Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park
The Sakurajima volcano, Kinkowan Bay and hot springs sourced from giant calderas
The smouldering Sakurajima greets all who enter Kinkowan Bay, and the active volcano is always on the horizon as you explore Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park. You are constantly reminded of the volcano's great power as its plumes conjure distinctive shapes in the sky. Read more about Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park.
Visiting Japan's National Parks
Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park, like all of Japan's national parks, has no entrance fees, no opening and closing hours, and no permit is required to enter or stay in the park. The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.
The park can be broadly divided into the northern Kirishima area and southern Kinkowan Bay area. The Kirishima area has a series of more than 20 volcanoes, both large and small, as well as crater lakes, volcanic gas clouds pluming from vents called fumaroles, hot springs and plateaus.
- Views of Mt. Shinmoe, an active volcano, from the peak of Mt. Karakuni
- Learning about Sakurajima Volcano on a guided walk along the Lava Nagisa Promenade
- Birdwatching around Lake Mi-ike
The Kinkowan Bay area is centered around Mt. Sakurajima, an active volcano. Surrounding it are Mt. Kaimon, Lake Ikeda and Chirin Island on the Satsuma Peninsular side, Cape Sata and Ogawa Waterfalls on the Osumi Peninsular side, and Shigetomi Beach within the bay.
Mt. Shinmoe is a volcano in the Kirishima region that is active today. It erupted on a large scale in January 2011 and March 2018. It is possible to see inside the crater from the top of Mt. Karakuri.
This mysterious mountain appears in ancient Japanese mythology. Along its hiking trails you can see patches of colorful Rhododendron kiusianum. The best time for flower viewing is mid-to-late May.
This is the highest mountain in the park at 1,700 meters tall. Its crater measures 900 meters in diameter and 300 meters deep. The views from the top of the mountain are spectacular, and on fine days you can see Kinkowan Bay and Mt. Sakurajima, and even as far as Mt. Kaimon.
ONAMI-IKE CRATER LAKE
Lying at the base of Mt. Karakuri, this crater lake can be circled in about one and a half hours. During the autumn foliage-viewing season, the colorful tree leaves and blue of the lake's surface combine to create breathtaking views.
MI-IKE CRATER LAKE
Measuring four kilometers around and 100 meters deep, this is the largest crater lake in the Kirishima area and was created by the most explosive volcanic eruption in the history of Kirishima Moutain Range. There are camping facilities on the lakefront.
Located in the center of the park, this volcano can be viewed from anywhere in the surrounding area. The eruptions and ash showers continue sporadically even today, giving you a sense of the Earth's powerful energy.
This area is characterized by its varied scenery, including the largest tidal flat in Kinkowan Bay, a white sandy beach with green pine trees stretching for several hundred meters. In summer, the coast is lively with many visitors who come to swim in the ocean under Mt. Sakurajima.
This island rises from the sea to the north of Ibusuki Onsen, a hot spring area famous for sand baths. At low tide, a sandbar leading to the island appears, making it possible to walk to this land-tied island in around 30 minutes.
With its graceful lines, this volcano is also a symbol of the local area. Rising 924 meters above sea level, the mountain peak provides a 360-degree panoramic view, enabling you to see as far as Mt. Sakurajima, the Kirishima Mountain Range, the Osumi Peninsula and Yakushima Island.