Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ibusuki, Japan

指宿市

I was about to head to the campsite to meet the rest of the riders, when this rad old dude starts staring at me.

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I exchanged some pleasantries, then he just busts out, in Japanese, "There's a bunch of big, red koi fish in the river!" Awesome. So we chatted about fish for the next 5 minutes, until a woman, maybe his daughter, came out of a nearby house. She yelled at him to come back inside, "He doesn't understand you!" Then looked at me, realized I can speak enough Japanese, pointed at her head and did the universal symbol for crazy. It was kind of a dick move on her part, as rad old dude just wanted to tell me about the fish.

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Speaking of fish...

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I ate some for lunch.

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This was a locally famous somen nagashi restaurant. What's somen nagashi?

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Noodles that are perpetually moving downriver, waiting for you to grab them with your chopsticks. The logistics of actually having a ton of noodles flowing down a river is an easy fix, just build a round aquarium and hook up some water pumps.

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But Ibusuki is most known for one thing, the hot sand baths.

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Lie down, and a friendly fella will bury you alive. The steam from down below turns your sandy tomb into a sauna. Fresh!

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As always, a group of a dozen Westerners will gravitate towards the barbecue. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be continuing on with the group. One of my interests in Kyushu was visiting Yakushima, an interest no one else shared with me.

So the next morning, I said goodbye to the group, and headed 60km north to Kagoshima port.

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Great roads, with views of some massive fossil fuel tank area.

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Dropped the bike off at a tire shop. Think I need a new one?

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Paid way too much for a tire, and way to much for a 2 hour ferry, and set off into the sunset.

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Which had a nice color due to the exploding volcano behind.

Up Next: The land that inspired Princess Mononoke.

3 comments:

Adam said...

Just wanted to say that you have an awesome site here Brian. I have been reading for a while after finding a link on another site and have been hooked ever since! Loving your travel diaries the most, can't wait to see more!

Brian said...

Thanks Adam, I'll keep it up. By the way, this blog started the day I left the video game industry...

Adam said...

Oh interesting, I think I did the reverse to you then. I joined the games industry in Japan then came back to the UK to further my career in it. (Now working at a large Japanese developer and starting my own games company as you must have seen from my site link)

However since my dream of joining the games industry has been fulfilled I have a new dream of leaving it forever and running back to Japan! :D Glad to see it can be done.