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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Iso-tei-en Park In Kagoshima

Welcome to a very touristy place in Japan.

The beautiful Iso Te-in, which I think translates to Iso Park. Located in the city of Kagoshima-shi (Kagoshima City), Kagoshima-ken (Kagoshima Prefecture), way out in the western tip of Japan, it is perhaps more famous for its view of the oft-erupting volcano Sakurajima.

Known formally as Sengan-en, Mitsuhisa Shimazu (surname first) created it back in 1658, based on a garden he saw back in China, as part of his palatial home.

The current Iso Te-in grew into its present form back in 1848. 

The garden boasts a spectacular view of Kinko Bay with the volcano set as the background.

Because I am the rain man, (ame otoko), it rained every single day of my journey out west traveling with my then-girlfriend, Ashley.

Tough to say if she grew tired of me or simply grew tired of being wet. You know what I mean. I have many spectacular shots of Iso te-in - but none of the volcano, as the inclement weather obscured the damn thing like it was Mt. Fuji.

I do, however, possess a black and white photograph taken from a photo album I purchased at a flea market in Utsunomiya that has scads of cool photos in it taken originally in 1934 or there about. It was obviously pre-WWII, but had a lot of photos of Japanese sailors prepping for war against all of Asia. My guesstimate is based on some cars I saw in a few photographs.

Regardless... presented below is Sakurajima exploding in the 1930s. The photo was probably taken at Iso-te-in. Yes... the volcano is that close to people! I'll present some cool images soon of Sakurajima I bet you haven't seen anywhere before.

The  photo at the very top, is simply one I took of a very small stone lantern marker. It was no more than 20-inches high and I stumbled upon it after I stumbled upon it while going off the beaten path where people were not supposed to go. I am daring and clumsy... a lucky combination this time.

If caught, I figured I could get away with just being another ignorant gaijin (foreigner) tourist who doesn't understand Japanese, which was pretty much correct.  

Both photos are the property of me, Andrew Joseph.

Andrew Joseph

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