A castle town known for the active volcano Sakurajima and the remains of historic spots from the Meiji Restoration. In particular, Sakurajima is the symbol of Kagoshima.
Kagoshima city, the administrative, economic, and cultural center of Kagoshima Prefecture, was a castle town dating back to the 14th century. Kagoshima city and its suburbs are located on the northeastern part of the Satsuma peninsula, facing the Kagoshima Bay, which is also known as Kinko Bay.
The smoking Sakurajima which floats on the Kagoshima Bay is a symbol of Kagoshima. Located about four kilometers from the center of Kagoshima city, it has been the site of repeated great eruptions throughout history and is one of the most famous active volcanoes in the world. Sakurajima Island had originally been an isolated island but the lava flows from the big eruption of 1914 joined it to the adjacent Osumi peninsula. Lava fields can be seen everywhere on the island, testifying the history of its violent eruptions.
Located near Okikojima Islet is the Sakurajima Marine Park where visitors can observe the seabed, its coral reefs and sea anemones. The Sakurajima Visitor Center has a museum that showcases a detailed history of the eruptions of Sakurajima and its relationship with the local people. The Yunohira Observation Spot, 373m above sea level, is the spot nearest to the active Minamidake crater. From here, one can get a panoramic view of the area which includes vast lava fields. There are also other well-positioned observation points with dynamic lookouts such as the Arimura Lava Observation Spot. Sakurajima is also known for the Sakurajima Radish the largest variety in the world, and the Sakurajima Mandarin Orange the smallest variety in the world.
Shiroyama, a hill 107m above sea level, is known as the battlefield of the last hard-fought battle during the Meiji Restoration. From the hilltop, one can overlook Kagoshima city and also enjoy the view of Kagoshima Bay, with its quiet waves in the distance, and the grandeur of Sakurajima. At Sengan-en Garden (also known as Iso-Teien Garden), constructed by Mitsuhisa Shimazu (the 19th patriarch of the Shimazu family) as a guest house of the Tsurumaru castle, one can enjoy the view of a distant Sakurajima sitting atop Kagoshima Bay, and be treated to the beautiful sights of the cherry blossoms in spring, and other types of flowers (such as azalea and chrysanthemum) throughout the four seasons. Among the preserved items exhibited at the nearby Shoko Shuseikan museum include materials and records of the factories built during the Edo Period in 17th century to support the modernization efforts of Kagoshima through the manufacturing of cannons, boats and glassware (called Satsuma-kiriko).
In recent years, the area of focus for development is the north wharf, where lots of events are held on the vast green zones. Some events during summertime include a fireworks display during which as many as 13,000 sets of fireworks are fired, live concerts and sunset cruises. In fall, the Ohara Festival is held, where about 20,000 dancers parade along the main streets of the city, attracting more than 600,000 spectators.
From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 50 min from Haneda to Kagoshima Airport, and 40 min from the airport to JR Kagoshima Chuo (Central) Station by bus.
From Osaka :
[Air] 1h 10 min from Itami to Kagoshima Airport.