Largest City


Another earth

Traditional, tropical, mystical, and magical; Kagoshima is nothing short of extraordinary.

Making up the tip of Kyushu and a chain of islands, Kagoshima is an otherworldly blend of the traditional and tropical. Its consistent sunshine coats historic hamlets in the rural north with a bright golden hue. To the south, fine volcanic ash from the very active Sakurajima volcano coats the landscape.


Sakurajima in Kagoshima, Japan.

You can get up close and personal with the volcano on Sakurajima Island

The historic prefectural capital of Kagoshima is the largest city in southern Kyushu. It is a major transport hub for accessing the southern islands. The city is watched over by the roaring Sakurajima, an active volcano just opposite the city, which regularly showers Kagoshima with ash, so pack an umbrella in case of heavy falling dust.

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find In Kagoshima

Shrines, museums, and onsen (hot springs) make the city worth stopping over. It’s a short trip across the bay to reach Sakurajima Island, where you can get up close and personal to the volcano itself to witness the daily eruptions from one of the observation points.

Nearby is the Satsuma Peninsula and the rural town of Chiran. It was once a former base for WWII kamikaze pilots. Today, the airport where they launched now serves as the Chiran Kamikaze Peace Museum. At the beaches of Ibusuki, try traditional sand bathing. You’ll be buried up to your head in hot volcanic sand by a professional sand therapist. It’s much nicer than it sounds.


Yakushima Forest in Kagoshima, Japan.

The incredible Yakushima forest was the inspiration for Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke.

Jump from the mainland to the Osumi-Shoto, the northern set of islands belonging to the Nansei-Shoto, which extends to Okinawa from where you can experience snorkeling, canoeing among mangroves and world-class scuba diving. Surfing and shuttle launches can be viewed on the island of Tanegashima. But for a more relaxed outing picking mangroves and sea kayaking, try Amami-Oshima.

However, the main attraction lies on the mysterious and mystical island of Yakushima, whose ancient impenetrable forests hide arguably some of the most rewarding hiking routes on the earth. Wild monkey and deer roam among ancient cedar trees; a 10-hour hike will lead you to the world’s longest-living tree at an astonishing 7,200 years old. The incredible cedar forest was the setting for Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke.

Plan your trip to Kagoshima with the locations below!


5 Famous Foods You’ll Find In Kagoshima

Never tried ‘Turtle Hands’ or ‘Black Pork?’ Head south for these rare food finds.


Places to visit



Beachy volcanic sand baths in Kyushu? Hell yes! 🏖️🌋

Yoron island, Kagoshima

Yoron Island

Little island, big views: Scenic beaches blessed with Okinawa views and Kagoshima culture.

Lake Ikeda

The home of Japanese Loch Ness!

Shiroyama Park

A park steeped in history, with a seriously impressive view.

Senganen Garden

Where a garden, volcano and ocean make one memorable experience.


Lava trail hiking on an active volcano? Get up close and personal with Kagoshima’s most iconic landmark.

Beach and view of mount Kaimon in Kagoshima, Japan

Mount Kaimon

Kyushu’s answer to Mount Fuji offers a unique trail and spectacular views on the coast of Kagoshima.

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Kagoshima

Never tried ‘Turtle Hands’ or ‘Black Pork?’ Head south for these rare food finds.

Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen

Watch the sunset from this Yakushima onsen on — and in— the sea.

Yurigahama Beach, Kagoshima.

Yurigahama Beach

Yoron Island’s mysterious ‘phantom’ oasis.

Isso Beach, Yakushima in Kagoshima

Isso Beach

Yakushima Island’s secluded, yet fully equipped, whitesand beach

A forest walkway that goes under a large cedar tree in Yakushima.


If life’s got you feeling detached, visit Yakushima to touch the roots of the world.

Other Destinations in Kyushu

Dazaifu shrine in Fukuoka prefecture


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Mount Aso Kumamoto


Between the smoking crater of Mount Aso in the east and the isolated islands of Amakusa in the west, Kumamoto has plenty to keep you enthralled.


The mountains and coasts of Miyazaki are calling.


Looking out east, Nagasaki Prefecture has long been the gateway between the outside world and Japan.

Beppu, in Oita prefecture, Japan's onsen town


Bathe in hell (in a good way) in onsen-filled Oita.

Shisa and Okinawa


Discover white sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, wild jungles, and centuries of unique native traditions.


Kyushu's smallest prefecture is big on history, culture and natural beauty.

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Tokyo Skyline Japan Tokyo Tower


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Tokyo, Japan - August 1, 2015: Crowds pass below colorful signs in Akihabara. The well known electronics district specializes in the sales of video games, anime, manga, and computer goods.


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Manhole cover in Ghibli museum, Tokyo-Japan.

Ghibli Museum

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