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Hangin’ with Hittites

Posted by Heliocentrism on November 20, 2011

September 23-25, 2011

All Pictures

S’more group photo

It’s not really camping, but we’ll take it.

Mark found out about a trip some of our friends from Hita were planning. “They’re going camping on that island we went to,” he told me. “I’ll just ask if we could tag along…”

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

The Hita people, or Hittites as I like to call them, said we could join them. We didn’t have all the information about what was going on that weekend. We knew that they were going to rent a cabin, but we didn’t know how big it was going to be. We brought our tent and camping gear just in case everyone couldn’t fit.

plenty room for everyone!

We got there before the Hittites and we were given the key. There was more than enough space and bedding for all. The cabin had a flat rate price and with all the people that showed up, I think we paid about 2,000YEN per person per night.

When our friends arrived we went swimming, or rather they went swimming. I thought it was too cold to swim, so I along with those who didn’t want to swim just chatted in the cabin. There was a waterfall at the campsite where Mark and some other jumped off of for some cheap thrills.

I prefer my good old terra firma.

newly wed toast

That night we had a big barbecue complete with smores for dessert. During our dinner, someone made campfire cooked broccoli and we all went crazy for it. Many of us hadn’t eaten broccoli since coming to Japan. Mark and I don’t eat broccoli much because they are imported vegetables and tend to be quite expensive. I missed broccoli.

ramen for all

Beach hopping

The next day we drove around from one beach to another looking for the ideal spot. The first beach was too rocky, didn’t have interesting underwater life, and had a big old jellyfish on patrol. The next beach didn’t have enough sand. We finally found a great beach and decided to make cheese ramen with egg and kim chee there for lunch.

If you like beaches, but you’re not that into sand…

We played Marco Polo in the water for a few hours. Yes. I jumped in the water too. It was hot that day and, even though I hadn’t planned to go swimming on this trip and did not bring my swimsuit, I dived in.

Jen’s photo of the beach

The beach was really nice as you can tell from the pictures I stole from Jen.

Mark and I with our Hittite Friends

We then went to see one of the most beautiful sunsets in all of Japan. By now, if you read this blog often, you may have noticed that every city by the sea in this country  boast that it has “one of the most beautiful sunsets in Japan”. Well, it is the same sun…

The next day they went whale and dolphin watching. Mark and I headed back to Oita instead. I live in Florida when I’m in the US. We have whales and dolphins in our backyards there.

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.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.)

Todorokimantarou village campsite
(Todoroki Mantarō-mura Bangarō)

How to get there:

  • 32°25’05.2″N 130°02’07.9″E

The directions are a little tricky.

  • You must get on road 24.
  • From road 24 you will turn into the campsite’s parking lot. But it is easy to miss it, so don’t drive too fast.


2971-1 Shimodakita


  • 0969-42-3956 Bungalow
  • 0969-42-3424 Camping



  • ¥ 16,000 Tent (permanent)
  • ¥ 1 2,000 per bungalow


  • 7:30 – 22:00
  • May – September for tents
  • Bungalows available year round



Posted in Amakusa 町, Japan, Kumamoto 県, Kyūshū | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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