on 12/04, mom's bday, my sister+family, parents, n i wnt on a little trip to japan. very far south, but not quite as far as okinawa. it was a guided, packaged tour we had all agreed upon by accident. my father was talking about going to tokyo for a few days, my mom was talking about her frnd's tour thingy. i fig since it was her bday coming up, n i should b about done w/work by then, i said, ok, i'll go (thinking it's tokyo) but then dad agreed on mom's trip (she has no idea where kagoshima was, etc just tht it was told to her tht it's a nice place) but since dad said he's up for it, even missing work on sunday, i said, ok too. i thought it'll b like b4, w/all their frnds, at least it's private tour. in meantime, i'm swamped w/work, sister's swamed w/work n school n family. somehow, she thought, it'd b nice little bday trip too. so she's agreed to this trip w/out knowing the details also. then as the days drew nearer (it was last minute enough) we all realized wht we'd agreed upon. wht? packaged tour w/complete strangers? no way! but it's too late, we've no time to plan our own trip at ths point, me being swamped in deadline hell. everyone's busy. n i've got passport problems to deal w/at the same time. so here we r, set to go.
as it turns out, the islands tht far south r really quite cool. we stayed at nice places, except for the first nite. still, it was a decent location. i still hate packaged tour tho. u r herded around on buses like blind sheep. u r on a tight schedule not of ur own choosing. food's pre-ordered for u. ther'r no choices to b made even on when u wake up!!!! crap!
the nice surprises r tht the islands r breathtakingly beautiful. totally worth more time to explore further. just not on another tour tho. below was our scheduled days.
day 1 (12/04),
tpe (6am chartered flt) to kagoshima. breakfast on plane, land n lunch, bus/ferry to the Sakurajima volcano, long bus rides aroundthe lake to hotel, making several pee/drink stops along the way. hotel by the beach. experience being buried in really hot sand steam hot spring tht's supposed to detox u? (i can only stand 10minutes, but the kids impressed me by being under just as long), dinner, hot spring, bedtime.
day 2 (12/05).
wake up call at 6.30. breakfast at 7. depart hotel by bus at 7.50, at 10, ferry to Yukushima, lunch (17 dishes traditional yakushima set lunch, including flying fish), nature center (film n intro, part of ths island is listed as unesco world heritage forest!), bus up the mtns to forrest park, 50min hike around (drizzle n cold), bus to hotel.
ths hotel has beautiful grounds w/the mtns as backdrop n facing the ocean as far below view. very nice hot springs as well. then after an hr rest, dinner at 7pm.
day 3 (12/06).
same wake n breakfast rush to leave by 8 to catch a ferry@10ish going to Tankegashima, but first to the only waterfall tht one can b bussed to instead of hiking, 千尋瀧. ferry arrival to Tanegashim, cultural/history museum, lunch, bus around island, stop at windy sand flying beach, chk out the space centre of japan. stay at the beachfront hotel tht's closing in 1 week. it's quite sad to c it go with such beautiful grounds it's got... so we rushed around on the beach, taking fotos, trying to absorb it all b4 sun goes down n dinner time.
day 4 (12/07),
last day in japan.
no wakeup call but still planning to leave hotel by 8.50 instead of 7.50. chk out the crash site of the 1st portuguese ship tht started the western influence on japan. ferry back to Kagoshima. after foto op, bus to ferry back to kagoshima, lunch/site seeing at Senganen (garden), also called Isoteien. then shop at Saty b4 hopping back on bus, to airport, to tpe (landed tpe time 7.30pm)
fotos will soon follow.
i forgot my cell/camera tht goes everywhere w/me. so i had to borrow my sister's fonecamera. altho it's also a sony/ericsson, it doesn't quite hv t/same colors n control i hv on my k800. i will b so sad when ths fonecamera goes out of commission. even then, i believe the foto quality is still quite amazing. i shot loads of fotos. mostly landscapes, lots of bad ones to b sorted, tht's the amazing thing about going digital. u can take tons n tons o fotos n not worry about film/ print, physical storage n waste. just snap away!
ths trip, overall, has inspired new lines in my art. well, the whole yr's worth of travelling has been brewing in me up to now, but the new lines n patterns has finally decided to come out of me onto canvas now. i'm ready to paint more.