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Dr John Hawkins

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Volcanology for Beginners

Posted on 2005/08/14 16:01:48 (August 2005).

[Saturday 13th August]
We were staying with Keijisan and Mikikosan - friends of Chie's family - I suppose in England they would probably be Chie's godparents. Today Keijisan kindly offered to take us somewhere, and asked what I would like to see. Without a moments hesitation I said "kazan" - Japanese for volcano.
It turned out to be rather a long drive - at least 3 hours each way, and I couldn't help but feel a bit guilty about making Keijisan do all that driving on his day off! I am really grateful though - this was my first time to see a real volcano and it was great. In fact, there wasn't just one, we saw about four. We were in the area of Showa Shinzan, where it seems they have an eruption every 30 years or so, and each eruption generally results in a new mountain and a few less trees.
There weren't any visible lava flows or anything, and I wasn't showered in volcanic ash, but there was plenty of smoke about, and the last volcano we saw definitely had the look of the sort of terrain a James Bond villain might have a secret hide-out in. It was great.

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