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Honeymoon day 3/4: Sea day + Kagoshima, Japan

Honeymoon cruise!

Day 3 of our honeymoon was slow-going. Sleep, food, and sculpting!

While in Tokyo, I hid in the bathroom and ordered the honeymooner’s breakfast package for tomorrow, as it was a sea day, and we had a balcony. This is probably the first time I’ve successfully kept a secret – I’m similar to a “Nick Miller” from “New Girl.” Secrets are not my forte.

For $89, it was much more than I thought! Sushi, champagne, an omelette, pastries, and fruit! Mind you, this was our first time ever trying sushi.

Sushi on the balcony of a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean? That’s a great first if you ask me!

Honeymooner’s breakfast package – champagne, coffee, orange juice, and a four course breakfast!

Later in the day, we found out that there were sculptors aboard the ship. We decided to check it out! My personal favorite is between the frog with the cartoonishly huge chin, or the roses that could fool anyone.

An ice & fruit sculptor doing intricate work on a watermelon.

Still jet lagged, we skipped most events this day and slept for our busy day in Kagoshima, Japan.

The first volcano I’ve seen – is it erupting?

Day 4 of our honeymoon! This was one of my favorites – my first volcano, Shimazu Clan grounds turned Sengan-en Garden, ramen, and shopping!

Sakurajima, a volcano in Kagoshima, is considered a dangerous volcano due to it’s explosive history. It actually has two peaks! Kagoshima bay separates Kagoshima from Sakurajima, which sits in the middle of the bay. It erupts so frequently that Kagoshima has an ash pick up day!

The ferry had multiple levels – some for cars, some for people.

Rachel and I with Sakurajima – an active volcano – in the background.

After a three minute ferry ride, we boarded the bus and departed for our tour site – a small market area.

Mt. Sakurajima. If you look at the peak, you can see exhaust from the volcano!

There were several shops, a bathroom, and a history section – supposedly the volcano provided excellent soil to farm in. The local farmers specialized in mandarin oranges – yummy! There was a circuit of stairs that led to a viewing area of the volcano. Everywhere you went, you slipped on ash – it was amazing to see all of the boulders that had been deposited through eruptions.

Within the markets, there were fruit, ornaments, posters, pottery made from ash, and various jarred goods. Rachel and I have a tradition where we buy Christmas ornaments from everywhere we travel, so we had to buy one! We headed back for the ferry.

An ornament made from ash.

The most interesting ferry in the world.

Once back to the ferry, our tour guide mentioned that the ferry holds a giant raddish, and one of the best noodle shops in Kagoshima. What? What kind of ferry is this?

Sure enough:

A GIANT radish.

So.. how do you cook that thing? Do you need Abe Lincoln’s hatchet to chop it up? A furnace? Hmm..

At this point, we only had a few minutes left to shove noodles down our faces. After going on a noodle hunt, I slurped like a madman. Cheap, simple, and delicious!

A very guilty man eating udon noodles.

I always take Rachel by surprise with pictures.. this is her version.

Sengan-en Gardens, home of the Shimazu Clan!

Next, we went to Senan-en gardens, the former site of the Shimazu Clan. The garden was filled with bamboo, banzai, and other various trees. There was a food truck, and of note, a pottery/glass shop.

An original gate of the Shimazu clan within
Sengan-en garden. It’s hundreds of years old.

It seems like everywhere we walk, Sakurajima is in center field.

Mt. Sakurajima overlooking the Sengan-en gardens.

Rachel and I ditched the crowd and went off on our own at this point, because we saw a staircase leading into nowhere.

The Sengan-en garden was so lush! Every stairway led to a new scene.

We booked a bamboo forest tour in Kyoto, Japan that we weren’t able to make due to the quarantine, but still were able to get a little taste of it! We’ve seen bamboo before, but never this thick.

A thick bamboo forest within the Sengan-en gardens.

On the way out of the gardens, we found an expensive glass & pottery shop.

I really wanted to get one of these glasses!
The price was a little of a turn off.. yowza! Maybe next time.

Downtown: do I smell ramen?

Next up: free time! We had split udon noodles on the ferry, but outside of that only had a small mandarin orange. We were absolutely starved.

As we usually do when we travel, we headed for the largest shopping area, and let our noses guide us. We smelled the heavenly aroma of ramen, and walked towards the source.

Hmm, what’s this? A restaurant in a back alley? We love hole in the wall restaurants!

We entered the hole in the wall restaurant called Fukuman, and were completely blown away.

The best bowl of ramen we had ever had! It’s pretty similar to a place we have back home.

They greeted us, led us to a booth, gave us green tea, and gave us our chop sticks. Rachel and I had been eating with chopsticks at home for weeks to prepare for this trip. We often joked that if we left without knowing how to use them that we would suffer a tragic death from starvation before we came back to the states!

What a tasty meal! They supplied us with endless garlic – Rachel probably put six cloves in her bowl.. Did someone say garlic?

On the ship, we learned a bit of Japanese culture – one of which are the different types of bows. A slight bow is a greeting of sorts, a 45 degree bow shows great gratitude, and lastly a 90 degree bow.

If you get a 90 degree bow, assume that this person has wronged you and is saying sorry.

Anyways, it was astonishing to be immersed into the culture that is Japan. When we left, we got 45 degree bows from each and every one of the staff members of the restaurant.

But wait, there’s more? Chocolate!? Heaven?

After a very satisfying noodle experience, we continued our trek to the Square Mall Kagoshima.

By this point, we had used all of our phone battery and would have been lost if it hadn’t been for our battery pack – we were able to keep our phone charged, and thus keep GPS running! It usually holds around five full charges for my iPhone X.

Square Mall Kagoshima Usuki – such a massive mall of anything you can think of.

Rachel had been craving hot chocolate for days, as it’s chilly out and that’s her favorite thing to have when it’s cold. We ran into a chocolatier that specialized in hot chocolate – it was like drinking liquid heaven!

After roaming through the mall, we were out of time and had to start heading back to the boat.

Interesting finds of Kagoshima!

During our walk, we discovered a Japanese arcade – cool!

Of course, we had to lose about $5 USD into a rigged claw machine.. as one does (still butt-hurt on that one). We heard Mario making some noise towards the back of the arcade, and couldn’t believe what we found.

Mario Kart, in person! My friends and I always play on the Nintendo Switch, it’s a great competitive game!

Nothing like trash talkin’ before a game of Mario Kart!

Disclaimer: I lost.

After a heated game of Mario Kart, not to mention a soul crushing loss, we made sure to say goodbye to an old friend outside the arcade.

Can’t forget to say goodbye to good ole’ Japanese Colonel Sanders!

We boarded the ship, and set sail for two days to reach Hong Kong!

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