Last night was the captain’s cocktail party and Victor is back as our general manager. So I needed a picture with Victor and Captain Kurilic
And here are a few more pictures from the event. The captain always introduces his senior officers and there were some new people who boarded in Tokyo. Amy, one of the singers, entertained and Steve and Tricia are our Around the World Ambassadors. I am in the picture with Jennifer, chef Mario and Roberto.
Kagoshima is not a port that gets too many cruises, and our port is quite near the city. It is on the western shore of Kinkowan Bay and is the southernmost city on the southern island of Kyushu. Japan consists of 4 islands. The population of the city is 600,000.
Here is our sail in this morning. We saw this volcano along the way but it is not Mount Sakurajima which we will see on our tour.
We were met by our guide, Zenin Sumiko which means “child of goodness; beautiful child”. She said her English name is Suzie and that is what we should call her.
We headed on a short drive to the Shoko Shuseikan Museum and Senganen Garden. It was still chilly today but a lot warmer than the last few days. And the sun was out so it was beautiful for our outing.
We could not take pictures in the museum. It was established by Lord Shimazu in 1865 to produce armaments, glass, ceramics and farm tools and was Japan’s first Western style factory. Now it is a museum detailing the 800 year Shimazu family history. This family helped to establish the city as a vital port for trade and commerce. It is also said that Kagoshima was the birthplace of Japan’s industrial revolution and there are many tools displayed in the museum. The museum is small but interesting. The first picture is of a Starbucks near the museum! The stone walls are built with no mortar at all.
Most of our visit was spent in the serene Japanese landscape garden which was established in 1658. It is the site of the former summer villa of the Shimazu Clan. The views of the bay and Mount Sakurajima are exquisite.
The volcano’s eruptions have actually connected the island to a nearby peninsula. It rises 3665 feet above the sea and last erupted in 1914, covering the Kagoshima city center with a deep level of ash.
We have so many pictures of the gardens, here are some of them. What a great way to spend the afternoon. There are several Shinto shrines in the gardens, you will notice features that I have written about in previous blogs.
The house on the property was used in the filming of The Last Samurai, the story of Saigo Takamori, one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history and a leader of the 19th century drive to modernize Japan.
There were cherry blossoms, the azaleas and rhododendrons were in full bloom, and there is a bamboo forest too.
This was an interesting feature – this piece of wood is actually a tool used to remove the husks of rice- when the end fills with water, the wood moves down hard to remove the husks.
We visited some of the shops in the gardens, tried some green tea (didn’t like the variety they gave us) and had to have some of their famous purple sweet potato ice cream, which was delicious!
Some pictures of children, of course.