These Walking Dreams: Day 23 (May 5, 2017)

🏙 Ōita City → Saganoseki, Ōita → ⛴ Hōyo Strait → Misaki, Ehime

Map of Kyushu with the route of These Walking Dreams highlighted. Maps © Thunderforest, Data © OpenStreetMap 🗺 Open map in GaiaGPS (A,B,C) ⇝


Wheel of stanceworks car in Ōita City. Photo: Peter Orosz

Suzuki sign in Ōita City. Photo: Peter Orosz

Bowl of tonkotsu ramen in Ōita City. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Ōita City

A food as rich as tonkotsu ramen, a sweet and salty plasma of bone marrow and fat, can only exist on these warm and fertile plains. It is a world apart from the sparse and crisp mountain fare of roots, mushrooms and trout—or crackers, cup noodles, and canned fish. One could walk to the end of the world on a bowl. The air was sweet and salty, girls in summer dresses rode bicycles in the subtropical sun, and I followed them to the end of Kyushu.


Two girls at Kōzaki Beach, Ōita City. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Kōzaki Beach, Ōita City

Two weeks after I had last glimpsed the Pacific across damp fields, I turned a corner and saw the sea again, and I ran out of Kyushu. It had taken less time than a package holiday to Japan, and I had seen nothing, but I still felt like I was about to leave home, a magical island of volcanoes, snakes, kind people, sweet-smelling sawmills, capricious weather, trees like gods, the night sky the eyes of deer in the woods, and I dreamed of living here on oranges and sunshine, like a Californian. Across the Hōyo Strait, I could see the hills of Shikoku.


Man at the Saganoseki Ferry Terminal, Ōita. Photo: Peter Orosz

Motorcycle at the Saganoseki Ferry Terminal, Ōita. Photo: Peter Orosz

People board the Yūnagi ferry at the Saganoseki Ferry Terminal, Ōita. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Saganoseki Ferry Terminal, Ōita


People on board the Yūnagi ferry in the Hōyo Strait between Saganoseki, Ōita, and Misaki, Ehime. Photo: Peter Orosz

People on board the Yūnagi ferry in the Hōyo Strait between Saganoseki, Ōita, and Misaki, Ehime. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Saganoseki→Misaki ferry, Hōyo Strait

The Inland Sea glowed like a golden fleece as the Yūnagi chugged across the Hōyo Strait, the narrow gap between Kyushu and Shikoku. It was the end of the holiday week, and I shared the boat with a hundred schoolchildren, raucous and manic in the fierce wind. We slurped cup noodles in unison, the dark spine of the Sadamisaki Peninsula growing on the horizon, then darkness fell and I walked off the boat, my walking stick clanging on the ramp.


View of Shikoku’s Sadamisaki Peninsula from the Yūnagi ferry, in the Hōyo Strait between Saganoseki, Ōita, and Misaki, Ehime. Photo: Peter Orosz 📍 Saganoseki→Misaki ferry, Hōyo Strait

Next → Day 24, May 6

Prev. ← Day 22, May 4


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.