Saturday, April 7, 2018

Day 53 - Saturday, April 7, 2018 - Hoshoshima, Japan

The plan for today was to do around a 10 mile walk with Linda P that she had put together. The Volendam arrived on time at 8am and we were ready to disembark the ship as soon as it was cleared for us to do so which was shortly after 8.  

We consulted with local Tourist Information staff about the walking distance to our first stop at the OMI Shrine. They all said it was a 15 minute walk which we knew not to be accurate. We initially got on a shuttle bus for the Aeon Shopping Mall but were later told it would go directly to the train station. So we just decided to walk to the mall as it was on our way to the OMI Shrine. The shuttle bus personnel did not seem organized about their bus activity. We beat the shuttle bus to the mall!

It was about a 15 minute walk to the Mall and another 1/2 hour walk to the OMI Shrine. It was important to me to visit the OMI Shrine as we missed it on last year's visit after 4 guests on my tour convinced me to skip it in favor of more time in Mimitsu. When we got to Mimitsu, I knew I had made a mistake and have regretted it all year long.

At the OMI Shrine there is an active temple and some grea seaside views. Even more impressive is the cave which is reached using a flight of really steep and rocky stairs. The cave has this incredible view looking out which gives the illusion of a sliver of light. From there we walked to the Cape Hyuga Green Park (very scenic with a sculpture park), The Sea Cross (a perfect cross formed by gaps in the rocks in the sea), Sanpo (a hidden treasure only reachable by walking), Hoshoshima Lighthouse, Umagase viewpoint (largest collection of vertical columnar rocks in Japan and similar to the Giant's Causeway in Ireland), Mihokogaura Beach & Park, and the Fisherman's area, and back to the mall where Linda caught the shuttle while we enjoyed some local food (yes, noodles for me). At this point we were just over 10 miles of walking. We then caught the next to last bus back to the port where we watched the drum band serenade us. If you are reading this and would like a copy of our map, write me at tkbowman at gmail dot com. Put Hoshoshima Map in the subject line. If one isn't interested in walking, there's a HOHO bus for 500 yen that will stop at most of the viewpoints I noted. The drawback is that the bus only travels once an hour and most of the sites can be see in way less than an hour, so it's not a very efficient way to travel.

Back on board, we headed for the Crow's Nest to watch the sailaway and do our last minute internet at this port using our portable internet device. The Harbor has a very narrow channel between two wood processing facilities followed by a series of left and right turns to exit the Harbor and clear the breakwater. We also had a light rain shower during our sailaway.

After a very light Lido dinner, we watched the Liam Neeson movie, Silence, about the last priests in Japan in the 1600's and how the emperor attempted to quench Christianity. It was very brutal to watch. We then watched most of the 10pm cast show, Rock Legends before retiring.

Tomorrow we have an early tour to Hell Hot Springs. Stay tuned. 

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