16 February 2011

Green faces

The following morning, just as we were all packed up and ready to catch our morning speed ferry out to Yakushima 屋久島, I got a call from the company explaining that the ferry was cancelled due to stormy seas. We were to be notified about the next ferry. Bummer!

We decided to spend some more time in the city. I got some snaps of Kyushu architecture. Some of it reminds me of Cape Town, because Kyushu was more influenced by the West than anywhere else in Japan and it shows in some of the buildings. We also happened upon a Moomin clock which provided me with much joy and excitement for three minutes.

After breakfast we went to check out the Kagoshima City Museum of Art. Before we got there we popped by a little market and a nearby park with some statues.

At the museum there was a nice poster exhibition by JAGDA, the Japan Graphic Designers Association, which was free! We also checked out the Chimei Hamada exhibition which is currently showing. There were a few nice pieces.

The ferries kept being cancelled, so after lunch we went to the port and ended up switching to the other company operating from there which was in fact running.

The seas were indeed rough though. Both my friends felt a bit green after the very bumpy ride, but they were spared the agony of actually being sick, unlike the lady across the aisle from me. But she did a good job of using her little black bag.

Our rental car was delivered at the port and we immediately went in search of relaxation in the form of onsen. I found a hotel that the guide book claimed had bathing facilities open to the public. Upon our arrival and our inquiry as to onsen one of the reception people proceeded to pick up the phone. Way to feel like weird white criminals? After the call to whomever they proceeded to apologise profusely because in fact it was lies and we couldn't bathe there! Why? We don't know.

But they can keep their bath because as it turns out the nearby JR hotel has a fantastic onsen and the people there are very friendly! We may even have been able to appreciate the last bit of sunset over their ocean view if the other hotel hadn't wasted our time in the first place!

But now we were on Yakushima, safe and sound, and clean and relaxed. We found a great Korean restaurant for dinner. The proprietor's six-year-old daughter explained that her mother and grandmother are Korean, thus they made Korean food. She also explained many other things, like when she had a sheet with pictures of characters from some anime, she pointed out that you could see half of the one character's boob. She also happened to be great at English and knew lots of useful words like "ouch" and "yummy". We were very entertained and even received flowers she picked for us outside and after she disappeared for a few minutes, some oranges in a bag. We gifted her some purikura and foreign money.

After all the entertainment and great food it was finally time to head to our hostel. A wonderfully clean and comfortable place with a very friendly owner. We needed a good night's rest before we tackled all of the island in one day.

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