Ian Wright gets burried alive in Kogoshima
Where: Ibusuki, Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan
When: October is a great time to visit Japan
Happenings: Bathing in purifying hot, sulphurous sands
Remember to bring: A spade and a towel, bacon and eggs
Kagoshima lies at the southernmost point of the Kyushu region, hidden in the shadow of a nearby active volcano, Mt. Kamindako. Over Kingo Bay, you can see smoke rising from the volcano’s crater. Twinned with Italy’s volcanic city of Naples, its tropical atmosphere and deep clear blue seas has earned Kagoshima the reputation as “The Oriental Naples”.
Getting Hot and Bothered
The city is famed for its beach in Ibusuki just south of the city, where you are supposed to bury your body in the sand to purify your blood and refresh your soul in the hot, volcanic sands. The seas below are very hot and the heat makes the sands like a low heat oven. Many people come to the beach every day to improve their health, an on land equivalent of bathing in sulphur springs.
For the priviledge of being buried alive in Ibusuki, expect to pay around 600 yen ($5 US). You stand upright in a pit and a beach assistant will shovel sand into you up to the neck. They will then swirl around the sands to ensure the temperature is constant and the patient doesn’t become “over cooked”. Any novices wanting to dig their own hole should be warned that the temperatures vary enormously around the beach and amateurs could be in for an unpleasant suprise.
Other Things to See and Do
– If bathing in sands brings on fears of claustrophobia, you can opt for a swim in the nearby hot springs of Kawaijiri-onsen, overlooking the black sand beaches by the Kamindako volcano.
– There’s plenty of nightlife around the seaside town, lots of bars and of course, karaoke.
By Susi O’Neill