Monday, August 20, 2012

Running Sakurajima

My foot is slowly building back up, but I still have a limp and my left left cramps up fairly often.  That's why I'm doing these long walks.  Then again, I only have opportunities for maybe 1 or 2 walks a week, and I've only gone on six so far since the brace came off. I probably won't be completely recovered for at least another month, assuming that I can still arrange enough time to keep doing these.  One of the problems is that I've reached the limits of the city that I can safely visit to the north and west (where the roads narrow down and the sidewalks disappear), and there's this great big bay to the east.  This just leaves the area to the south, which unfortunately consists of a mix of residential and commercial zoning that turns into warehouses after a couple miles.

However, the Kagoshima wholesale fish market shows up on my tourist map about half a mile south of Dolphin Port, and I was wondering if any part of it is open to the public.  So, I headed in that direction one afternoon.  Eventually, I did find the market, but it was run down, grungy and surrounded by fencing. So I continued south past Tempozan and some district governmental offices.  Finally, I did see one sign for a historic landmark 600 meters farther ahead, but I missed seeing the point where I was supposed to turn and ended up going through a big apartment housing complex instead.  When the road I was on deadended at an area where the bay swung deeper inland, I gave up and prepared to turn around without taking any photos along the way.  As I turned west to pick up one of the other wide through streets, I found myself in front of a strange machine that someone constructed on the sidewalk in front of a meat shop.  I pulled my camera out and was about to take a picture when this old guy starts shuffling between me and the machine.   I resigned myself to wait until he got out of the way, but he stopped at the machine and prodded different parts of it to get it running for me.  I'm assuming that he's the one that built it.  Unfortunately, my camera had been next to my bottle of ice water, and the second I took it out of my pack, it steamed over and messed up the shot.  The guy indicated that the meat shop is really good, but I couldn't justify carrying raw meat back home for 2 hours in that heat, so I said "thanks" and returned the way I came.

Magic Pub

A few days later, I wanted to get more exercise, and I had no better goal to aim for, so I headed back south but on a more direct route along the N-S streetcar line.  About a mile from the apartment is this Magic Bar.  I can't find anywhere on the front where the hours are posted, to tell if it's still in business.  I like the logo, though.

At about the point where I was starting to get tired and thinking of turning around, I saw a giant orange bowling pin that marks a bowling center and pachinko parlor.  It was on my return route from the first trip, so I knew I didn't have that much farther to go.  Nearby, across the street, was a memorial marker in front of a playground.  This region is called Kamoike, and the Kamoike junior high is in the background of the below photo.  The machine I wanted to revisit is 6 blocks past the school

Kamoike (site of Kuroki residence)
... the first duck-netting ground in Japan...
In the Edo period Shimadzu retainers used to holiday at "Kuroki Villa" in the area now known as Kamoike. The villa had a lake with an island and was surrounded by an embankment covered with bamboo so dense that it could not be seen by the general public. In the winter, large numbers of ducks came and the clansmen used to open the grounds for duck-netting. Guests would throng the grounds from early in the morning and grill their catch on iron plates for lunch. Later, the 29th Lord, Tadayoshi, who also used to catch ducks, dug a new lake near the old one as a game preserve. As a result the number of ducks increased. It was from this time that the area came to be known as Kamoike (duckpond) or Kamohori (duck moat). Some say that Kamoike was the first duck-netting ground in Japan, although this honor may in fact belong to the Niihama Imperial Ducking Ground in Chiba."

Obviously, the pond has long-since been filled in.  As I mentioned above, the machine is 6 blocks the other side of the junior high, near the bridge over a small river, just around the corner from a busy through street.

The Japanese at the center right of the photo says "Running Sakurajima". The second half of the name comes from the two volcano cutouts at the right and the bottom of the machine.

The meat shop's name is "Niku no Happi-" ("Happy Meats").  There are various oil paintings of animals above the shop sign and at sidewalk level. The machine includes a golfer, but the wood at parts of the ramp has really degraded and the golf ball gets jammed easily.  Still, it's cool, and you can tell how it's supposed to look if everything runs right.  I think it's amazing that someone would go to this much effort to annoy the neighbors.

youtube video
This time, I made sure the camera wouldn't fog up.  But, the old man wasn't around to talk to.

On the way back, I took a N-S through street a block east of the streetcar line.  The street eventually veers northeast and links up with Terukuni Douri (running through the Tenmonkan shopping complex and ending at Terukuni shrine, near my apartment.)  The building here is an internet cafe advertising the Lineage game.  I'm assuming it's like all net cafes, and requires signing up for membership to get inside, and costs 800 yen per hour to play online games or read manga.  There are several net cafes at Kagoshima-chuo station, a 10-minute walk from my apartment, if I do ever want to play online games, but they don't have the nice artwork out front like this place does.

Green bou.  I'm not sure, but I think it's supposed to be a bamboo bulb.

I'd gotten into the main area of Kagoshima City, near the prefectural hospital went to for my foot x-rays. Thinking that there's nothing new in the area to pay attention to, I put the camera away.  3 minutes later, I reached this hair salon. I have no idea why someone would go to so much work to make a display statue this detailed.  Or why anyone else would buy it for their salon.  Still, I had to take a picture of it.  The sign reads "I am Diran" (I am Dillan).

I'm guessing that that's volcano ash, and not bags painted under his eyes. Although the 5'o-clock shadow is probably part of the design.

1 comment:

MikeM said...

I wanna make another one, syrup-ticiously dump it there in the night, and change the sign to "I am Jurian and this is my friend Sandii". Because!