Sharrie's Kagoshima Lava
KYUSHU is the southern-most island of Japan. Hokkaido being at the northern tip & Honshu is the mainland. Shikoku is the smallest island, west of Kyushu. In the 4th century, Kyushu was infiltrated by the Chinese & Korea culture (including the influence of Buddhism & Chinese writing). Later, in 16th century, emissaries & merchants from Spain, Portugal & Holland introduced Christianity & firearms through cities like Nagasaki & Kumamoto. Due to its geographical location & historical influences, Kyushu feels more foreign than any other parts of conventional Japan.
The island of Kyushu is on the RING OF FIRE. Volcanic activity can be observed & all residents are very well equipped & trained in dealing with such emergencies, including children aging from 3 years onwards.
KAGOSHIMA is one such area where SAKURAJIMA, the active volcano which still belches ash daily. Sakurajima is at the southern tip of the island Kyushu and one such dramatic eruption in 1914 has left 3 billion tons (yep, 3 BILLION!) of lava on the strait thereby joining the island to the mainland Kyushu. When we arrived at Kagoshima, we actually stayed in a resort with full facilities, ie., hot springs & sandbaths (as pictured). I tried both & they are very relaxing. Sandbaths can be boiling hot if you were covered for more than 15 mins. But, we were told that it is therapeutic by nature & is extremely helpful for those with rheumatism & arthritis! Guess, it's good for some to retire here ;-)
Web ResourcesCountry Code: 81
Yellow Pages: Itp.ne.jp
Newspaper: Asahi Shimbun