Kagoshima City Attractions: Top 5 Spots!

You’ve decided to head all the way down to Kyushu’s most southern prefecture? That’s pretty cool, but what should you actually do in Kagoshima city? Here is a list of the five best places you should definitely check out.

 

Amu Plaza

Amu Plaza is a large department store centered bang in the middle of the city. The plaza itself is connected directly to the main train station, so chances are if you’re going to Kagoshima – you’ll pass by here. Inside the plaza, you’ll find several floors of your typical shops – including a Pokemon shop and a Snoopy shop. Towards the upper floors, you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, an arcade, a cinema, and even a Ferris wheel. On the bottom floor, you’ll also find a great food market where can enjoy hundreds of tasty treats.

 

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Tenmonkan Shopping District

The majority of the Tenmonkan shopping district is roofed – so you don’t have to worry about the weather. Here, you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of shops – including an anime shop and a Don Quijote. Close by are Kagoshima’s main drinking streets, full with restaurants and Japanese-style drinking establishments.

 

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Iso Beach

If the weather is nice, how about spending a day at the beach where you can gaze at the beautiful Sakurajima from afar? In the summer season, it’s a great place to swim and relax. A short walk from the beach is the Sengen-en, a place you can visit (for a small fee) to see beautiful Japanese gardens and folk homes.

 

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Dolphin Port and Kagoshima Aquarium

If you’re looking for a standard day out with the kids, try visiting Kagoshima’s aquarium. The aquarium has a great dolphin show and has one of the largest litre aquarium tanks in the world. A short walk from the aquarium is Dolphin Port, a nice park that has a few restaurants and shops that you can explore (Dolphin Port will be closed down next year).

 

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Sakurajima

You can’t go to Kagoshima city without a visit to the amazing volcanic island known as Mt. Sakurajima. Walk up the volcano, go to the beach, or even go fishing – Sakurajima has plenty to do. So much to do in fact that it warrants its own article. Click here for a detailed list of everything you can do on Sakurajima!

 

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                                                                                                      (Photo was taken from Iso Beach)

Mt. Sakurajima – Kagoshima Prefecture’s Stunning Volcano

Mount Sakurajima – a fierce yet awe-inspiring volcano that is separated from the city of Kagoshima by a small stretch of water. It erupts almost every day, but the people of Kagoshima pay it little heed – except to sweep away the accumulated ash around their homes.

I lived in Kagoshima for 18 months, but I never got tired of its beauty. And that’s a good thing because you really can’t go far in the city without finding a nice spot to view the volcanic mountain.

The volcano erupts on average several times a day – shooting huge ash clouds into the sky. This makes it Japan’s most active volcano. However, daily eruptions are not a bad omen for the people of Kagoshima. It’s when the volcano goes a long time without erupting that there is a potential for real danger.

 

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A Cheap Day Out

On the island itself, there are a few small towns. This means there are always at least a couple of thousand of residents on the island. Many of them undergo evacuation training each year (I’ve taken part a couple of times, too).

For around 200 yen ($2), you can ride a ferry to the island. There are a few shops, a place to rent bicycles, and event a lookout point 373 metres up the volcano. While it’s much easier to catch the bus up the steep hills that lead to the lookout, we decided to walk (our legs hurt for the next couple of days).

 

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A Deadly History

Every few years, the volcano will have a particularly large eruption that showers Kagoshima in several inches of ash all at once. One of the worst recorded eruptions was in 1914, when so much lava erupted from the volcano that the lava swallowed several small islands and connected the volcano to the main island of Kyushu. Many scientists expect another large eruption to occur within the next 30 years.

 

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Would you consider living in a city so close to a volcano? Or is the threat of a potential earthquake already too much for you to handle?

Kagoshima prefecture is located next to Kumamoto prefecture – an area that suffered a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2016.

 

FUN FACT: Because Sakurajima erupts on a daily basis, the prefecture of Kagoshima has the highest number of earthquakes each year. The vast majority are caused by the volcano and are far too small to feel.

 

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