The Last Island

Ever since our first vacation together as a couple, spending five nights camping on Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay, we have been island hoppers of a sort. We visited many islands around the U.S. (Channel Islands, Sanibel Island, Isle Royale) and then we set off to live in Japan where we have had the great pleasure of visiting so many more.

Well, tomorrow we are off to visit the very last main island of Japan. There are, of course, hundreds (if not thousands) of other smaller islands that we will not have a chance to see, but it was always our goal to at least visit the four main ones.

We will be heading down to Kyushu. The southernmost big island of Japan. We are looking forward to sampling some of the best ramen Japan has to offer (Fukuoka is famous for ramen) and seeing some of the sights in Nagasaki. Aside from that, we don’t really have any plans. We are taking this trip pretty easy, but I am sure that we will find a bunch to do once we are there. We will also, most likely, be spending some of our train time scanning the guide books finding out more about the area.

We are traveling in the way we have come to enjoy most, via shinkansen (bullet train). The bullet train is one of the things I will miss most about leaving this country. It is just so easy to get around quickly and easily. We are able to go down to Fukuoka via land in about the same time it would take us to fly the more than 800km (about 480 miles), if you count transport to/from the airport, time spent checking in and getting luggage sorted, etc.

In addition to taking the same amount of time (a little less than 4 hours), it is just so damn convenient. We don’t have to commit to a certain departure time. If we wake up a little later than we are anticipating, it’s no problem. We can just catch the next train.

It is not an inexpensive way to travel (it costs about $180 one-way), at least for residents that don’t have the option to buy the awesome Japan Rail Pass, but I still love it. And I am glad that I get to take advantage of it one more time!

Posted on Saturday, December 6th, 2008 at 10:00 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply