(See page 2 for the German Version)
When you fly over Japan by airplane and look out of the window, you can see many small islands close to the main island in the sea, which from above look like little dark blobs of paint that have been accidentally spread across the crystal blue canvas. I always wonder, what kind of life people lead on these small islands, or if there are any people living there at all, and what kind of nature or animals you can find there…so I always feel a little bit like Indiana Jones, when I jump on the ferry to explore one of these islands.
Our expedition this time brought me and my friend to Nokonoshima, an island located in Hakata Bay, close to Fukuoka. After a 10-minute ferry ride, there was no impenetrable jungle waiting for us, but we only found some small old-looking along one large main street and a bus stop. That was where we headed, as the bus from there would bring us to our actual destination, the so-called “Island Park”. This small park is home to a whole range of colorful flora and fauna and you can see fields full of flowers there, regardless of the season, such as canola flowers and azaleas in the spring, sunflowers in summer and right now in autumn there are many cosmos flowers. Now, before I came to Japan, I did not really know anything about these `cosmos flowers` with their cool sounding name, but at least in the countryside you can see their pink and purple flowers at every street corner, so I quickly got to like them.
And I must say that Nokonoshima is very good at marketing its little island park. If it is not as cloudy and rainy like on the day when we visited, there are many people from the city coming to the island, especially on weekends. In the park itself you can not only see the many flowers mentioned above, but there are also a few restaurants, a cafe, a barbecue area, some small shops, a pottery workshop and also a petting zoo with goats and bunnies that will happily come along, when being offered food.
After such an `expedition day` I am normally satisfied and won`t visit an island twice, but in terms of Nokonoshima I could well imagine myself going there again in summer to pay a visit to the beach or to take pictures of the joyful yellow fields full of sunflowers on the hills near the ocean.