Kyou wa, Peter-san wa Doko?

Where's Peter Today?

19th Oct 2004: Day 13-- Kagoshima and Sakurajima

Morning arrived and with it a gap in the weather. It was very windy but for a few minutes the sun peeped out and we could see the splendour of Sakurajima from our balcony on the 9th floor.

After breakfast, we decided to push our luck and test the theory that "God favours the stupid" by staying in Kagoshima in face of a super typhoon that was definitely edging closer to us with little sign of veering away at the last moment. We could risk getting trapped here, we could get killed, we could miss our booked day at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo… This was serious!

Throwing caution literally to the wind, we decided to venture out for a day trip to Sakurajima, via the coast road around the bay.

At one spot there was this crazy looking lay-by with some restaurants. We couldn't make out if they were making repairs from the last storm or whether it was some new style of architecture particular to this part of the "outback". Further along there was a fishing village where we ran into some extremely friendly kittens.

Then there was the giant derelict shell of the King Kong amusement arcade, complete with a giant gorilla on the roof of the crumbling building.

On a beach near the causeway on to Sakurajima, we pulled up and spied a flock of sea eagles. Not just one, but a flock of at least 5 or 6. Unfortunately, I also saw a water-logged and hypothermic Eagle sitting on the beach. It had been caught in a storm and was drenched right through, it's feathers useless for flying. I edged closer to see if it had been caught in a string or covered with oil. It hopped feebly away from me and collapsed. It was neither oiled nor tangled and looked in good health apart from being cold and wet. We had to leave it as I didn't fancy being attacked if it managed to summon some strength and we couldn't find anyone to tell about it. If it remained on the beach that night, I didn't suppose it would survive the typhoon. It was sad that my first close-up view of a wild sea eagle was of a dying one.

When we reached Sakurajima, we discovered where all the boats had gone from the bay. They had been rounded up and were cowering in the steep sided coves of the volcano. The wind was really picking up now and so we took the ferry as a short-cut back to Kagoshima.

We settled back into the family restaurant over the road again and began to wonder about our decision to stay. The weather charts in reception now showed the eye of the super typhoon as being 200 km in diameter and with wind speeds approaching 40m/s on a direct collision course with the Miyazaki coast to out East, with the likelihood of it hitting us becoming almost a certainty. The massive electric steel shutters rolled down over the front of our hotel and this time we both felt the need to cogitate and stew in the onsen baths.

As they say in Japan a lot: "It can't be helped…"

Jump To:


Prepare For Take-Off

Day 1 -- Tokyo

Day 2 -- Mikawa-Anjo

Day 3 -- Nagoya

Day 4 -- Suzuka F1

Day 5 -- Kyoto

Day 6 -- Kyoto

Day 7-- Himeji Castle

Day 8 -- Kurashiki

Day 9 -- Hiroshima

Day 10 -- Nagasaki

Day 11 -- Nagasaki

Day 12 -- Kagoshima

Day 13 -- Kagoshima

Day 14 -- Tokyo

Day 15 -- Tokyo

Day 16 -- Tokyo

Homeward Bound

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