Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park

Mount Ebinodake and Onami Pond.
From where I'm sitting in my hotel room, I see steam vents, and can smell their sulfurous fumes. Further in the distance, over 20 miles further in the haze, is the unmistakable cone of Sakurajima, the massive, active volcano across the bay from Kagoshima, southern Japan. At night, I see the distant glow of Kagoshima.

See My Kagoshima: Kirishima Volcanic Group Practicalities for specific details about accommodation, trail buses, and trails.

See my series of posts,  My Kagoshima, for details about how to get to Kagoshima Prefecture, then how to get to trails.

I didn't come here to stare out the window. I came here to explore the trails of Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It Takes a Village

Yesterday I was in such an intense conversation with Iris, thirtyish, from Switzerland, we almost missed the only bus from the trailhead that day. 

I get to meet fine people when hiking. These are people who put some effort into their travels. They discover and research trails, they put one foot in front of another to explore the trails. Besides, they usually have interesting stories: as well as hiking boots, Iris travels with dancing shoes because she loves salsa.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Hike in Kagoshima

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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

An Unplanned Night in Houston

Well, I didn't get too far today.

The plan was to get from Fort Lauderdale to Kirishima, southern Japan. Instead I got as far as Houston.

My United flight from Houston to Tokyo was repeatedly delayed: something about a problem under the floor, eventually traced to a cargo door.

Monday, March 16, 2015

From Beaches to Volcanoes

It's time to leave a world of beaches for travel with a bit of fiber in it.

This weekend, in Naples, Florida, I got reunited with my hiking boots and walking shoes and mailed the lesser stuff back home. I'm on my way to Kirishima, southern Japan.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pleading the Fifth in Naples, Florida

My urban hiking this weekend in Naples, Florida, included quiet side streets lined with posh homes. As I walked, I thought about the logistics of maintaining multiple homes, and the burden of mortgages.

When hiking through farmland I avoid getting between cow and calves. In this spirit, I was walking on the street so I wouldn't get between a mother and her children running ahead on the narrow sidewalk.

A police car came towards me and stopped, blocking my path. I assumed someone in the neighborhood had called the cops on me for being an ambulatory stranger with intent to harm property values.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Why I Like SCUBA Diving

I don't do water activities.

I'll dangle my feet over the edge of the shallow end of a hotel swimming pool while sipping something with a little cocktail umbrella poking out. Preferably a beer.

But that is as far as I go.

My partner, Dwight, does do water activities, including SCUBA. I'll never do that, at least not in this lifetime.

Apart from my distaste for submerging myself in water, I like to travel light: one 14lb backpack is my usual limit. Meanwhile Dwight is lugging 35lbs of SCUBA gear.