Kagoshima, located in the southernmost part of Kyushu Island, is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring the picturesque Sengan-en garden, which dates back to the 17th century, to take a ferry ride to the iconic Sakurajima volcano, there are plenty of things to do in Kagoshima that cater to different interests and preferences.
For those interested in history and culture, the city boasts several museums and historical landmarks, such as Tsurumaru Castle and the Reimeikan Museum. Additionally, Kagoshima is known for its traditional festivals, such as the Sogadon-no-Kasayaki, which celebrates the start of the rice planting season.
For nature enthusiasts, Kagoshima offers a plethora of outdoor activities, such as hiking the Kirishima mountain range, soaking in the steam sand baths at Ibusuki Onsen, and visiting the Yakushima Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its ancient cedar forests. With so much to see and do, Kagoshima is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Japan.
Kagoshima is a city rich in history, with many fascinating historical sites to explore. Here are some of the top historical sites to visit:
- Sengan-en: This beautiful garden was built in the early 17th century and features traditional Japanese architecture, stunning landscapes, and a museum showcasing the history of the Shimazu clan, one of Japan’s most powerful samurai families.
- Nanshu Shrine: This shrine is dedicated to Saigo Takamori, a famous samurai who played a key role in the Meiji Restoration. Visitors can see his tomb and learn about his life and legacy.
- Tsurumaru Castle Ruins: This castle was built in the 16th century and played a key role in the history of Kagoshima. Today, visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the castle’s history.
In addition to these top historical sites, there are many other fascinating places to explore in Kagoshima, including Saigo Takamori’s hideout, where the famous samurai spent his last days, and the Shoko Shuseikan museum, which showcases the history of Kagoshima and its role in Japan’s modernization.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply interested in learning more about Japan’s rich cultural heritage, Kagoshima has something for everyone. So be sure to add these historical sites to your itinerary and explore the city’s fascinating past.
Kagoshima is home to several natural attractions that offer visitors a chance to explore the beauty of nature. Here are some of the must-visit natural attractions in Kagoshima:
Sakurajima is an active volcano located in Kagoshima Bay. It is one of the most popular natural attractions in Kagoshima and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Visitors can take a ferry from the city to the volcano and explore its rugged terrain. There are several hiking trails on the volcano that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can also visit the Sakurajima Visitor Center to learn more about the volcano and its history.
Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park
Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park is a vast park that covers several areas in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures. The park is known for its stunning natural beauty and offers visitors a chance to explore the rugged terrain of the Kirishima Mountains, as well as the beautiful coastline of Kagoshima Bay. Visitors can go hiking, camping, and birdwatching in the park, or simply enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Yakushima Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located off the coast of Kagoshima. The island is known for its ancient cedar forests, which are home to some of the oldest trees in Japan. Visitors can hike through the forest and explore its many trails, or take a guided tour to learn more about the island’s flora and fauna. The island is also home to several waterfalls, including Oko no Taki Fall, which is one of the most popular attractions on the island.
Kagoshima is a city rich in history and culture, offering a variety of cultural experiences for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the top cultural experiences to have in Kagoshima:
- Kagoshima City Museum of Meiji Restoration: This museum is dedicated to the Meiji Restoration, a significant period in Japanese history. Visitors can learn about the events leading up to the restoration and its impact on Japan’s modernization.
- Kagoshima Citizens’ Culture Hall: This cultural hall hosts a variety of events, including traditional Japanese performances such as kabuki and bunraku. Visitors can experience the beauty of Japanese culture through these performances.
In addition to these experiences, visitors can also enjoy traditional Japanese crafts such as pottery and calligraphy. There are several workshops and classes available throughout the city where visitors can learn these crafts from local artisans.
Overall, Kagoshima offers a rich cultural experience for visitors looking to immerse themselves in Japanese history and tradition.
Food and Drink
Kagoshima is known for its unique and delicious cuisine, and there are plenty of opportunities to sample it throughout the city. From traditional dishes to modern fusion cuisine, there is something for every palate.
One of the most famous dishes in Kagoshima is Kurobuta pork, which comes from a specific breed of pig that is raised in the region. It is known for its rich, flavorful meat and is used in a variety of dishes, including tonkatsu (breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet) and shabu-shabu (a hot pot dish). Visitors can try Kurobuta at many restaurants throughout the city.
Another popular dish in Kagoshima is Satsuma-age, a type of fish cake that is made with fish, vegetables, and seasonings. It is often served as a snack or appetizer and can be found at street vendors and local markets.
The city is also known for its shochu, a distilled spirit that is made from sweet potatoes, barley, or rice. It is typically served on the rocks or mixed with water or soda. Visitors can take a tour of a shochu distillery to learn more about the production process and sample different varieties.
For those looking for a unique dining experience, Kagoshima has a number of themed restaurants, including a cat cafe and a ninja-themed restaurant. Visitors can also take a food tour to sample a variety of local dishes and learn more about the city’s culinary history.
Kagoshima offers a diverse shopping experience with a mix of traditional and modern shopping options. From local souvenirs to high-end fashion, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best shopping spots in Kagoshima:
Tenmonkan Shopping District
The Tenmonkan Shopping District is a bustling area in the heart of Kagoshima city. It is home to a variety of shops and department stores, including the popular Maruya Gardens department store. Visitors can find everything from clothing and accessories to souvenirs and traditional Japanese goods. The district also features a range of dining options, including local specialties like Kagoshima ramen and kurobuta pork dishes.
Shiibara Onsen Shopping Street
The Shiibara Onsen Shopping Street is a must-visit for those looking for traditional Japanese souvenirs. Located in the town of Nasu, the street is lined with shops selling local crafts, including pottery, lacquerware, and textiles. One of the most popular shops is the Cheese Garden Nasu Honten, which sells a variety of cheese-based treats, including cheesecake and cheese tarts.
Yamakataya Department Store
The Yamakataya Department Store is one of the oldest and most famous department stores in Kagoshima. It offers a wide range of products, from cosmetics and fashion to household goods and electronics. The store is also home to a rooftop garden, which offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
Overall, shopping in Kagoshima is a great way to experience the local culture and find unique souvenirs. Whether you’re looking for traditional Japanese crafts or high-end fashion, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Nightlife in Kagoshima
Kagoshima is a vibrant city that offers a range of nightlife options. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a night of dancing, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the best nightlife spots to check out:
Sake Café Lab 250
Sake Café Lab 250 is a popular spot for those looking to try some of Kagoshima’s local sake. The bar offers a wide variety of sake, from sweet to dry, and the knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect one for your taste. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, making it a great spot for a date or a night out with friends.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, Bar Corazon is a great option. The bar has a laid-back vibe and offers a variety of cocktails and beers. The bartenders are friendly and welcoming, making it a great spot to meet new people.
For those looking for a night of dancing, Area 13 is the place to be. The club plays a variety of music, from hip hop to EDM, and has a lively atmosphere. The drinks are reasonably priced, and the club is open until the early hours of the morning.
If you’re interested in trying Kagoshima’s famous shochu, head to Shochu Bar. The bar offers a wide variety of shochu, from sweet potato to barley, and the bartenders can help you find the perfect one for your taste. The bar also offers a variety of bar snacks, making it a great spot for a night out.
Overall, Kagoshima offers a range of nightlife options that are sure to suit any taste. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a night of dancing, there is something for everyone.