The cats of Kagoshima have made their choice…Sakurajima, Japan

So many great cats in this city! In no other city in Japan have we seen so many (excluding cat cafes of course!). Unfortunately no photos though 🙁

Today we took the ferry from Kagoshima over to Sakurajima.

The ferry to Sakurajima

Sakurajima used to be an island until its resident volcano erupted and the resulting lava flow caused it to join the mainland. Apparently the volcano erupts very frequently, with its last major one being only a few weeks ago! Most of the time, as it was while we were there, it simply bubbles away spewing an ash cloud up onto the sky, which subsequently falls over Kagoshima if the winds are from the east. Imagine waking up to this in the morning…

Nightly build up of ash from the nearby volcano!

Once on the island we made a quick stop at the visitors centre where they confirmed that the Furusato Onsen had been closed recently, meaning we couldn’t get the free shuttle bus  out to their onsen at the waters edge.
So instead we hired a couple of bikes and rode around the coastline for a couple of hours. Great fun, as long as you steer clear of ash drifts, vipers, and don’t mind a bit of grit in your eyes!

Our first view of Sakurajima from the main street in Kagoshima

The ‘lava channels’ are designed to funnel future lava flows away from inhabited areas and out to sea when they happen (not IF they happen!)

Struggling through an ash drift!

Had a hot spring foot bath and finished up the day with a local specialty, a loquat icecream. Perfect after a couple of hours of bike riding!

Took the ferry back to Kagoshima and chilled out in the room for a bit.
Strolled the streets of Tenmonken for dinner and ended up finding this awesome place that actually served the pork dish we were after! I can safely say it was the best pork I have ever eaten in my life! So soft it was falling apart and served with a really rich broth. Delicious!

Last day in Kagoshima,  as tomorrow we’re off to the island of Yakushima!