Satakori, Kagoshima → Kanoya, Kagoshima

Map of Kagoshima Prefecture with author’s route from Satakori to Kanoya highlighted. 🗺 Open map in GaiaGPS →

A moth on a vending machine looking at a can of Premium Boss coffee. 📍 Satakori, Kagoshima

At dawn after a rainy night, a moth warms itself on a vending machine.

A handcrafted-looking road sign pointing to Cape Sata.

A man points at a tourist map of Minamiōsumi Town, whose outline looks like a jumping dog.

Excuse me,” the man said as he walked out of a shed, but Minamiōsumi Town looks like a dog.” He was holding a copy of a tourist map. If you looked at the outline of Minamiōsumi Town — a bureaucratic construct joining the remote villages of the southern Ōsumi Peninsula — with the East Asian penchant for zoomorphic associations, it did kind of look like a happy, shaggy dog. And it’s jumping at Wales!” he added. My brother, who had lived in Kagoshima for four years until recently, happened to be in Wales at this moment.

Sautéed livers, baked sweet potatoes, and a bottle of Coke on a bench. 📍 Satakori, Kagoshima

Beyond the rice paddies, the Pacific glinted under grey skies. Satakori’s shopkeeper was then alerted to the presence of the gaijin-san, who was served a breakfast of sautéed chicken livers and hearts, baked Kagoshima sweet potatoes, and Coke. Fueled by this manic concoction, the gaijin-san walked straight out of Minamiōsumi Town and into Kanoya, some 50 kilometers away, in the general direction of Wales.

Looking out on a gloomy road half-covered in fog.

A beautiful Japanese house in the fog, surrounded by hedges of azalea. 📍 Sataizashiki, Kagoshima

Across the mountain range spanning the southern breadth of the Ōsumi Peninsula I walked into the clouds, then out of the clouds, and when I could see again this house appeared, with the soft contours of a classical landscape painting, its hedges of azaleas glowing in the mist.

A white temple behind freshly planted ricefields.

An overgrown traffic light at the edge of a forest shows red. 📍 Tashiro, Kagoshima

Looking down from a bridge into a steep, forested gorge, with mountains on the horizon.

A small cherry tree in bloom by the side of a winding country road. 📍 Shiromoto, 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.