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Shinonomenosato Ajisai kyo

Shinonomenosato Ajisai Kyo is a vast, 16.5ha/40.8ac garden utilizing the natural landscape of the mountain. 


It is said to be the largest of its kind in the country, and over 100,000 flowers of hydrangea in 160 different types beautifully bloom here on the premises around mid June every year. 


December brings foliages, turning the entire mountainous region in red and yellow. It makes it a popular scenic location for foliage viewing.


Perfect for spending a relaxing time, the premises is equipped with an exhibition gallery displaying ceramic art works by the owner of the garden and a tea house surving some meals.



[ Inquiries ]
0996-68-2133 (

[ Fees ]
Admissions: 500yen during hydrangea season, 300yen during autumn foliage season

[ Closed ]
Irregular (open everyday during hydrangea season)

[ Hours ]

[ Parking ]
about 30 vehicles

[ Access ]
JR: Izumi Station/Hisatsu Orange Railway Izumi Station → approx. 25 min. by taxi
Car: Minamikyushu Expressway Ashikita IC → approx. 40 min. toward Izumi City
Kyushu Expressway Hitoyoshi IC → approx. 40 min. toward Okuchi/Izumi

Izumi NAVI >>
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Mt. Oonodake

Mt. Onodake is an accessible mountain for cars and beginner hikers alike, having a height of only 466 meters. 

From the observatory at the summit, visitors can access a panoramic view of the tea plantations spread out all around the area.


The "Chaju Stairs" (One hundred and Eight-steps Staircase) lead up to this observatory.

Small columns are placed along the steps that correspond to a certain age and the relevant "milestone" in that stage of life.


While climbing the steps, one can stop and look back, and reflect on one's life. It is also a good opportunity to evaluate one's life.


Taking a photo on the step that corresponds to one's age is a hit among visitors.


At the end of the 108 steps, one will find the final column named "Chabashira", which is rumoured to bring good luck when touched.

"Chabashira" refers to the rare sight of a tea stem vertically floating in a tea cup when hot water is poured. It is believed to bring good luck.


From the observatory, one can get a bird's eye view of Mt. Kaimon (also known as Satsuma Fuji), Lake Ikeda, and the tea plantations on rolling knolls.

Wouldn't you want to experience this new style of travel - Green Tea-rism?


The Chinese character for tea - "Cha" (from the name "Chaju") is made up of Chinese characters representing the numbers 10, 10 and 88, which totals 108.


Known for longevity, Japanese people have an interesting custom of special celebrations for their 88th, 90th,100th and 108 birthdays.

Nio Gaurdians of Fortitude  or "Fukutsuno-Niouzou"
Touch the place where you want to be cure or make better, you might get bless.


Onodake Shrine
Throw the same amount of change in the offering box as your age and it will bring you good health and longevity. *Don't cheat!


[ Access ] *No public transportation available
Car: 1 hr form Kagoshima City, 30 min. from Ibusuki, 30 min. from Chiran

Cherry blossom viewing : Except Kagoshima-city

Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of cherry blossoms ("sakura").



People go to parks, gardens, or mountain to see a view of cherry blossoms with their co-workers, family members, and friends.


Cherry trees come into full bloom from the end of February to early April, and many Ohanami place will get crowded everywhere in Kagoshima!

【 Chiran Peace Park (Heiwa Koen) 】 / Minamikushu-city
Scale : Approx 850 trees
Normal blooming season : Late March~ Early April


Access : Board the bus for Chiran from Yamakataya bus terminal in Kagoshima-city.(Approx. 1.5hour) Approximately 5 minutes by walk from Tokkou-kannon-iriguchi bus stop. 

Inquiries : Minamikyushu Chiran Culture Center (Bunka Kaikan) +81-993-83-2111

【 Mt. Uomi 】 / Ibusuki-city
Scale : Approx 1,000 trees
Normal blooming season : Late March~ Early April


One can look out over Ibusuki City stretched below, spy Chiringashima and Sakurajima floating in Kinko Bay,and even catch a glimpse of Osumi Peninsula from peak Mt. Uomi. 

Access : Approx. 20 minutes by car from JR Ibusuki Station to the summit

Inquiries : Ibusuki City Hall Tourism Division +81-993-22-2111

【 Maruoka Park 】 / Kirishima-city
Scale : Approx 6,000 trees
Normal blooming season : Late March~ Early April


During peak season, many visitors come from inside and outside the prefecture to picnic here and enjoy the view.

Access : About 10 minutes by car from Osumiyokogawa Station on the JR Hisatsu Line

Inquiries : Maruoka Sakuraen +81-995-72-1362

【 Kirishima Shrine 】 / Kirishima-city
Scale : Approx 200 trees
Normal blooming season : Late March~ Early April


Access : About 10 minutes by bus from Kirishima-Jinguu Station on the JR Nippou Line

Inquiries : Kirishima Shrine +81-995-57-0001

【 Tadamoto Park 】 / Isa-city
Scale : Approx 1,000 trees
Normal blooming season : Late March~ Early April


At Tadamoto Park, once selected as one of Japan's top 100 sakura-viewing locations, you can enjoy the various forms of sakura blossoms in the daytime and night time. 

Access : About 90 minutes by car from Kagoshima City; about 30 minutes from Shibushi City;  about 40 minutes from Miyakojo City, Miyaki Prefecture

Inquiries : Isa City Hall Regional Promotion Division +81-995-23-1311

【 Michi no Eki Osumi Yagoro Densetsu no Sato 】 / Soo-city
Scale : Approx 1,200 trees
Normal blooming season : Late March~ Early April


The grounds also include a souvenir shop, the "Yagoro Pavilion" kurobuta pork restaurant,a giant Yagorodon statue standing 15 meters tall and weighing in at 39 tons,a playground, and a grassy open area. Each year a Sakura Matsuri is held to celebrate the colorful flowers as they reach full bloom.

Access : About 90 minutes by car from Kagoshima City; about 30 minutes from Shibushi City;  about 40 minutes from Miyakojo City, Miyaki Prefecture

Inquiries : Soo Municipal Council of Social Welfare Osumi Branch Office +81-99-482-0080

* February 20, 2014
Cherry blossom viewing in Kagoshima-city >>

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Cherry blossom viewing : Kagoshima-city

Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of cherry blossoms ("sakura").


People go to parks, gardens, or mountain to see a view of cherry blossoms with their co-workers, family members, and friends.


Cherry trees come into full bloom from the end of February to early April, and many Ohanami place will get crowded everywhere in Kagoshima!

【 Yoshino Park 】 
Scale : Approx 630 trees
Normal blooming season : Late February~ Mid-April


The site boasts 12 varieties of sakura,including three trees of the Kawazuzakura and Izuno Odoriko varieties which are rarely seen in Kagsohima. 

The best time to see them is late February, although other varieties of sakura bloom in turn until early April.

Access : Board the Yoshino Park bus at JR Kagoshima Chuo Station (25 min)

Inquiries : Yoshino Park +81-99-243-0155

【 Isoyama Park 】 
Scale : Approx 250 trees
Normal blooming season : Late March~ Early April


Access : Board the Kagoshima City View bus and get off at "Sengan-en-mae" stop.

Inquiries : Senganen +81-99-247-1551

【 Kotsuki Riverside 】 
Scale : Approx 500 trees
Normal blooming season : Late March~ Early April


Access : Approx. 20 minutes from Kagoshima-chuou sta by walk. 

Inquiries : City of Kagoshima Parks and Greenery Division +81-99-216-1368

* February 13, 2014
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Power Spot Kagoshima : Yakushima

"Power Spot" is a place which gives energy to rejuvenate our heart and body, and is very popular among women these days. There are several leading "Power Spots" in Kagoshima so let us introduce them!


【 Yakushima 】 ~ World Natural Heritage - the Mystery of Nature 

Yakushima island is the first Japanese site to be registered as a World Natural Heritage in 1993. With nature being retained in its original primitive state while human beings reside, Yakushima island receives good appraisal as a role model showcasing human and nature living in harmony. The circumference of the island is 132km. Located right in the middle of the island is MountMiyanoura. Standing tall at 1,936m it is the highest peak in Kyushu and is also recognized as one of the "Hundred Famous Mountains of Japan".



A well-known nature spot, Yakushima island receives many visitors from within and outside Japan daily, and it can be said that the whole island is in itself a power spot, with endless charms to offer.


We would like to recommend three power spots in Yakushima island.

First, the Shiradani Unsuikyo Ravine - this is the place where forest in which the Shishigami (name of a character) resides is modelled after, in the animated movie "Mononoke Hime". After walking about two hours, we arrive at a mysterious area covered by lush greenery, which is known as "The Forest of Mononoke Hime". The mysterious feel of the place cannot be described in words. The forest is fully covered in moss and surrounded by Yakusugi (thousand year old Japanese cedar trees), and one can enjoy seeing the different variety of Yakusugi. Stopping once a while to check out the moss, one will be fascinated by its beauty. Especially after rain, the beauty of Shiradani Unsuikyo Ravine is simply fascinating and will capture one's heart.

D-06.jpgSecond, it is none other than the Jomon Cedar. It takes 11 hours to travel to and fro the Jomon cedar, which is said to be of 7200 years old. It is a cedar tree worth a visit once a lifetime. Some people said that upon seeing the Jomon Cedar, one will change his perspective on life. Located in the midst of misty fog, the majestic Jomon Cedar commands a sense of presence. There is much to learn from this Jomon Cedar, which has protected and watched over the forest since ancient times. We recommend the Yakusugi Nature Museum to the fans of the Jomon Cedar, where you can see the "Branch of Life" - a branch which broke off after enduring the heavy weight of piled snow.

Yakusugi Shizenkan (Yakusugi Nature Museum)

2739-343, Awa, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima-ken, 891-4311

TEL0997-46-3113  FAX0997-46-3168


 The last recommendation is the Ogawa no Taki (Ogawa Falls). To be able to view the powerful waterfall and close proximity is simple wonderful. Standing just 50m away, one can feel the speed and flow of the fall through the water sprays. This is due to Yakushima island being blessed by abundant rainfall. Showered in rich negative ions, one can feel nature by stretching out on the rocky plain, enjoying the water spray and listening to the sound of the waterfall.


Yakushima Tourism Association

TEL:0997-49-4010  FAX:0997-49-4011

Japan's Number 1 Crane Migratory Ground

This one-and-only scene is designated as a special natural monument of the nation.  
Every year between mid-October to December, more than 10,000 cranes come from Siberia to winter until March in Izumi, Japan's largest migratory ground.

The number and variety of migrating birds is said to be the highest in Japan, designated as "Kagoshima Prefecture's Cranes and their Migrating Grounds", a special natural monument.  


Of course the sheer number alone is astonishing, but the elegant appearance of the cranes spreading their wings and taking to the skies as one can only be seen here and is a symbol of winter in Izumi.
The number of birds is at its highest between December and January but the cranes can be seen from November to March.  Last year a new record was set with more than 17,000 cranes counted. 


During the wintering period, you can watch leisurely at relatively anytime to see the birds doing such activities as pecking at feed, mending their wings or dancing.

However, we recommend visiting the viewing platform between 6:30 to 7:00 in the morning to watch in the soft glow of sunrise as the cranes simultaneously take off from their nesting place in search of food.  This beautiful and elegant sight is enough to take your breath away and is the highlight of the experience.

If you want to watch the migrating cranes in Izumi, we recommend the "Izumi City Crane Observation Center" standing right in front of the reclaimed land used as the crane's nesting ground.

While you view the condition of the cranes from the 2nd floor observation platform, you can also learn about the crane migratory ground.

Also, if you want to know more about the cranes in detail, be sure to stop by "Crane Park Izumi", Japan's only crane museum.


December 1, 2016 (Thu) ~ February 28, 2017 (Tue) the "Crane Tour Bus" will be in operation, taking visitors from Izumi Station to the Crane Observation Center and Izumi's Samurai Residences. (1000 yen charge, may board and disembark freely)


[ E-mail ]

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Senbon Ichou "Thousand Ginkgo"

There are some plants giving you the comfort of the four seasons such as cherry blossoms in the spring and hydrangea in the summer.


At the end of the summer, you will find "Japanese maples", "Japanese pampas grass" and "Ginkgo Biloba" which make you feel the closer to the autumn.


In past few years, the lined gingko biloba trees in Tarumizu-city, Kagoshima is  known as the great tourist attraction to enjoy "autumn".

These lined gingko biloba trees are called "Senbon ichou", as it is named, there are over 1,000 ginkgo biloba on the site of 45 hectares.



This is private land of "Cyuuman Yoshiaki" , he had made this lined gingko biloba trees with his wife spent 35 years.

When he had worked for a company for 22 years, he went to the mountain to cultivate the land and opened to the public for free in 2008.

Please visit this vast lined gingko biloba trees and enjoy the autumn!


The best season is at the beginning of December.

It is a private land, please strictly observe rules and etiquette when you are here.

Please visit this vast lined gingko biloba trees and enjoy the autumn!


View Larger Map
* October, 2016
Area guide : Osumi >>

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One of the few crane migration places in the world.

In mid October to mid November, we have more than 10,000 cranes each year to pass the winter in the area called Izumi which is in the north-west part in Kagoshima prefecture.
After passing the winter they are heading toward to the north and it is rare in the world for such numbers of cranes to pass the winter.

・Izumi city Cranes Observation Center


It's in front of the cranes cocoon. On the 2nd floor in this building, there is an observation room and from there, you can the view of feeding. On the 1st floor in this building, there are restaurant and shops.
Entrance fee: Adult 210yen Junior high school & Elementary school student 100yen
URL: ( Japanese Only) Japanese Only)

・Crane Park Izumi


This is a rare and unique Crane Museum in Japan where you can learn about Cranes through some display about specific biology and also enjoy simulation of flying in the dome theater.
Entrance fee: Adult 310yen University and High school student 210yen Junior high school and Elementary student 100yen (Japanese Only)

Uwaba Highlands (Cosmos Garden)

At an altitude of 500m,the Uwaba Highlands is a plateau bordering Kumamoto Prefecture with a 3 hectare flower park where 250,000 cosmos bloom.



There is an observatory and specialty retail stores which sell local vegetables from the highlands.

The market also sells ice cream made with milk from the cows of the Uwaba Highlands. Many families and tourists come to the highlands to have picnics.


[ Viewing Period ]
October 1st to October 20th

[ Open Hours ]
24 hours(7 days a week)

[ Parking Space ]
145 parking spaces

[ Entrance fees ]

[ Address ]
2648-4 Kamiokawauchi, Izumi-shi, Kagoshima-ken

[ E-mail ]

Area guide : Hokusatsu area >>

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Facebook page : Kagoshima Travel Guide >>


There is the optional cruise course called "YORIMICHI CRUISE", which will entertain you fully for 50 minutes with the attraction of Mt.Sakurajima and Kinko bay


A single departure per day departs from Kagoshima port at 11:05AM to Sakurajima port.


This cruising course differs from the ordinary one as it crosses over Kinko bay; therefore, you may happen to see dolphins. 


Let's discover the new Kagoshima "YORIMICHI CRUISE"!


[ Fare ]
500 YEN (adult) 250 YEN (child)
** You will need to pay the fee in advance at Kagoshima port.
** The passengers with one day passes called "Welcome Cute", please drop by the ticket office for bording ticket exchange on the day you board.

[ Departure time ]
11:05AM at Kagoshima port ( one service in a day )
** There is a useful circulating bus for Sakurajima sightseeing called " Sakurajima Island View" which starts Sakurajima port at 12:15 PM
** If you go back to Kagoshima port by regular ferry, you will need 160YEN more for the regular service ferry back to Kagoshima port. 

[ Places you can get these tickets ]
>> Kagoshima port
>> Sakurajima port
>> Kagoshima Chuo Station Tourist Information Center

* July, 2016
Area guide : Sakurajima >>

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Shiroyama Observatory・Shiroyama promenade

"Shiroyama" is the hill whose altitude is 107m and located in the center of Kagoshima city. This name comes from the fact that the castle had been built on that mountain  once.


The 2km promenade roads to the observatory is filled with more than 600 species of plants. 

While there is in the city area, it is a treasure house of nature.


That observatory is very popular as the photo spot that can overlook the Mt.sakurajima and Kinko-bay for travelers.


Why don 't you take a walk there in the morning to see the sun rises up from behind of the Mt.Sakurajima.


◆ Shiroyama observatory
【 Access 】
Get off at the Shiroyama stop of Kagoshima City View bus "Shiroyama and Iso Course".

◆ Shiroyama promenade
【 Access 】 ※ See the lines on the map showing 2 routes
1 The route from "Tanshoen" next to Terukuni shirine
2 The route from "Iwasaki Tani" next to the Satsuma Retainers Monument

* May, 2016
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Waterfall of Ogawa

The waterfall of Ogawa in Minamiosumi town heals you with its sounds of water stream in this beautiful nature.


When you go ahead through the narrow way along the river, you will see the parking a lot.Go ahead more 1200m farther, the misterious scene opens you in front !

The 60m width water is runnning into the waterfall basin shining beautiful emerard green compared with the roughly rocks.


Although to swim in that basin is prohibited, it is so worth to visiting here only for feel the natural cool atmosphere.


【 Video 】
KAGOSHIMA Energetic Japan ( Ogawa falls )

【 Business hours 】
Please refrain from the night entrance  ** Your entrance may be limited at bad weather

【 Access 】
** No public service
After you will drive a 1 km from Minamiosumi town government office to Sata area, there is the Ogawa junction.
Turn the left there, and go along with the sign standing at the way.

The way from the parking lot to the waterfall basin is the up-down promnade, so you better were the clothes for trecking.

* May, 2016
Area guide : Osumi >>

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Ebino Eco Museum Center

The Ebino Eco Museum Center is an environmental learning facility located in the Kirishima-Kinkouwan National Park.

There are videos and static displays on the nature of Kirishima, and the centre is staffed all year round.


It is also the starting/entry point to hiking trails around the Kirishima mountain range, with trails leading to Ebino Kogen Highland (at an altitude of 1,200m), Mount Karakuni, and various crater lakes.

[ Opening Hours ] 09:00 - 17:00 HRS

[ Closed ] Opens all year round

[ Getting There ] Nearby "Ebino-kogen" bus stop (Bus terminates at Maruo Onsen)

[ Parking Space ] 200 lots available (** subject to fee)

[ Website ] Ebino Eco Museum Center >>

* July 13, 2015
Area Guide : Kirishima  >>

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Yakusugi Land

Yakusugi Land is a cedar tree paradise where visitors may observe the ecology of the trees including the fallen trees, the newly reborn trees, the epiphytes which grow on these trees, etc.

The mountain-walking course is a relatively flat trail reaching an elevation of 1,000m and is recommended to beginner hikers. 


There is a wide range of trails visitors may access ranging from 30 - 150 minutes long, depending on interest and stamina. 

① 30 - 50 min. Trail: Easy - Wooden path

② 80 - 150 min. Trail: Difficult - Steep mountain path


[ Getting There ]
Local scheduled bus runs twice a day *Not in operation between December - Feburary

[ Parking ]
40 Parking spots

* July 24, 2015
Area Guide : Yakushima  >>

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Canyoning at Sarugajo Gorge

Canyoning is travelling in canyons using a variety of techniques that includes ropework, plunging/diving, swimming, etc.

Canyoning is available at the Sarugajo Gorge at Tarumizu!



The characteristic of canyoning at Sarugajo Gorge is non other than the crystal clear waters flowing through a valley of granite and the green forests.


[ Availability Period ] 
July ~ September (** Kindly make a reservation 3 days in advance)

[ Course Time ] 
About 2 hours

[ Price ] 
One person: 7,000 Yen 
(Group discount of four people and above - 5,000 Yen per person)

[ Enquiries ]
Mori-no-Eki Tarumizu >>

* June 12, 2015
Area guide : Osumi >>

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The official Facebook page "Kagoshima Travel Guide" >> 

Bandokorobana Nature Park

Bandokorobana Nature Park is a great scenic site where visitors may see Mt. Kaimondake floating atop the East China Sea.


In the 19th C.E, Mr. Tadataka Inou visited this site to create a map of Japan and later referred to it as "a superb view of the world." 

On clear days, visitors will be able to see both Yakushima Island and Mishima Island.


Enjoy the charming coastlines and take a leisurely stroll through the rich nature. 


Will this bring luck? "Ringing the Bandokoro Bell"

It is said your wishes will come true based on the number of times the bell is rung. 

1 Time---For Happiness,  
2 Times--- For Health,  
3 Times---For Love, 
4 Times---For Safe Childbirth, 
5 Times---For A Child/Children


[ Getting There ]
10 min. walk from "Mizunarikawa Station" off the JR-Ibusuki-Makurazaki line. 

[ Website ] 
Bandokorobana Nature Park >> 
*Japanese Only

* June 8, 2015
Area guide : Nansatsu area >>

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Yakushima Environmental Culture Center

The Yakushima Environmental Culture Center is a culture 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 >> ※Japanese Only

* May 15, 2015
Area Guide : Yakushima  >>

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Sakurajima Island View Bus

The Sakurajima Island View bus, which covers the west area of Sakurajima, can be boarded at the Sakurajima port.


The one hour course has stop-overs at the Sakurajima Visitor Centre (a volcano museum), the Yunohira Observatory (closest spot to the crater, which is at an elevation of 373m), and so on.
Recommended for visitors with limited time but would like to visit all the must-see locations on Sakurajima.


[ Bus Stops ]
 (1) Sakurajima Port → (2) Hi-no-Shima Megumi-kan / Sakurajima "Michi-no-Eki" (Local Products Market) → (3) Rainbow Sakurajima Guest House → (4) Sakurajima Visitor's Centre → (5) Karasujima Observatory → (6) Akamizu Observatory Square → (7) Akamizu Yunohira-guchi → (8) Yunohira Observatory → (9) Oushu Elementary School → (1) Sakurajima Port
[ Bus Fare ] depends on distance travelled
Adult: 120 yen - 440 yen / Child (primary school and below): 60 yen - 220 yen
One Day Pass (500 Yen) Available for sales on the Sakurajima Island View Bus

[ Getting There ] Terminal station: Sakurajima Port
Sakurajima Ferry Terminal (1F)

[ Website ] 
Sakurajima Island View >>

* May 7, 2015
Area guide : Sakurajima >>

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Senbironotaki Waterfall

Senbironotaki Waterfall has a 60m drop and is one of the most recognized of the many waterfalls on Yakushima Island.


The waterfall was named after its massive size and its resemblance to 1,000 people holding hands together.


Visitors can access a magnificient view of the waterfall from the observatory to the south.


[ Getting There ]
40 min. walk from "Tainokou" Bus stop

[ Parking ]
10 parking spots

* December 9, 2014
Area Guide : Yakushima  >>

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Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen (Hirauchi Underwater Hot Springs)

Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen is mysterious in that the natural bathtub appears only at low tide(twice a day 2hours each) .

One can be feeel that you are part of nature while you see wave from there.



* Mixed bathing
* It not allow swim suits

** The Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen video from Kagoshima Energetic Japan's video clips >>

[ Time of Low tide ]
Japan Meteorological Agency >>

[ Access ]
5min walk from "Hirouchi-kaichu onsen" bus stop *Please keep in mind there are only few buses are working.

[ Park ]

* October 20, 2014
Area Guide : Yakushima  >>

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Shiratani Unsuikyou Ravine

The Shiratani Unsuikyou Ravine spans 424 hectares across the forest and is around 600 - 1,300m above sea level. 


The forest is covered in green, unique ground plants like ferns and mosses, and visiting allows for travelers to experience and savor the superb world where Yakusugi cedar trees and laurel forests grow together.  


Within the Shiratani Unsuikyou Ravine are three maintained courses -each with differing required course time, and the most popular of the courses being the "Taikoiwa Rock Course" which requires approximatly four hours of hiking time.


Weather permitting, the Taikoiwa Rock is a great place for visitors to have a view of the surrounding massive granite rocks and enjoy a breathtaking overview of the Yakushima Island's forests.


Also, slightly nearby to the Taikoiwa Rock is the "moss-covered forest" (kokemusu-mori) where director Hayao Miyazaki visited several times for inspiration for Studio Ghibli film, "Princess Mononoke" (Mononoke Hime). 


Further, it is said that in order to accurately portray the forest's natural deep green shade in the film, staff had to incorporate at least 200 different shades of green.

Visit and experience firsthand how "green" Shiratani Unsuikyou Ravine truly is! 

[ Open Season ]
Open all year *Closed during the winter season due to snow

[ Fee (By donation) ]
¥300 - High school student or older

[ Access ]
Shiratani Unsuikyou Bus stop

[ Parking ]
40 parking spots

[ Website ]
Shiratani Unsuikyou Ravine >>
*Japanese Only

* September 24, 2014
Area Guide : Yakushima  >>

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Sato port Area, Koshikishima island

One might wish to walk around this sparsely populated island of 6,000 people to explore the rustic island life.

There are several interesting spots in the vicinity of Sato port, which is served by high speed boats and ferries.


The Tombolo View Spot
A good location that overlooks the 1km-wide great tombolo (sand bar).


Sato Samurai residence complex
Remains of Samurai residence buildings which are surrounded by stone walls


Yamashita-shoten >> 
Offering freshly made tofu (bean curd) *Closed on Thursday


Gallery Hiramine >>  *Closed on  Wednesdays,  Thursdays
Modern Art Gallery & Café

** Walking Map of Sato-port area

* September 10, 2014
Area guide : Hokusatsu area >>

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"Tamatebako" Open-air Onsen

Tamatebako Onsen is an open-air hotspring with a bird's eye view of Mt. Kaimondake and the East China Sea. 

Not only does the interior design of the onsen tubs used by men and women on a daily basis vary but there are different views of the surrounding lanscape as well. 


Enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding area while soaking in this hotspring! 

Visitors will even experience a unique and wonderful feeling of enjoying the hotspring, ocean and sky integrated all together.


[ Hours ] 
9:30 - 19:30
* Mt. Kaimondake Open-air Onsen Schedule: Men --- Odd-numbered days (ex. 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) | Women --- Even-numbered days (ex. 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.)

[ Holidays ]
Every Thursday, and the day after National Holidays

[ Admission Fee ]
500 yen

[ Access ]
JR Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line + 25 "Nottari Oritari" Bus ride from "Ibusuki Station"

[ Official Website ]
Healthy Land Open-air Onsen Tamatebako Onsen >>

[ Address ]
Fukumoto 3340, Yamagawa, Ibusuki City, Kagoshima Prefecture

* August 18, 2014
Area Guide : Ibusuki >>

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Yakushima Sea Turtle Museum

Inaka Beach is No.1 sea turtle nesting site in Japan and, beween May and July during the nesting period, there can be 20+ turtles nesting in one single night.


The "Yakushima Sea Turtle Museum" at Nagata Beach introduces and explains the ecology of the sea turtles. 

Yakushima Sea Turtle Museum

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

[ Holidays ]
Tuesdays, the day after National Holiday(s), New Years holidays (December 25 - January 1)

[ Admission Fee ]
General Admission: 300 yen, Elementary Students: 100 yen, Infants: Free

[ Access ]
Local schedule bus - Chunobashi bus stop + 3 min. walk

[ Official Website ] 
Sea Turtle Museum >>  ※Japanese Only

[ Address ] 
Nagata Area, Yakushima Town, Kumage District, Kagoshima Prefecture

* July 24, 2014
Area Guide : Yakushima  >>

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Chirin Island (Chiringashima)

Chirin Island (Chiringashima) is an uninhabited island in Kinko Bay roughly 3km around and 90m high.


Known as "the island of mystery" since ancient times, it is connected to the mainland by sand bar when the spring tide is at low tide. 


The sandbar appears for one to four hours a day(depends on the weather) only during October from March.


It takes about 800m at low tide enabling you to walk across to the island in about 20 minutes. 


This island is also known as a matchmaking spot for couples because the sandbar is reminiscent of a bridge or bond.


Be sure to visit to Chirin Island and be a happier couple!


* April 17, 2014

Sandbar calendar >> 
*Japanese only
Area Guide : Ibusuki  >>

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Farm Stay Experience in Isa City

Located in the north of Kagoshima prefecture, the Isa basin experiences a large annual temperature gap and is thus famous for its delicious rice.


Mr. Yamanokuchi, local farm owner and representative of the "Inaka-no-Ohyakusho-san", grows rice and many types of vegetables. His farm also offers farm stay experience.


Once we got to the field, we had a quick lesson on harvesting techniques and recognising the correct sized vegetables (ready for harvesting) before getting started.


The contents of the farm experience varies according to season. When we visited the farm (in late October), we harvested "Jumbo Ingen (Beans)" and "Kinzan Negi (Leek)".


Harvesting the crops which were painstakingly cultivated by the farmer was definitely a great experience!


Lunch prepared using the freshly harvested vegetables is also available (* 1,000 yen / advance reservation required).

The sumptuous lunch we had today consisted of Onigiri rice balls made using the famous Isa rice, Satsumajiru vegetable and chicken stew, Jumbo Ingen tempura (deep fried batter), and pumpkin dessert.


This house where we had lunch also offers farm stay for visitors.

The room layout and the tatami (straw) mat flooring is that of typical old Japanese houses, and children who visit this place on school excursions exclaim happily "its just like my grandpa's house!"


"Inaka-no-Ohyakusho-san" welcomes foreigners and Japanese alike to experience farm life and farm stay. (* enquiries in Japanese only)

The owner is proud of his farm produce and assures visitors that they will be able to experience fun harvesting at any time of the year.


Wouldn't you also like to enjoy a relaxing farm stay in Isa city?


■ Enquiries  *Japanese only
Inakano-ohyakusho-san (Mr. Yamanokuchi)
TEL : 0995-26-0490 

■ Web site : *Japanese only

■ Farm Experience
Duration : Approx. 2hour
Capacity : 20(maximum)
Fee : 1,500 yen per person

■ Farm Stay and Farm Experience
Capacity : 5(maximum)
Fee : 5,000 yen per person
Address : 2648-2, Hishikari Arata, Isa-shi, Kagoshima

* February 25, 2014

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Kirishima Trekking route : Mt. Karakuni - Onami Pond

There are many trails for Mt. Karakunidake, the highest peak on Kirishima.


There are one of interesting route through by crater lake Onami Pond, the highest elevation in Japan.



From Mt. Karakuni, one can see the Mt. Nakadake and Mt. Shinmoedake, weather permitting.


The Mt. Shinmoedake having been dormant for the around 300 years, but it erupted violently again on 26 January 2011.

Due to the volcanic activities currently out of bounds. 



The growth of the Kyushu Azalea and Mitsuba-tsutsuji flowers, is now endangered because of the eruption.

Hopefully someday when the situation settles down, the route to Mt. Shinmoedake and Mt. Nakadake will be open to public again.


■ From Kagoshima-city
 [JR]    Kagoshima chuo sta. 
                    ⇓  by JR express train
 [JR]    Kirishima jingu sta.
 [BUS] Kirishima jingu bus stop
                    ⇓ Iwasaki Bus (to Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel)
 [BUS] Maruo Bus stop (Change the Bus)
 [BUS] Maruo Bus stop
 [BUS] Ebino Kogen
            [ Trekking ]
 [BUS] Ebino Kogen
 [BUS] Maruo Bus stop (Chang the Bus)
 [BUS] Maruo Bus stop
                    ⇓ Iwasaki Bus (to Kokubu sta.)
 [BUS] Kirishima jingu bus stop
 [JR]    Kirishima jingu sta.
                    ⇓ by JR express train
 [JR]    Kagoshima chuo sta.

* January 16, 2014
PDF KirishimaTrekkingMAP.pdf (English) 

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Mt. Kaimon - Satsuma Fuji -

Mt. Kaimon alt. 924m (3,031 ft), is a volcanic mountain currently dormant with impressively beautiful shape.

It is one of the hundred most celebrated mountains in Japan.

Sometimes called "Satsuma Fuji" due to its resemblance to Mt. Fuji.



Mt. Kaimon is also popular site for trekking and hiking.

To climb to the summit and back down takes 5 to 6 hours.

From the summit, you can enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the open sea and crop field belts!


■ Access: 1 from Kagoshima-city
JR: Kagoshima-chuo sta. ⇔1hr20min ⇔ JR: Yamagawa sta. (change) BUS: Yamagawa sat. ⇔ 35min⇔  BUS: Kaimon-tozan-guchi sat.

■ Access: 2 from Kagoshima-city  ** The number of the operating trains are limited
JR: Kagoshima-chuo sta. ⇔ 2hr ⇔ JR: Kaimon sta. ⇔ 20min ⇔ Mt. Kaimon

* December 20, 2013
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Koshikishima Island

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


It is made up of three main islands, Kamikoshiki, Nakakoshiki and Shimokoshiki, and several smaller islands in the surrounding.

Each island has its unique landforms, and the great views have attracted many visitors.


Their unique landforms, interesting when viewed up close, is the envy of many geologists; The living 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 of Kamikoshiki Island overlooks a great tombolo (sand bar) of almost 1km in width.

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 small pebbles cuts off a segment of the sea into a beautiful lagoon, 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 is strangely shaped rock resembles the great Frenchman Napoleon, and is hence called "Napoleon Rock".



One can even feel the special landforms by observing the river flows from the mountains.

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


From the Yohagi Maruyama Park, one can clearly see the earth's stratified layers of 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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100% Natural Footbath in Sakurajima!

Dig your own Hotspring by yourself then enjoy taking footbath with great sea view!

You will see and feel the energy of earth!! 



You can take private tour organized by Sakurajima Visitor Center.

Or you can buy a digging set(a shovel, towel and guidebook) also available in Sakurajima Visitor Center.


【Sakurajima Hot Spring digging tour】
  ** Kindly make an advance reservation for the tour.

■ Holding period: Full year

■ Time required: 2 - 3 hours

■ Fee3500 /person 

■ Capacity: 7  *Please contact us when you participate in the 8 or more 

■ What you need: Dress easy to move, hat, towel, drink  

■ Contact: +81 99-245-0100

■ Official WebsiteSakurajima museum



* November 15, 2013
Area guide : Sakurajima >>

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Green Farm Agriculture Park

The Green Farm Agriculture Park in Kagoshima city is now open! 

Visitors can find out more about food and farming through the many hands-on experiences here. 

A wide array of facilities such as professionally equipped cooking rooms and handicraft rooms, marketplace selling local produce, restaurants, etc. can be found in this 40 hectare establishment. 

It would be great to spend the whole day in here!



The various hands-on experience classes offered here are highly popular among visitors. Class schedule subject to changes every month

■ Farm Tractor Riding


■ Crop Harvesting


■ Soba Making (buckwheat noodles)


■ Relaxing Yoga Class


From the farm restaurant "Dai Dai", visitors can enjoy the great view of Kinko Bay and Osumi Peninsula while tucking in to a sumptuous meal.


The set menu offered here uses fresh vegetables, and the Hoze Soba (a type of buckwheat noodle) is the most popular.




*  Kindly make an advance reservation for the hands-on classes.
TEL: +81 993453337

How to get there: About 10 minutes by taxi from JR Kiire Station.

Southernmost point in mainland Japan "Sata-misaki (Cape Sata)"

Kagoshima is located in the southernmost in Japan, except Okinawa.


The southernmost point Sata-misaki is place necessary for those travelers who does journeys across Japan.


The lighthouse in Sata-misaki is a historic one which has lighted the south part of Kagoshima for almost 150 years.

The chalk wall which rebuilt-in 1950 stands out in the blue ocean.


In sunny day, you will be able to see both Tanegashima and Yakushima, you feel like you are in the southernmost point.


* September 1, 2013
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"Amami Oshima"which has rare nature and its own culture

Japan is an island country, and it consists of four main islands and the other countless islands.

There are 28 manned isolated islands in Kagoshima, the biggest one is Amami Oshima island.

Amami-Oshima is located 380km from mainland of Kagoshima, it takes 1 hour by plane and 11 hours by ferry.

There are some direct flights from Tokyo or Osaka, you can enjoy the different sence of Japan in only few hours!


The feauture of Amami is of course the nature with endemic species and its own culture.

"Amami and Ryukyu" is known as tantative list of World natural heritage site, there you can see  endangered animals and plants.
The first one will be Pentalagus furnessi.

Pentalagus furnessi is a black rare which is considered as endeimic speices known as natural monument from Amami-Oshima island.


The size is about 40~50 cm, it is bigger than general rabits.
The most distinctive feature is thick body hair. The back is dark brown, and the belly is brilliant color.
In only 3 hours I happened to see about 10 rabbits during "Amami night tours" held on July .

Kinsakubaru wildwood" is also one of the most famous place in Amami-Oshima.

The forest resorbs a lot of water, trees pursue thelimer.ghts. 

Inside the forest you feel cool even in hot summer.


Those grown trees  are cleared by Typhoon, that is why they are same in tall.
The surface of mountain look alike broccoli! 


Some interesting things can be found that you can feel the climate and the nature features.

The houses protect the food from hub ( Which is one of the snakes)


"Oshima Tsumugi" is known as casual wear you feel comfortable even in hot summer.

Different from regular Kimono, it is light and it has become one of the most luxury Kimono.


The food in Amami is also enjoynable.

Brown suger Shochu made by sugercane is smooth to drink, tastewill vary the procedure of making.


For lunch, you are recommended to have "Keihan".

Keihan is a soul food of Amami Oshima, you pour very tasty chicken soup over rice.


Forest of  mangrove traveled by canoue,


Beautiful ocean where you can enjoy variouswater sports, Amami Oshima is very attractive.


They have grown own nature cycle to protect their eco system, that is how they save abundant nature and eco system.

Please visit Amami Oshima island where you can find the nature!



* August 20, 2013
Area guide : Amami island >>

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