway we hopped onto the ferry and started walking up to the observation deck. You can't go much higher than this as there is an exclusion zone. The whole island was covered in ash. The cars were filthy and people's houses were caked in it. It was a 1.5 hour walk to the observation deck and luckily we got there before any of the busses arrived so we could take some clear pictures. The volcano was cool but a bit tame. It's active in the sense it's always smoking and blowing plumes of ash in the air but I want to see some lava.
Over 1.5 hours I got to know Danny a bit better. He was 24 and had been travelling since 17. For someone so well travelled he was very narrow minded, opinionated and always had to be right. He really grated on me and I couldn't wait to shake him off once we got off this island.
On the walk down, although you can't see the ash in the air you could taste and feel it in your mouth and it always got in your eyes.
So we got back to the hostel and both of us were really hungry but I had a Skype date with my family so had to hold off for a bit longer. Danny kept going on about the Onsen (naked public bath) and I was kind of hoping he would just go so I could do my own thing. But he kept waiting for me but I was not going to sit naked with this dude in the public bath. He sacked off the Onsen to grab something to eat with me. I could not shake this guy off.
He then decided to go to Kyoto the next day like me and hinted at taking the same train. I made the decision to lose some much needed sleep and take an early train in the hope it would put this guy off.
Fingers crossed this guy does not find me in Kyoto.Read more