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cape toi

Festivals Japan Kyushu Miyazaki

The Cape Toi Fire Festival

September 8, 2016

“I don’t see anything.”
“Just wait for the next wave. Ok, now go! Move your hand around!”
A tiny spec of blue suddenly appeared under the water.
“Woah! I see one! There’s another one!”
Mermaid fireflies, dancing around our hands and legs.
“Holey shit, that’s cool!”
It had been a really long day, but I immediately forgot I was tired. It was going to be a great night; I could just feel it.

On the last Saturday of August, Danielle and I packed up my old but trusted Kei, Anene, and headed out for the long drive to the southernmost tip of Miyazaki prefecture, picking up Austin and Alicia on the way. Cape Toi is one of my favourite places in Kyushu, but I had yet to experience its single most popular event – the annual Toimisaki Fire Festival. Continue Reading

Japan Kyushu Miyazaki

Inside One of Japan’s Abandoned Hotels

February 17, 2016

In Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis wrote, “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.” I must be kind of mad, then, because everyone who knows me knows that I suffer from incessant curiosity. And if you read my blog, you know that that curiosity regularly centres on the morbid. A forest of suicide victims ? A prison of torture? There like a fucking bear.

It sometimes disturbs me – perhaps ironically – how much I am drawn to this darkness. Especially so when I think back to how young I was when I began poring over news articles and books and documentaries on the most gruesome of cases, the most terrifying of things.

But then I remind myself that everyone loves a good train wreck; our propensity for the macabre just manifests in different ways…gory reality TV, courtroom dramas, disaster footage, celebrity scandals, reddit AMAs…

I indulged myself most recently by exploring an abandoned hotel on Miyazaki’s most southern tip.

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Japan Kyushu Miyazaki Temples and Shrines

Nichinan Coast Part 2: Monkey Island and the Red Shrine

November 19, 2014

In early November, my former roommate and longtime bro, Matthew, came to Miyazaki for a visit. This is Part 2 of our road trip down the Nichinan Coast. Part 1 is here.

I chased his voice to the side of the hotel, and we fought our way through the overgrowth of what was once the garden. In a small clearing stood five or six horses, peacefully grazing for a lunchtime snack. If there was ever a reason to jump security rope, this was it.

We stood watching the horses for a while. Every now and then, I found myself looking up to the windows of the hotel. I kept imagining I would suddenly see someone staring down at me. For an abandoned place, it doesn’t feel very empty.

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Japan Kyushu Miyazaki

Nichinan Coast Part 1: Wild Horses and an Abandoned Hotel

November 17, 2014

In early November, my former roommate and longtime bro, Matthew, came to Miyazaki for a visit. This is Part 1 of our road trip down the Nichinan Coast. Part 2 is here.

The third of November was a perfect autumn day. The sun was a warm blanket in the car and the crisp, sea air was cool enough to prickle the skin. It’s like having a superpower, I thought as we winded around bend after bend, being able to feel cold and heat independently at the same time.

It was the third day of Matthew’s visit and we were headed down the Nichinan Coast to see the wild horses of Cape Toi. On the way back, we would stop at Kojima Island and Udo Shrine.

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