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Power Spot Kagoshima: Kirishima Shrine

"power spot" is a place which gives energy to rejuvenate our hearts and bodies, and is very popular among women these days. There are several leading "power spots" in Kagoshima so let us check out some of them!


【 Kirishima Shrine 

The Very First Honeymoon Destination in Japan

  Ryoma and Oryo


Speaking of the power spots of Kagoshima, one would first think of Kirishima Shrine. With Mount Takachiho behind it, the Kirishima Shrine worships Niniginomikoto, grandchild of the goddess Amaterasu, and it was written about in the ancient legend of Tenson Kourin (Descent of the Heavenly Grandchild). Built in the 6th century, this shrine has a very long history. The shrine has great beauty and dignity, and a mysterious atmosphere that awes all its visitors.

Walking down the pilgrimage path covered in lush greenery and ancient cedar trees, the sophisticated vermilion structure of the shrine appears before you. Just by being there, one can feel his/her heart being cleansed.







* November 2016
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A Sister City of Kagoshima City - Naples, Italy

At the base of Mt. Sakurajima is resource-rich Kinko Bay, and across the bay lies the urban area of Kagoshima City.


The scenery of Kagoshima City has been called the "Oriental Naples".

The volcanic island of Sakurajima floating on Kinko bay is very similar in appearance to the scenery from Naples, which sees Mt. Vesuvius across the Gulf of Naples.


The two cities share sister-city relations.
Naples, Italy
Mt. Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples


Kagoshima, Japan
Mt. Sakurajima and Kinko Bay


Since becoming sister cities, the two cities have been conducting mutual goodwill missions, youth dispatch, and Kagoshima City has presented Japanese books.

[ Naples Avenue in Kagoshima City ]



[ City tram, model name : Napoli ]


Compare the two wonderful cities of Kagoshima and Naples - what do you think?

* September, 2016

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Kagoshima's "Rokugatsudo" Summer Lantern Festival

Rokugatsudo encompasses a series of summer festivals held at various shrines and temples throughout the prefecture in July (June in the old calendar), each taking place on days designated by the shrines and temples themselves. 


The Rokugatsudo festivals have long history and continue to succeed as seasonal Kagoshima summer events.

At the shrine and temple grounds, lanterns made from wooden sticks and Japanese paper are strung along a network of ropes and feature a variety of illustrations and messages.


There are many shops lining the roadsides as well. These shops, the shrine-temple atmospheres and lanterns altogether give off a very fantastic, whimsical air. 

Within Kagoshima City these festivals will be put on almost every night in July and will continue through to the end of the month.


Please enjoy a "Kagoshima Summer" at a Rokugatsudo lantern festival! 



The "Terukuni Shrine Rokugatsudo" held on the 15th and 16th of July each year is one of biggest Rokugatsudo festivals in all of Kagoshima Prefecture. 


The movie, "Rokugatsudo no san-shimai (The Three Sisters of Rokugatsudo)" is a story about the Rokugatsudo festivals and is currently in theaters nationwide. >> *Japanese Language Only

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* July, 2016

Heritage of Industrial Modernization in Kagoshima

The Satsuma Domain situated in the southwestern point of Japan was the first to be threatened by foreign powers.

In 1840, faced with heavy pressure to trade from European and American countries, the Domain engaged in modernization.

The Shuseikan Project initiated by Nariakira Shimadzu who became feudal lord in 1851 engaged in the construction of reverberatory furnace and other mechanization that was to come.


Kagoshima's three component sites: 

■ Shuseikan
* Comprising the site of the reverberatory furnace, the Shoko Shuseikan factory, and the Foreign Engineer's Residence 




■ Terayama Charocoal Kiln
   As coal was not available, the Satsuma Domain focused its energies on the production of white charcoal, a high quality, powerful heat source as their main source of fuel.


■ Sekiyoshi Sluice Gate of Yoshino Leat
   Water was taken from Yoshino Plateau, behind Iso where Shuseikan is located.
   Power was generated using water-wheels that utilize the height difference of the cliff.

Please follow the link below for more details.


Yakushima Environmental Culture Center

The Yakushima Environmental Culture Center is a cultural facility where visitors may learn about information related to Yakushima's nature, culture, etc.

Inside, videos and displays introduce and explain the nature of Yakushima's mountains, forests, rivers, and oceans.

The facility at the entrance to Miyanoura Beach is an ideal way to get an overview of Yakushima.



[ Opening Hours ] 
9:00 - 17:00 (Admission until 16:30)

[ Closed ]
3rd Tuesday of every month, the day after National Holidays, New Years holidays (December 28 - January 1), February 15 - last day of the month. 

[ Admission Fee ]
General Admission: 520 yen, High School/University Students: 360 yen, Middle/Elementary Students: 260yen, Infants: Free

[ Getting There ]
5 min. walk from Miyanoura Beach

[ Website ]
Yakushima Environmental Culture Center >>

* May 15, 2015
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Kirishima Grand Shrine

Kirishima is referred to as "the land where gods once descended", and the Kirishima Grand Shrine is a prestigious shrine enshrining these deities. 



Kirishima Grand Shrine is designated as a nationally significant cultural property, and many throughout the nation and from overseas make their way to visit the grand shrine.  



Also, when visitors pass the path wrapped in deep green, visitors can see on their right a sacred tree said to be the ancestor of all pine trees throughout southern Kyushu.  

It is said the pine tree of 35 meters is 800 years old and exhibits a powerful watch over the precincts. 


At large, it is said Kirishima Grand Shrine is a famous "power spot" showing divine favor in granting "family safety" and "career prosperity". 


Would you like to visit Kirishima Grand Shrine and experience the extensive sacred atmosphere in Kirishima?

You will surely wish to return for multiple visits to the shrine, not simply settling for one visit.


According to experts, Kirishima has demonstrated enhanced relaxation effects and has been designated as a "forest therapy base". 

[ Getting There ]
- From Kagoshima Chuo Station
   JR train (80 min.) + Local scheduled bus (10 min.)
   Kagoshima Chuo Station ⇒ JR Nippo Main Line "Kirishima Jingu Station" ⇒ Get off at "Kirishima Jingu" bus stop (Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel-bound) 

- From Kagoshima Airport
   Airport Shuttle bus (35 min.) + Local scheduled bus (10 min.) 
   From Kagoshima Airport ⇒ Change at "Maruo" bus stop (Kirishima-bound) ⇒ Get off at "Kirishima-Jingu" bus stop (Kokubu-bound) 

[ Parking ] 300 parking spaces

[ Website ] Kirishima Grand Shrine >>

* February 13, 2015
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Kamafuta Shrine

Kamafuta Shrine is a famous shrine popular for its unique worship - visitors place a traditional rice pot lid atop their heads while making their way towards the shrine.

The origins of the shrine's name, "Kamafuta" Shrine (iron pot lid), dates all the way back to the Asuka Period (550-710 CE).  


Legend has it that when the Emperor of Japan and his guests were welcomed to the area, a great gust of wind blew down when all the rice had cooked in a large iron rice pot and swept the pot's lid to where Kamafuta Shrine stands today. 


The surprised locals found the lid and, ever since they enshrined the lid as a deity, the shrine has been called "Kamafuta Shrine".


During the war, many people visited Kamafuta Shrine as they believed it houses a "god of valor" and "art of war".


More recently, many people wishing to succeed at something will visit the shrine to pray for "victory", including athletes, students preparing to take an examination, and couples who desire a successful relationship.

You too can receive divine favor! 


★ The Unique Worship of Kamafuta Shrine ★

First, take an rice pot lid from the shrine. 

Next, put the lid on your head and stand under the red torii gate. 

Now, walk slowly towards the shrine while trying to balance the lid atop your head, taking care not to drop it. 

* The distance to the shrine from the torii gate is approx. 10 meters! Keep challenging yourself - even if the lid falls off your head!

Once you reach the offering box, take the lid off from you head and make a wish. 


A bench and restroom modeled after a rice pot lid.


A higher difficulty - the "mini-kamafuta" lid toss.


[ Getting There ]
10 min. walk from Ei-Okawa Station off the JR Ibusuki-Makurazaki line. *There are only a few trains running per day.

[ Website ] 
Kamafuta Shrine >> *Japanese only

* October 21, 2014
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Izumi-Fumoto Samurai Residences

The historic preservation district of Izumi is located almost in the center of the city.


It is said that the hilly area stretching from Shiroyama to the Komatsu River was leveled about 400 years ago, and the roads and stonewalls were constructed with river stones over a period of 30 years or so.



Even now, the streets (that retain their original appearance since the time of construction), the stone walls and hedges on both sides of the streets, and the trees in the yards in the area harmonize with the samurai gates and residences seen through the hedges, providing for a calm street scene.


One might also like to visit the Jizo statue in the grounds of Yasaka Shrine nearby.

It is the tallest (4.15 meters) stone Jizo statue in Japan.

* November, 2014
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Chiran Samurai Residence Complex

Nicknamed the "Little Kyoto of Satsuma", Chiran was home to more than 500 samurai residences during the late Edo period (19th century).


As the original buildings in the complex are well-preserved, one can witness a real, Edo period samurai settlement here.



The charm of the Chiran Samurai Residence Complex lies in the 700m stonewall-lined paths, the scattered samurai houses and the beautifully landscaped gardens within.


Built with defense purposes in mind, the paths are neither too wide nor too narrow, and there are many corners and bends to reduce visibility (of potential invaders).


Furthermore, the hedges (behind the stone walls of the houses) are pruned in such a way that one inside the house can see outside clearly, but not the other way round. As such, it is possible to ambush invaders with arrows and spears without exposing one's location.


The Chiran Samurai Residence Complex is designated as an "Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings" by the Japanese government, and the seven gardens (open to public) are officially recognized as a "National Scenic Beauty" spot.


Among the seven gardens which are open to public, the garden of the Mori family is the only one built in the "Tsukiyama Sansui" style, with rocks laid out to represent the mountain, and an actual pond filled with water.


The other six gardens are built in the "Kare-sansui" (dry garden) style, using shirasu (pumice and volcanic ash commonly found in the south Kyushu region) spread out across the garden grounds to represent the water surface. The use of shirasu in Kare-sansui style gardens is unique to Chiran.



[ Opening Hours ]
09:00 - 17:00 HRS **Opens all year round

[ Admission Fee ] ** ticket is valid for entrance to the "Seven Gardens"
Adult: 500 yen / Junior high and elementary student: 300 yen

[ Seven Gardens in Chiran ]
1) Saigo Kenichiro's Garden
2) Hirayama Katsumi's Garden
3) Hirayama Ryoichi's Garden
4) Sata Mifune's Garden
5) Sata Tamiko's Garden
6) Sata Naotada's Garden
7) Mori Shigemitsu's Garden

[ Bukeyashiki Street ]
* Approximate time required to fully appreciate Samurai Residence Gardens (700 meters altogether) : 60 min.


Taki-An, located in the samurai residence area, is a restaurant within typical Japanese architecture, serving traditional Kagoshima cuisine.

Take a trip back in time to the Edo period (17th century) as we enjoy o-zen (Japanese style set meal) in front of a beautifully landscaped Japanese garden.


The traditional Kagoshima cuisine, with their characteristic saccharine flavor, includes satsuma-age (deep fried fish cake), chicken sashimi, tonkotsu (braised pork), etc.


◆ Taki-An
[ Opening Hours ] 10:30 - 16:30 HRS (Last order: 16:00 HRS)

[ Closed ] N.A.

[ Website ] Taki-An >> ** Japanese only

[ Getting There ] 2 minute walk from "Buke-yashiki Iriguchi-mae" bus stop

[ Download Chiran area map ] >>


* May 2014
Area Guide : Chiran >>

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Kagoshima and England : Friendship Born from Confrontation

In a time long ago, in an age when there were still Samurai, Kagoshima (formerly Satsuma) and England, an intense war unfolded across this region. 

However, the war rapidly progressed toward deep friendship between Kagoshima and England.


At the time of the reconciliation negotiations, Kagoshima offered England fruits as a souvenir.

The fruits were mikan oranges now known as Satsuma (Kagoshima's old name) in England.


At the Paris World's Fair held in 1867, porcelain and ceramics from Kagoshima were also displayed under the Satsuma name, called "Satsuma ware."


Throughout these exchanges, Kagoshima's relationship with England has left behind many historical sites.

Won't you take this chance to visit the sites of historical exchange?


【 History of Exchange with England 】

1863   The Satsuma-England War begins
          (A  fleet of 7 English ships arrive in Kagoshima Bay)

1865   Satsuma Domain students dispatched to study abroad in England
          (19 Students and delegates are dispatched to England)

1866   Minister Parkes visits Kagoshima English engineer arrives in Kagoshima.
          The Kagoshima Spinning Mill is established and opened.

1870   English doctor William Willis is invited to Kagoshima.

1906   Prince Connaught enters Japan. Visits Kagoshima.

1921   Crown Prince Edward (later Edward VIII) enters Japan. Visits Kagoshima.

A grand location, this Japanese garden offers an unbroken view Sakurajima and Kinko Bay.


In 1658, the feudal lord of the Satsuma Domain (Shimadu Mitsuhisa) created Senganen as a detached residence. English Minister Parkes (1866) and Edward VIII (1921), among others, have made visits to this representative Japanese garden.


Toward the end of the Edo Period, 7 English people were invited to serve as instructors at a spinning mill built near Senganen. This location served as their residence. 
Those instructors later served a part in Japan's development.


An exchange student in Portsmouth, England, and later a commander in the Japanese Navy. 
In 1905, he was called the "Nelson of the East" after destroying the Baltic Fleet, called the worlds' strongest at the time.


The site of the battery where the battle between the English fleet and the Satsuma Domain unfolded in 1863. 
Nearby, there is a monument to the Anglo-Satsuma War, and a stone bridge built across the Koutsuki River at the end of the Edo Period. 
There is also a memorial to the bridge, describing its history and the techniques used to build it.


William Willis originally came to Japan in 1861 as a doctor to the English Ministry, but was invited to act as principal of the Satsuma Domain's medical school, and head of the hospital. One of his students, Takaki Kanehiro, later went on to contribute to the medical world in Japan. 


The site of a battery where battles between the English fleet and the Satsuma Domain too place in 1863. There were 11 cannons installed, each capable of using large cannonballs. 


A statue of the students who travelled to England in 1865 in order to learn various techniques that had developed there. The youngest of the group was 13-year-old Nagasawa Kaname. Their experiences helped hasten Japan's modernization.


The villa of the Shigetomi-Shimadzu group, one of the Satsuma Domain's main families.
It was used as a location in the 1967 film "You Only Live Twice" of the 007 film series starring Sir Thomas Sean Connery.


Built as the pavilion for the Meeting of the Kyushu Okinawa Association in 1883. Afterwards, it became a location to display both domestic and international products.
It was visited in 1806 by Prince Connaught, and in 1921 by Edward VIII during their respective visits to Kagoshima.


* March 12, 2014

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Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots

The peace museum for Kamikaze pilots was founded to preserve the true facts at the end of World War Ⅱ on record, and to contribute to eternal peace on earth.


This museum preserves and exhibits the photographs, relics, and correspondence which belonged to the Special Attack Group members known as Kamikaze pilots.



■ Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots

【Open hours】 
9:00am - 5:00pm (last admission 4:30pm)

Open year-round

【Admission Fee】 
Adults : ¥500, 
Elementary and Junior high students : ¥300

TEL : 0993-83-2525

By bus : Board the bus for Chiran from Yamakataya bus terminal in Kagoshima City (approx. 1.5 hour ride). The museum is an approximately 5 minute walk from the Tokkou-kannon-iriguchi bus stop. 

* February 7, 2014
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Kurozu : black vinegar

In Japan Kurozu is experiencing a boom thanks to its health food properties. 

Kurozu is Black vinegar produced from unpolished rice that uses the tsubo-dzukuri (jar-making) method in Fukuyama Town, where they enjoy long hours of daylight.


Normally, vinegar is produced in temperature and humidity controlled factories, but Fukuyama Kurozu is produced outdoors in rows of jars that take advantage of the natural environment. In this way ideal climates can yield many "oishi!" ("delicious!") products.



Sun, moon, wind, rain, the midst of such varied natural weather conditions, only the attention of a superior master brewer makes production of Kurozu possible.

This natural production method passed down for over 200 years in Fukuyama Town is said to be unique throughout the world. 


You will see the difference between the authentic Kurozu produced by the tsubo-dzukuri (jar-making) method in Fukuyama Town from other imitation products.


Kurozu can be enjoyed in many culinary uses.



【Sakamoto Kurozu, Inc.】
Kurozu Farm Cafe and Market :


TEL:  099-218-8345
FAX:  099-220-8546


【Fukuyama Town, Kirishima City】

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* January 24, 2014
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Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant

Since the March 11th, 2011 Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant incident in Fukushima, the world has been paying more attention to the energy policy of Japan.

In light of that, seven companies including Kyocera Corp. pooled their finances to set up the Kagoshima Mega Solar Power Corp., which operates the Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant.

Located at Nanatsujima in Kagoshima City, the plant has been active since November 1st, 2013, and is the largest solar power plant in Japan.


Equipped with 290,000 solar panels, the power plant boasts an annual output capacity of about 70 MW, sufficient to power 22,000 local households.


The area of the site is about 1,270,000 m2 (about 27 times the size of Tokyo Dome), and it takes about 1 hr 30 min to walk around it.


The plant is built on a large plot of flat reclaimed land which is fully exposed to the sun's rays. Since the site extends into Kinko Bay, reflected sunlight from the solar panels does not pose any inconvenience to the local neighborhood.

Moreover, according to research by the Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory, this area has been experiencing longer hours of sunlight and a higher level of solar radiation (compared to the national average) for the past 30 years.


The Kagoshima Nanatsujima Solar Science Museum located on the premises, and houses multimedia static displays where the public can learn more about solar power harnessing (*advanced reservation required)


After visiting the museum, one might consider dropping by the Kinkowan Park Lookout, which is about 10 minutes away by car.

From the lookout, one can see the solar panels floating atop Kinko Bay, with Mount Sakurajima in the background.

It is a new dimension for Kagoshima, as an advanced, pro-environmental conservation city.


【Kagoshima Nanatsujima Solar Science Museum】

Open: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Closed: Monday / Tuesday / New Year's holiday(29 Dec.~ 1 Jan.)

Admission fee Free

Contact Tel:099-262-2102  **Advance reservation required

Address 2 Nanatsujima, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan

* January 10, 2014
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Specialty Products

Oshima Tsumugi

The weaving of Oshima Tsumugi silk has been carried out for centuries on Amami-Oshima Island.

It is considered casual wear that feels comfortable even in the hot summer.

Different from regular kimono silk, it is light and has become a luxury kimono style.



Visitors can see the process and products not only at the Oshima Tsumugi Mura on Amami-Oshima island, but also at the Oshima Tsumugi no Sato in Kagoshima City.


Satsuma-yaki Pottery

Satsuma-yaki pottery has been produced in Miyama, about 20km northwest of Kagoshima City, for roughly 400 years. 

Satsuma-yaki pottery can be broadly categorized into white and black Satsuma-yaki. 


The white, or "Shiro Satsuma-yaki" is the color of ivory, and has hairline cracks and brilliant paintings. It is delicate and elegant and was originally fired for the lords of the Satsuma Han clan.


"Sukashibori" is a traditional technique for making Satsuma-yaki pottery. It is an elegant handicraft produced with a delicate technique.


In contrast, the black, or "Kuro Satsuma-yaki" style, which was fired for use by ordinary citizens, conveys a simple warmth.


One of the Kuro Satsuma-yaki items called a "kurojyoka" is a little black round-shaped kettle for drinking warm shochu, the local distilled spirit in Kagoshima.


And the "sorakyuu" has a conic body, which prevents it from sitting upright on a table.

When you drink with this cup, everyone will say "sora, kyuu! (OK, drink up!)", hence its name.

Which Satsuma-yaki pottery do you like, white? or black?

Traditional Handicraft >>

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Koshikishima Island

The Koshikishima Islands are located in the East China Sea to the northwest of Kagoshima, with a population of about 6,000 people.


They are made up of three main islands: Kamikoshiki, Nakakoshiki and Shimokoshiki, and several smaller islands in the surrounding area.

Each island has its unique landforms, and their great scenery has attracted many visitors.


These islands' unique landforms, which are interesting when viewed up close, are the envy of many geologists because the changing environment here allows one to feel the evolution of Earth.

There are many locations on the islands where one can witness the unique landforms of Koshikishima Island.


The Tombolo View Spot at Satocho on Kamikoshiki Island overlooks a great tombolo (sand bar) almost 1km in length.

A tombolo is a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit or sand bar. Approximately 1,300 people live on this tombolo.


From "Nagame-no-Hama", one can enjoy a breathtaking overview of Lake Namako.

A sandbar of about 2km formed by the deposit of small pebbles has cut off a segment of the sea into a beautiful lagoon, and reminds people of the slow passing time on the island.


Be sure not to miss "Napoleon rock", a famous tourist spot in the Shimokoshiki area.

Standing 127m above the sea surface, the side profile of this strangely shaped rock resembles the great Frenchman Napoleon, hence the name "Napoleon Rock".



One can also grasp the extent of  these special landforms by observing rivers flowing from the mountains.

The "Senoo-no-Kannon Santaki" waterfall falls from a height of 55m down a triple step cliff. The surroundings are filled with cool and refreshing air.


At the Yohagi Maruyama Park, one can clearly see the earth's stratified layers in the Page Iwa cliff.

Ancient fossils are often discovered here. Last year, the fossil of a tooth of the herbivorous dinosaur Ceratopsidoe was found in an 80 million year old earth stratum in the Kashima area.


Not limited to viewing from afar, one can actually access some of the rocky escarpments, which are a few minutes walk from the Sesenoura village.

Napoleon Rock blends in with the Sesenoura village surroundings, and the villagers have long referred to the rock fondly as "Chuuse".


Hachijiri Observatory overlooks the Kashima area of Shimokoshiki, Nakakoshiki and Kamikoshiki islands. It is interesting to compare the view with a map.


We recommend the Dangai Tour, which brings visitors around the island on a boat.

Looking at the islands from the sea brings a refreshing perspective.


Be sure to visit Koshikishima Island - natural beauty formed from the waves, breeze, and Earth's evolution.

【Getting There】
About 1 - 2 hours ferry ride from Kushikino port on Kagoshima mainland.

【Further Enquiries】 * English language support available

■ Kamikoshiki Tourist information Center 

■ Shimokoshiki Tourist information Center

■ Shimokoshiki Hotel
Koshikishima Sinwakan (*Accommodation, car rental, transfer from port)


* December 4, 2013
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Iso area which greatly contributed to the modernization of Japan.

"Shuseikan" located in Iso area of Kagoshima-city is the first modernized industrial factory complex in Japan. 

The Nariakira Shimadzu  who was the Satsuma Domain Lord at the end of Edo period, commanded to establish the industrial factory complex in this Iso-area. 


He thought "Japan can stand with Western nations in an equal level only when Japan succeeds in making the life of the people rich."

So he implemented the modernization policies known as "the Shuseikan Project"in various fields. 


Many other sites which shows the steps to the modernization still remain also in Iso area, besides Shuseikan.

Reminds of a reverberatory furnace where they casted the melted pig iron into cannons.




The house of British engineer who instructed workers at cotton mill was built first time in Japan.


The villa constructed by Mitsuhisa Shimadzu for Shimadzu family.

Nariakira Shimadzu loved "Sengan-en" in Iso area, and Atsuhime who was married to the Tokugawa shogun family also visited here at those days. 

Please enjoy this majestic landscape view making use of Sakurajima as its background mountain and Kinko Bay as inside pond, as they did.




Modern Satsumayaki Porcelain Ware
The technique of making bricks using the reverberatory furnace was applied


Satsuma Kiriko Cut Glass Factory
Started with the manufacturing of glass bottles for medicine


This movement which occured in Iso had a big influence to the modernization of Japan as a whole.

In Kyushu region and also in Yamaguchi, Shizuoka and Iwate, there still remains many industrial sites which testify the accomplishment of Japan's modernization in a short period. 

As these sites have historical relations each other, the related prefectures and cities are advancing preparation towards the World Cultural Heritage inscription as "Sites of Japan Meiji Industrial Revolution (Kyushu, Yamaguchi and related area)". 

For further information, please refer to the official website below.

Area guide : Kagoshima city >>

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