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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Nature

Sakurajima 桜島

Up in smoke—get up close to one of Japan's most active volcanoes

The highly active volcano of Sakurajima is located only four kilometers away from the bustling city of Kagoshima.

Part of the Kirishima Kinkowan National Park, the 1,117-meter-high volcano frequently erupts, sending plumes of ash thousands of meters into the air.

Don't Miss

  • Spectacular eruptions which occur hundreds of times each year
  • Stroll through the otherworldly landscape of the lava fields
  • Enjoy a relaxing volcanic footbath near the ferry terminal

How to Get There

Sakurajima is easily reached via a ferry which departs from Kagoshima City. Sakurajima can also be reached by car via the Osumi Peninsula.

Ferries to Sakurajima operate all day and depart from the mainland every 10 or 15 minutes. They take about 15 minutes to reach Sakurajima.

From there, you can catch the Sakurajima Island View Bus which departs eight times a day from Sakurajima port and stops at all major spots on the island. Bikes can also be rented at the Sakurajima Visitors Center.

Explore the barren beauty of the lava fields

Whether you want to take it easy or indulge in some serious trekking, Sakurajima is the perfect place to get close to the raw power of nature.

A stroll through the strangely peaceful lava fields is an eerie reminder of past eruptions. You can get up close and personal with the volcano at the Yunohira Observatory, which is the closest viewpoint to the crater. If you are lucky enough to witness an eruption, expect a large plume of gray ash to be launched thousands of meters into the sky and a whiff of sulfur in the air.

View of Sakurajima from the Yunohira observation point

Pedal power

If you prefer getting around on your own, powered bicycles are available for rental at the ferry terminal and Sakurajima Visitors Center. A full round trip of the volcano covers 36 kilometers and includes magnificent views of Kinko Bay, the Osumi Peninsula, Kaimondake, and of course the volcano itself. There are shorter cycle routes close to the ferry terminal.

Cycling is one of the best ways to see an eruption, and if you're lucky, you may also see dolphins playing in Kinko Bay while enjoying the sea breeze. At the halfway point of the round trip, make sure to stop by the buried shrine gate at Kurokami which shows the amount of lava ejected by the volcano during the major eruption in 1914.

Giant radishes, tiny oranges

The volcanic soil of Sakurajima produces some unusual agricultural results. The volcano is home to the world's largest radish, which can grow to an incredible 45 kilograms, and the smallest peelable orange. Join a seasonal harvesting experience, and you will have the chance to interact with locals while finding out about the peculiar produce.

Volcanic relaxation

Whether you explore on foot, by bus or by bike, the best way to finish off a day exploring Sakurajima is by relaxing in a real volcanic hot spring. Stop by the Nagisa Park foot spa to rest your weary feet before heading back to Kagoshima City.