Once Again, No Dig
Posted by Heliocentrism on October 30, 2011
August 12 – 15, 2011
That’s Never Happened Before!
Mark and I had to head west to Fukuoka to get some paper work done to get married. That part of the trip was not very interesting, though there was some confusion with our transaction. They kept asking Mark and me where we were from.
Mark – “I was born in Korea, but I’m American.”
Embassy Guy – “Okay, so where is Josephine from?”
Me – “I was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
Embassy Guy – “The United States Virgin Islands?”
Me – “Yes.”
Embassy Guy – “Wait, you’re both Americans?”
Mark and Me – “Yes.”
Embassy Guy – “Wow. That’s never happened before. I have to go look this up. I’ve never seen two Americans coming in here to get married. I don’t even know what papers you would fill out…”
Mark did his research before hand, so we already had the correct American-American marriage forms in both English and Japanese. We got our paper work notarized and went on our way.
Since we were in the area anyway, we decided to go back to Yoshinogari Historical Park. I didn’t get to see the active dig last time since we got there at 16:00 in the afternoon. I thought that this would be my second opportunity.
We were going to spend the night at a campsite in Fukuoka and then go to the historic park the next day. When we got to the campgrounds we were told that the cost of camping with our own tent would be 4,500YEN per person per night. That would be about 100USD for the both of us. A hundred bucks to use our own tent!? It would be cheaper to get a hotel! We did not stay.
Instead we opted for an internet cafe near the dig site in a town called Tosu. It cost less than half the price of the Fukuoka campsite and we didn’t have to set up our tent. It came with internet and free all you can drink soda, juice, coffee, and watery soup. There was even a 24-hour restaurant in the cafe that had inexpensive bland food. It was great!
We made sure to get the to historical park early this time, but alas, the area of the dig was closed for two weeks starting the day we got there. If I had arrived the day before I could have seen it. I have now officially given up hope of ever seeing this thing.
We did get to see much more of the park than we did last time. Mark even signed up for fire making lessons. It only took him about 45 minutes to make fire.
After spending half a disappointing day at the park we went back to our prefecture. I found a website that talked about hidden airplane hangers that were used during WWII. There were some in Usa a few towns over from Oita. So, we stopped by to see them on our way home.
But, by the time we got to Usa, it was too dark to see anything. We drove to our favorite Oita prefecture campsite, which is not too far from Usa, and set up the tent for the night.
The next day we drove around for hours looking for the hangers which were about a half an hour drive from where we spent the night. It was not on our map of the prefecture. Even though our map has detailed picture representation of mountain elevations, it doesn’t mention anything about possible tourist attractions.
We had to stop by a temple and look for the big map of interesting things in the area that usually accompanies temples, waterfalls, and the like. The map at these things are usually cartoonishly drawn with many icons and not-to-scale roads. We compared it with our map and figured that we would have to pass a broken down train station, and sorry looking river, and then turn at a stop light that may or may not exist.
We found the hangers, eventually.
* I apologize for the horrible Japanese song. I hear it in every store I go and I didn’t want to suffer alone.
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.
- Emergency Numbers:
- Police 110
- Ambulance and Fire 119
- Important phone numbers to know while in Japan
- Comfort Woman
- The Commoner
- Empire of the Sun
- Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
- Geisha, a Life
- Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission
- The Last Concubine
- Memoirs of a Geisha
- Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
- Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
- 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.TakecashandcallyourbanktoaskwhatATMs 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.)
The U.S Consulate in Fukuoka
- 33°35’17.3″N 130°22’22.7″E
By car –
The Consulate is seven minutes from the Nishikoen exit of the Fukuoka Urban Expressway. There is no parking at the consulate, but there are parking lots nearby. The Ohori Park lot is the largest.
Directions from the Kyushu Expressway are found here.
U.S. Consulate Fukuoka
2-5-26, O-hori Chuo-ku
Fukuoka, Japan 810-0052
- 03-3224-5000 After hours emergency number for US citizens
- 9:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 16:00 Monday – Friday,
- excluding Japanese and American Holidays.
- There is no free parking near the embassy.
- You are not allowed to bring any electronic devices into the embassy. So bring a good old fashion paper book to read for your wait.
- They have a little library of books that you can read there. Hopefully you will not be there long enough to finish any of them.
Planet Media Cafe
- 33°21’51.8″N 130°30’11.6″E
It’s off route 34 when heading east from the historical dig site. When you near the town of Tosu, look out for route 17. Head south on route 17. You will see a big shopping area on your right. Park there.
- 0942-87-3750 Japanese only
- Once you get a membership card for 300YEN you can choose from a list of options
- For 9 hours Mark and I paid about 2000YEN each for our own rooms in the “reclining” section.
- Deals come and go.
- No Showers at this particular one.
- Comes with all you can drink, soft drink machines.
- You can order food at any time, you pay when you check out.
- Free toothbrush and tooth paste
- pretty quite
Yoshinogari Historical Park
- 33°19’25.0″N 130°23’26.3″E
From Fukuoka –
- Get on route 3 heading north
- Take a left (west) on route 209
- Stay straight on route 264 which will turn into road 22
- Turn left (southwest) on route 34
- At the 6th light, turn right (north) on route 385
- The park will be on your left
- Parking 300YEN flat rate
- Adult 400YEN
- For 100YEN they will teach you how to make fire, sort of…
- 9:00 – 17:00
- The dig site closes at 16:30
Nagasakihana Resort campsite
(Nagasakibana Rizōto Kyanpu-ba)
- 33°40’55.9″N 131°31’29.3″E
From Matama Beach –
- Get on Route 213 heading east.
- You will pass 4 tunnels.
- After the 4th tunnel you will be in a little town. You will need to make a left onto a little road that is opposite to a pedestrian tunnel. The first time you go, it will be a little tricky, because you can’t really see the pedestrian tunnel when making the left. But if you reach a 5th tunnel, that is kind of long, turn around and you will be able to clearly see the pedestrian tunnel.
- Take the road across the little one lane bridge and take the biggest road up the hill.
- You will pass a rape field and a sunflower field.
4060 Mime, Bungotakada, Oita Prefecture 872-1207
- 1,000YEN per tent &
- 300YEN per person
- The second night they only charged us for the tent. I don’t know if they always do this, or they just liked us.
- Open year round
- Reception hours are 9:00 to 17:00
- They also have cabins, some with AC.
- There is a beach at the campsite.
- There are free electric bikes you can borrow.
- 1 person – 1 hour max
- 2 people – 2 hours max
- 33°32’56.0″N 131°20’23.5″E
Well, it’s kind of hard to get to mainly because Oita Prefecture has so many damn route 10’s.
Basically go to route 629 off of one of the route 10’s in Usa. Then at one of the stop lights near a river you will head south on an interesting looking road.
I know; these are really bad directions. But, it the best I can do with roads that either have no name or have the same name as other roads close by.
Free. It’s really just something in the middle of rice fields.