A Travellerspoint blog

February 2000

A Stunning Train Ride to a Hostel With a View

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Not really knowing what do to with myself now that I had become 'feetless/walkless' for the present and into the near future I decided to go for a short walk to the huge street market in search of some noodles or something cheap for breakfast. The market place was huge and I spent an hour or two walking around its little streets. ...um...I walked slowly as to not allow my feet to sweat! I then headed across to the Kochie Castle for a look and then just as had started walking around the Makino Botanical Gardens my right foot felt a little strange. After taking off my boot I found that one of my toes had split and was now bleeding. Bugger! I guess it was time for another long train ride. After grabbing my pack I headed to the station and grabbed a ticket to Awa Ikeda (Oboke). I had called the Hostel owners and asked them if I begged if they could come and collect me as I know they requested a days notice. All was well by them after I explained why. Well wasn't the train ride something I wasn't prepared for. The Good Book stated that it was a spectacular ride but it never actually said HOW SPECTACULARE it was. I actually found it more impressive than the train journey to Takayama. We followed a beautiful river and snaked our way through the stunning Oboke and Koboke Gorges (meaning big and small steps dangerous). It really was an awesome train ride! I guess my only real reason for going to Awa Ikeda was for the stunning train ride and to sleep the night at the beautiful hostel on the hill side. If I had my feet I could have planned several days of hiking and rafting. It's a pity as I would probably not come back to this part of Japan for along time if ever and the hikes are supposed to be awesome. Oh well, although it's a real bugger for me I simply moved on with the train. When I arrived at the station I was met the Hostel Guy. He was really kind to me and took me to a little store where I got some supplies for the evening. Day had moved to night and after the Hostel Guy helped patch up my foot I spent the night with many Japanese who were singing and playing the guitar.

During dinner we all sat to watch a movie called '24 Eyes'.

Though I had no idea what the movie was about it was pretty easy to grasp the story. Though I had no idea what they were saying I still found it a very moving movie. Only a few of them could speak any sort of English but they didn't have the vocabulary to explain most of what was being said.

On this night it didn't matter. This night was about sitting and relaxing and having a great time indoors with new friends. Beers N Cheers toya.....shane Accommodation: &amp ; ;nbs p; Awa Ikeda Youth Hostel Ph: 0883 725 277 3798 Nishiyamasako, Ikeda-cho, Miyoshi-gun, Tokushima-ken ________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was was the awesome Teenage Fanclub The album was my favourite release of theirs, 'Grand Prix'

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

A Night at 'The Big One' Japanese Capsule Hotel

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, This evening finds me on the Japanese Island of Shikoku in a city called Kochi.

Today's train journey took around ten and a half hours and it was ten and a half hours of wonderful scenery, relaxation and music. My feet seem to be happy from the rest but they are still split and very red and not so good to look at. I guess that's what happens when you walk, wear hiking boots and never air your feet for long enough. At nights it's still very cold so I have to wear socks to bed. Oh life is too hard! Ha ha ha! As my train was going across the bridge from Honshu to Shikoku the sun was setting. It was stunning to watch as it changed colours the lower it got. I guess we can thank all the bad things in the world for omitting pollution. It makes sunsets look as though they've been airbrushed! When I arrived in Kochi I found that the Hostel had moved and no one could tell me where it had gone or where there was another. Bugger! So I then went from hotel to hotel and almost ran out the door of most of them due to their huge prices. As it was getting rather late I thought bugger it, head to the bus station and grab a couple of seats for the night. Once I found it I set up my little bed for the night and sat down to read. Not long after I Japanese business man who was walking by dropped in for a chat. After awhile he told me of a place kind of within my price range. When I asked what it was like he kind of stopped and started laughing. I tried a few times to explain and then said, 'It's kind of like a bee hive in a hair salon'. My reply was always was 'HUH?' When we arrived the first thing I noticed was the name and I gave a loud giggle. 'The Big One', it was actually called 'The Big One'! Seriously, it said it on the sign at the frond in big English letters. The Big One! Ha ha ha. Once we were in side I finally figured out what it was, it was a Capsule Hotel. I had heard about them but had never tried to find one as I was happy with Hostels. In Capsule Hotels you get girls on film, in hostels you meet real girls! Always one for an adventure I thought why not, maybe it was time for some Japanese porn! After a shower and bath I went to join everyone else in the open TV room. No porn here only news and Manga cartoons. Cool by me as that made me ore comfortable sitting with everyone else. After scanning the room I found there was a bar, upon each table was a jar full of free cigarettes and what looked like many little hair salons. At each mirror was a guy grooming himself by rubbing creams and lotions into his skin and then plucking his hair line and brushing his hair for what seemed an hour. Everyone seemed really friendly and those that could speak English dropped by to say hello and offer me a drink and share a smoke. When I finally felt tired I found my little bee hive, I climbed up into it and entered. How cozy, maybe a little too cozy. And there it was, the little screen of pleasure! How sad it was showing the most boring porn ever made. I tried to sleep but it was so hot in my little hive of boredom so I headed back out into the sitting area and spent the night on the huge comfy layback chairs. The Japanese Capsule Hotel, I can tick it off the list but don't think I'd do it again. I would have saved nights accommodation in the bus station and still slept on a seat! Beers N Cheers toya....shane Accommodation: & ; ; ;nbs p; THE BIG ONE!!! Capsule Hotel 3-9-45 Kitahonmachi KOCHIE JAPAN Ph: 0888 839 603 _____________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was an awesome band from Sydney Australia that we used to jump around to for endless hours at local venues in the late 80's early 90's. The band was The Splatterheads The album was 'Ink From a Mad Mans Pen' What a Splatterfest!

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

Multi-Skilling in Miyazaki

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Well what does an idiot do when his feet are hurting and complaining and the skin is beginning to split where his toes join to his feet? What does he do? He stupidly spends most of the day walking doesn't he! I rose really early as I had decided to walk around to the other side of the volcano to another town there so I could get as many views of this 'smokin thing' as possible. My feet were fine for the first few hours as I was too busy concentrating on the volcano and the scattered alien world I was walking through. I found the other town and walked around for awhile after having a huge noodle soup for lunch along with some fruit I had packed. Well what does an idiot do then? He walks back the way he came doesn't he. By the time I returned to the YHA later in the afternoon I could barely walk my feet were so sore. I had another Hot Spring Bath and then decided to leave Sakurajima as I knew I was too captured by the volcano and would stupidly walk the entire following day staring at it. I said goodbye to the YHA Staff and <u>CAUGHT A TAXI</u></b> to the Ferry Dock and was soon relaxing on a train that was taking me to where I am now, the lovely little city of Miyazaki. I really can't tell you anything about it as all I have done is found my hostel. Oh yeah, you would believe it! Who was the first person I met? A bloody doctor! He was sitting outside reading and watched as I hobbled in and then out again after dropping my bag off. His English was perfect and he asked if I was ok. He then took a look at my feet and told me to stop walking so much and to spend a week with my shoes off airing my feet as much as possible. We sat for awhile talking about all things this N that until he had to leave for a conference dinner and I hobbled my way into town and found this nice little caf&eacute; where I am writing to you from. I've been reading and drinking green tea all with my feet up on a stool and no shoes on. How multi-skilled am I! Tomorrow I've decided to leave and take a big rest on a train for the day. The journey will take me from where I am now in Miyazaki on Kyushu to Kochie on Shikoku. It's a hell of a journey but someone's got to save my feet from their Slave Master! If I'm not going to do it Japanese Rail will! Huh! Beers N Cheers toya.....shane Accommodation: &nbs p; Miyazaki - Ken Fujin - Kaikan Youth Hostel 1-3-10 Asaki MIYAZAKI JAPAN Ph: 0985 245785 _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was the powerful Sacred Reich The album was 'Live At The Dynamo' ROAR!

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

The Volcano Is Going To Go Off! Right Stoopid!

HeyHeyanda Big G'Day toya, OK, now we come to the morning after all the beer! This is the part I wasn't going to tell any one but me being me is pretty much used to doing stupid things and playing the fool. You must remember though, I am on an island and not far from me is a real life volcano with smoke coming out of it all day every day. Remember that I sat watching this volcano for hours wondering if it would be safe to stay on the island for a few days whilst thinking, I know, I know if I go there it would just be my luck that it goes off whilst I'm there! Ok, you're not going to make fun of me are you? Promise! After getting to bed pretty late I was woken in a haze by a voice on a loud speaker. The voice was speaking in Japanese and I had no idea what it was saying but it was like seven or so in the morning and why was there a man talking on the loud speaker at seven in the morning. I sat up and froze. Why else was there a message on the loud speaker, the farking volcano is about to go off. I jumped out of bed and grabbed my belongings and woke the Japanese guys telling them to hurry and get out of bed. Blinking in bewilderment one of them asked why. I pointed to the loud speaker told them the volcano is going off and ran for the door. Where I thought I was going I had no idea. The ferry doc was a good idea at the time. I had just started running down the corridor and one of them ran after me shouting 'Mr Shane, Mr Shane', not volcano...NEWS! Huh? 'It's the morning news' he said. Luckily I hadn't wet myself (but I'm sure I was bloody close I was that frightened) and slowly walked back to the room where I received a loud round of applause. Well no where else I had gone had been to besides Vietnam had a public broadcasting system linked up around the entire town for its residence to listen to the news etc. I really did think it was a warning announcement. Silly Bugger! Oh gawd, returning to bed had never felt so safe! We all rose an hour or so later and after saying good bye to everyone feeling like a complete 'dick' I then headed out in search of a big bowl of steaming noodle soup. I then decided to make my way to the Arimura Observatory by way of a lava trail that took me along one of the most amazing walks I have been on so far. It was like walking on another planet. The beaches were back and all around me was weird and strange shaped lava mounds. Add to that the green of the pine trees and the volcano itself looming over you and you have one 'out of this world' experience. The Arimura Observatory was just as excellent as the Lava Trail. I found out that the last eruption was back in 1914 and it released over three billion tons of lava onto the island. All displays were in Japanese and English. It really was a great place to visit. I then decided to do what I do best and that is to simply walk! I followed the road and found little places to stay for awhile and then continued until the sun began to make its way elsewhere in the world. It was a big day of walking and my feet really had started to feel sore from all the walking I have been doing.

The entire day the volcano was releasing puffs of some.

Sometimes they were white and other times grey. I didn't like the grey puffs as they make me feel a little frightened. I past several lava canals which takes the lava down into the water and away from the towns. These also made me unconfortable.

How often does it the thing release lava? Once back at the hostel I relaxed in the hot baths for several hours. My feet really were beginning to hurt so I thought I would take them on a holiday of their own. Beers N Cheers toya...shane Accommodation: Sakurajima Youth Hostel Hakama - goshi SAKURAJIMA - cho JAPAN Ph: 0992 932 150 ___________________________________________ The soundtrack to this album was by one hell of a band with one hell of a sound! The band was 'The Spermbirds' The album was 'Something To Prove'

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (1)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (1)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (10)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (10)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (11)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (11)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (12)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (12)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (13)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (13)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (2)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (2)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (3)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (3)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (4)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (4)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (5)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (5)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (6)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (6)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (7)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (7)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (8)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (8)


Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (9)

Kakoshima Bay &#38;amp; Sakurajima (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

Anna! Anna Look! It's a Real Smoking Volcano!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Knock Knock Knock! There it was again. Stupid Japanese YHA daytime curfews! We tried to ignore it but he kept returning and returning and returning. Soon we found ourselves back in the streets of Ibusuki. We really wanted to stay for another few days but Anna had already organsed to meet people on the Okinawa Islands and I figured I'd go see her off on the ferry and check out Kagoshima city for a day or two before moving on and waiting for Anna's email to let me know when she had returned from the islands. So we happily trained it the rest of the way to Kagoshima. What happened next is something I hope to always remember. After leaving the train station we found a little Information Booth and began asking questions about Anna's ferry. I heard some beeping and turned around to see what was happening and what I saw I didn't register for a few seconds. There I stood half turned and frozen. I soon began tapping Anna on the shoulder and dumbly repeating her name over and over whilst still frozen and half turned. She asked what the matter was and I some how said 'It's a volcano, it's a volcano and it's alive!' I had never seen a volcano before and right there across the bay was a real live smoking volcano. I was stunned and just stood there. Anna stopped her questions and we both stood in silence for a short time. She then began saying that she didn't want to go to the islands anymore and wanted to come with me and stay on the volcano island. Sadly she had already made plans that involved others so after a very late lunch we found ourselves sadly waving good bye to each other as her ferry left its doc. BUGGER! I spent the next few hours walking around the city and in the late afternoon I boarded a ferry and soon stepped upon my first volcanic island (which really is attached to the mainland by a land bridge created along time ago during a volcanic eruption). The day was fading and I really had no idea where the YHA was so stupidly I didn't crab a cab and decided to find it on foot. Great idea in the fast becoming darkness! In the end I found it and had a well earned beer and sat talking to the few Japanese tourists that were there who were leaving the following day. Later in the evening I ventured down stairs and lay and relaxed in the hot spring bath for about an hour or so before joining the guys back in the lounge for more beer and chat. The Hot Spring bath was beautiful and a hell of a lot more comfortable than the Sand Bath the night before! Beers N Cheers toya...shane Accommodation: &nbs p; Sakurajima Youth Hostel Hakama - goshi SAKURAJIMA - cho JAPAN Ph: 0992 932 150 ___________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the beautiful Nora Jones The album was 'Come Away With Me'

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Japan Comments (0)