From Fukuoka we took the train to Kagoshima, a city pretty far into South West Japan (see it on a map). We decided to head there for one reason: the city is located right by Sakurajima, a highly active volcano that always fumes and spews ashes.
We were on the train most of the day though, so there wasn’t much time for sightseeing once we arrived. From our guesthouse we learned that there was a shochu festival in town, so we decided to check it out. It was even conveniently close to where we were staying!
The festival turned out to be very small and boring. It seemed to have been organized by a shochu brewer who wanted to get some publicity. Shochu is a traditional drink of the region, and it’s pretty strong. If you look at the photo bellow, which was taken at the festival, note the yellow barrel. It was filled with low quality shochu, and the festival organizers would not stop filling up our beer-sized cup. We had to run away to avoid getting ridiculously hammered.
Instead we walked around town by the waterfront, and waited out a few thundershowers. We even found some public, outdoors thermal foot spas that we relaxed our tired feet in. After dinner we decided to head back home and call it an early night: tomorrow was going to be all about the volcano.