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Monday, December 21, 2015

Kyushu Spring 2014 九州春季之旅 - Nagasakibana 長崎鼻

Visited 25.03.2014


Last attraction we visited during our three hour long taxi sightseeing ride in Ibusuki. Our driver recommended us to include this place into our itinerary since there was ample time. Nagasakibana is located at the southernmost tip of Satsuma Peninsula, but this is not the most southern point of Kyushu. From the car park, we walked along a path, lined up with shops on one side, that leads all the way to a white lighthouse. Along the way, spotted a stone statue of Urashima Taro and the turtle which he rescued - a depict of the scene from the well known Japanese folk tale. Nagasakibana is said to be the place where Urashima Taro left to visit the Dragon Palace under the sea and returned 300 years later. A beautiful bright red Ryugu Shrine (龍宮神社) stands at the cape, where Princess Toyotama (豊玉姫), the god of sea's daughter, is being worshipped here. Weather was good in the afternoon and we were able to see the majestic cone shaped Kaimondake, referred to as the "Mt Fuji of Satsuma", clearly from here. 

Left: Ryugu Shrine; Right: Snap dragons and rape seed flowers carpet.
Remember... This taxi sightseeing journey has been very memorable; fine weather and we came at the right time for hanami (sakura viewing) as well. Apart from these external factors which were not within our control, credits should also be given to our taxi driver for making this short day trip a smooth and enjoyable one. Despite knowing only a few simple English phrases and minimal communication between us, he was a credible ambassador of Ibusuki and took pride in his tour guide role. In every attraction we visited, he offered to take group photos for us, before we requested for it. At Nagasakibana, he bought a bag of mikans to us, hoping we could try the locally produced fruits. Another action that left a deep impression occurred during our way out from Nagasakibana. Was hoping to see a field of rape seed flowers at Nishi Oyama JR Station but we reached slightly after the blooming season. As the car drove out of Nagaskibana, we spotted a flower farm which has a carpet of bright yellow rapeseed flowers and vibrant snap dragons flowers. Not sure whether he read my mind or saw the disappointment on my face when I was at the train station previously, he turned into the flower farm and gave us some time to look around. It was indeed a pleasant surprise for me and we were exhilarated! Had to thank him a couple of times for the great hospitality he has shown throughout the journey, before we parted. To me, simple acts like these make travelling in a foreign country comfortable and create memories that I will reminisce for a long time. 


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Nagasakibana 長崎鼻
鹿児島県指宿市山川岡児ケ水
http://www.ibusuki.or.jp/ml_english/tg003_nagasakibana/index.php

How to get there? 
From Ibusuki JR Station (指宿駅), board the bus heading for Nagasakibana. The duration of the bus journey is approx 35 minutes.
Bus schedule (in Japanese): http://www.city.ibusuki.lg.jp/modules/xfsection/cache/uploaded/basubasu.pdf

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