Here on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, volcanoes keep percolating outside the island’s largest city of Sapporo.—with its million, six hundred thousand inhabitants. Sapporo made famous for its beer by German colonialists (officially “immigrants”) in the 1870s, is still considered on of the wolds’ most delicious beers. Saporro sits alongside Mount Usuza—one of the most active volcanoes in Japan—erupting most recently in 2000. At this elevation of 2,400 feet, I’m looking at Showa Shinzan, Japan’s newest volcano, born in 1945 along with what the Japanese call “The Valley of Hell”…and it must be, because I’m surrounded by steam-erupting fumaroles in this 1,400 foot volcanic crater.
I remember reading the Ian Fleming book, “Dr. No” or “You only Live Twice”, when I was 14. which ever one it was, the Japanese villain had built a seat over a fumerole, which geysered ever 45 minutes, blasting high-pressured molten steam skyward, thereby eviscerating the unfortunate fellow buckled into the chair. A reverse version of this technology is employed on the cruise ship via a vis the suction toilets–alluded to in an earlier blog–which can core a puckered sphincter in under 2 seconds if a vacuum seal is purposely or via obesity, achieved.