Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Final Photos from Kagoshima Airport

I've finally moved into a new apartment, since things in Tokyo don't seem to want to settle down any time in the near future. It's in the city of Kagoshima, at the south end of Kyushu island, which is 40 minutes by express bus from the airport I'd been staying at (30-40 miles). So, I've decided to wrap things up by posting my remaining airport vicinity photos here.

When I rode the bus to Tachibanakami, there was the fuji matsuri event taking place at the park at the top of the hill near the waterfall. But, the plants (wisteria) weren't in bloom yet. A few days later, I was walking from a drug store to the long-stay hotel and I passed a small garden in the front of someone's house. They look much more impressive now.

Just some daisies in someone's yard.

Most communities have someone or some group that maintains the flowers that are grown on public land near the streets. This is one such garden.

On the other hand, there are a lot of privately-owned gardens. This is one for daikon, the large Japanese radish.

I've run pictures of tea plants before. A couple of weeks later, all of the plants were being covered up for some reason unknown to me. What I found interesting about this is that the covers are 100-200 feet long, and are used to cover more than one row of plants each. Notice at the bottom left of the photo, where the cover has been twisted up before being extended to the next row. I wonder how the farmers handle the covers given the really narrow spaces between rows.

Generally, it's expensive to discard large appliances. In Tokyo, you have to call a trash service, arrange for the pick-up, and pay a fee that can easily go $50 USD for one item. Which is why so many people will just toss stuff randomly, especially old bicycles, to avoid the fees. To protect against trash dumping, Mizube prefecture has a free drop off service at an empty lot.

Saigo Takamori is a major historic figure in Kagoshima, and his likeness is used all over the place, for snack cracker packaging, warning people to drive slowly on the expressway, etc. Here, he's the mascot for Oidon car rental.

Back in the entry on the walk to the People's Prefectural Forest park, I commented on the stilt structure buildings that seem to be a popular style here. This is the one near the airport. It's still being used, apparently for some kind of business. But, the metal's all rusted out.

When I first saw this structure, I thought it was unfinished. Turns out it's a signal tower that's supposed to look this way.

On my second to last day living at the airport, I decided to explore a little bit more in a direction that I hadn't tried earlier. A couple of blocks away, down a small hill, was a fire department building. As I was taking pictures, an ambulance pulled up to park in the main building, and one of the occupants motioned me to come over and look around the place. The problem was that I was running short on time and had to be back in the hotel shortly. So, I begged off, but the people there seemed really friendly and happy to have visitors.

Banners reminding people to make sure their smoke detectors are working properly.

Wooden barrier walls at the end of the parking lot.

The text on the side of the building says "Beware of fires."

The next day, I came back out to try to take the guys up on their offer of looking around the place. But, it was earlier in the morning, and a different group was just exiting as part of a shift change. These guys thought that I was there to talk to management and kept asking who I was there to see. When I said I just wanted to take pictures of the trucks, they were happy to let me just stay in the parking lot with the camera.

This one's for you, Elsie.

Finally, a set up for a future blog post. When I first arrived at the airport mansion, I wanted to explore the area at the south end of the airport, which is where the Sunkus convenience store is located along a relatively busy farm road. After going about 3 kilometers southwest, the road started veering down a hill into a valley. In the distance I could see some big hill, or small mountain, with a smoke plume coming off one side. It looked fairly far away and I decided not to try walking the full distance to it (which turned out to be a good choice, since it would have represented at least 20 miles of hiking). Unless I'm mistaken, this is Sakurajima, (Sakura island). It's still active, throwing off smoke periodically.


Bunny said...

Looks like serious inaka there.
Is this a permanent move?

TSOTE said...

Yeah, the airport area is unpleasantly remote. The new location is much more urban. I'm not being given much of a say in the matter, so it's looking pretty long-term right now. Drop me an email for details.