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March 2006

on my way

March 28, 2006

I am on my way: I left Okinawa at 7 on Saturday morning, and arrived on Sunday morning in Kagoshima, in the southwest of mainland Japan. I’d been warned that the boat between Kagoshima and Okinawa is hellish (involving spending over twenty-four hours in an enclosed space with a large number of people, half of whom are chain-smoking while the other half are vomiting), but I decided to risk it (I have no option anyway, if I am going to achieve my goal of making it back to the UK without flying), and it turned out to be fine – pretty cramped, a bit boring (no decent seating – it’s more or less a choice between lying down or standing up, with only limited scope for anything in between), but it wasn’t too rough, and I slept for more than half the twenty-seven hours it took to get to Kagoshima.

I stayed with Kim in Kagoshima, before catching an early morning shinkansen this morning up to Fukuoka, to sort out my visa for China. This evening I met up with Tomoko and we went to a very smart, very Japanese restaurant – all tatami and sliding paper screens, and about seven courses of delicious, immaculate fish-based things, and iced sake poured from bamboo. I’m planning to catch a boat to Shanghai from Osaka on Friday, and trying to figure out how to make the most of my remaining four days in Japan. I’m still not sure about tomorrow, but aiming to get to Kyoto on Wednesday. The cherry trees are just beginning to flower – if I’m lucky, my time in Japan might end with cherry blossom in Kyoto…

posted in Japanno comments

good riddance time

March 14, 2006

Good Riddance Cake

I am nearly on my way: only five days until I set out with my backpack — first back to the island for some goodbyes, and then home, via China. Last Friday I went to an izakaya with a few friends for a goodbye party. Miss R and Mr. B brought this excellent chocolate cake, which obviously pleased me very much. Apparently the ladies in the cake shop were also quite excited because they’d never been asked to ice this message before.

posted in Okinawano comments