Posted by Heliocentrism on December 27, 2015
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Mark and I woke up early in the morning. Normally we wake up with the sun, even on holidays. We try to sleep in, but we just can’t.
It wouldn’t have matter this day anyway. The couple in the tent next to our friends took it upon themselves to personally get all of us out of our tents to see the sunrise. The South Africans tried so very hard to ignore the couple, but in the end it was just less annoying to get out of their tent and take a few pictures.
After breakfast the boys discovered that food left on the table would be stolen by hawks. The birds would swoop down and grab cookies, meat, or crackers. So they spent most of the morning putting out treats and trying to get the perfect hawk photo.
Of course, once the early-bird couple saw what they were doing they put a stop to it. They were really bossy for people we didn’t know! Later that morning we nearly gave them a standing ovation when they started to, very slowly, pack up their stuff. I just hoped that they were in fact leaving and not moving closer to our tents to keep a better eye on us.
What we wanted to see was the Motonosumi Inari Shrine. Our friends, who planned this whole trip, somehow thought it was on this island. We drove around looking for the shrine while stopping to check out other stuff on the island too.
We came across a church that was a prop from a movie none of us had heard of. There was nothing inside… or rather, there was no inside.
In our hunt for the shrine, we found free parking near a pizza shop. It was a hot day, so cold drinks and pizza seemed like the perfect things to keep us occupied while Roland figured out where the shrine was. While Mark and I waited for our pizzas, we tried some grilled squid which this island was famous for. It was really good.
The shrine was not on this island. But by the time we realized that, we were eating pizza and didn’t care. We could see the stuff that was on the island, and visit the shrine the next day. The pizzas were pretty good.
We walked to the lighthouse museum then climbed the stairs to the top of the lighthouse. Personally, I think there were way more people in the lighthouse than there should have been. It was a very tight squeeze. When I had gotten my fill of acrophobia and wanted to come down, I had to wait for a long procession of people coming up the stairs. This thing was clearly built for a small crew.
It was a nice day. We were taking things easy. Not even not seeing the shrine got us down. The next thing we had planned was to drive to the other side of the islands one bridge and watch the sunset. It would have been a fully relaxing end to a stress free day.
There is one problem that arises when you have an island that is popular with tourists in the height of tourist season with only one two-lane bridge leading on or off the island. TRAFFIC!! The traffic was so bad, people casually walking strolled right passed us. What should have been a 20 minute ride took us 2 hours. 2 HOURS!!
We did manage to get a few photos of the sunset though. And you can see some of the poor saps still stuck in traffic on the bridge.
But on the bright side, when we got back to the campsite the early-bird couple was gone!
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.
- International ATMs 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 bank to ask what ATMs 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.)
- The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
- Sometimes 7-Eleven atms work with foreign banks too, if you’re lucky.
- 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 here.)
Senjojiki Plateau Campground
(Senjōjiki Kōgen Kyanpuba)
- Coordinates: 34°24’51.2″N 131°05’26.6″E
Yamaguchi Prefecture Nagato Hioki in 1138-1
- 1-5 people: 500 yen / night
- 6-10 people: 800 yen / night
- 11-30 people: 1,200 yen / night
- 31-50 people: 1,800 yen / night
- 51-70 people: 2,500 yen / night
- 71 or more people: 3,000 yen / night
- day camp is free
Hours: (Country Kitchen’s hour’s)
- Closed on Thursdays
- To check-in the camp ground, go to the coffee shop, Country Kitchen. It’s at the top of the hill.
- Staying at the campsite gives you a discount at the coffee shop. But, I’m not sure what this discount is. I think it might be 100 yen off a waffle or something.
- There are no showers at the campsite itself.
- There is an onsen nearby (Kiwado Hot Spring/ 黄波戸温泉).
- Coordinates: 34°23’46.2″N 131°07’55.3″E
- ¥ 400 – adults
- Closed Mondays
- 10:00 to 21:00 (May-August)
- 10:00 to 20:00 (September to April)
- A small towel comes with the entrance fee, but you might want to bring your own regular sized towel.
- Phone: 0837-37-4320
- During the holidays, all the toilet paper gets used up by day campers. You should bring some TP of your own for the evenings.
- Coordinates 34°21’37.7″N 130°52’31.8″E
- always avaible
- Traffic gets very heavy during holidays. There is only one bridge to the island.
- My advice is to park near the bridge, and take a bus to the island. Later in the day, when traffic get really thick, it is literally quicker to walk from the Lighthouse back to your car.
- From JR Kotti there is a bus to Tsunoshima (20 min).
- If there is no traffic, I recommend not taking the bus.
- Coordinates 34°21’07.5″N 130°53’14.9″E
Kanda, Hohoku-cho, Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi-ken
- 083−786−0234 (Hohoku-cho Tourist Association)
- always available
- There is an area near the bridge where you can park for free and take lovely photos of the sunset and the bridge.
Church from the movie:
Miracle in Four Days
(Yokkakan no Kiseki)
- Coordinates 34°21’12.0″N 130°50’57.7″E
- 083-786-0477 (Tsunoshima Ohama Campsite)
- It’s free to look at the church
- I can’t find any information on the campsite.
- The church is always available.
- I can’t find any information on the campsite.
- The church is not a real church. It’s just the shell of a church that was used in a movie.
- It is near the Tsunishima Campgrounds.
- Coordinates 34°21’09.0″N 130°50’27.5″E
- 200 JYN
- 300 JYN for parking
- There is free parking by the campsite. Theoretically, you could park and the campsite for free and walk to the lighthouse. But, you might not want to do this on a hot day.
- May – September: 9:30 – 16:30 (Last admittance 16:15)
- October – April: 9:00 – 16:00 (Last admittance 16:45)
- March 1, 1876 is the date that this lighthouse was first used.
- It was built by Richard Henry Brunton.
- Coordinates 34°20’59.6″N 130°50’25.6″E
- Dishes are about ￥1,000～￥1,999
- There is free parking across the street.