With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Not According to Google Maps

Posted by Heliocentrism on July 3, 2011

May 1, 2011

All Pictures

A wet morning

Campsite to Campsite

When we finally got to the Kobayashi camp site it was raining and the sun had already set. We managed to find the campsite and a spot to set up our tent without finding the camp office to check in.

We met a Japanese couple who spoke almost no English. They were the only other people at the camp. They showed us where everything was told us that the camp office was closed for the night. They recommended that we stop by the next morning to register and what not.

Those car mats would be complete soaked by morning.

Konsento doko desu-ka?

There was a kitchen area. It had sinks and lights. It was great for cooking, but not for eating since there were no chairs. There was a pavilion where we could sit to eat, but it had no lights.

We had electronics, like my phone, that needed to be charged. The last campsite had an outlet in the bathroom, but this one didn’t. We asked the couple, “Konsento doko desu-ka?” But they told us that there were no outlets.

the one and only outlet

But the place did have lights; they were just not turned on. Mark and I followed the string of lights to where they would be plugged in. At the end of the string of bulbs was a light switch and 2 electrical outlets. We flipped the switch, lighting up the whole camp. Then we plugged in our phone charger. The next day we got up early and plugged in our rice cooker to make rice for lunch later that day in another town.

We sat in the pavilion, eating our dinner in the light we had just turned on. The couple walk past us in the rain, looking a little confused. “How did they get light?”


This is what most tourists come to Kobayashi to see.

It’s not just a test! 

The next day we left the campsite. It was still raining. We saw some of the sites of Kobayashi through the down pour.

I have to be honest here. Yes, the town of Kobayashi was located very conveniently along the route we were taking. But the real reason I stopped in this town was for it’s name.

I am a Star Trek fan and I just wanted to say that I have been to a place called Kobayashi. Now if I could only find a place called Maru

tired already!

At least it’s not our own backyard.

After a day of sightseeing and step climbing we were ready to set up the tent and relax at a new campsite. I found one on the island of Oyano. I looked at a map on google and found the campsite.

From google maps, I got the website, address, phone number, and driving directions. I made reservations. I had a reservation number; all I had to do was show up.

We got to the campsite, a lady working there told us that we were in the wrong place. The campsite named on my paper with the reservation number was not here.

“Are you sure? Because google maps, says that this is here…”

The lady didn’t care what google maps was. She shock her head. “Not here”.

We wondered around the island, looking for our campsite. We stopped people walking on the road. Half of them pointed us to head further south, the other half had never heard of this campsite that someone had clearly mis-labled on google maps.


This is awkward…

We gave up hope of finding our campsite and just started to look for any campsite as we moved south. We saw a sign in Japanese that promised a campsite on the next island over. So we crossed the bridge.

We drove along the shore until we ran out of road. Then we saw another campsite sign. We got out the car and knocked on the door.

“Konichiwa. Campsite doko des ka?”

The lady beckoned me to follow her. She led me passed a bar in-the-making next to her house as she explained how much this campsite would be per night. She told me where the bathroom was and where to park my car.

She took me to a clearing behind her house. Mark and I stood there in disbelief. We had no chose but to stay.

We set up the tent and made tea for our dinner. As I sipped my tea, taking in the view I turned to Mark and said, “I can’t believe that we drove clear across Kyushu, to end up camping in someone’s backyard.”

All Pictures



How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.







  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your banktoaskwhatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan. I’ve never been a tourist.)

Suki Suspension Bridge
& Mamako Falls

(Ma mako taki)

How to get there:

  • 32°04’14.4″N 131°05’04.7″E

From Udo Shrine –

  • Get back on route 220 heading north
  • Take a left (west) onto route 10.
  • Keep straight on route 268 which will turn into 221 soon before you have to turn.
  • When you get to the town of Kobayashi turn right (north) onto route 265.
  • Go past road 26.
  • When you get to Suki Post office on your left take a right (east) at that intersection then another right at the T-intersections.
  • Stay on that road and turn right right before the baseball field.


  • City Hall 81-(0)984-23-1111



  • 200YEN when open
  • 200Yen on the honor system when closed



How to get there:

  • 32°00’58.3″N 131°00’23.6″E
From the Campsite –
  • Get back on route 265 heading south.
  • Follow the signs that leads to the rock penis.


〒886-0001 宮崎県小林市東方 3332-5


  • 0984-27-3611



  • Free


  • Always available
  • Legend says Inyoseki is where a dragon ascended and fell in love with a beautiful woman.
  • This is a natural rock shape.

777 Steps
in Higashikata Nature Park

How to get there:

  • 32°30’18.1″N 130°39’06.6″E
  • Go on route 219 heading west
  • Turn right (east) onto route 3.
  • After you pass route 336 take the next left  (west) turn.
  • Then make a U-turn as soon as you can and go under the road for route 3.
  • Turn right at the end of the road on the left side there will be a bridge and a parking lot.


This is in the city of Yatsushiro, Komamoto. At  the intersection of Route 3 and Rinkosen


  • (0965) 33-4123



  • Free


  • Always availible


  • Bring lots of water!


2 Responses to “Not According to Google Maps”

  1. […] We went to the Islands of Amakusa (天草) during golden week. That was where we ended up camping in some lady’s backyard. […]


  2. […] We went to the Islands of Amakusa (天草) during golden week. That was where we ended up camping in some lady’s backyard. […]


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