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January 9, 2020 - Ibusuki to Iriki - Kagoshima
For my third last full day in Japan - I decided to drive from Ibusuki and up the Western Coast of the Satsuma Peninsula to Iriki. After completing a lot of driving and a reasonable amount of walking - it was quite pleasent to try out the Sand Baths and soak in some good quality water was much needed.
My first stop for the day was Hiraki Ki Shrine which is meant to have been first founded in 795 and celebrates Amaterasu and the eight deities. The shrine is said to also be partly Chinese in style due to it's location and was also seen as important by the Shimazu clan due to it's location close to Satsumasendai Fuji volcano.
There was also a small treasure house which costs 100 yen to enter at Hiraki Ki Shrine. It basically had a lot of old Noh masks and samurai stuff from the Shimazu clan which used to be in charge of this area.
My next stop was the Kamafuta Shrine which is located right next to the ocean with a view of Satsumasendai Fuji volcano. It's along quite narrow roads with limited parking - but will be quite busy in summer due to a nice beach nearby.
My next stop was the Bansei Air Base Museum - which used to the be home for the Army Air Force kamikaze pilots. This is a smaller museum than Chiran and Kanoya - it also has the least amount of English information out of the lot of them. On a positive note - it's a lot quieter and Google Translate was really helpful at this site.
Photography was allowed on the first floor - but not on the second floor. It's also strange viewing the head bands up close.
My next stop was a bit of a strange museum - called the Kushikino Oil Storage Base. It's basically huge tanks in a mountain that stores 1.75 million kilolitres of oil. It's free to enter and includes a 15 minute video and pamphlet in English which explains what is happening here. This is 3 days worth of supplies for Japan.
There are 25 tanks made in the bedrock. Each is 555 meters long, being 22 meters high and 18 meters wide. The opening here is a lot smaller than the real thing.
My next stop was the Satsuma Students Museum which costs 300 yen to enter. There are 2 movies which explains everything about the 8 or 9 students who went to England when it was illegal to leave the country in English. No photography is allowed in the museum and if you have visited any of the major museums in Kagoshima then this is a bit of a rehash. It's here because this is where the ship left from.
My next stop was the Sendai Nuclear Power Station which has it's own interactive museum. It's totally in Japanese but was worth it for me as I received a large and detailed 22 page booklet on Nuclear reactors which will be helpful for teaching. It goes into that much information!
If you have kids who speak and read Japanese and your in the area - it would be worth visiting here. I was the first visitor in 3 or so days from the register.
My last stop for the day was the Yoroi Armor Replica factory. Many people will find this interesting as you can watch people making the armor and it's got good explanations in English. You can even buy them for a reasonable price! However - I've seen a few too many samurai suits lately so it was not that interesting to me.
Today was enjoyable but a little strange for me. I felt as though I did not visit any major locations but it was still enjoyable. It's also interesting to often be the only person in a location at a time along with driving over 20 kilometers without a traffic light! My next post will cover the food I've eaten over the past few days before I talk about my next day from Iriki to Kagoshima.
Hiraki Ki Shrine (http://www.kagojinjacho.or.jp/search/nansatsu/ibusuki/post-860.html)
Kamafuta Shrine (https://www.city.minamikyushu.lg.jp/kankou/kanko/sagasu/echiiki/kamafuta.html)
Satsuma Bansei Museum (https://kanko-minamisatsuma.jp/spot/7570/)
Kushikino Oil Storage Base (http://www.jogmec.go.jp/english/index.html)
Satsuma Student Museum (http://www.ssmuseum.jp/index_e.html)
Kyuden Nuclear Museum (http://www.kyuden.co.jp/life_pavilion_sendai_index.html)
Armor Replica (http://yoroi.co.jp/english/english/index.html)