Wednesday 1 November 2017

The Japanese Food Adventure Chapter 3 - Day 14. Sakurajima

We started the day at Pronto where you could buy this breakfast set for ¥490 (£3.30). A thick slice of toast with a generous wedge of egg covered in ketchup, a bowl of salad and a drink.

My wife wanted to buy a book as she'd read all the ones she'd brought with her. Whilst she perused the English book section I admired the incredibly shiny floors of the book shop.

I love this stuff, shake the can and enjoy the jelly drink inside which contains small fruit flavoured pieces.

There was an area close to the port we'd read about with a network of small streets with bars, shops and restaurants. When we arrived almost everything was closed though and it was looking really run down in places. 

Today we were visiting Sakurajima which you could reach by ferry. A single ticket cost ¥160 (£1.08) and the crossing took just 15 minutes. The ferries run 24 hours and there's a ferry every 15 minutes during the daytime.

Once on Sakurajima I bought this delicious strawberry milk drink for ¥160 (£1.08)

There was volcanic ash on the ground everywhere here.

We noticed this large torii arch at the top of some steps.

It lead to a shrine.

The convenience stores on Sakurajima had the signage in dark brown to fit in with environment of the island.

Sakurajima Visitors Centre was housed inside a huge concrete building fairly close to the port. It's free to get in and a great place to learn a bit more about the volcano.

Sakurajima has already erupted 71 times in 2017!

These signs mark "Residential Ash Collection Spots" and can be found at various points around Sakurajima and Kagoshima. Volcanic ash can be be put inside yellow bags and left here to be collected.

A 3D model of Sakurajima, we were only going to be able to visit a small area on foot.

The Sakurajima radish is the biggest variety in the world. In the visitors centre shop you could buy this giant slice and also the seeds.

Behind the visitors centre you can find one of the longest foot spas in Japan. 

It's 100 metres long and the hot water comes from 1000 metres under the ground. The foot spa is free to use and very hot when you first put your feet in. Having walked an average of 25000 steps a day over the past two weeks though it was so soothing on the feet!

We made our way along the Nagisa Lava Trail, it stretches for 3km from the visitors centre along the coast, passing small beaches covered in volcanic rock.

Whenever we looked over at Sakurajima we wondered if it was about to erupt.

These concrete shelters are located around the island, you can take refuge here during eruptions.

On the lava trail we didn't find anywhere to get a drink so by the time we got here we were so thirsty. 

A bottle of Pocari Sweat was just what I needed. It helps to maintain the perfect balance of body fluids and the most important electrolytes lost during physical exercise.

Not far from the port we found this large shop and restaurant, we were just in time for lunch.

The large restaurant had standard table and chairs.

We decided to sit on the mat at the traditional chabudai table.

The Hinoshima-gozen platter looked like an excellent choice to me.

As is often the case in Japan, the food looked even better when it arrived than it did on the menu. For just ¥1050 (£7) I was incredibly impressed, there was so much food! In the basket were some small fish (whitebait maybe?) a pork dumpling and vegetables.

The meal also included fruit juice, salad and pickles.

An excellent miso soup, no barnacles this time though!

Very tender pork served with a selection of vegetables. The grey speckled crinkle cut jelly was most peculiar, savoury in taste and something I'd been served before on a Japanese breakfast.

The tempura vegetables were superb.

As always there was rice too.

My wife's meal was vegetable noodles served with tempura vegetables, rice and pickles. She offered me the orange jelly, I gladly accepted.

Before leaving Sakurajima we wanted to visit a dinosaur park we'd read about in a park behind the port.

The dinosaur park was in the perfect location with Sakurajima as the backdrop.

It was an ideal spot to enjoy a can of Sapporo.

The long slide was calling me, it's 12.5m tall and 50m long.

In reality though the slide is a real disappointment. You pass over the rollers feeling every bump as it passes below your backside and it takes what seems like forever to finally reach the bottom. I told my wife it was excellent when I reached the bottom just so she would experience it too. I did feel quite guilty though as I watched her slowly ascend down from the top but luckily she saw the funny side.

I wondered if perhaps it was supposed to be used with a mat of some kind? 
That would be much more fun!

Time to catch the ferry back to Kagoshima.

Back in Kagoshima the sun had just set and my wife suggested we take a ride on the ferris wheel, an excellent plan!

The ferris wheel costs ¥600 (£4) and gives you an incredible view across the city, a complete rotation of the wheel takes 15 minutes.

Having eaten a large lunch earlier in the day we decided to buy some snacks from Family Mart to eat back at the hotel.

The pork, egg and chicken sandwich was great but my what I was really interested in was the exclusive Kagoshima rice ball. My nightcap tonight was going to be a plum Strong Zero.

I had no idea what the filling inside this rice ball was going to be, the only clue I had was the chilli on the label.

As I bit into it the filling was revealed, chicken in a spicy sauce.

My wife was busy unwrapping some mochi balls she'd bought earlier.

Click here for Day 15
Exploring Kagoshima

1 comment:

  1. I like the look of the Kagoshima rice ball, perfect to soak up the 9%