Japan

Miyajima, also known as Itsukushima, is a small island in the Seto Inland Sea, just a few miles from Hiroshima. It is most famous for its iconic Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Japan's most photographed landmarks. The shrine is built over the water and is known for its beautiful torii gate, which appears to float on the sea during high tide. The torii gate as seen from Starr. Don, Brooke, Sharry,...

We left Fukuoka after an eight day stay--the longest we've sat still in a couple of months. It didn't feel like we were there too long, but we were ready to see new places. After much debate, we headed for the Seto Inland Sea. We waffled between a detour into in the inland sea versus a more leisurely cruise north along Japan's west coast. The clincher was the opportunity to visit the Suma Yacht Club, just...

Sharry and I are part of a 20-person hiking group on Oahu. We hike twice a week and cover 4-6 miles, usually with around 1000ft of elevation gain and occasionally up to 2000ft. Sharry was complaining of butt and leg pain and her physical therapist recommended a series of stretches and exercises for what he thought was sciatica. Prior to leaving in February, even with the exercises, her pain had been getting worse and exercise tolerance diminishing. ...

After leaving Yobuko, we made the short, 20nm trip to Fukuoka in calm, sunny conditions. Fukuoka, population 1,500,000, is the largest city we've visited in Japan so far, the largest city on the island of Kyushu, and the sixth largest city in Japan. The skyline is notably different than the villages we've become accustomed to. Kirk Patterson, our agent at Konpira Consulting, arranged for us to stay at Marinoa Marina. He was on the dock waiting...

We arrived at Dejima Wharf in the middle of Nagasaki and found plenty of empty space. The slips are small--maybe 40 feet--but the end ties are 100+ feet and both appeared available. Unable to raise anyone on the phone or radio, we tied up, only to find we were trapped by a locked gate. Turns out it was a holiday in Japan and nobody was working in the office. There we were in the middle...

Originally we planned day-hops north from Okinawa all the way to Kyushu, the southern-most of the three largest Japanese islands. But as we sat in Amami looking at the weather forecast and our schedule, it became clear that we should probably skip a few of those stops and head right for Kyushu. Several things contributed to this decision. A few of the stops we're skipping are tiny islands. They have populations in the low triple digits. We'd...

We were having dinner in a small izakaya (pub). We’d struggled a bit to find a good restaurant for dinner. The first place we tried was full, but they recommended another restaurant that we eventually found. When we arrived it was empty but the proprietor turned us away. As we left, they waved us back in and offered us a table. We were early and I think they hoped we’d be gone by the time...

We departed Zamami Tuesday March 14 heading north. Pulled into Iheya Shima after 64nm of nice cruising.  Iheya has a population under 1000 and is a very quiet village. Starr on the seawall in Iheya. A rough seawall! We found a Saki brewery where the young manager gave us samples and a brief tour. After our visit there we searched for a place for dinner and the well regarded places we would have liked to have dinner were closed....

We arrived in the port of Zamami Island and idled over near a fishing boat to ask the crew the best spot to dock.  The fishermen pointed over to a large area near the ferry dock.  The dock didn't look particularly well used but we didn't think we would fit on smaller docks further in.  Tides here vary by as much as 3 feet so we tied off with this in mind, knowing that we...

As soon as we finished clearing into Japan and drinking our champagne toast, we set out on foot to explore our new neighborhood. Yonaburu Marina is located in Yonabaru (pop. 19,000), on the southeast side of Okinawa. The marina is spotlessly clean, with excellent floating docks, good shore power (60hz, 200v), and potable water. The staff is friendly and helpful. The price--about $53 USD per night--is exceptionally reasonable for such a nice facility. The marina has two...