So far I have been following my originally planned schedule (which has never happened before). The sun was shinning very bright in my room at 6-ish, so it is hard to sleep any longer. I went down for my having my rice ball + miso soup breakfast and there was a big group of high school kids. Looked they were getting ready kind kind of ball tournament game. The hotel I was staying in was in Higashi-Hiroshima. It has nothing but the shinkansen train station, this hotel and a 7-eleven. It is very nice and comfortable, but it is too far away and you have to time the train schedule well. It is better to spend a bit more to stay in the main city Hiroshima.
Enough about that, but the location is very likely the reason why I suddenly changed my plan to went all the way South to Kagoshima. After the breakfast, I walked to the train station and just missed my train by a few minutes (saw it leaving the station as I walked into the station). I waited inside the enclosed waiting room for a few minutes and finding too stuffy to stay inside. It was so comfortable outside, warm yet still breezy. Why would anyone want to sit inside that stuffy waiting room?! Ha! I finally find out why when faster Nozomi (のぞみ) passed by. It was so loud! Still I enjoyed sitting outside a lot more.
Anyway, the extra waiting gave me more time to think do I really want to follow my original schedule to Miyajima. It was Sunday, likely a time a lot of local would also be visiting that place. Going to crowded place only take a picture of the floating torii?! Couldn’t make up my mind, so still thinking of that while getting on a train. After a sitting down for a while, all of a sudden I felt really sleepy and the idea of spending the day sleeping inside the comforty seat seems just too appealing. So I suddenly changed my mind and take 3.5 hours ride going all the way south to Kagaoshima. Yes, the main reason.. I want a day of doing “nothing” so, I sleep in train and relax for most of the day. That is likely the benefit of solo travel. You can all of sudden decide to do something really ridiculous and not worry about affecting other.
Even the actual time I could spend in Kagoshima was about 3 hours. I enjoyed every single second of it. The streets were much wider and the weather was noticeably warm and a bit more humid. Because of the popular NHK period drama – Atsuhime (篤姫), Kogashima , which was the birth place of that wife of a shogun at the end of Edo period, has become very popular sight-seeing city. Honestly, that drama was a bit too long and boring, but overall, still worth watching for the magnificent clothes and setting. Because of that drama, my primary focus of that city is Meiji Restoration museum. As soon as I got off from Shinkansen in Chuo-Kagoshima, I went to get some map and travel tip in tourist office. Unfortunately the lady helping me did not speak much English so I really only got a map and basic direction how to get to museum. I walked for 15 minutes (without getting lost at all =) and found the museum. There was a lot of interesting interactive display. There was even role playing game but unfortunately that’s Japanese only. I am probably one of those nerdy kid, but I would love to have a place like that to learn about the history of a country. I did not have much time left after the museum, so I hopped on the a bus route for tourist. The seat was very comfortable and the best feature is the detail Japanese and English description of each stop. It was very helpful for considering where to go and what to see. There are so many place that I would like to stop by and see more if I would have more time.
OK! I have decided, my next trip to Japan will definitely focus on Kyushu and if possible, taking one of the slow ferry to see Okinawa!
Oh yeah.. dinner with “homey” food – McDonald’s McPork, Shaka Shaka Chicken =) yum yum!!