Hello again, HAPPY NEW YEAR and welcome to the next installment of Sightseeing In Japan. The post on December 3rd talked about Izumo Taisha in Shimane, and if you’ve made the effort to get so far west along the vast Sea of Japan coastline of Honshu, you might as well continue right on to Nagasaki Prefecture! We did once again this winter.
Actually getting from western Shimane to Nagasaki is no easy feat. It’s a beautiful drive along the coast but if you’re on any kind of schedule, you’ll be quite surprised how it stretches through Yamaguchi Prefecture and how it just never seems to end. If you have tons of time , however, you’re in for a treat. Some of the most beautiful drives exist in Yamaguchi Prefecture but make sure you have enough time.
One of the best sights in Nagasaki is Unzen Dake, another one of several for-now-dead-but-who-knows in the future volcanoes. The drive to the summit is very cool and the view from the top is not to be missed.
It has been updated in the past five years and it all looks very inviting. I wasn’t all that long ago that Unzen-dake erupted and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see it wake up again soon. After all, it is connected to Mt. Aso in nearby Kumamoto Prefecture and that mountain is continuously in a bad mood! Very worthwhile side trip if you’re heading from Oita to Kumamoto along Route 57.
Well two of the English conversation students at the Smith’s School of English in Kotoen スミス英会話 甲東園come from the area and naturally love to talk about it. They are very impressed to learn that Yoko and I have driven through the area three times, and we suggest all of you readers some day do the same if you haven’t yet!
On a final note, another must, if and only if you have unlimited time, is a visit out to Goto-Retto, the archipelago 80 kilometers or so off the coast of Kyushu. It belongs to Nagasaki Prefecture and sports some of the most rural island living in all of Japan. A place to retire where money is almost of no concern! Just live off the sea, grow your own vegetables and still have access to Japan’s health care system! Sounds wonderful!
Martin Werner Zander
Smith’s School of English in Kotoen 月謝制 Monthly Tuition English Conversation School