Checked into Yoyokaku, an fabulous ryokan with brilliant gardens and beautiful architecture, and hit the bath for some much deserved soaking and laziness. As expected, feasted on a massive meal, burrowed into the fluffy futons, and off to sleep.

iki day 2

After a gut-busting breakfast, we got in the van with the Grandma who runs Hiryama Inn, picked up three of her grandkids, and headed for the glass-bottom boat to take us to an even smaller, unpopulated island.
In the afternoon we got on the big ferry and cruised over to Yobuko, ate some local seafood, and took the bus to Karatsu.
Left Sakamotoya and headed to Nagasaki Station to get on the ubercool Special Express Sonic train. Leather seats, wooden snack tables, and slippers; who needs the bullet trains with kinda local luxury?
We arrived at Hakata, grabbed some noodles at the station, took the bus (dude sitting in front of me had on the best t-shirt) to the port, and hopped on the superfast to Iki island.
We checked into Hirayama, lounged about, bathed in the hot springs, ate, lounged some more, and then finished off the evening with a facial and foot massage. It ain't easy, but it's a livin'.


Got up way too early for the start of a holiday and got to the understandably crowded Haneda Airport with plenty of time to get on our 8am flight. Landed in sunny and beautiful Kyushu, took the bus into Nagasaki, and checked into Sakamotoya.
The day was still young, so we wandered around Nagasaki, getting lunch in Chinatown and checking out Glover Gardens, Dejima, and all the other cool foreign-devils-in-old-Japan attractions. Rode the cool romen-densha and enjoyed the stunning weather before heading back to the inn and feasting.
A good start to Golden Week with only minor sun-burn on the balding head.

sakamoto ryokan

sakamoto ryokan, originally uploaded by renfield.


nagasaki, originally uploaded by renfield.