After a nice breakfast, we decide to spend our day walking around town. The guidebook we had picked up at the station the day before was INCREDIBLY useful, and we marked out some things we wanted to see. First on the list? The Museum of the Meiji Restoration. We arrived shortly after it opened and the employees hurried us downstairs to the theater, where a show had already started. They hooked up some headphones so we could listen to the english version of the narration.
I was a little nervous, this show used animatronic figures. This is freaking Kagoshima. This is not Tokyo or Osaka or something. It's a big city with some cool stuff, but it's not exactly a huge destination location.
I was blown away. Honestly blown away by the quality of the animatronic figures. Most of the figures were sitting, so there wasn't a whole ton to them, but the hero of the city, Saigo Takamori, was a standing figure and WOW. His facial expressions and the way he moved his hands was super impressive. It was really, really well-done.
The first show was about the Meiji Revolution and Restoration, focusing mostly on the Satsuma clan and the part they played. Saigo is a freaking pimp. The man was totally awesome. The second show was about a group of students from the Satsuma clan that were sent, against the law, to Europe to study and bring back what they learned to improve Japan. Both shows were very educational and interesting.
The museum was pretty small, but very neat. On the bottom floor they had the theater where they played the shows and also diagrams that were "animated" in a way… some had puppet-like features, some just played videos using stage tricks… it was clever and impressive! The second floor had some historical objects and a replica of a small Satsuma clan training ground.
We got to take pictures with the man himself, Saigo Takamori. They let you put on replica jackets if you wanted. Nur is wearing one of Saigo's miltary jackets, I'm wearing the jacket of Saigo's BFF, Ōkubo Toshimichi.
SAIGO AND I ARE BFFS NOW.
Outside the museum there was a replica of a low-ranking samurai's home. I saw on a map that there was a statue of a hat down along the river and I was filled with an immense urge to see it.
This is a girl in a hat, not just a hat. I wanted it to be just a hat. =|
Oh look, Sakurajima's letting off smoke again. *yawn* We are SO used to that now.
AHHH IT'S A BUILDING THAT LOOKS SORTA LIKE A CASTLEEEE AHHHHH!!!
There were no subways in Kagoshima. They had limited train service around the city, but a lot of the public transportation in the main part of the city was serviced by light rail. Around the tracks was covered in short grass, and it looked really cool.
St. Francis Xavier was a Jesuit missionary in something like 1549. They had some monuments honoring him in one section of the city.
Miami is a sister city of Kagoshima. Dolphins!!
We were on the lookout for the Museum of Archeology and the location the map took us to led us past this Triceratops. Nur is pleased by this!
The map told us the museum should be around here, but that building was not it. I think the museum had moved since the map was printed. We never found it. =(
But we did find a small garden-like area. I don't know who this statue is of. But he looks pretty regal! I want to say it's some important relative of some important guy from the Meiji Revolution… Maybe? Eh.
Hello kitty friend! Kitty dislikes people.
Kitty's all, "screw you guys, I'm outta here."
Annnd another regal statue! This one is of Hismitsu Shimadzu. He was an important son of a lord from the Meiji Era.
A neat bridge near the previous statue.
!!! It's a secret path up the hill!
!!!!! A secret stone covered with kanji!
!!!! A SECRET GARDEN!!! What wonders fill this secret path!
This is neat tree. That's all. Nothing secret about it.
A nice view of Sakurajima.
Leaving the secret area, we saw a statue of the badass himself, Saigo Takamori.
The Kumon logo is sort of tragically bad. What is that face supposed to mean?
This is Godai Tomoatsu, one of the Satsuma clan students that studied overseas. He learned about textile mills and founded what it said to be one of the first modern factories in Japan during the Meiji Era.
He was nice enough to let us eat lunch while sitting behind him. Thanks, statue of Godai.
We wandered for a while through the heart of the town, eventually finding a mall with the Dream 9 shop.
DREAM NIIIINE~ They had some stuff with both One Piece and Dragon Ball characters, but I'm not really a Dragon Ball fan, so the stuff I bought was just One Piece stuff. They gave me a sticker with Goku and Luffy on it though. =3
My bounty is 7 gajillion-million double-dollars. And thirty-two cents. This section also had a bunch of character designs for Strong World. They're reallllly neat designs. *_*
Hi Okubo. I wore your jacket at the museum this morning.
Hahahaha, they have the Lion's Club in Japan too! If you squint, you can see the logo right at the top of the water.
By chance, we happened on a plant sale. Nur said it smelled really good, but my nose was too stuffed up to smell much. What I did smell was really nice though!!
We walked along the train tracks for a while before finding this. Nur had seen it from the train the first day and wanted to get some pictures. It looks pretty awesome.
What is it with vine covered building in Japan? Not that I'm complaining!! I think it looks pretty awesome.
We wasted some time in the mall next to the station. They have a store that's like 80% Ghibli stuff. Alas, no love for Whisper of the Heart, my favorite. It was mostly Kiki, Totoro, Ponyo, and Spirited Away. Still really awesome!
For dinner we had ramen. REAL RAMEN. It was AMAZING. I had never had non-instant ramen before. Now I can't eat the instant stuff, it's just no good. There's no comparison. I've been spoiled for life!
Swag from the last few days. Top(-ish) to bottom: Inazuma Eleven shirt, A car I won in an arcade game I put way too much money into, a One Piece bandana, Dengeki Maoh with a Spice and Wolf special insert, Asklepios and Bokkesan postcards, a Konoyo Ibun mini pencil board, a Chopper cloth, the two Oh! Edo Rocket boxes I picked up in Fukuoka, lotsa Robo and Usakichi volumes(THE BESTEST ♥), a couple Nanairo Inko volumes, some neat little Shonen Sunday figures, the first Ouendan game, volumes 1, 3, 4, and 5 of Devil Children (which I had been looking for FOR YEARS), Itsuwaribito Sora(I think?) v1, Wolf Gun (OH GOD THIS IS SO GOOD GUYS), and Nekopanchi.
I had to try to get all the Kamen Cider cans, so I got another Kamen Cider. I think this is the secret version. AWWW YEAH!
I had wanted to go to the Kamikaze museum that was near Kagoshima, but it was just a bit too far to get to without a car, so we decided to pass on it. I think it's a good thing we did, I was tearing up just reading the descriptions of some of the things they had there. I think I would have broken down if we actually visited.
With no solid plans for the day, we had another relaxing breakfast and decided to head out to an environmental museum that was along the river. Walking along the river was fun, there's a path along it and it's easy to get down there.
When we surfaced, we found ourselves in front of a large police station. I loooove police things, so I was super excited to see this. It's BIG! Look at all the emergency vehicles! It's not just for police, they have fire engines and…
…and ambulances! But I'm no ambulance chaser. =| (Although I fully admit to following the movements of the local fire department where I live through their awesome app and website.)
D'Awwwww, cute birdies on the ramp down to the river.
Some gorgeous blossoms in someone's yard. (They were right next to the road, I swear! I don't usually just check out people's backyards!)
This is the museum we were looking for! YOU CAN WALK ON THE ROOF OMGGGG
This is where we live!
But this is where we were on that day!
SO COOL. *_*
The museum was next to a high school. Or maybe it was a middle school. The sign on top of the building says "SKAT," *titter titter*
We left the museum because 1) it looked like it wasn't open and 2) because it looked like it was more of a teaching museum then a "HEY LOOK HOW COOL THIS IS" museum, and trying to learn about the environment in Japanese was probably pretty hard.
Back on the riverside, we amused ourselves by climbing emergency ladders.
They're actually pretty tall.
The next time we surfaced was at Kagoshima Arena. They had this neat old gate out in front, but I couldn't find out much about it.
The iron work on the gate looks VICIOUS from the back.
We found a neat used store and I bought a couple crazy books and some CDs I had been wanting. We grabbed some food at a convenience store and found a nice place along to river to eat.
There was a small sand back that went into the middle of the river. Nur said, "If only I had REAL shoes on!" I think he was just frightened.
I'm a manly man, so I jumped onto the bank and bravely made my way to the middle. Because I'm super manly and courageous and stuff.
Can you smell the courage flowing off me?
The view from the middle was EPIC! Okay, not really, but it was pretty cool.
We walked a bit and as we went under a bridge, we saw something totally awesome:
So many fish!! This video really doesn't do them justice.
The next bridge had a large sandy area, so I was able to go way out into the river. The stairs you see lead to that plant show/shop area we checked out the day before, so we walked through it again.
We had no other plans, so we wasted a few hours in the mall before getting ramen for dinner again. While wasting time, Nur won a couple little Gloomy Bear plush in a UFO Catcher, because he is a UFO catcher master. It got sorta rainy outside, so it was nice that we stayed inside.
Huh, I thought I had a picture of the ferris wheel on top of the mall, but I guess not.
Plates told us what floor we were on in our hotel.
Swag from the day. We had found a Uniqlo during our travels and I found out I can fit into the largest child-sized shirts there. Kid shirts are AWESOME. I like it when I wear the California shirt places and people ask me where I got it. "Oh, this? Japan." They had a weird set of college shirts too… but not a lot of the "big name" schools. They had one for Cal State Fullerton!! My parents went there, so Nur took a picture to send to them. =3
The backs of the shirts. LOOK AT THE AMUR TIGER ONE. IT'S GOT A TAIL! Kyaaaa~!!! And every time I say Amur Tiger out loud, I think of Armor Tiger from Sunred. That makes the Amur Tiger shirt DOUBLE AWESOME. Nur gave me one of the Gloomy Bears he one. I named it Satsu.
I had to get another Kamen Cider (GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL), but I got another secret version. =| I wanted a different label.
Satsu decided he wanted to watch baseball! I have no problems with this!
Wandering Along the River
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