Yakushima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan! The greenest place on earth - according to locals, it rains 35 days a month.

Studio Ghibli: utter magic! Felt like I was a little kid again. Superb collection and presentation. Fantasy and talent. Lovely lovely! Sunday October 18 Up @ 5:30am. Slept poorly but feel ok. Managed to pack up and leave by 7:30. At Tokyo station one hour early. Really glad I got first class ticket and reserved seat! This place is a madhouse with a gang load of people waiting to cram into unreserved cars. I have not yet found out if I can leave the train early but am guessing it will not be a problem. Hoping... Bought an ekiben!(box lunch). Huge crowd buying them so I lined up... Looks yummy, you pull a string and wait five minutes and it heats up! Am starting to love Japan! Monday October 19 Lovely relaxing train ride here. Easy change at shin-Osaka. Met up w Kosuke at Sendai station. Bought groceries at enormous cheap warehouse cost-co type of store, open 24/7. Kosuke made yummy soup with fresh vegetables and 3 kinds of mushrooms. I have healthy stuff to bring to eat in Yakushima. Up early. Yoga on tatami mats feels right. Slept from 9p til 3am... Dozed a bit more. Getting back into my mind-body connection. This chunk will be the most expensive part of my trip, car rental and kayaking. Splurge in the beginning is not my usual m.o. I like to splurge at end when I know exactly how much $ is left. Great to get z's take on where to go....after Naoshima, Iya valley, Kyoto, Takayama, maybe Gujo Hachiman and fly away home from Narita. Ready to roll out onto train, taxi, ferry, car! Woowoo. Left my cane in Sendai station. Don't really need it now but might later. It was z's father's cane. Confused the station guy with my asking to hold it for 4 days. Probably will cause some concern... Will try and collect it on the way back. On board ferry to Yakushima! Ominously there is a typhoon coming, maybe too rough to get to Yakushima for next few days! Rolling a bit but not out of the harbor yet. This whole boat stinks of tobacco smoke. Smoking allowed in central area permeates everywhere. Bleagh. If I cannot get to the island I may lose more $ from car rental, guest house and kayak trip. Damn. October 20 Tuesday No typhoon. Got here with no mishaps other than a one hour detour (got lost) up a mountain! It was so stupendously gorgeous I just kept driving up, although I knew I should have been on the coast. Guesthouse is exquisite.... Wish I had a tatami room to myself but dorm has only one other woman so not crowded. Slept 9:00 til 3am again. Not tired but not perky either. Heading out to do a forest walk. A little hesitant to test the hip without my cane.


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