Makurazaki, Kagoshima โ†’ Kaimon, Kagoshima

Map of Kagoshima Prefecture with authorโ€™s route between Makurazaki and Kaimon highlighted. ๐Ÿ—บ Open map in GaiaGPS โ†’

A plate of raw skipjack tuna and a can of beer on an outside table. ๐Ÿ“ Makurazaki, Kagoshima

โ€œWhat does one have for lunch in Makurazaki?โ€ I asked the man at the last train station. He had a stamp which informed me that the other end of the Japanese rail network, Wakkanai, was 3,126 kilometers away.

โ€œYou have raw skipjack tuna. And donโ€™t bother with the restaurants, just get it at the supermarket. Youโ€™ll get the same thing but itโ€™s much cheaper.โ€

The town was swirling in every shade of gray, the clouds low and fast, the air a steam bath. In dim warehouses of corrugated aluminium workers processed mountains of skipjack for katsuobushi.

โ€œWhere are you headed, anyway?โ€

โ€œTo Kaimon,โ€ I said. โ€œAnd then maybe Iโ€™ll just keep walking. To Wakkanai, perhaps.โ€

He laughed.

Half a pound of skipjack and half a liter of Yebisu later I walked out of Makurazaki into a storm which blew in off the South China Sea, and at night the road led out over the broiling surf and the howling winds, and then I walked up to the foot of Mount Kaimon in the dark, the volcano towering above as the clouds cleared and the air began to dry.

A small tree frog squats on a tiled wall, one of the tiles is printed with leaves the same color as the frog. ๐Ÿ“ Makurazaki, Kagoshima

Itโ€™s the season for planting rice, and the flooded paddies are home to myriads of tree frogs, croaking along the roads leading to Cape Sata. This guy though, camouflaged against the old-fashioned tiles of a public bathroom, is something of a loner. Or maybe just dreaming of Costa Rica.

Large ceramic barrels of shลchลซ outside a brewery, in front of flowering rhododendrons. ๐Ÿ“ Hombo Shลchลซ Brewery, Kagoshima

The inside of a dilapidated fishing boat. ๐Ÿ“ South Beppu, Kagoshima

An abandoned house with a thick growth of ferns visible through a window. ๐Ÿ“ Ei, Kagoshima

These Walking Dreams is a visual field diary of a 4,300-kilometer walk from one end of Japan to the other, in the spring and summer of 2017.