May 9th, 2011

drinking bird

April in Japan [2] Kyushu!

I stayed overnight in Nagasaki before going on to Unzen. It is a town in a very active volcanic area. You can go walk in the park, which goes through a semi-wooded area scattered with jikoku or "hells", areas where sulphuric vapors [very smelly!] come up from boiling hot springs. Boiled "onsen eggs" are popular with tourists.

One of the jigoku.

I had fantastic food at the ryokan after my onsen bath!

I went on from there to Aso, a town located near Aso-san, the largest active volcano in Japan. I had explored the area a couple of years ago, and was content to take walks and not stray very far.

Roadside flowers. Unknown to me, but lovely [very low growing plant]

A two-tone, very pink sakura

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After Aso, I went on to Beppu, which I have spoken about in an earlier post.  Just a couple of pictures.

Red Beppu jigoku

Azaleas starting to bloom

I stopped briefly in Miyazaki, and went on to Kagoshima. This is a place I really like. It has a lively, cheerful atmosphere, it is easy to get around on the bus, and there are many sights. An active volcano watches over it across the bay. This time I visited the aquarium, which specializes in the sea life around Kyushu and the southern islands. It was very interesting and fun . I also went to Sengan-en, a lovely landscape garden dating back to the mid 17th century. It is very well situated near the bay.

Sakura-jima smoking

Sengan-en pond

Red peony

A giant stone lantern

A glimpse of Kagoshima bay from Sengan-en

I then flew back to Tokyo, and spent a couple of days there mostly shopping until I returned home. Had trouble closing my suitcase!