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October 31, 2011

Cruisin' in Sasebo

Sometimes we are blessed with Kamil's three-day weekends. When this happens, we try to make the most of our spare time by doing something fun, or going further away from the city than on a usual weekend. Last weekend, we went for a two night stay in Nagasaki- about two hours away by train from Fukuoka.

We set off on Friday morning, taking a high-speed train to our first destination in Nagasaki Prefecture- Sasebo.

Sasebo is a port city, and home to a USA Naval Base. The weather was really nice as we pulled into the station- sunny, although a little cold.

Because of the American influence on Sasebo, the town is famous for its hamburgers. At the information centre, you could even pick up a special "burger map" which pointed to all the best burger spots in town.

We arrived at the station fairly hungry, and decided we may as well try one of these famous local treats...

And yes, it was delicious. With full stomachs, we got on with our adventure in Sasebo, catching a bus down to the docks to take the "99 Islands Cruise" - something Kamil had researched prior to our trip.

Off the coast of Western Kyushu, Sasebo, is the most dense area of islands in Japan- some big and some small, some inhabited and some uninhabited. The "99 Islands Cruise" takes a tour around the group of 208 Islands- the Kujuku Islands. I was surprised to find out that there were more than 99 islands in the 99 islands cruise, but it was explained that in Japan you can use the phrase "99 (somethings)" to express a large number of things. To me it just seemed like they were being modest!

Our boat was called the Pearl Queen, and it had the best male/female toilet symbols I've seen on a boat...

The cruise itself was amazing. The water was a gorgeous deep blue/green, and very calm, and there were islands everywhere you looked. I particularly liked the uninhabited islands that were home to many (hawks? falcons?) that circled above and swooped into the trees.


After the cruise, we went for a walk in search of a natural lookout that Kam had seen on the map. On the way, we couldn't resist exploring this tiny island/shrine for ourselves...

At the top of this little island was an ancient, tiny shrine that was covered in some very scary and dangerous looking spiders. The only photo I have of it includes me screwing my face up in fear. So you'll have to trust me that it was there.

We then decided to make our way over to the tori gate on the nearby island. Luckily the tide was low enough to allow us to use a few stepping stones to the island...


And that ended our stopover in Sasebo! Overall, the city made a really good impression. Its scenery was gorgeous and the city centre was quite charming, with houses piled onto the surrounding mountains. We didn't have more time to explore, though, as we had a train to catch to Nagasaki before night!

More to come soon

1 comment:

  1. BURGER MAP! The Japanese continue to impress me!