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Archive for the ‘Usuki 市’ Category

Free Camping

Posted by Heliocentrism on July 2, 2011

April 29, 2011

All Pictures

sorry

I’m Sorry

First let me apologize for not updating for, what was it, …a couple months? I have not been not traveling, and I have not been to busying at work. I have been editing this blog, though.

I am a bad typist, speller, and overall, I’m not good at physically writing things like blogs. I don’t know why, but when I type, my mind and fingers are not in sync. Sometimes my fingers with leave out words or entire phrases when I type. Then when I read it back right before I post, my eyes will see what was meant to be written and not the tons of typos and errors.

I also do this really weird thing where I consistently and unconsciously replace one word for another. I write “about” for “above” and visa versa. Or “became” for “because”. Most of the time I am not even aware that I did it until I reread my post weeks later.

I do my best editing after I have forgotten what I meant to write. So weeks or months after this is posted I will be better able to fix this entry.

And I’m still not sure if the word is “entry” or “entree”. It doesn’t help that I am American and I went to a British school. So now I don’t remember how to spell some words like an American. Is it “traveling” or “travelling”? I could look it up, when I’m not sure, but many times I don’t realize when I am spelling things the British way unless someone points it out to me.

But most of all, I am a bad speller. I just wish that we spelled English words phonetically or that I had a ghost writer…

Why not climb some stairway to up a mountain?

Golden Week

I planned this trip weeks and months in advanced. I wanted to have fun and not get lost, but the best laid schemes of mice and men

First off, it wasn’t entirely my fault. There were roads on our map, that no longer existed. There were highways mis-numbered by google. And campsites mis-labled on google.

That said, we did manage to get to Usuki without getting lost. It is right around the corner, after all. Once we left Usuki, we got lost.

No pot, no dishes, but we have plenty of spoons.

Where are the dishes?

We packed up everything early that morning. I put everything in an area of our apartment that we hardly ever use. All we had to do was put them in the car. We brought our table, chairs, tent, sleeping bags, washing basin filled with dishes, cooler, …

When we got to the campsite, we unpack and started to make dinner. That’s when I realized that we didn’t have the washing basin filled with dishes. We had no pots, no cups, nothing to eat off of.

Luckily there was a hardware store not too far from the campsite. It was a 3 minute drive away. The prices weren’t too bad, so we got a new wok-like frying pan/pot and paper plates and cups.

Because camping season had not officially started the camp site was technically closed. I asked a city official weeks before to recommend some other camping area that would be opened. He said that we could just camp there for free. There was no guarantee of amenities though. But, everything seemed to function normally.

The first night on the beach was great. The solar powered heated showers were fantastic. The trip started off pretty well.

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

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.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • 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 bank toaskwhatATMs 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.)

Usuki Stone Buddhas
(Usuki Magaibutsu)
(臼杵磨崖仏)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 33°05’26.0″N 131°45’45.5″E

by car –

  • Take Oita Expressway.
  • Get off at the Usuki (臼杵) exit #16.
  • At the light turn left (west) on route 502.
  • At the 4th light turn left (south) .
  • The entrance will be on your right.

The Oita Expressway is free from Oita Exit #12 south.

Address:

804-1 Fukata, Usuki-shi, Oita

Phone:

  • 0972-65-3300

Website:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • Adults – 530YEN
  • Kids – 260YEN
  • Usuki Residences – Free
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • Sunrise to Sunset

Notes:

  • 59 of the statues were selected as the first National Treasures of Japan in Kyushu.
  • It’s not worth it to make a trip all the way to Usuki to see this, but if you’re in the neighborhood, go see it.

Camping Village Beach Takanabe
(高鍋海水浴場 キャンプ場)
(Takanabe Kaisuiyoku-ba Kyanpuba)

How to get there:

  • 32°07’05.2″N 131°32’00.8″E

From the Usuki Stone Buddas –

  • Get back onto the Oita Express way heading south.
  • Continue until the Express way ends and head south on route 36.
  • Route 36 will end at route 217. Go left on route 217.
  • When Route 217 ends turn left onto route 10 heading southwest.
  • Turn left (east) onto route 311 towards Takanabe Station.
  • When route 311 ends turn right (south) at Takanabe Station. You will have to go through a roundabout.
  • After 2 block turn left (east) over the train tracks.
  • Take the left most path to the beach.

Address:

〒 884-0004

宮崎県児湯郡高鍋町蚊口浦

Phone:

  • 0983-22-1311
  • 0983-22-5588 (City Hall)

Website

Cost:

  • To rent a tent – 1,200/night
  • To bring your own tent – 600/night
  • Free when the campsite is closed. (It’s okay to camp here when the site is closed. I called city hall and they said it’s ok.)
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • The campsite is open July 17 – August 31
  • You can stay here when the campsite at other times of the year if you have your own tent.

Notes:

  • There are toilets near the campsite.
  • There are showers close to the beach where the surfers hang out.
  • The showers are free and available even when the campsite is closed.
  • I think there is a kitchen, but it’s only available when the campsite is open.
  • No electrical outlets.
  • This is a surfing beach. It is not good for swimming.

*****UP DATE******

This campsite might be permanently closed.

Map:

Posted in Japan, Kyūshū, Miyazaki 県, Oita 県, Takanabe 町, Usuki 市 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bamboo and Lights

Posted by Heliocentrism on November 7, 2010

November 6, 2010

All Pictures

candles in bamboo

My First Festival in Oita Prefecture

This weekend Mark and I went to the Bamboo Lantern Festival in Usuki (Usuki-Takeyoi) (うすき竹宵), the town just south of Oita City. It was very beautiful! It must have taken a lot of people to carve all the bamboo and to light so many tealight candles.

Usuki Bamboo Lantern Festival

Driving is the only real option.

We were told that parking would be hard to find in town during the festivities, and that taking the train would be the easier option. But I hate taking the train here. A trip that takes 20 minutes by car, could take 2 hours by train and bus.

Everyone loves taking photos!

Free Parking

Mark and I car pooled with our neighbors to Usuki. Parking was not a problem at all. We just parked at City Hall. There was plenty of parking spaces and it was free.

We walked around town and saw the many displays. We went up the Usuki Castle before getting some festival food from the food stalls.

The Festival food court

We were a little disappointed in both the Hiroshima okonomiyaki and the takoyaki. The okonomiyaki had too much over powering sauce and the takoyaki didn’t have enough octopus in it.

Festival Friends

Where did everyone go?

After eating we walked down Nioza Street, the historical road. There were more pretty lights and displays and a couple temples. It was also very crowded.

This was where everyone got lost and/ or separated from the group. We all managed to find each other again. It’s hard to not find a large group of foreigners in a small Japanese town.

Why are they sad? It’s a festival!

Aka San (Mrs. Red)

The train is a lot more expensive than driving. I drive to work now. To make sure I have enough gas to get to work and back I fill up once every other week. It cost about 3,000YEN to fill my tank. To commute to work by public transportation for 2 weeks costs me 8,160YEN. Of course the public transportations price is just to get to work, but the gas cost also includes my going to the grocery store and excursions on the weekends.

The first time I saw Mrs. Red.

I first saw Aka San during my second week in Oita. I knew that I needed a car and that afternoon one of my co-workers would be taking me out to hunt for a car. I snapped a picture of her (the car), just in case I didn’t find anything on my hunt.

I didn’t find anything on my hunt. All the cars we saw were too expensive, to unreliable, or too small. The price on the car is usually nowhere near the price you will end up paying. Taxes, tags, and other mysterious costs end up doubling the asking price. I found a car for 30,000YEN (about $300), but before I could drive it I would have to pay a total of 400,000YEN (about $4,000).

Then I showed my co-worker my photo of Mrs. Red. Her price was 90,000YEN ($900) and she was being sold by a mechanic shop within walking distance of my apartment. My co-worker took me to the mechanic and did the negotiating for me.

The total price, which included tax, tags, and a year’s worth of mandatory insurance and optional insurance, which is actually mandatory for JETs, was 150,000YEN (about $1,500). It’s a small car, but I manage to squeeze my friends into it.

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

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.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • 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 bank to askwhatATMs 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.)

Usuki City
(Usuki-shi)
(臼杵市)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 33°07’33.8″N 131°48’18.8″E

By Car –

  • Take the Higashi-Kyushu Expressway. It’s free to drive on south of Oita. Get off at the Usuki exit which I think is 16.
  • UPDATE: As of June 20 no part of the Higashi-Kyushu Express is free

By Train –

Website:

Notes:

  • During festivals and non-business hours, you can park at the city hall parking lot safely and for free. (33°07’32.3″N 131°48’19.9″E)

Usuki Castle 
(臼杵城跡)

How to get there:

  • 33°07’17.4″N 131°48’14.8″E

It is within walking distance from the train station.

  • Walk down the main road from the train station and turn left at the first light.
  • When you get to a big-ish intersection turn right.
  • You can’t miss it.
Or go to Usuki Station.

Website

Cost:

  • Free

Hours:

  • Always available

Notes:

This is a great place to see during the lantern festival.

Map:

Posted in Japan, Kyūshū, Oita 県, Usuki 市 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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