When we wake we are still waggling through the waves, passing a variety of islands as we head towards Muroran where we berth soon after breakfast.  Our excursion is not until lunchtime so we have a quiet morning, my hope was to be able to download a number of podcasts and listen to them and catch up.  However the Internet is unavailable and the TV system which is reliant on network services is also not working!

In the absence of the web I can listen to some of the stored recordings, eliminating the downloaded backlog of Archers episodes but my plan to listen to the weekend podcasts is scuppered.  Using Evernote can be annoying in that the notes written are locked away online and cannot be accessed either or updated from Wikipedia!

Our trip today is not connected to Japanese history but instead is to look more at the countryside with a visit to Chikyu to see the view over the lighthouse and often, we are told, to see dolphins but the latter are not in evidence today, perhaps off put by a chilling wind.

We then move onto Mount Usu which has a “ropeway” to the summit of the volcano.  It turns out that this is a cable car with a capacity of 96 passengers to take us to the higher level, a long way from a “ropeway”.  To reach the volcano crater is over 100 steps and my lungs struggle with taking the steps at a normal pace.

An additional point of interest is an adjacent hillside which during earlier volcanic activity had turned in two years from a flat wheatfield to a 400m mountain as evidenced above.  It is slowly cooling and is now slowly reducing in height as well as trees slowly growing up the hillsides as they cool and in a few years will be completely covered.  As it is a cool day we are able to see the escaping steam but that is not usually so obvious.

The main volcano erupts on average 4 times a century but looks quiet at present however as the last eruption was in 2000 it cannot be long!

We return to the ship.  Our sliding door has been secured with vast amounts of gaffer tape, which means that the balcony cannot be accessed, but then it is not really warm enough!