Kagoshima, situated at the southern tip of the Kyushu island, may not be on the typical tourist trail in Japan yet it offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Here are ten exciting things to do in Kagoshima, Japan:
Explore the Active Sakurajima Volcano
If you are looking for a thrilling experience, Sakurajima is just the place to be. The active volcano looms over the Kagoshima Bay, with smoke plumes often visible from the city. The best way to experience the volcano is by taking a boat tour of the bay. As you approach the volcano, brace yourself for a spectacular sight.
The Sakurajima volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Japan, with frequent eruptions that can be seen and heard from miles away. The volcano is located on a small island in Kagoshima Bay, and visitors can take a ferry to the island to get up close and personal with the volcano.
Hike the Volcanic Trails
On the volcano, gas emissions and the sound of bubbling mud pools add to the sense of adventure. Visitors can also hike the many trails on the mountain. Some of the popular routes include the Arimura lookout road and the Yunohira observation point, providing breathtaking views of the surroundings.
The hiking trails on Sakurajima offer a unique opportunity to explore the rugged terrain of the volcano. The trails range from easy to challenging, with options for all levels of hikers. Along the way, visitors can see firsthand the effects of the volcano on the landscape, including lava flows and ash deposits.
Visit the Sakurajima Visitor Center
If you want to learn more about the volcano, the Sakurajima Visitor Center is an ideal place to start. The center showcases the geological features of the volcano, as well as its history and the impact it has on Kagoshima. The center has a panoramic view of Sakurajima that visitors will surely enjoy.
The Sakurajima Visitor Center is a great way to learn about the science behind the volcano. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits, watch videos about the volcano, and even touch real volcanic rocks. The center also offers guided tours of the volcano and surrounding area.
Relax in a Natural Hot Spring
After a day full of adventure, why not unwind in one of Kagoshima’s natural hot springs? The city is well known for its hot springs, boasting about 100 of them. The hot springs are said to have therapeutic benefits and are sure to give visitors a soothing experience.
The hot springs in Kagoshima are fed by the abundant geothermal energy in the area, and are known for their healing properties. Visitors can choose from a variety of hot springs, including outdoor baths with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests.
Overall, a visit to Sakurajima is a must for anyone interested in the natural wonders of Japan. With its stunning views, unique hiking trails, and relaxing hot springs, there is something for everyone on this active volcano.
Discover Kagoshima’s Rich History
Kagoshima, located in the southernmost part of Kyushu, Japan, has a rich and fascinating history that has shaped the city’s culture and traditions. The city’s history is a blend of samurai culture and international trading, which has left a lasting impact on the city and its people.
Visitors to Kagoshima can get a glimpse of the city’s rich history by making stops at some of the city’s historical sites.
Tour the Sengan-en Garden and Villa
The Sengan-en Garden and Villa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of Kagoshima. The garden dates back to the Edo period and features traditional Japanese landscaping that offers stunning views of Kagoshima Bay. Visitors can learn about the Shimazu family, who played a significant role in Kagoshima’s history, while exploring the villa and its cultural artifacts.
The Shimazu family was one of the most powerful samurai clans in Japan during the Edo period. They were known for their progressive policies and were instrumental in the modernization of Japan. The Sengan-en Garden and Villa was their retreat, and it served as a place for them to relax and entertain guests.
Learn at the Museum of the Meiji Restoration
The Museum of the Meiji Restoration is a great place to learn about the tumultuous period during which Japan was transformed into a modern country. The museum boasts numerous historical artifacts and detailed descriptions of events leading up to the Meiji Restoration.
The Meiji Restoration was a period of great change in Japan’s history. It marked the end of the feudal era and the beginning of a modern, industrialized Japan. The restoration was led by Emperor Meiji, who sought to modernize Japan and bring it in line with the Western powers.
Visit the Terukuni Shrine
The Terukuni Shrine is the oldest and most significant Shinto shrine in Kagoshima. It is dedicated to Ninigi-no-mikoto, the grandson of the sun goddess Amaterasu. Visitors can learn about the importance of Shintoism in Japanese culture, while enjoying the stunning architecture and gorgeous gardens.
Shintoism is the indigenous religion of Japan and has been practiced for thousands of years. It is based on the belief in kami, or spirits, that inhabit all things in nature. Shinto shrines are considered to be the dwelling places of the kami, and they serve as a place for worship and prayer.
The Terukuni Shrine is a beautiful example of Shinto architecture, with its traditional wooden buildings and intricate carvings. The shrine is also surrounded by stunning gardens that are filled with cherry blossoms in the spring.
Overall, Kagoshima offers a unique and fascinating glimpse into Japan’s rich history and culture. From the samurai era to the modernization of Japan, the city has played a significant role in shaping Japan’s past and present.
Experience Local Culture and Cuisine
Kagoshima’s rich heritage and unique traditions are reflected in its cultural offerings and cuisine. Visitors can dive into the local scene by engaging in the following activities:
Stroll Through the Lively Tenmonkan District
The Tenmonkan district offers visitors a glimpse of the local culture, with its lively streets, local shops, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll through the district and admire the traditional architecture of the buildings. Along the way, stop by the local shops and browse through the various souvenirs and handicrafts. Visitors can sample the best of Kagoshima’s cuisine, including delicacies such as Satsuma-age (deep-fried fishcake) and kibinago (silver-stripe round herring). These dishes are not only delicious but also reflect the local culture and history of the region.
Taste Traditional Kagoshima Dishes
Kagoshima boasts a variety of dishes that are unique to the region. Visitors can try the local dishes at specialized restaurants around the city. Some popular Kagoshima dishes include tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen, kurobuta (black pork), and Satsuma imo (sweet potato). These dishes are made with locally sourced ingredients and are prepared using traditional cooking methods. Visitors can learn about the history and significance of these dishes while enjoying their flavors.
Attend a Kagoshima Tea Ceremony
Tea culture is an integral part of Kagoshima’s rich history. Visitors can attend a traditional tea ceremony and learn about the art of tea-making. During the ceremony, visitors can savor the flavor of Kagoshima’s renowned tea, which is known for its rich taste and aroma. The tea ceremony is not only a cultural experience but also a spiritual one, as it emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and relaxation.
Aside from these activities, visitors can also explore Kagoshima’s museums and art galleries to learn more about the region’s history and art scene. The city is also known for its natural beauty, with scenic spots such as Sakurajima, a volcanic island located just a short ferry ride away. Overall, Kagoshima offers a unique and immersive travel experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Kagoshima is a nature lover’s paradise, with a diverse range of outdoor activities to suit all interests. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a fan of water sports, or simply looking for a peaceful stroll, Kagoshima has something for everyone.
Take a Boat Tour of Kinko Bay
Kinko Bay is a true gem of Kagoshima Prefecture, and one of the best ways to experience its beauty is by taking a boat tour. As you glide across the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, such as dolphins and sea turtles, that call the bay home.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at fishing or diving in the bay’s pristine waters. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the underwater world of Kinko Bay.
Explore the Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park
The Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park is a nature lover’s dream come true. Located on the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, this volcanic park boasts a stunning array of landscapes and geological features.
One of the best ways to explore the park is by hiking one of its many trails. From easy walks to challenging treks, there’s a trail for every level of hiker. Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the park’s active volcanoes, hot springs, and lakes. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, such as deer and monkeys, that call the park home.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing way to experience the park, consider taking a dip in one of its many hot springs. These natural pools are said to have healing properties, and are the perfect way to unwind after a long day of hiking.
Visit the Cape Nagasakibana and Flower Park
If you’re a fan of flowers and scenic views, the Cape Nagasakibana and Flower Park is a must-visit destination. This stunning park is home to a wide variety of plants, with flowers blooming year-round.
Take a leisurely stroll through the park, enjoying the stunning views of Kagoshima Bay from the cliffside. You’ll be treated to an explosion of colors and scents, as the park’s flowers bloom in vibrant hues. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as there are plenty of photo opportunities to capture your memories of this beautiful park.
In addition to its natural beauty, the park is also home to a variety of cultural attractions. Check out the traditional Japanese garden, or visit the local museum to learn more about the history of the area.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a culture buff, or simply looking for a peaceful escape, Kagoshima’s Cape Nagasakibana and Flower Park is a destination that should not be missed.
Kagoshima may not be as popular as other destinations in Japan, but its rich history and unique cultural offerings make it an ideal place for a memorable vacation. This city has something for everyone – from the thrill-seekers to the nature lovers to the foodies. So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Kagoshima and experience the adventure that awaits you!