The largest crater lake in Kyushu.
Tourists from around the world come to experience the steaming-hot sand baths all year. The nearby Cape Nagasaki-bana is filled with pretty flowers during the mild weather seasons. Mt. Kaimon is regarded as one of the 100 best mountains in Japan.
Ibusuki, located on the southeastern tip of the Satsuma peninsula, is a famous resort area in Kyushu. Blessed with mild weather and abundant hibiscus growth, this place emanates a tropical atmosphere. Ibusuki is known for its steam sand baths, which are heated by natural subterranean geysers. Visitors clad in bath robes lying in the sand pits are buried with sand up to their necks. The weight and heat of the sand stimulate blood circulation, and after about 10 minutes, the whole body begins to perspire. It is a pleasant sensation for the young and old alike.
The nearby Cape Nagasakibana is a beautiful place blessed with mild weather and flowers that bloom all year round. In the flower theme park “Flower Park Kagoshima”, 400 types of plants (and as many as 400,000 plants in total) can be seen flourishing in their natural environment, and visitors can get to enjoy the flowers of each season. In Nagasakibana Parking Garden, where tropical and subtropical plants grow, visitors can also enjoy delightful shows put up by orangutans and flamingos.
Mt. Kaimon, 924m above sea level and selected as one of the hundred best mountains in Japan. It is the symbol of the southernmost part of the Satsuma peninsula and is also known as Satsuma-Fuji. It belongs to the Kirishima-Yaku National Park. As there are no other high mountains nearby, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of Mt. Kaimon from any location. The hiking trails are well laid-out and from the peak, one is treated to a lovely view of Cape Sata to the east. On clear days, one can also enjoy a distant view of Tanegashima, Yakushima, and the smoking Ioujima Island.
Another attraction in Ibusuki is Lake Ikeda, which is the largest lake in Kyushu. It is a crater lake with a shoreline of 15km and a depth of 233m, formed by land subsidence during the eruption of Mount Kaimon. Early spring is the best time to enjoy the rape blossoms by the lake, and be treated to the picturesque contrast of the deep blue lake and brightly-colored blossoms.
To the northwest of Ibusuki, in Chiran town of Minami-Kyushu City, one will find old samurai residences lined up along a 700m long stretch of road, surrounded by stone walls. They remain much as they were since about 260 years ago.
From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 50 min from Haneda to Kagoshima Airport, and 1h 35 min from the airport to Ibusuki by bus.
[Rail] 5h from Tokyo to Hakata Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line. 1h 36 min from Hakata to Shin-Yatsushiro Station by JR Kagoshima Line (limited express), and 35 min to Kagoshima Chuo (Central) Station by JR Tsubame Shinkansen Line. 1h from the station to Ibusuki by JR Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line (rapid train).
From Osaka :
[Air] 1h 10 min from Itami or Kansai International Airport to Kagoshima Airport.
[Rail] 2h 25 min from Shin-Osaka to Hakata Station by Shinkansen.