With my mother in town this past month, my husband and I actually had the opportunity for a weekend away. It’s not easy to find alone time here in Japan. Babysitters are an unheard of concept and date nights just don’t happen for couples with kids. Our daughter is a fantastic traveler, but sometimes you just want to get way … alone.
So with Mom on kid-duty, we took a trip to Ibusuki, a small city at the very bottom of Kyushu. The focus of our trip was hiking Kaimondake, a dormant volcano that looks a bit like a mini Mt Fuji. We lucked out on the weather and had a wonderfully clear day and the views of the Satsuma Peninsula from the peak were impressive.
But the views from sea level were the ones I liked the best. After our hike, we drove down to the end of the peninsula where a brilliantly colored shrine marks Cape Nagasakibana, the southernmost point of the Satsuma Peninsula (though not of Kyushu as a whole, the other side of Kagoshima Prefecture lays claim to that title). The shrine is nice, the sea is pretty, but it’s the postcard-worthy views of perfectly-conical Mt Kaimon that make this place special.