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Friday, 27 March 2015

Yakushima: Japan's deep, deep south

Between December 2014 and January 2015 I went on a 3 week trip to Japan. Yakushima is an island off the coast of Kagoshima (super southern Japan) and was one of the places traversed.
Took the (cheaper and slower) ferry from Kagoshima to Yakushima. The ferry ride was about 4 hours, and I passed the time by exploring the ferry and watching South Park. Above is Sakurajima (I think), which we pass by on the way to Yakushima.
The first view of Yakushima.

I stayed at Friend (a guesthouse) in Miyanoura. The room was spacious, and I could sleep on the comfy bed or on the futon in the loft. Yes, the room has its own loft. Though I didn't sleep up in the loft, it has served me well as a 'Fort Kickass'.

When I checked in, I was greeted by Ta-chan. A fairly elderly man, and a retired man. If I recall, he spent some time in America to work, so his English is pretty decent. He's pretty cool.

Went to some place for lunch (the only place open at about 2:00pm). I had the Yakushima ramen. It had a lot of different fish and some foamy white thing which was made from a Yakushima-native vegetable. My ramen was pretty, but tasted...okayy.

My rental car. At first it was daunting driving in a foreign place, but I got used to it. Lucky for me the speed limit was only 40 kilometers per hour! So slow! I pride myself on being an absolute shitty driver, and a somewhat angry driver, but driving was enjoyable for someone like me. There's this big-ass road that goes around the whole island, so it's pretty hard to get lost. Just keep driving down the road, and eventually I'll get there!

Oh and a GPS was included in the car.

I was advised by the Car Rental Lady that if I wanted to drive around the island, it was recommended that I drive counterclockwise around the island. Because once I hit the Seibu Forest Pathway, a super narrow (and spooky) road that can only reasonably fit one car but is technically a two-way-road, it would be much safer for me. Otherwise I could roll off the cliff and die.

So I was driving the 'correct' way along the Seibu Forst road, and this dickhead (no not the one above) appears out of nowhere. Imagine the picture above but the road was even narrower. I ended up having to reverse a bit so the dickhead could scooch past.

Yes I was angry, but keep in mind I did not want to damage my rental car and incur damages.

I came to Yakushima during December. It is quite baffling that the top of the island (in Miyaoura where I stayed) had rainy and crappy weather, but on the same day, the south of the island (as pictured above) had sunny skies.

This island is quite far from Tokyo but was worth the long commute.

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