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Kumamoto prefecture
Central Japan


Miyazaki is a prefecture on the south-east shore of Kyushu.  They have beautiful beaches there and we like to drive down some weekends to go boogie boarding.  The waves are usually a bit small for surfing, but that does not prevent many surfers from bobbing up and down in the water all day, hoping that the big one may come.

Boogie boarding is a new hobby for us but it has proven to be tons of fun.  We have not yet mastered the finer points of the sport.  So we usually end up with some minor injuries, but it is all part of the fun.  Luckily, the beaches are sand (not rocks) so they don't hurt as much when you get thrown onto them.

Generally, when we head down for a weekend, we just camp on the beach or sleep in the car.  So it makes for a fun, cheap trip.

Nagasaki is a medium-sized city with many interesting sites.  During Japan's isolation from the rest of the world, Nagasaki port was the only port open to foreign traders.  The Japanese preferred trading with the Dutch and the Chinese because they didn't push their religions.  The Japanese even built a man-made island for the Dutch to live on, to keep them segregated.  You can visit this today with a reconstruction of the Dutch settlement.  There is also a small China town, but really it is less of a China town and more of a small Chinese alley.  There are also many beautiful temples and shrines.

One of the main attractions in Nagasaki is the very sombre Atom Bomb Museum, with disturbingly graphic photographs and recounts of the days leading up to the bombing as well as the days, months and years after.

While we were in Nagasaki, we were lucky enough to catch their biggest festival.  It was a very colourful festival with Chinese influence.

In September 2003 we headed off to the magical island of Yakushima and it's neighbour Tanegashima for nine days.  Because it was such a neat trip, click here for the story and pictures.  Yakushima is the circular island at the very bottom of this map.  Tanegashima is the long island to the right of it.


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This site was last updated 04/27/04