Stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream. (lost_angel) wrote,
Stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream.

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Day Three: Day Trains to Kagoshima

Sleeping last night was awful, but woke up feeling pretty good and ready to go. Ate TWO twisty chocolate eclairs and a croissant for breakfast while waiting for people to figure out the travel plans. Will spend twelve hours switching trains on our way to the southern tip of Kyushu where a volcano that erupts at least twice a week sits close a beautiful natural island (/end propaganda from Camino's travel book). The trains we are taking go through and between and around and in these lovely green-covered mountains. Many many many tunnels. Here is the first places I've seen any open country-side. Osaka is so much of a big city that I hate it. Here in Kyushu, the cities are aren't so close together and still try to build lots of parks. There there is actually green countryside and mountains in between. Some of the valleys are fully planted, others brimming with buildings and villages and big towns. Terraced mountains, chiseled away so lines of crops can be cultivated or whole layers and levels of houses climbing up the face of the mountain. Reminds me a bit of the Southeastern Native Americans who lived on the mesas or built homes directly into the rock (Pueblo Indians?). Often on taller mountains, small straggling shacks, sheds, and small houses can be seen braving gravity and landslides and inconvenience, desperate to claim at least a small portion of the finite world as their own.

Most of the train trip runs along the coastline. Gorgeous inlets and bays of water carving pronounced and dangerous fjords from the mountains that cling to the perimeter of the coast (Japan is almost ALL mountains). Large islands cut away from the mountains stand along, strong and defiant and green, fighting the carnivorous tide that once before had separated it from the mainland.

Clusters of ash cemeteries, tall markers filled with the remains of the cremated, sit close to the homes of their progeny, built into the daily lives of the living, keeping a toehold of influence on the world. Perhaps the multiple small cemetaries are of the families whose descendants still live in the small homes next door.

Many shrines built high on the mountain challenging the faith of their worshipers with a strenuous and dangerous climb and separating the disciplined monks from the rest of the world. Drawing a line between the sacredness of the mountain and the profane reality of below. The mountains that compose the majority of the terrain of Japan seem strong and godlike. The spirits, the kami, the ethereal yet still worldly, earthly gods must certainly reside in the cloud-shrouded and mysterious mountains. This place is certainly minted from myth.

Met several nice high school girls on the way home after losing a volleyball game. Took the express train for the last leg of the journey even though we weren't supposed to with our cheap tickets. Arumi managed to to get the ticket guy/conductor to let us stay for free since we were dumb gaijin. Had a long talk with John when we arrived about fears and frustration of being apart from Laura for so long. I am glad that we've managed to become good friends and am flattered and heartened that he trust me and counts me wise enough to understand what he's going through. He even told me himself how glad he was that we've gotten to know each other and become close friends and develop a good friendship. Shared a room with Chris tonight. He crashed early and I am now in Camino's room late writing the rest of this entry. Unfortunately revealed how easily scared and paranoid I am to Chris and John. This might prove bothersome later if they decide to play the role of pranksters.

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