Daniela Caputo's Destinations: A virtual tour of Japan Part 5

And so it continues... overall, Daniela, I truly LOVE this country.

Okay, back to my adventures… driving from Beppu to Cape Toi, at first we were nervous about driving on the left side of the road, but my partner made it happen. BTW, to our surprise, the rental and gas were moderately priced, and the drive there was really gorgeous with great highways. The views are stunning!! One can spend days and days stopping and take in the WONDERFUL scenic surroundings. Some of the MUST stops: Aoshima Island, Miyazaki, and Nichinan. We did stop at the Udo Shrine at sundown and it was spectacular. This is an oceanside shrine where you can throw a clay bead into the crater and make wishes.

Here is a link to the virtual tour of Cape Toi, and here is a link to the virtual tour of Aoshima Island.

Next we headed to Sakurajima and saw the smoking crater from a distance and hiked in the hills. If you have the time I strongly suggest staying overnight at Yakushima Island and going to Ibusuki beach for sunbathing. These are also known to be healing volcanic sands.

Then head to Kirishima Kinkowan National Parkwhich was just WOWZERS - a beautiful park with another active crater. The hiking was gorgeous in these magic woods.

Here is a link to the virtual tour of Sakurajima, and here is a link to the virtual tour of Kirishima Kinkowan National Park.

The next portion was Takachiho Gorge and Kagura dancing - they are all within close proximity to each other. Takachiho Gorge is beautiful and renting a little row boat was possibly one of the most romantic moments of the trip for me (great for kids too). You can also hike around the gorge. We followed this up with dinner at an old and tiny izakaya たぬき run by an elderly couple where we had the best udon noodles. YUM…

Here is a link to the virtual tour of Takachiho Gorge.

Back on the road heading to Takamori and Mount Aso, we stayed at the Cotton Club Cottages and it was wonderful. You can visit miso and sake sites in Takamori too. We also ate a wonderful meal at Rakudayama Jidori restaurant where you can have roasted wild chicken and freshwater fish over an open fire. It is somewhat DIY, but it was one of the best meals we had. Off to the Kamishikimi Kumano-imasu Shrine which was great with a small tour of the Shirakawa Suigen spring, which is considered a healing brook. There are many shrines and temples. Seeing this active caldera blowing smoke and ash is impressive and the drive to it is beautiful. Walking around, it's peaceful mixed with a light feeling of being close to something powerful and dangerous. Be sure to go on a clear day. The cable car was shut down from acid rain damage unfortunately.

Here is a link to the virtual tour of Mount Aso, and here is Kamishikimi Kumano-imasu Shrine.

Enough for this week! See you and your travel mongers next week…

Mélissa Simard, owner of Round Table Food Tours

Montreal Event Planner has become the go-to authority in the event planning business, not only because of its reputable success, but also because of the expertise and professionalism of owner Daniela Caputo, who combs the globe on a regular basis to find the best destinations for her clients (and our readers!)

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