On Thursday we drove to Beppu.
The rice fields are growing well at this point, although some areas are still planting. We understand that some fields grow wheat first and then have to be burn and prepared for rice, which may account for some plantings being later, in addition to climate variation between coast and mountains.
We inspected the apartment there. After a reward dinner at, you guessed it, a YakiNiku place, we had a little time yet in the day and went to the top of Beppu's "Global Tower. Here is a picture of it.
Here are photos from the top. First here we are with the city of Beppu in the background.
A view of the city with Mount Takasakiyama in the background. This is "Monkey Mountain" with monkey's you can walk among. Oita is the city is the distance.
Near the base of "Global Tower" is the institute for Geothermal Studies of Kyoto University. Certainly, Japan is an ideal place for this type of research, the whole island seems to be alive with geothermal activity.
Now a view of downtown Beppu alone.
Over in the mountains which crowd Beppu into a narrow area on the coast is the Kijima amusement park. Haven't been there but I understand there is one unusual attraction that shows you what it’s like to be a hamster rolling around in a plastic ball. Maybe we will try it one day.
We are off.
Looking back towards Beppu.
But the top of the mountain is in a cloud, and quite cool.
At the top was a little shrine.
Here is another view looking toward Beppu.
We walked to the peak at 1375 meters (4495 feet), taller than Mt. Diablo.
In the background you see the modern day shrine in high places.
We then went to Oita for their inspection on Friday. Friday morning we got up and went to a beautiful stretch of running/biking path between Beppu and Oita and ran 5K. Here are some pictures of the path and surrounding ocean areas. This is not far from the aquarium and entrance to "Monkey Mountain". Here is the path on the right of the fence with Oita in the background.
There is a jetty, where a number of people were fishing despite the no fishing signs.
This is a combination running (left of the center line with the yellow line in it) and biking (right of the center line.
A very beautiful view of the trail.
The entrance into the apparent swimming area.
They are grooming the swimming area with sand. Oddly, we see very few people swimming anywhere we have been in Japan.
Saturday was capped the week off with a trip to the temple in Fukuoka. A great week.