Region: Kagoshima Prefecture
Geographic Coordinates: 31.600000, 130.550000
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 30.0°C (50°F to 86°F)
Kagoshima is a city situated in the southern part of Kyushu Island, Japan. It’s renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, Rich history and culture, And delicious cuisine. The city is encompassed by mountains and sea that offer visitors an awe-inspiring scenery that’s unparalleled in Japan. Sakurajima is one of the most visited attractions in Kagoshima – an active volcano located just across the bay from the city. Tourists can take a ferry to Sakurajima and witness its remarkable eruptions from a safe distance.
Furthermore, There are numerous hot springs around Kagoshima where tourists can unwind after a day of sightseeing or hiking. Another must-visit attraction in Kagoshima is Sengan-en Garden which was built over 350 years ago by the Shimazu clan – one of Japan’s most powerful samurai clans who ruled over Satsuma Province for centuries before playing a pivotal role in modernizing Japan during the Meiji Restoration period. This exquisitely landscaped garden features traditional Japanese architecture such as teahouses and bridges that provide tourists with an immersive cultural experience. Kagoshima also boasts of a rich history dating back to ancient times.
The Shimazu clan played an essential role in shaping Kagoshima’s history as they ruled over it for centuries before modernizing Japan during the Meiji Restoration period. Besides its natural beauty and historical significance, Kagoshima is also famous for its food culture which includes local specialties such as Kurobuta pork (black pig), Sweet potato dishes like imo-jochu (sweet potato liquor) and satsuma-age (deep-fried fishcake), As well as fresh seafood caught off the coast of Kagoshima Bay.
Kagoshima has excellent transportation links with other parts of Kyushu Island including Fukuoka and Nagasaki making it an ideal base for exploring this beautiful region of Japan. Whether you’re interested in nature, History or food culture – there’s something for everyone in this vibrant southern city.
- Sakurajima is an active volcano that dominates the skyline of Kagoshima.
- Sengan-en Garden is a traditional Japanese garden with a beautiful pond, tea house, and stunning views of Sakurajima.
- Shiroyama Observatory is a lookout point that offers panoramic views of Kagoshima city and the surrounding mountains.
- Kagoshima Aquarium is home to a variety of marine life including dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks.
- Iso-teien Garden is a historic garden with cherry blossoms in spring and colorful foliage in autumn.
- Terukuni Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan dedicated to Emperor Jinmu’s grandson, Prince Osu.
- Reimeikan Museum showcases the history and culture of Kagoshima prefecture through exhibits such as samurai swords and pottery.
- Chiran Samurai Residences are preserved samurai residences from the Edo period (1603-1868) featuring beautiful gardens and architecture.
- Tenmonkan Shopping Street is a bustling shopping district with local souvenirs, street food vendors, and restaurants serving local specialties like kurobuta pork dishes or shochu (Japanese distilled spirit).
- Kirishima-Yaku National Park spans across both Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures featuring hiking trails through volcanic landscapes dotted with hot springs or waterfalls like Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine or Ebino Kogen Plateau for example.
- Agriculture: Kagoshima is known for its high-quality agricultural products such as sweet potatoes, green tea, and black pork.
- Fishing: The city has a thriving fishing industry due to its location near the sea.
- Tourism: Kagoshima is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty, hot springs, and historical landmarks such as the Sakurajima volcano.
- Manufacturing: The city has several manufacturing industries including electronics, machinery, and ceramics.
- Healthcare: Kagoshima is home to several hospitals and medical research facilities.
- Education: The city has several universities and colleges that attract students from all over Japan.
- Retail: There are many shopping centers and department stores in Kagoshima that cater to both locals and tourists alike.
- Transportation: Kagoshima is an important transportation hub with a busy airport and port that connects it to other parts of Japan and the world.
- Satsuma Rebellion: The Satsuma Rebellion was a major uprising against the Meiji government in 1877 led by Saigo Takamori, a samurai from Kagoshima.
- Shimazu Clan: The Shimazu clan was one of the most powerful clans in Japan during the feudal period and ruled over Kagoshima for several centuries.
- Sakurajima Volcano: Sakurajima is an active volcano located in Kagoshima Bay and is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes.
- Ryoma Sakamoto: Ryoma Sakamoto was a prominent figure in Japanese history who played a key role in overthrowing the Tokugawa shogunate and establishing modern Japan. He was born in Kagoshima.
- Shuseikan Museum: The Shuseikan Museum is located on the site of the former Satsuma Domain’s ironworks and showcases artifacts from this period, including weapons, armor, and tools.
- Tsurumaru Castle Ruins: Tsurumaru Castle was a castle built by the Shimazu clan during the Edo period but destroyed during the Satsuma Rebellion.
- Kinko Bay: Kinko Bay is a large bay located off the coast of Kagoshima known for its beautiful scenery and marine life.
- Yoshida Shoin: Yoshida Shoin was an influential scholar who played a key role in shaping modern Japan’s political landscape during its transition from feudalism to modernity. He studied at Kameyama Seminary School, which later became part of today’s University of Kagoshima.
- Sengan-en Garden: Sengan-en Garden is a traditional Japanese garden that belonged to one of the wealthiest families in Japan during its time -the Shimazu clan- built around 1658 AD as their villa residence on land facing directly towards Sakura-jima Island across Kinko Bay
- Kagoshima University: Kagoshima University is a national university located in Kagoshima and is one of the oldest universities in Japan. It was founded in 1949 as the successor to Kameyama Technical College, which was established in 1903.
- Sakurajima is an active volcano that offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding landscape.
- The Kagoshima City Aquarium is a popular attraction that showcases a variety of marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles, and penguins.
- The Reimeikan Museum is a history museum dedicated to showcasing the culture and traditions of Kagoshima.
- Sengan-en Garden is a stunning Japanese garden with a traditional tea house and picturesque views of Sakurajima.
- Iso-teien Garden is another beautiful Japanese garden with a pond, teahouse, and walking paths for visitors to enjoy.
- The Satsuma Kiriko Glass Museum highlights unique glassware produced in Kagoshima using traditional techniques.
- Visitors can take in panoramic views of Kagoshima Bay and the city below from the Shiroyama Observatory Deck.
- Terukuni Shrine is a peaceful Shinto shrine dating back over 300 years known for its beautiful architecture.
- The Museum of the Meiji Restoration tells the story of Japan’s modernization during the Meiji period (1868-1912).
- The Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots honors Japan’s kamikaze pilots who sacrificed their lives during World War II in defense of their country’s honor.
- Kagoshima United FC was founded in 2014 and is a professional football club based in Kagoshima City. They currently play in the J3 League, which is the third tier of Japanese football.
- Kagoshima Rebnise, also known as Kagoshima Immaculate Hearts, is a women’s basketball team that was founded in 1970 and has a long history of success. They have won multiple championships in various leagues and tournaments throughout Japan.
- The men’s basketball team, Kagoshima Lightning, was established in 2005 and plays in the B.League – Japan’s top professional basketball league. Although they haven’t yet won any championships, they have been competitive since their inception.
- The Ryukyu Golden Kings are a professional basketball team based out of Okinawa but also have an office branch and practice facility located within Kagoshima City.
- Amigos de Rugby Club is one of the oldest rugby clubs located within southern Kyushu region of Japan; it was founded back in 1986. They compete against other local teams as well as teams from other regions throughout Japan.
- Satsuma Sendai FC is an amateur football club that was established by former players from Sendai High School soccer club; it operates out of Satsuma-Sendai city within Kagishma prefecture itself. They primarily participate at regional level competitions such as Regional Leagues or Emperor’s Cup but are quite popular among locals for their passion towards the sport.
- Kirishima International Music Festival: This classical music festival is held annually in October and features performances by renowned musicians from around the world.
- Kagoshima Kinko Bay Fireworks Festival: One of Japan’s largest fireworks displays takes place in August over Kinko Bay.
- Chiran Samurai Residences Festival: Held in April, this festival celebrates the samurai culture of Chiran with parades and traditional performances.
- Satsuma Kiriko Glass Exhibition: An annual exhibition showcasing the traditional glass-making techniques of Kagoshima is held every November.
- Tanegashima Space Center Open Day: A rare opportunity to visit Japan’s space center and learn about its history and current projects is held every few years.
- Kagoshima Food and Culture Festival: A celebration of local cuisine and culture, with food stalls, live music, and traditional performances.
- Kagoshima Marathon: This marathon attracts runners from all over Japan and beyond, taking place annually in February or March.
- Shigetomi Shrine Autumn Festival: A traditional festival featuring a parade of mikoshi (portable shrines) through the streets of Kagoshima City.
- Shiroyama Park Cherry Blossom Festival: Visitors can enjoy a stunning display of cherry blossoms at Shiroyama Park while enjoying food stalls selling local delicacies like satsuma-age (deep-fried fish cakes) each year in early April.
- Kagoshima International Film Festival: Held annually since 1991, the film festival showcases both Japanese films as well as international films from around the world to promote cultural exchange between countries.
Kagoshima is renowned for its premium black pork, which is succulent and full of flavor. Some of the most popular dishes made with this ingredient include:
- katsu (cutlet)
- shabu-shabu (hot pot)
- tonkatsu (pork cutlet)
- Satsuma-age is a type of fish cake that has been deep-fried and seasoned with vegetables, fish paste, and other spices.
- Imo-jochu is a distilled spirit made from sweet potatoes that originated in Kagoshima and remains a beloved local beverage.
- Torisashi is raw chicken sashimi that has been marinated in soy sauce and served alongside grated ginger.
- Shirokuma shaved ice is a refreshing dessert made with shaved ice topped with fruit syrup, condensed milk, fruits, and mochi.
If you’re looking to sample these regional delicacies while traveling through Kagoshima prefecture, there are several restaurants worth checking out:
- Chiran Samurai Residence Restaurant boasts traditional samurai-style architecture as well as an impressive selection of kurobuta dishes.
- Takaraya offers imo-jochu cocktails along with other local specialties such as satsuma-age.
- Torishin specializes in torisashi served alongside wasabi or green onion dipping sauce.
- Shirokuma Honpo serves up delicious shaved ice desserts featuring various flavors including strawberry, melon, green tea etc., topped off with fresh fruits and mochi.
- Wakana provides an extensive menu of kurobuta dishes including tonkatsu set meals or shabu-shabu hot pot courses along with other Japanese-style cuisine options like sushi rolls or tempura sets.
- Sengan-en Garden is a traditional Japanese garden with a history dating back over 350 years.
- Kagoshima City Aquarium features marine life from the waters around Kagoshima.
- Shiroyama Park is located on a hill overlooking the city of Kagoshima, with views of Sakurajima volcano and Kinko Bay.
- Kagoshima Botanical Garden showcases over 3,000 species of plants from around the world.
- Tsurumaru Castle Ruins Park offers walking paths and scenic views of the ruins of a castle that was built in the early 1600s.
- Iso Beach is a popular beach for swimming and sunbathing, located just outside of Kagoshima city.
- Kirishima-Yaku National Park is located in the mountains between Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, featuring hiking trails and hot springs.
- Yakushima Island off the coast of Kagoshima is known for its ancient cedar forests and hiking trails.
- Ibusuki Onsen Sand Bath Hall Saraku is an onsen (hot spring) resort where visitors can take a sand bath in naturally heated volcanic sand.
- Kaimondake Volcano Hiking Trail leads to the top of Kaimondake volcano offering panoramic views of southern Kyushu island including Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshimabay