Out of Kagoshima

Posted: November 1, 2007    Categories: Asia, Japan

I finally made it to Yakushima and I finally found an internet connection I can use with my laptop.

Getting here was another exercise in frustration. I booked a space at a hostel on the island. I never heard back from them. There were no instructions on how to get there from the port (it was supposedly a 5 min walk), and I wasn’t able to find any taxis in the area. So I went to plan B and am staying at a hotel. This hotel has one plug with a LAN connection I can plug into. They hide the plug and the cable. I can’t believe that so many hotels in Japan don’t offer, if not internet access in the rooms, then at least wifi in the lobby.

Moreover, when I was in Taipei, I would go someplace public to eat and see many people with laptops. I have seen no one here with a laptop so far. Perhaps I’m just out in the hinterland or something, but I’ve been very surprised to say the least.

Tomorrow I’m going to rent a car and visit the notable places on the island. It isn’t a huge island and many of the hiking treks are reasonable if you drive to them.

I try to read books on some of the major places I visit. I’m currently reading “Dogs and Demons” by Alex Kerr and read “Embracing Defeat” by John Dower. Both of which deal with post war Japan. It really makes me look at things in the country differently than I otherwise would have. In particular, massive construction projects and a very strange and out of the way landscaping project I found while walking in the hills of Kirishima National Park.

I’ll be here for two days, then the 21 day clock starts ticking on my Japan Rail Pass. I’ll try to go to Hiroshima on Sunday and stay there for a few days. I don’t know the train schedules yet or the process of cashing in my rail voucher, so it might be Monday.

I’ll be in Hiroshima for 2-3 days, before moving on. I’m then thinking of taking the advice of one of my readers and going to Osaka and using it as a base and doing day trips out of there. It is easier to stay in one spot and take the train (especially if it is free) than to constantly lug my bags around.

When I visit a place, I usually do shorter posts like this, some longer posts with photos, then some sort of wrap up post with my final thoughts on the country after I leave. I think I’m going to have to change that for Japan. I don’t think one big end post can do this justice.

Anyway, before I experience the beauty which is Yakushima, I’m going to experience the IMAX version first….because I can’t check into my room for 3 more hours.

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