|From Tokyo:||2-4 hr|
|From Kagoshima Station:||30 min-2 hr|
How to Get There
Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures in southern Kyushu is known for its dynamic geology and scenic bay. The Kirishima area in the north is home to Kirishima Onsen and more than 20 volcanoes. Sakurajima, one of Japan’s most active and iconic volcanoes, is the centerpiece of Kinkowan Bay (also known as Kagoshima Bay). Public transportation suffices for visiting some popular areas in the park, but a car will facilitate better access to sites and trails off the beaten path.
Frequent flights operate between Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Kagoshima Airport (120 min). Renting a car near Kagoshima Airport opens up more options than public transportation. To reach Sakurajima and the Kagoshima Bay area, drive to Kagoshima Port, then take a car ferry to Sakurajima Ferry Terminal. To reach the Kirishima area by public transportation, take a Kagoshima Kotsu bus to the Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel stop in the hot-spring town of Kirishima Onsen (35 min), which makes an excellent base for exploring. For the Kagoshima Bay area, take the airport shuttle to Kagoshima-Chuo Station (40 min). From there, use the City Tram or local bus service to Kagoshima Port (20 min), or take the train to Kagoshima Station (5 min). The trip across the water to Sakurajima Ferry Terminal takes 15 minutes.
From Kagoshima Station
Due to the small number of rental outlets within the park, rent a car near Kagoshima Station to make the most of your visit. To reach the Kirishima area using public transportation, take a JR limited express train from Kagoshima Station to Kirishima-Jingu Station, where you can travel via infrequent buses to your desired park destination, such as Kirishima Onsen using a Kagoshima Kotsu bus. To reach the Kagoshima Bay area using public transportation, walk 10 minutes from Kagoshima Station to Kagoshima Port (one of four terminals in the port area) and take the ferry to Sakurajima Ferry Terminal (15 min).
Although several companies offer bus service within Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park, infrequent service makes renting a car the better option, particularly if you're planning on doing some serious hiking (missing the last bus can cause multiple problems). For non-hikers, the Sakurajima Island View Tour Bus loops around numerous sightseeing spots in Sakurajima, including Sakurajima Port and the Yunohira observation point. Additionally, several bus tours combine trips to Sakurajima and the Kirishima area.