Japan – Aoshima and Miyazaki

Now looping up Kyushu’s eastern coast, Aoshima is mostly known as a beach resort which has a tiny island just off the coast (which gives Aoshima it’s name, meaning blue/green island). Since February is not beach weather, we couldn’t experience that part, but we did visit the unusual island which is connected to the mainland by a thin land bridge.

Aoshima (Island)

Aoshima (Island)

What makes Aoshima (Island) unique is the natural rock formations that fringe the island. They resemble an old washboard, with its ribbed appearance and uniform lines. It is known as the Ogre’s Washboard.DSC08419DSC08417

The choppy seas crash onto the rocks, leaving pools of water in eroded holes and cracks. Seashells are abundant, as well as some fairly interesting looking other sea-related life.DSC08425Frame 2

A storm quickly blew in, so we took shelter (actually not really) under the betel palms that dominate the island. Aoshima is tiny, taking only 20 minutes to walk all around. Inside the thick trees is Aoshima Shrine, reputedly good for matchmaking.

Aoshima Shrine

Aoshima Shrine

Leave a message of love...

Leave a message of love…

Many messages

Many messages

We waited for the storm and rain to pass (which it didn’t), so we ran back, getting absolutely drenched.

A storm's a brewing...

A storm’s a brewing…

The nearby small city of Miyazaki is nothing overly exciting. Although we didn’t go inside the Miyazaki Science Centre, which boasts one of the world’s largest planetariums, there’s a lifesize Japanese rocket out the front. During our city stroll, we noticed a long line of locals queuing for some fresh moon-cakes with either red or white bean paste inside. Yum!

Do what the locals do

Do what the locals do

Freshly made moon-cakes

Freshly made moon-cakes

 Miyazaki style

Miyazaki style

We spent half a day strolling through the Miyazaki-jingu, which is 3km north in the village of Koguya. There is a thickly forested area within the village with a shrine and an open-air collection of traditional samurai village houses. We also visited the Miyazaki Prefectural Museum of Nature & History which was well presented, however displays were not in English (which was to be expected anyway). They gave us an information booklet in English which was sufficient.

Traditional samurai houses

Traditional samurai houses

A restaurant near the station served a delicious traditional Japanese lunch set. Yum again.

Traditional sushi and tempura lunch set

Traditional sushi and tempura lunch set

Visited 3rd to 5th March 2014.

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About starksepicadventure

We are Andrew and Lakshi Starks, young married couple from Melbourne, Australia. We are travelling around the world on our Starks Epic Adventure!
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