After being in Airport World for five days, it was good to spend today, Saturday, hiking in Kagoshima and the surrounding hills.
When you hike on a Saturday you get to see the locals enjoying their place. Early in the hike I was the audience for a group of taiko drummers, practicing their art. I could feel their energy and emotions in this lovely spot, under a palm tree, looking out across Kagoshima Bay.
Towards the end of my hike, a school band was playing outside Kagoshimachuo, the main train station, the southernmost point in the bullet train network. The band was competent, but the music sounded like a cheerful 1970's sitcom theme.
The area is dominated by Sakurajima, an active volcano across Kagoshima Bay.
The vog made it impossible to catch a clear photograph. I was just grateful Sakurajima was not raining down ash when I flew in to Kagoshima yesterday.
The weather was lovely, and people were in good spirits. I was wished "konichiwa" dozens of times. An old couple were mortified when their granddaughter almost ran me down with her bicycle. "Surimasen, surimasen." I smiled, and bowed, and indicated "dozo" with my hand gestures.
Along the way I fell upon all all sorts of gems, including this civil war cemetery for soldiers killed in the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion.
The rebels were led in their futile fight by hometown boy, Saigo Takamori, the "last samurai." Japan was not turning back from the Meiji era, a time of social and political modernization, and opening up to the West and new ideas.
At the end of my hike, after pausing to watch the band in front of the train station, I photographed a picture of a rice bowl outside a little cafe. Inside, I ordered by showing the picture to the server. The real thing matched the picture pretty well.
|The real thing (top) and the picture outside the cafe (bottom)|
The meal was good, and great value: about US$5.
After devouring the miso, the pickles, and the rice bowl, I crossed the street to the Daiei department store to pick up a cruciferous salad and gyoza for later consumption in my hotel room.