Essay - Travels
2000 Summer - Kagoshimaspa, mountain, sea and forestNo.2
savor of steaming rice
There was awfully plenty of hot water in Myoken spa. The quantity of water is so much that they dam up water. I liked to walk stone pavement to the bathhouse with clip-cloping along in geta (wooden clogs). A bath at home faced stream and a cool breeze from open window was pleasing to me. I beated myself by sitting beneath a waterfall to recover from the fatigue of my dairy work. The trembling silk tree pink blossoms refreshed my eyes.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner - fish, mountain vegetables and pork which was a special product of Kagoshima were arranged various vessels which a landlady chose to match foods. She also used some Kutani ceramic artist's vessels which we used regularly in our home. A famous Satsuma cut glass was cool to look at.
The first day breakfast was rice porridge with ayu (sweetfish). It was so delicious that we slurped rice porridge and we looked at each other. The second day breakfast was steaming rice which was cooked in a thick iron pot. The savor of steaming rice was wafted through the air from massive wooden lid, and we were moved. If that inn is located near our house, we'll often visit. Wherever they dig, they hit the spa around Myoken spa. I think the colored leaves in autumn must be beautiful.
I've been wanting to visit the Kirishima highlands in where Kirishima international Summer music festival is held every year, while Tomi-chan has aimed at climbing one hundred famous mountain "Japanese Hyakumeizan". Next morning we drove our rent-a-car to the start of a trail up Mt. Karakuni. Tomi-chan ran up and down the trail which would take two and a half hours in a guidebook. I was sitting comfortably in an extensive tableland and sometimes I cheered him with watching through binoculars. He ran down in one hour. We returned to our inn and took a bath. And we left for the south.
On the afternoon we drove to Mt. Kaimon nature park. After I saw Tomi-chan off in the start of a trail up Mt. Kaimon, I strolled through the park. The park commanded a view of the East China Sea and Tokara horse was grazed in this park. Tokara horse is said ancestor of Japanese horse. Mt. Kaimon which also mean the gate of the sea has a solitary mountain peak and its foot leads to the sea. It is called "Satsuma Fuji" (look like Mt. Fuji). I looked at its grand appearance in fascination.
Next day, according to custom, we ran around looking for local brand of sake. Shochu (clear distilled liquor) is a special product of Kagoshima. As sake is energy and specific medicine for Tomi-chan, he can't go home without getting some sake. A shop assistant said that we could send until a dozen, and he gave up reluctantly some sakes. After we send our purchase to our home, we smacked our lips over soba noodles. We covered three hundred fifty kilometer in two days. Then where did we go to next?