Top 26 Things To Do In Kagoshima, Japan - Updated 2021

things to do in kagoshima
Tenissa
Tenissa
Updated

Nestled on Kyushu Island in Japan, Kagoshima is a laid-back seaside city that is also a major city in Kagoshima Prefecture. If you are looking to indulge in a more relaxed and peaceful vacation, Kagoshima is the right place for you. Unlike the hectic Tokyo or Kyoto, the atmosphere in Kagoshima is more tranquil. But, just like every other city in Japan, Kagoshima is fully loaded with a myriad of attractions that can guarantee an elevated travel experience, from parks and shrines to museums and aquariums. Keep on reading to learn about the top things to do in Kagoshima, Japan, and enjoy.

1. Tour the iconic volcanic island of Sakurajima

Kagoshima cityscape against the background of Sakurajima volcano
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mstyslav Chernov/... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Japan is known for its numerous active volcanoes and one of the most popular and active volcanoes can be found in Kagoshima. Tour the volcanic island of Sakurajima before you explore the other attractions for a beautiful start of your vacation. If you observe carefully, you can see constant volcano smokes as well as minor eruptions that happen frequently in a day. Other than observing the volcanic activities, you can also enjoy other things such as having an onsen or foot baths near the ferry terminal of Sakurajima.

Sakurajima

Address: Sakurajima, Kagoshima, Japan

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

2. Relax in the open-air onsen of Shiroyama Hotel Kagoshima (from USD 193)

If you are not sure about where to say in Kagoshima, you may be interested in booking a room at this contemporary hotel Shiroyama Hotel. The hotel is famous for offering an open-air natural hot spring, also known as onsen in Japanese. While indulging in the onsen, you can marvel at the fantastic views of the sea and Sakurajima. Other than the onsen, the hotel also features a spa center in which guests can enjoy a mist sauna, a flower bath, and other massage treatments. As for your room, you will comfortably stay in a room that is equipped with modern facilities that include an LCD TV with satellite channels, a fridge, and a private bathroom.


SHIROYAMA HOTEL kagoshima

Address: Shinsyouin 41-1

Room service On-site parking Public Bath Internet services Parking Bar Designated smoking area Non-smoking rooms

3. Stop by the Statue of Saigo Takamori, Japan's 'last samurai'

Stop by the Statue of Saigo Takamori - Japan's 'last samurai'

You may be familiar with the word samurai, but you may not have the knowledge related to samurais, such as the most influential samurais the last samurai. While in Kagoshima, it would be worth it to stop by the statue of Saigo Takamori, one of the most influential Japanese samurai in the history of Japan. What is more, Saigo Takamori was also believed to be the country’s last samurai before he was banished. Make a quick stop at the statue and pay your respect before continuing with your adventure in Kagoshima.

Statue of Saigo Takamori

Address: 4- 36 Shiroyamacho, Kagoshima, 892-0853, Japan

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

4. Revisit Japanese technological history at Shuseikan Reverberatory Furnace

Revisit Japanese technological history at the Shuseikan Reverberatory Furnace
Source: 小谷 結城

It is time for some history lesson. If you are interested in gaining some insights into Japanese technological history, you need to find your way to Shuseikan Reverberatory Furnace. The site was built with the purpose to increase the wealth of Japan through strong production during the Meiji period. During that period, the people believed that a rich country would have a strong army and a strong army meant strong defense. Thus, numerous reverberatory furnaces were produced for artillery casting. This place is also claimed to be the start of the modern Japanese manufacturing industry that has grown exponentially. From this place, you can also marvel at the views of Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima.

Shuseikan Reverberatory Furnace

Address: 892-0871 Kagoshima, Yoshinocho, Japan

Website: Shuseikan Reverberatory Furnace

Opening hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm (daily)

Price: 1000 JPY (9 USD)

5. Chill out with shaved ice desserts at Tenmonkan Mujaki

Chill out with shaved ice desserts at Tenmonkan Mujaki
Source: 水津 陽子

You may feel a little bit tired after visiting some of Kagoshima’s most interesting attractions and you need to chill out for some time. If you feel the need to do so, there is no better place than Tenmonkan Mujaki, which is situated right in the heart of Tenmonkan shopping district. The eatery is famous for its shaved ice desserts and people are willing to wait a long line just to have a taste of the delicious dessert. With Kagoshima condensed milk and fruit scattered on top of the ice, nothing can beat the sweetness level of this dessert.

Tenmonkan Mujaki

Address: 5- 8 Sennichicho, Kagoshima, 892-0843, Japan

Website: Tenmonkan Mujaki

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 9:30pm; Sun: 10am - 9:30pm

Price: 700 JPY (7 USD)

6. Visit the adorable dolphins at Kagoshima Aquarium

Visit the adorable dolphins at Kagoshima Aquarium
Source: 羽田 さえ

Nestled along the water of Kagoshima Port, Kagoshima Aquarium is an amusing place for people of all ages. Children, teenagers, adults, and elderly people can all have fun meeting a variety of native marine animals. The most prominent feature of this aquarium is the Dolphin Pool that holds three dolphin shows per day. Enjoy watching the lovely dolphins swim freely and perform some unbelievable tricks. You will also want to visit the Kuroshio Tank, a giant tank in which fish of all sizes and species come to live together in one place. Favorite inhabitants of the tank include rays and giant whale sharks.

Kagoshima Aquarium

Address: 3-1 Honkoshinmachi, Kagoshima, 892-0814, Japan

Website: Kagoshima Aquarium

Opening hours: 9:30am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 1500 JPY (14 USD)

7. Admire fine pottery at the Satsuma Denshokan Museum

Admire fine pottery at Satsuma Denshokan Museum
Source: 小谷 結城

You have seen animals, you have seen statues and now it is time to see and admire fine pottery at Satsuma Denshokan Museum. Through the full display of local ceramics, you can gain insights into the history of the modern-day Kagoshima around the beginning of the Meiji era.

Satsuma Denshokan Museum

Address: 12131-4 Higashikata, Ibusuki, Kagoshima 891-0404, Japan

Website: Satsuma Denshokan Museum

Opening hours: 8:30am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 1500 JPY (14 USD)

8. Dine on Kagoshima's famous black pork at Ajimori

Dine on Kagoshima's famous black pork at Ajimori
Source: 水津 陽子

Pork is something that some of us eat every day, but black pork, most of us have no idea what it tastes like. That is why since you are enjoying your travel in Kagoshima, you have the opportunity to taste the city’s famous black pork. The best restaurant to indulge in black pork is Ajimori. One of the best ways to enjoy this black pork is the shabu-shabu style where the black pork is cooked inside a pot of hot boiling water. Other than the pork, vegetables are also commonly used to be boiled in the water.

Ajimori

Address: 13-21 Kagoshima, 892-0843, Japan

Website: Ajimori

Opening hours: Thu - Tue: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 09:30pm (closed on Wed)

Price: 880 JPY (8 USD)

9. Take a scenic rail journey on the JR Hisatsu Line

Take a scenic rail journey on the JR Hisatsu Line
Source: しもちん

Kyushu has a lot of beautiful scenery and one of the best ways to enjoy the overall Kyushu is by taking a rail journey. The highly recommended rail journey is the one on the JR Hisatsu line between Yatsushiro Station and Hayato Station. As the train starts its engine, you can look outside the window and have a relaxed countryside experience as you are passing through lush hills, mountains and serene waters.

JR Hisatsu Line

Address: Kyushu, Kagoshima, Japan

Website: JR Hisatsu Line

Price: 7000 JPY (65 USD)

10. Sample the local cuisine at Kagomma Furusato Food Village

Sample the local cuisine at Kagomma Furusato Food Village
Source: 六三四

Kagoshima boasts a lot of delicious local dishes and instead of going from one restaurant to another to sample all the dishes, it is better for you to go to a place in which you can sample a variety of Kagoshima’s local cuisine. This place is Kagomma Furusato Food Village. Having opened since 2012, the food village features around 25 food stalls that serve a selection of local dishes as well as locally brewed shochu spirits. Choose the stalls that strike your fancy and have a happy lunch.

Kagomma Furusato Food Village

Address: 6-4 Chuocho, Kagoshima, 890-0053, Japan

Website: Kagomma Furusato Food Village

Opening hours: 12pm - 2pm, 5pm - 12am (daily)

11. Commemorate WWII kamikaze pilots at the Chiran Peace Museum

Commemorate WWII kamikaze pilots at the Chiran Peace Museum
Source: 大川原 明

World War II is one of the most tragic events in history. It would be nice to pay some respect and commemorate the kamikaze pilots of World War II at Chiran Peace Museum. The museum was built as a dedication to the kamikaze pilots (also known as suicide pilots in English) who sacrificed themselves during the war. There were 1,036 kamikaze pilots in total.

Chiran Peace Museum

Address: 17881 Chiran, Minamikyushu, Kagoshima 897-0302, Japan

Website: Chiran Peace Museum

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 500 JPY (5 USD)

12. Stroll through sunshine-yellow fields of rape blossoms along Lake Ikeda

Lake Ikeda
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user David Lisbona used under CC BY 2.0

The beauty of a lake never ceases to take our breath away. When in Kagoshima, you have to let the beauty of Lake Ikeda take your breath away. Situated in the southern part of Kagoshima, Lake Ikeda is the biggest volcanic lake on Kyushu Island. The lake was formed naturally due to the volcanic activities that took place thousands of years ago. But, what makes Lake Ikeda even more beautiful is the sunshine-yellow field alongside the lake. Stroll through the beautiful flowers and marvel at the lake, it is just a perfect combination.

Lake Ikeda

Address: Lake Ikeda, Kagoshima, Japan

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

13. Browse the interactive exhibitions at the Kirishima Open Air Museum

Kirishima Open-Air Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ja:Sanjo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Tucked away in a tranquil woodland area away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Kirishima Open Air Museum promises an incredible opportunity where you can enjoy the best of nature and artworks at the same time. Unlike many other museums that show their collections in an indoor area, Kirishima Open Air Museum features interactive exhibitions of various shapes, sizes, and colors in the outdoor area. The most notable pieces include Floating Form Red by Keiji Uematsu that symbolizes the connection between nature and people and the entrance’s attraction Flowers of Shangri-la that symbolizes life and hope.

Kirishima Open Air Museum

Address: 6340-220 Koba, Yusui, Aira District, Kagoshima 899-6201, Japan

Website: Kirishima Open Air Museum

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 310 JPY (3 USD)

14. Explore the vast grasslands of Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park

Explore the vast grasslands of Kirishimakinkowan National Park
Source: 旅人間

Appreciate the beauty of nature by exploring the vast grasslands of Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park that offers you the views of fuming volcanoes and breathtaking coastlines. The national park can be divided into the southern part and the northern part, each comes with its own characteristics. If you are fond of volcanic activities, you should explore the northern park that features more than 20 active volcanoes. But, if you are more into the natural landscapes you should visit the southern part because from this area you can admire Mount Kaimon and Mount Sakurajima and Lake Ikeda, among others. Of course, it is best to explore both parts of one of the oldest national parks in Japan.

Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park

Address: Kirishima, Kagoshima 899-4201, Japan

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

15. Admire the striking carvings of Kirishima-Jingu Shrine

Admire the striking carvings of Kirishima-Jingu Shrine
Source: 六三四

Kirishima-Jingu Shrine is a Shinto shrine and one of the oldest shrine in Japan. The best feature about this shrine is probably its striking carvings that deserve admiration. Set in the lush greenery of a forest, the shrine is also famous for its vermilion facade, old cheddar trees, cherry blossom trees, and maple trees. Different season displays different view, that is why if possible, you need to visit this shrine in all four seasons.

Kirishima-Jingu Shrine

Address: 2608-5 Kirishimataguchi, Kirishima, Kagoshima 899-4201, Japan

Website: Kirishima-Jingu Shrine

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

16. Stop by the unusual Misaki Shrine


Another shrine in Kagoshima that is worth visiting is Misaki Shrine, which is claimed to be the most unique shrine in the city. Situated in Minamiosumi Town, Misaki Shrine is rather unusual and exotic because of its shape that looks more like a house with a red roof. The shrine will remind you of Okinawa’s traditional buildings. As you walk through the shrine, you will be embraced by cicada trees. You will also need to climb the stairs to get to the shrine. No worries as they are easy and quick steps.

Misaki Shrine

Address: 893-2604 Kagoshima, Kimotsuki District, Minamiosumi, Satamagome, Japan

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

17. Get panoramic views of blue seas from Cape Sata

Cape Sata
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user abu_9495 used under CC BY 3.0

Tucked away on the tip of Osumi Peninsula, Cape Sata offers an observatory deck from which you can marvel at the panoramic blue seas whose beauty will captivate you for a long time. The views that you can admire include the green rocky cliffs, the dolphin bay and a lighthouse that was built a long time ago in 1871.

Cape Sata

Address: 416-1 Satamagome, Minamiosumi, Kimotsuki District, Kagoshima 893-2604, Japan

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 500 JPY (5 USD)

18. Pay a visit to the Tanegashima Space Center

Indulge your astronaut fantasies at the Tanegashima Space Center

Some of you may have dreamed about being an astronaut when you were a little kid. Now, you have the opportunity to indulge in your fantasies by making a stop at the Tanegashima Space Center. In case you do not know, it is the largest complex for a rocket launch in Japan. In this site, you can take a look at a site for the launching of large rockets along with a site for spacecraft test and spacecraft assembly.

Tanegashima Space Center

Address: 891-3703 Kagoshima, Kumage District, Minamitane, Kukinaga, Japan

Website: Tanegashima Space Center

Opening hours: 9:30am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free

19. Trek through the rich greenery of Mononoke Forest

Mononoke forest, Yakushima island
Source: Photo by Flickr user Casey Yee used under CC BY-SA 2.0

What a rich greenery Mononoke Forest is endowed with. There is no way you can skip this place because you have to trek through the rich greenery and reconnect with nature. As soon as you reach the forest, you feel so magical and mystical that you just cannot wait to explore everything. Among the best features of the forest are the huge Yaku cedars, the moss, and the waters.

Mononoke Forest

Address: Kagoshima, Japan

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

20. Take a ferry to the rustic Tokara Islands

Take a ferry to the rustic Tokara Islands
Source: かっぴー

Comprising seven uninhabited islands, Tokara Islands are a small but incredible archipelago in Japan. Enjoy a sweet escape to the rustic islands by taking a ferry that departs from Kagoshima Port. Your first stop would be Kuchimoshima, a volcanic island, followed by the islands of Nakanoshima, Suwanosejima (known for its blanket of azaleas during springtime), Tairajima, Akusekijima, Kodakarajima, and Takarajima.

Tokara Islands

Address: Ryukyu, Japan

Price: 6000 JPY (55 USD)

21. Dip into the green acidic springs of Higashi Onsen

Dip into the green acidic springs of Higashi Onsen
Source: 六三四

How relaxing it is to take a dip in a green acidic spring of Higashi Onsen, especially with the views of the ocean that are right in front of your eyes. Higashi Onsen features three green acidic springs, two of them are bigger than the other one. What makes this green acidic spring unique is that it contains a rich amount of alum and you will know as soon as you soak into it and feel the quality of the water that is just excellent. You are free to enjoy all the green acidic springs.

Higashi Onsen

Address: Iojima, Mishima, Kagoshima District, Kagoshima 890-0901, Japan

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

22. Explore the mangrove forests of Amami Oshima

Explore the mangrove forests of Amami Oshima
Source: Nami Kita

For another retreat in nature, you can visit Amami Oshima to explore its mangrove forests. This second largest mangrove forest in Japan can be enjoyed by kayak or rental boat. As you are kayaking, treat your soul with serenity and peace released by the mangrove trees.

Amami Oshima

Address: Kagoshima, Japan

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

23. Go snorkeling in the wildlife-rich waters around Okinoerabujima


Yes, you can snorkel in Kagoshima and the best place to satisfy your snorkeling needs is Okinoerabujima, a small island off the southwestern coast of Kagoshima. The island is known for its tropical climate, limestone and rich marine life that makes snorkeling here worth it. Spot some sea snakes, sea cucumbers and octopus underwater. You can also enjoy the colorful corals.

Okinoerabujima

Address: Satsunan,Japan

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: 1000 JPY (9 USD)

24. Have a restful island stay at Sankara Hotel & Spa (from USD 910)

Last but not least, have a restful island stay at the Sankara Hotel & Spa. Nestled in the charming Yakushima Island, the hotel features the magical views of the ocean that can be enjoyed from the balcony or terrace of your spacious room. During the summer season, guests are welcome to use the outdoor pool. Other activities you can do while staying at this hotel include reading books at the library lounge and burning calories at the fitness center. Your room comes with a flat-screen TV, a DVD player, a CD player and a private bathroom with slippers and free organic amenities.


Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima

Address: Mugio 553

Pool with view BBQ facilities Fire extinguishers Security alarm Breakfast takeaway containers Private parking Thermometers for guests provided by property Physical distancing rules followed

25. Experience a hot sand bath at Kyukamura Ibusuki (from USD 145)

Kyukamura Ibusuki is another hotel in Kagoshima that can be a perfect place for you to stay throughout your vacation. Experience how amazing it is to have a hot sand bath at this hotel, especially when you feel fatigued and want to relax your muscles. In addition to the hot sand bath, the hotel is also known for its spectacular ocean views, a beautiful garden and an on-site restaurant where you can enjoy a buffet breakfast. The hotel offers spacious rooms that are equipped with flat-screen TVs, wardrobes and private bathrooms, among others.


Kyukamura Ibusuki

Address: Higashikata 10445

Safety deposit box Garden Fishing Free parking WiFi Available Fire extinguishers Open-air bath Public Bath

26. Enjoy traditional Japanese hospitality at Kirishima Yunotani Sanso

Enjoy traditional Japanese hospitality at Kirishima Yunotani Sanso

If you are looking to enjoy traditional Japanese hospitality, you should book a room at Kirishima Yunotani Sanso. Everything about this hotel is traditional Japanese. You can unwind in a spacious Japanese-style room that offers the views of the forest. You can enjoy a delightful Japanese dining experience, for breakfast and dinner, at the on-site restaurant. You can also relax at the public indoor hot spring baths.


Kirishima Yunotani Sanso

Address: Makizonocho Takachiho 4970, Kirishima, Kirishima, Japan, 899-6603

Make your vacation in Kagoshima worthwhile

While traveling to a new destination, it is a must to explore as many attractions as possible. Because if only spend most of your time in your hotel room, your vacation is not going to be memorable. That is why, if possible, you have to do all the things discussed above. Make your vacation in the seaside city of Kagoshima worthwhile and you will have a beautiful story to share with others who have not got the opportunity to travel to Kagoshima.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Tenissa is a content writer, translator and editor. She enjoys being a globetrotter and has traveled to many countries around the world. So far, her favourite destination is Switzerland. She looks...Read more

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