17 May 2023

2023 Japan Adventure - Part 5: Arriving in Kagoshima

Welcome to another entry in my Japan Adventure series! Here begins my two-part account of our first port, Kagoshima (if you don't count Osaka, where we boarded the Silver Muse in the first place). Today's post will cover morning to noon (almost to the minute 😯), including arriving at the port and heading out on our first excursion. The latter involved a ferry ride, a hot spring foot bath, and a visit to the Sakurajima volcano observatory! Retrospectively, this was one of the best days I spent in Japan on this trip, in terms of the weather. It was nice and cloudy all day, so I didn't have to worry about sun protection, and all my photos were perfectly lit by the diffuse lighting offered by the clouds 🥰

To read the previous entry in this series, click here.

Friday 17 March 2023 - Arriving in Kagoshima

This was the first and, I think, only time I saw an algal bloom on the sea! Fascinating!

Selfie with Kagoshima prefecture!

I didn't know at the time, but this is the most active volcano in Japan, Sakurajima!

Pulling into the port, I noticed some hubbub on the corner...

...it turned out to be a welcome party, waving flags from many nations, shouting loud and clear
「いらっしゃい!!」 "Welcome!!"

I love this shot; the ship carrying us, the people welcoming us, and the volcano watching over us ❤️

I shouted a return greeting, in Japanese, to the person in the red shirt while I was still on the ship. She seemed to remember me when I walked through the cruise terminal, because she switched from English to Japanese when she welcomed me through 🥰

This being my first cruise ever, I didn't realize ports had terminals specifically for cruise ships!

Me and my husband, Sean, waiting for our turn to board the tour busses in front of our ship.

All the tour busses were really nice! This was the start of our first shore excursion.

During my first ever ride on a ferry, to get to Sakurajima, I took some pictures of the volcano. I was inwardly pleased when others saw what I was doing and got out of their vehicles to take their own pictures 😊

Our first stop was the hot spring foot bath! It was situated in a beautiful park~

One of our fellow passengers kindly offered to take a photo of me using the relaxing foot bath.

It was dreamy soaking my feet in hot mineral water while watching these birds soaring overhead ✨

The next stop on our excursion was the Arimura Lava Observation Deck!

There was a small shop at the entrance selling souvenirs and food made from a regional specialty citrus fruit called kinkan (spherical kumquats). We got some sweet, delicious kinkan juice to start!

Along the observation deck walking path, there were many marked groupings of pyroclasts like this.

And in those pyroclasts, people had taken up depositing coins, like a volcanic wishing well!
We added to the collection while we were there 😁

Me showing off Sakurajima! This was the best view from this observatory 🌋

Before boarding the bus to go back to the ship, we purchased a bag of fresh kinkan! We snacked on these delicious treats throughout the remainder of our vacation 🍊✨

After this, we returned to the Silver Muse and spent the rest of the day aboard the ship. I'll share about that in my next post! Please look forward to it!