Max is convinced that we only missed by inches.Coming into Miyazaki…wow is it ever looking beautiful…..rocky out-cropings, mountains down to the sea, tropical looking and it it is hot, hot, hot! 81F. today with high humidity……sort of steaming. This is the first ever time that Celebrity has ever been to this port.We are beginning
to feel panicky because the cruise is soon over. Fumiko is our guide today. Aboratsu and Miyazaki are on Kyushu island, the southern most major island in the archipelago of Japan. There are active volcanos that erupted several years ago. There are 25 mountain peaks…some big, some small. It is a breathtakingly beautiful island……peaks and rocks that come down to the waters edge….waves pounding and splashing the edge.The average annual temperature is 17C…….so pretty warm, sub-tropical actually with lots of rain. 2-3 times more than NY (her quote). 100 inches or 2500 mm/ year rain. They grow lots of rice in what little areas that are flat. They also grow mangos. Mangos very expensive..some are 5000 yen each or $50 for large ones. Skip jack tuna and bonita and now lobster (’tis the season) are caught in the surrounding waters. There are lots of Obi cedars…like cyprus trees…but look like redwoods (are very straight). And are water proof, etc.. We go first to Obi Castle. It was destroyed by 3 major earthquake in the 17th century…..in the1680’s. It originally dates back to the Edo period.We visit the chief samurai house from that period…..the only one that was not destroyed (and then restored or rebuilt). The area close to the castle was/is surrounded by homes belonging to the “upper crust” of society at the time. From there we travel to Aoshima Island and beach where there is a shrine in the middle of the jungle……really thick jungle. The island looks like “Gilligan’s Island” (much like Devil’s Island for those of you that were on the Amazon cruise)……lush! It is just so beautiful here. And the beach is covered with broken shells as opposed to sand….like Shell Beach on St. Bart’s. Along the way we see the “Ogre’s Washboard”, a phenomenon caused by the ocean pounding on 2 different types of rock…..sand rock and mud rock. Unfortunately the tide was in so couldn’t walk on it.From there we are taken to the Udo-Jingu Shrine. The path to get to this shrine used to be 800+ uneven sandstone steps up and down. Now only it is only 300+ uneven steps…each way. Oh my God…..the heat (81F), plus the humidity and all those stairs. Well the sweat was pouring off my nose and into my eyes, stinging them. Other people, their shirts were totally soaked. It is not for the physically challenged but I made it…….slower than some cuz, well, if you know me, my knees suck!59,000 people in Japan are over 100 years old. 80 for men & 86 for women is the average expectancy.Miyazaki means Miya means shrine and Zaki means by the seashore. There are lots of shrines all along the shore. 20,000 died in Japan when the earthquake of 2011 but most actually died as a result from the tsunami.. At that time all nuclear plants were closed but just recently a plant in Kyushu reopened. The govt has been encouraging the development of solar power.Walked 10+km today. Please pardon my writing grammar etc. I really can do better but this is not ideal writing conditions. Next day #14 Saturday Sept. 26/15. We are at sea…..another time change last night before arriving sometime after midnight tonight, in Shanghai.