Posted by Heliocentrism on January 7, 2014
September 17, 2012
When was the last time we went somewhere?
Since the Golden Week trip, Mark and I didn’t really leave Oita. We might have gone camping in Beppu, but that doesn’t count since the Beppu campsite is a 30 minute drive from our house.
I had major surgery in July and wasn’t allow to return to work until late August. I thought that I would use my “resting” time to go on trips, but I really did need to actually rest. I could not stand up for too long at a time. I was not in any pain, I just got tired very easily.
By September I was not 100% back to normal, but I really needed to get out. So I went on the internet to see if there was anything near us to see. I went to Google maps (classic mode) and clicked on “photos”. There were 2 photos that looked interesting. And so a trip was born!
Japan is crazy about mounds. Wait…
Japan was crazy about mounds. Most of them are centuries old. Some millennia old; key-hole shaped, with giant rocks, lots of pottery. This was all the rage way, way, way back when. The mound in the picture above is from the 5th century. Think about that. This thing is a little younger than Jesus! (Okay, about 500 years younger than Jesus, but compared to my age they’re practically twins.)
It’s at a school!?
Yup. It’s at a school. You see the photo above? Mark is standing on the baseball field of a junior high school. And those holes? Tombs… tombs from the 6th century. They’re empty now. I have no idea what happened to the people who were inside. But now, there is garbage in some of them.
This was a great close-to-home trip that allowed me to get out, but not get too tired. Who knew that this kind of thing was right in little no-wheres-ville Oita?
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.)
- +33° 13′ 58.02″, +131° 36′ 21.50″
You can fly in.
- From Oita Airport take the airport shuttle to Oita city. It’s a 1.5 hour ride.
- Most of the flights are domestic, but there are a few flight to Seoul.
You can also take a train or bus to Oita.
International Affairs Office Cultural &
International Affairs Division Oita City
2-31 Niage Machi Oita City,
- Buses stop running around 23:00 on regular days and 21:00 on holidays and Sundays.
- Trains stop running around 22:00.
- schedules of individual buses and trains vary.
Oita is the capital city of Oita prefecture. It has the most shopping malls, but the best touristy stuff is in Beppu, the next city over.
Kamezuka Kufun Park
(Kamedzuka kofun kōen Ama kofun shiryōkan)
- +33° 14′ 5.58″, +131° 44′ 22.30″
- 9:00 – 17:00
- Admission until 16:30
- Free Parking!
Tunnel Tombs of Takio
- +33° 12′ 58.91″, +131° 37′ 59.73″
Address: This is in the baseball field in a jr. high school.
- Whenever the jr. high is open for school or club activities… I guess.
I’m not sure where you can park. Mark and I parked in the parking lot of the school and stayed for about 10 minutes.