20 Things to Do in Kagoshima

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Kagoshima Things
Source: Kimon Berlin

Kagoshima is a scenic seaside city that is located on Kyushu island. It is well known for its hot weather, and its famous volcano, Sakurajima. Many people know it as the “Naples of the Eastern World.” Check out these 20 things you should do if you find yourself in this little tropical area.

1. Ibusuki Sand Bath: Saraku

For those of you looking for a tan and a spa day, Saraku provides an interesting spa treatment where you get buried in hot sand. This practice is thought to have many healthy benefits and is good for body circulation. Many visitors think it’s a very relaxing and enjoyable experience.


2. Kirishima Grand Shrine

This shrine is known as “the land where gods once descended”. It is so famous that people from all different cultures come to soak in its culture and spirituality. It is considered a nationally significant cultural property. There are beautiful red gates and structures in addition to a green, peaceful forest for visitors to enjoy.


3. Sakurajima Yogan Nagisa Park – Foot Hot Spring

For those of you looking for a spa treatment but don’t want to pay the price, this park has a free 100 meter long hot spring. While you soak your feet in the warm water you can take in the sights of the Kinko Bay and the amazing Mount Sakurajima. There is also another hot spring nearby for those who want more than just a foot soak.


  • Name: Sakurajima Yogan Nagisa Park
  • Address:11-1 Yamashita-cho,, Kagoshima 892-8677
  • Price: free
  • Opening hour: 9AM – Sunset

4. Kirishima Art Forest

A whimsical modern art museum offers interesting exhibitions and outdoor activities. There are around 22 pieces of artwork from both Japanese and International Artists that are sure to wow and surprise you. All of them are creative and interesting pieces of artwork.


  • Name: Kirishima Art Forest
  • Address: 220 Koba 6340, Yusui-cho, Aira-gun, Kagoshima
  • Price: free
  • Opening hour: Sat-Sun except for Monday 9AM-5PM
  • Website: http://open-air-museum.org/en/facility

5. Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine

This Ravine provides a great adventure for those with a rebellious streak. The forest looks like it came out of a story book with its green ground plants and heavy trees. There are three hiking courses with the most popular being the “Taikoiwa Rock course”. The mysterious part of the forest is half the fun and if you are lucky you might even see some deer!


  • Name: Shiratani Unsuiyko Ravine
  • Address: Yakushima, Kumage District, Kagoshima Prefecture 891-4200
  • Price: 300 yen
  • Opening hour: Always open
  • Website: http://y-rekumori.com/shiratani_text/

6. Tamatebako Open-air Onsen

This onsen hot spring is open air meaning that it is outside and offers a gorgeous view of Mt. Kaimondake and the East China sea. You have a great panoramic view while you relax and soak in the hot spring. It is truly amazing to have the feeling of the hot spring while taking in the ocean and the sky views.


7. Chiran Samurai Residence Complex

This area was home to almost 500 samurai residences during the 19th century. Since the original buildings are all well-preserved, you can see a real Samurai home. For those of you interested in history and the culture of the samurai, this is a can’t miss place to go!


  • Name: Chiran Samurai Residence
  • Address:6198 Kori, Chinan-cho, Minamikyushu 897-0302 , Kagoshima Prefecture
  • Price: 500 yen
  • Opening hour: Sat-Sun 9AM-5PM

8. Shochu Tasting, Distillery

Kagoshima is also known as the kingdom of Shochu. They have over 2000 different brands of Shochu and there are around 113 distilleries in Kagoshima alone. You can set up tours to visit 64 different distilleries and get a taste for yourself!

9. Kagomma Furusato Yataimura

For some great food and night time fun, come to Kagomma Furusato Yataimura. This is a man-made fake village that has many food stalls that have locally-grown foods. It is sure to be fresh and delicious. There are 25 stalls that can seat 8 people each so it is often crowded and very lively.


  • Name: Kagomma Furusato Yataimura
  • Address: Yubinbango890-0053 Kagoshima Chuo-cho 6-4
  • Opening hour: Depends on store or restaurant
  • Website: http://www.kagoshima-gourmet.jp/

10. Build a sand sculpture at Fukiage-hama Beach Sand Sculpture

Kagoshima has an interesting tradition during the summer. Every year there is a big sand festival at Fukiage sandhill. People gather together to see a light show where all of the built sand statues are lit up. There are fireworks and delicious food while you witness the wonderful sights.

11. Ohara Matsuri

One of the most fun events in Kagoshima, the Ohara Matsuri is a giant dance festival held in the downtown area. Over 20000 people attend and dance to traditional Japanese music like the Ohara-bushi. People come in Yukata, and Happi and even home-made costumes.

12. Rokugatsudo Summer Lantern Festival

Rokugatsudo is a number of summer festivals that is held at many shrines and temples during the summer time. The festivals happen every night. People go shopping, enjoy street food, and can gaze at the beautifully lit lanterns while they stroll the shrines.

13. Make your own sushi at Sushi Sayaka

You can make your own sushi at Sushi Sayaka. You will use fresh local fish and learn from one of the wonderful chefs. See if you can create some delicious food here!


  • Name: Sushi Sakaya
  • Address:1-11-1 Yojiro, Kagoshima 890-0062
  • Price: varies
  • Opening hour: Sun-Sat 11:30AM-10PM

14. Yakusugi Land

This area is filled with many cedar trees. People can come here to observe the growth of all different types of trees from newly reborn ones to tiny saplings. There is also a mountain-walking course that is great for beginner and advanced hikers.


  • Name: Yakusugi Land
  • Address: Anbo, Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho 891-4311,Kagoshima Prefecture
  • Opening hour: Sun-Sat 8:30AM-4:30PM

15. Hirakawa Zoological Park

This a zoo that is home to over 1000 animals. It is one of the most well-known zoos for their baby koalas. There are also exotic animals such as the Indian elephant, polar bears, and red pandas. There is also a petting zoo for kids where they can hold rabbits and other baby animals.


  • Name: Hirakawa Zoological Garden
  • Address:5669-1 Hirakawacho, Kagoshima 981-0133
  • Price: 500Yen
  • Opening hour: Sun-Sat 9AM-5PM
  • Website: http://hirakawazoo.jp/

16. Sengan-en Garden

This is a beautiful garden that is best during the spring time during cherry blossom season. It was originally the home of a feudal lord of Japan. All the architecture and garden has been maintained so it feels as if you have gone back to the historical periods of Japan.


  • Name: Sengan-en garden
  • Address:9700-1 Yoshinocho, Kagoshima 892-0871 ,Kagoshima Prefecture
  • Price: 1000 Yen
  • Opening hour: Sun-Sat 8:30AM-5PM
  • Website: http://www.senganen.jp/#_=_

17. Sakura Jima Ferry to visit the Sakurajima Volcano

This is the 20 minute ride that tourists take to visit the Sakurajima Volcano. The Volcano is the main attraction of Kagoshima and is the number 1 thing to do for tourists. It is still an active volcano so if you are lucky you might be able to see some smoke come out the top!

18. See the Saigo Takamori Statue

This statue is a historical site and is surrounded by many other famous monuments and statues. He is an important figure in history. Coming here also is a good drive and can allow for nice views of Kagoshima. Saigo is famous for being the leader of the Restoration army. An interesting piece of Japanese history for people to explore.


19. Yunohira Lookout

This observatory area is the highest point that the general public can go. It is the best way to have a 360 degree view of the city and the famous Sakurajima volcano. You can maybe even get shrouded with the ashes of the Sakurajima if it is a windy day!


20. Buried Shrine Gate

This shrine gate was buried many years ago after a volcano eruption from Sakurajima. It has been there for hundreds of years. It is definitely comparable to Pompeii, the city covered in volcanic ash. It is an unique sight for some to see the power of the active volcano.


Kagoshima is a beautiful natural city that provides the most interesting sight of all: an active volcano. Don’t miss out on such an adventure.

Have a good trip and travel!