Saturday, 7 June 2008

Thursday 5th June 2008 - Kagoshima and Mt Sakurajima

Kagoshima, a city of around 600,000 inhabitants, lives in the shadow of Mt Sakurajima - one of Japan's most active volcanoes. Indeed, the volcano has been active as recently as last weekend.

It's a short ferry ride to the former island, now connected to the mainland by a lava flow following a massive eruption in 1914. The island of Sakurajima is a pleasant half day trip from Kagoshima, and has some spectacular lava scenery. However, we declined the 5,000 yen taxi fare to the 'observatory' - a chance to see the mountain from a different angle, rather than see a bubbling crater.

The island is home to some interesting plants and wildlife, including the voracious Japanese Knot weed. It covers the ground like a blanket, suffocating other plants like a 'green weed', crawling, crawling, crawling... The same plant is also causing problems in Scotland.

Our evening meal was particularly special. Fresh sushi at Edokko Susi, made in front of you. The sushi chefs were very chatty and we spent a couple of hours soaking up the atmosphere. The chefs did some funny tricks with a sea snail - not repeatable here, and it brought home what we were eating when the shrimps were plucked out of the tank, 'twisted' and then placed under the grill. The manager came over to chat with us at some length. There was also a raucous belly laugh from the clientèle at the request that Jen's sisters might come to Kagoshima to find a husband.