Golden Week – Kagoshima

Kagoshima Prefecture — Once the home to one of Japan’s most powerful families, the Satsuma clan, Kagoshima is full of history, nature, and, of course, great food. Its key landmark is none other than Sakurajima, an active volcano that still coats the surrounding cities in ash from time to time.

I had the pleasure of going to Kagoshima for Golden Week to visit some friends from when I was an exchange student in Miyazaki Prefecture. To be honest, I completely forgot about Golden Week because I had been so consumed with school. I hadn’t made any plans until I my friend asked if I would come for a visit.

Due to the last-minute nature of the trip, taking the ferry was the only option. I left Osaka in the evening and arrived 15 hours later in Kagoshima. Needless to say, the trip was extremely long, and I’ll be sure to think ahead for next year so that I can book a flight instead!

Our first adventure was ‘Shower Climbing’, which is essentially rock climbing, but instead of a regular mountain, you climb rapids and waterfalls instead. On the way there, we stopped by the ocean for a picnic and then carried on to the river.

We were the first group of the year to go out into the cold river. Our guide was impressed by our pace, and we were able to go a lot further than the regular course. The water was so clear, and it felt wonderful to be surrounded by nature after spending the past few months in Osaka.

After a few hours of climbing waterfalls and jumping between boulders, we made our way to an onsen to recover.

The next day we were back at it, this time going jet skiing in the ocean around Sakurajima. It felt great to be out on the water after so long. After driving around the volcano, we made a stop at an uninhabited island to collect clams before picking up some ice cream on the way home.

Although it was a quick trip, it was nice to have a break from the busy city and get out into nature again. For anyone thinking of traveling to Japan, your trip would be incomplete without going to one of the southern prefectures. Not only is the food fantastic, but it is the best place to experience traditional Japanese culture and get to know local people.

In other news, I have booked my ticket to go back to Canada for a few weeks this summer. I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends before I go back to Japan to start second semester.

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