“After just one day spent in Kagoshima it became one of my favourite places in Japan. Hop onto one of the local tour buses and it seems as though Kagoshima has something to show-off on every block: statues and monuments dedicated to the cities many industrious sons, beautiful gardens and lovely costal views. And downtown nightlife taken straight out of Tokyo’s liveliest quarters.”
Liam Chawdhary - Tour Leader
Its position: out on a limb and far removed from Tokyo, may explain why the Kagoshima locals are very proud of their local cuisine and the city’s significance in Japanese history. But being the birth-place of the Japanese industrial revolution doesn’t preclude Kagoshima from offering great natural beauty. During the day you will be in the shadow of the magnificent (and still active) Sakura volcano. And during the evening you must venture into a downtown tavern: you are sure to encounter one of the extremely friendly locals who wants to share a bottle of fiery shochu (Kyushu’s more robust answer to sake).
Be sure to visit the Sengan'en Garden. These lovely gardens formerly belonged to Shimazu clan and make good use of Sakura volcano in the background, a good example of “borrowed scenery”. And just next door there is a chance to learn about Kagoshima’s past in a building which was Japan’s first Western style factory.
Visiting the sites is very simple. A one day bus pass entitles you to unlimited travel on the sightseeing bus which visits each of the main attractions and some even provide English commentary. With such a forward thinking population, of course, Kagoshima boasts a bullet train station (a rarity on the island of Kyushu). This makes reaching Kagoshima far less time consuming than it once was.