Kujuku Shima '98 & '99


Pretty isn't it? The name literally means 99 Islands even though there are 138 of them.

Just two hours from Fukuoka this is a remarkably non-touristy tourist spot.



Early Days

1st. Apt.



Yoko - Fuk





S. Kyushu


UK 1998



Kites & Balloons

99 Islands

Sue / Japan

UK 2000

N. Japan




The view behind the view.

Just as I was marveling that anyone would run electricity to the top of a mountain purely for a vending machine (alright, two) and feeling certain that no-one ever used the things, up trundled this farmer's wife on her scooter.


There are mock 16th. Century cruise boats which motor around the islands blaring useless info. at you all the while, but we thought it might be more fun to hire a yacht

It was :-)


Next day, the main purpose of our trip.

A quick (4 hour) sea kayak around the islands.

We stayed close to the shorelines, paddling inches above coral, following shoals of fish and innumerable jellyfish.


Shower time upon our return.

It was quite warm paddling out there, to say the least, and having a quick dip in the sea didn't help much as that was warm too.



One year later, in the O-Bon holiday, James, Fiona, John, Miki and Kitahara came down for a bigger challenge.

To kayak several kilometers out to sea to a desert island, camp over night, and paddle back.

It was hard work, but just look at this place!

Paradise was ours, if only for one night.


Fresh sea urchin anyone? VERY fresh in fact.

This wasn't the only sealife Kitahara came across. After we'd set up camp, eaten, made a fire, drunk drunk and drunk we noticed that wading though the sea activated phosphoresence. Cool! masks and snorkles on, we swam around for ages watching the stuff sparkle though our fingers.


Until Kitahara shot out of the water looking like he'd been whipped across the legs with an electric cable.

The burns quickly started to bubble with pus, and all we could do was watch him scream. He still has the scars.



Locals were at a loss as to what kind of jellyfish could do this, but it is interesting to note that Box Jellyfish have been sighted around southern Japan since then. If it was one of Australia's most deadly exports, he, and the rest of us, were very lucky.

On a brighter note, it has become a tradition that Kitahara makes himself a girlfriend every summer.


Once "Miho" was finished, the next project was to turn James into Priscilla, Queen of the Beach.

Bearded mermaids?

Even P.T. Barnum didn't have any of them.


The group (Meg was sick that O-Bon - dreadful timing).

Fiona (NL), Kitahara (CHN), Priscilla (WALES), Miki (Yokosuka base most Saturday nights), Emika (UTAH), John (CAN).


More dangers:

Walking on coral in bare feet (ouch).

Not checking Miki's baggage for exceedingly uncool rubber rings before enbarking on an adventure.

Jelly fish baiting.

The final incident occurred on the return journey.

Given that we had just two single kayaks and two tandems, and the entire Pacific to paddle around in, what are the odds that James and Fiona would be able to ram Emika and Miki?

Whatever, they managed it in reasonably heavy waves, but somehow manged not to capsize.

Go again next year?