At the southern tip of mainland Japan, Kagoshima Prefecture is nicknamed the “Naples of the East” for its bay and comfortable climate. The prefecture is incredibly active geologically and is home to the great volcanoes of Mt. Kirishima and Mt. Sakurajima. A beneficial side effect of these volcanoes is a number of fantastic onsen facilities that range from traditional baths to beachside sand baths in the shadow of Sakurajima. Island life is a huge part of Kagoshima Prefecture, and any visitor should consider spending as much time as possible off the mainland.
The city of Kagoshima is the capital and main transport hub, connected to the rest of Kyushu by the Kyushu Shinkansen to Fukuoka’s Hakata Station. The prefecture is home to Kyushu’s second-largest airport, Kagoshima Airport, which connects it both domestically and internationally.
The fastest way to reach Kagoshima from Tokyo or Osaka is by air, although the Tokaido Shinkansen also reaches Fukuoka in a little over five hours. Many of the islands off the coast have their own airports which are accessible from Kagoshima Airport. The islands are also well connected to both Kagoshima and Okinawa (Naha) by regular ferry services.
Made from a dough of rice flour, grated yam and sugar formed into dumplings and filled with sweet bean paste, karukan...
Japanese black wagyu cattle raised in the sunshine of Kagoshima are the most numerous of all Japanese wagyu breeds. T...
Kagoshima specializes in sweet potato shochu. This was partly out of necessity, because the poor volcanic soil was no...
The Yaeyama Islands south of Okinawa are known for their nature, so it’s no surprise that Yonaguni orimono is the fab...
Kagoshima Castle is filled with cherry blossoms, and people head for the primeval forests of Yakushima while temperatures are comfortable and there is little rainfall.
Kagoshima offers some of Japan's best spots for water sports, including diving, snorkeling and surfing at Amami Oshima and its surrounding islands. See the turtles nesting on the beach at Nagahata Inakahama.
Watch as tens of thousands of cranes sweep into the Izumi Crane Observation Center. Enjoy a volcanic sand bath at the onsen resort of Ibusuki or hike up the dormant volcano Mt. Kaimon.
Winter is the perfect time to soak in the soothing waters of Kirishima Onsen, home to over a dozen different hot spring baths. Sample local delights in the food markets of Kagoshima City.