I was about to head to the campsite to meet the rest of the riders, when this rad old dude starts staring at me.
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.
Speaking of fish...
I ate some for lunch.
This was a locally famous somen nagashi restaurant. What's somen nagashi?
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.
But Ibusuki is most known for one thing, the hot sand baths.
Lie down, and a friendly fella will bury you alive. The steam from down below turns your sandy tomb into a sauna. Fresh!
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.
Great roads, with views of some massive fossil fuel tank area.
Dropped the bike off at a tire shop. Think I need a new one?
Paid way too much for a tire, and way to much for a 2 hour ferry, and set off into the sunset.
Which had a nice color due to the exploding volcano behind.
Up Next: The land that inspired Princess Mononoke.