Kagoshima, Japan

Friday, April 6th, 2018

As we approached the Port of Kagoshima, it became evident that we would be exposed to some of our good old Northwest weather, as Mount Sakurajima, an active volcano, was obscured by heavy cloud cover.

The same as it was when we visited here in 2007!

Kagoshima is one of our very favorite ports as we feel the we are (to use a Navy term) “plank Owners” as the Amsterdam was the first HAL ship to visit this newly built cruise terminal. During our departure after a great visit, there were folks waving us good bye as the excellent sound system at the terminal building played the heart wrenching strains of “Auld Lang Syne” as our Captain signaled goodbye with three long blasts of the ships horn …. twice! I still get a lump just rereading my post from that day. Well, enough of that!

Today, Barbara and I wanted to recreate some of those great memories of yesteryear, with a return visit to the Sengan-en 12 acre World Heritage gardens and museums.

The plan was to take the provided shuttle bus to the “Dolphin Dock” and then ride the “Kagoshima City View” HOHO bus. Pelting rain greeted the disembarking herd as everyone scrambled to find shelter, rain gear, and umbrellas. No problem for me with my Columbia Rain Coat! After I completed the mandatory immigration inspection and was heading for the “outside” restroom, I overheard a couple of elderly Asian ladies complain “this is ridiculous!” As they braved the rains for their potty call. Every one had just completed their first “fresh water wash down” in weeks. Composure be dammed!

Things got complicated as we arrived at the Dolphin Dock, as it was not quite clear as to where we could catch the HOHO, so we decided to just take a cab, and get out of the downpour. The price of admission to the gardens was a bit more than we cared to pay, so we just visited two of the museums and then headed for some fine local cuisine at the Ohkatel Restaurant, and some fine views of Sakurajima. Our re-creation memories now complete and satisfied, we boarded the HOHO to the shuttle bus and returned to the ship.

Prior to our departure, a few folks gathered at the information center and surrounding grounds, to brave the wind, and “wave us” off, to the strains of a Glenn Miller classic WWII melody. How strange, but wonderful, as that era has thankfully been laid to rest.

Jack W Cummings – Far East Adventures 2018

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