Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cruising to and in Japan = PaperWork

Even before arriving at your first Japanese port, you'll have to do PaperWork.
This is Only for your Port of Entry!

This paperwork can only be done by FAX.
No! Japan Coast Guard will not answer your initial emails. Once they know you from the FAX, email contact might be possible.
Send me a note if you like info regarding these Pre Arrival Procedures.

Then the cruising can start! Oops...just a moment:
Japan has about 150 Open Ports. These are ports where foreign ships & yachts may go without prior permission.
All the other ports you need a "cruising permit" for.

That's easy to get:
Make a list of ports with possible dates and find the office of Ministry of Transport. Each province has its office and you'll apply for that province. At your first Port of Entry you'll find that office building easy enough...Customs will inform you.
Like for us, we got our first permit in Ishigaki: Good till Okinawa. In Okinawa we got the next permit : Good till Nagasaki. In Nagasaki we got the permit till Fukuoka.

Fill out the request papers with the ever and always happy officer, who speaks enough English!
Okayokay, some of these papers are the same and you already have filled them out at an other office. And yes, he has copies of previous papers in his file...but just do it again. They luff paper.

Two days later, the Permit is ready and you can go.
Arriving at a closed port, with this permit in the chart table...No worries.
Arriving at a closed port without...... big change nobody= Customs and/or Coast Guard will show up. But if they do....very likely they will send you OUT.
And correct. ( unless there is typhoon or other problem of course...)

Now here at Fukue Port (=closed port), we were checked out by customs and Coast Guard.
Ha, see the picture: It took them 48 hours to spot us! Their office is right next to us.

Sadly enough, beside the Min of Transportation, there is zero communication between the different offices, even from the same department, so have to fill out many=same papers. ( e.g., how much sugar, how much engine oil etc, where you have been and where you will go). Again, these officers usually will speak some English. And they always come with a smile.

That's all.
If you have any questions, drop us a note.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy to be in Fukue

Alishan made a Move due WEST. We are now at the Port of Fukue on the East side of Fukue Island, one of the islands of the Goto Retto Group. Position:
32° 41' 788 N
128° 51' 018 E
This location is alongside the ferry pontoon. All day long many ferries are coming and going, until 7PM: Then we have this place all for ourselves. To park here they charge us a whopping 2 Euro/day, so you won't hear us complain.
While at Mie we had a few nice days for varnishing, so happy that is done.
Today it is the official start of the autumn and yes: It blows half a gale and it's colder than cool we think. Even though the temperature in the cabin is around 25C.....we shiver. But it's great to go for bicycle rides and runs.
Fukue island was a stop for us 4 years ago. At that time we were at Arakawa, on the West side.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Moved to Mie

Alishan made a Move to Mie Town. Just North of Nagasaki. Position:
32° 48' 968 N
129° 46' 474 E
This part of the harbor we are at is to be used by fishing vessels (only???) in case of a typhoon.
And there is a Biggy Down Under ( SE of Okinawa) at the moment, but it looks like it will head for Taiwan. Dear friends, take care!
So No fishing vessels now... We are all by ourselves. Sorry, no webcam here, you'll have to use Google Earth.
And what a good place it is to do some varnish work. The great weather is also a good help:
Blue skies, little wind and in the's even chilly in my pyjamas.

We met up with friends from 21 years ago when we first sailed to Nagasaki.
Mr and Mrs Sawamura had adopted us that summer and we did all sort of fun things together with their .....12 kids!!
It is so good to see them again and bringing back all those memories from those days.
Once again we really realize why we like Japan so much, ESP when cruising around by yacht.


Alishan Song

Don't we all dislike the ever obnoxious shopping mall "back ground" music?
Well the other day we were window shopping at China Town in Nagasaki and the back ground music was nothing less than the MT Alishan Song. ( click on the link, it will take you to our HPpage with the song).
Isn't that nice shopping?!!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Castella Town

Well, it wasn't easy to sail away from Akune. So many friends tried their utmost best to keep us much longer...but hey, life of cruisers is to Make Moves and then.

This is even before 6 AM. Akune just doesn't want us to go...

Let go for and aft...but what are all those strings doing up the mast??

The seas were calm, the wind very liitle from No Where and so the 45 miles across were done by Yanmar. The only things we had to look out for were the odd fishing boats, birds and a few rocks. Entering Nagasaki did recall memories from 21 years ago...just a few as the port lay out and the city sky line have changed. And not in a bad way.

The new Nagasaki Port Sky Line...

Alishan is in Dejima Marina...did you try the webcam?

32° 44' 617 N
129° 52' 206 E

Nagasaki is known for many reasons.
Good ones and of course sad ones.
But one is very tasty: Castella!
This cake recipe is not from Holland, ( Nagasaki has a fat dutch history....) as many people think, but it comes from Portugal.
And Satoshi, local yachtsman, has mastered the skill how to make this cake perfect. And we were the "victims" to taste it. Yummy! Thank you Satoshi!

Alishan applied for the next cruising permit. Once we get that piece of paper we make a Move Again.


Friday, September 10, 2010


See if you can spot us.
Just click on ALISHAN , the webcam will
show you Nagasaki Port. You can operate the camera.
We are in the small marina
on the far right, parked in line behind a catamaran.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Number 7 aka Malou

Look what keeps us here in Akune..... Ms. Malou
Wind strenght and wind direction are no problems for us here in the harbor....
And the continues stream of visitors o/b of Alishan makes it even more a "Typhoon Party".
(btw, Akune is in the right hand bottom part of the yellow circle.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shutter and Wall paintings in Akune

Fuji Film couldn't do better.

Akune's Prime Coffee Shop. They closed the shutters just for us to take the picture.

Marijke & Kiyota Sensei ( The Artist) doing the picture trick.

Hmmm, what's he looking at...



Some of you might know what AA means to me.
Well, in this case it also means: Alishan is in Akune.
32° 01' 281 N
130° 11' 523 E

And it is good to be here.

Typhoon # 7, with the sweet name of Kompasu was heading this way. Luckily for us "she" choose a course very far to the West and we had zero wind/waves from her. Mind you, the pontoon we are along side AND the solid concrete wall not far behind us should have given us plenty comfort. Let's not say that too loud, as there are more Ls and TDs down under.....Remember September

About 15 years ago we did spend a night in this small town, but beside the harbor , the off-lying islands and the superb down-town 330 yen hot spring we don't recognize much about the place.

Too bad, Akune has been hit hard by the economic downturn. The fishing fleet is having a hard time and so do the shops and stores. We met Mr Kiyota who is turning this place into a tourist attraction by his amazing wall and shutter paintings. Will post some pictures later.

Meanwhile we will hang out here a few more days...... Guess why??