Our last two Japan ports were Kagoshima and Nagasaki, where we spent a full day at each. I'd never been to Kagoshima but last visited Nagasaki ten years ago, in 2007.
Kagoshima reminded me a bit of a seaside suburb of Osaka. Like all of Japan it is very clean and the people, friendly and helpful.
We were told by our enrichment speaker on board that learning English is compulsory for all Japanese beginning in 6th grade. As a result most people can at least read and write basic English. However, many do not speak it a lot, not because they can't, but because they are so worried they will make a mistake speaking it that they don't want to be shamed by saying something incorrectly, especially if their peers are nearby. Wow!
I got off the ship a bit after 9:00 and bought an all day bus, tram and ferry pass for $10. The ship shuttle took us into town at which point I hopped off and joined a few others and walked to the nearby ferry terminal for a 15 minute ride over to the volcano island of Sakurajima.
There was a bus tour up around part of the island with stops for nice vistas of the Kagoshima area as well as the volcano, which was quiet today, yay. The bus ride lasted about an hour and then I took the ferry back to town.
I got on another bus which was sort of a hop on hop off tour and ride that around the city. There wasn't enough time to get off any stops since the last shuttle back to the ship was 3:30 and by the time I got back to town it was 2:45.
Anyway, I got a nice overall view of the city and enjoyed myself.
When our ship left, a firemen's band played American songs for us at pier side, complete with locals waving orange flags goodbye.
I took Snort with me, as usual, and he had a great day too.