• Day9

    Mt Sakurajima and Kagoshima

    April 17, 2019 in Japan ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    A somewhat lackadaisical start to the day - we had to wait to be called for Japanese immigration but we were group 10. We waited for the best part of an hour after docking and they were only at group 5 - so we thought 'sod it' and headed out anyway.

    We got the ship's shuttle bus into town from where we bolted for the Sakurajima ferry. Sakurajima is an active volcano on almost it's own island in the bay of Kagoshima, although cloud was so low today it was difficult to distinguish that from the smoke. The island's sightseeing bus was just across the road from the port and toured up to the highest viewing point through windy country roads. The sightseeing route was pleasant enough from the bus but with low cloud and a bus only every half hour, we decided to stay on for the whole route and enjoy the scenery.

    The Sakurajima visitors centre had lots of interesting information about the volcano and also monitors current volcanic activity. The last major eruption was 1914 when the flow actually joined the volcano to the peninsula. This year, there has been 58 eruptions, of which 33 were 'explosive eruptions'. The resulting fertility of the soil apparently makes Sakurajima famous for its production of giant radishes, the biggest weighing in at 31kg with a model provides in case you needed one!

    Heading out the back of the centre and aiming for the lava trail, we came across a public foot bath and had to have a go - shoes off, socks off, feet in, feet immediately out followed by lots of swearing and laughing at the immense heat! It took us a good five minutes to be able to keep our feet in, to the amusement of the locals. When we eventually got our, we had beautiful bright pink shins - akin to a third degree scald!

    Briefly afterwards we took a jaunt along the lava trail, looking at the huge lava rocks left from previous eruptions and looking over the bay to Kagoshima before returning on the ferry to the city itself.

    Here, we took just a brief shopping trip in the downtown area. We were heading initially for the Meiji Restoration Museum but time got the better of us.

    Our final day at sea tomorrow before we dock in Yokohama on Friday. A final day of relaxing!
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