Voices from foreigners living in Kagoshima.
"I fell in love with Kagoshima the day I arrived here!" - Shukuri(Malaysia)
Hello. My Name is Syukri from Malaysia. I am currently working in Nansatsu Shokucho Co. Ltd,(located in Minami Kyushu City) as a Halal Manager who controls all matters related to Halal operation in the company including sales, monitoring halal SOPs, advising on the R&D of halal products and also taking care the welfare of Muslim staffs.
I came to Kagoshima in August 2013. I fell in love with Kagoshima the day I arrived here. Kagoshima is just perfect for me. It is very peaceful place, the people are very friendly. The food is outstanding, and there are lots of nice places to go. The city is surrounded by majestic forests and volcanoes. Kagoshima has full of natural wonders, a friendly and authentic Japanese environment, yet offering everything I need for a comfortable life. Kagoshima gives me a peaceful life and keep me in touch with nature and Japanese tradition. I have yet to find someone be mean or grumpy to me for being a foreigner or Muslim in Kagoshima, and I have made my fair share of friends both local and foreigners. As a Muslim, I have no problem at all living here, since we have good Muslim community which consist of various nationalities from various countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey and many others who I can consult anytime when having problems related to religous practises. In Kagoshima, we have Mosque for fulfilling our prayers and other religious celebrations. There is also Imam (Islamic Leader) in the Mosque for us to refer. And for Halal food, we have a few halal shop and restaurants in the city.
So don't hesitate to come to Kagoshima. I guarantee you will love this place. Really. Come! Come! We are waiting for you. :)
Assalamualaikum. Nama saya Syukri. Sekarang bekerja di Nansatsu Shokucho Co. Ltd, sebagai Pengurus Bahagian Halal. Saya bertanggungjawab menjaga semua perkara yang berkaitan dengan halal di dalam syarikat termasuk memajukan bahagian jualan, memberi idea untuk membuat produk-produk halal yang baru, memastikan SOP halal dipatuhi dan termasuk menjaga kebajikan pekerja-pekerja Islam.
Saya datang ke Kagoshima pada bulan Ogos tahun 2013. Datang saja sini, terus jatuh cinta dengan keindahan dan kedamaian Kagoshima. Bagi saya Kagoshima ini semua ada. Kaya dengan keindahan alam semula jadi. Ada laut, pantai yang cantik, gunung-ganang, sungai yang bersih, air terjun yang indah, ada sawah bendang yang luas, ada kolam air panas, kebun teh dan paling istimewa ada juga Gunung berapi paling aktif di Jepun iaitu Sakurajima. Bagi yang minat shopping dan hiburan, di bandar Kagoshima, semuanya ada. Pusat beli belah, tempat hiburan, karaoke, bowling, game center, semuanya lengkap. Pendek kata, sebut saja apa yang tiada di Kagoshima ni :)
Sebagai orang Islam, di Kagoshima juga terdapat Masjid yang agak besar. Komuniti Islam di sini juga terdiri dari pelbagai negara dan latar belakang antaranya dari Mesir, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey, Malaysia dan lain-lain. Masjid Kagoshima juga mempunyai Imam dari Mesir yang menetap di Masjid. Beliau seorang yang alim, hafiz Quran dan fasih berbahasa Inggeris. Jadi, tidak ada masalah untuk bertanya mengenai masalah hukum hakam syariah sekiranya ada sebarang kekeliruan apabila berada di perantauan. Di Kagoshima juga tak ada masalah besar untuk mendapatkan makanan halal kerana di sini juga terdapat beberapa kedai dan restoran halal.
Jadi, usah ragu, usah risau. Jemput datang ke Kagoshima. Anda pasti tak menyesal. Marilah. Kami tunggu. :)
"Amazing nature and the kind heart of the people of Kagoshima!" - Martina (Italy)
Ciao! Mi chiamo Martina e sono nata e cresciuta a Milano.
Venni per la prima volta a Kagoshima in viaggio con mio marito, e subito mi colpì la natura meravigliosa del posto e la generosità dei locali.
Decidemmo così, nel Giugno del 2017, di trasferirci nella città di Kirishima, dove viviamo tutt’ora. Fin da quando ero bambina sognavo una vita in campagna, e Kirishima mi ha dato l’opportunità ti seguire e raggiungere il mio sogno. Con l’aiuto di mio marito ho iniziato una piccola attività agricola: principalmente vendiamo uova fresche di galline allevate all’aperto, ma alleviamo anche altri animali come wagyu (bovino nero giapponese), capre, conigli, quaglie e kurobuta (maiale nero di Kagoshima).
Amo la mia vita qui. E’ un luogo tranquillo immerso nella natura con molti posti, anche storici, che valgono la pena essere visitati. Se vi piacciono i trekking non potete perdere l’opportunità di scalare il monte Takachiho-no-mine o seguire il percorso Kirishima Ridge Trail che attraversa tutta la catena vulcanica di Kirishima. E non dimenticatevi del vulcano Sakurajima! Se invece preferite posti più storici e tradizionali, non rimarrete delusi dalla visita del tempio di Kirishima (Kirishima Shrine). Per concludere la giornata, non c’è modo migliore di rilassarsi alle onsen (le terme giapponesi) che trovate praticamente ovunque nella prefettura di Kagoshima. Per quanto riguarda il cibo, io sono molto esigente. Mi piace però provare nuovi sapori, e posso dire con tranquillità che il cibo qui a Kagoshima è veramente buonissimo. I prodotti sono freschi, di qualità e con un sapore molto intenso. Non potete non provare la cotoletta stile giapponese di maiale nero (Kurobuta Tonkatsu), sashimi di pollo (Torisashi), Gane o il Ramen di Kagoshima. Per non parlare del famoso Satsuma Shochu (distillato di patate dolci locali).
Quindi vi consiglio caldamente di venire qui a Kagoshima, non ve ne pentirete : )
Hello! My name is Martina from Milano, Italy.
Firstly I came in Kagoshima with my husband for travel, and I totally fell in love with the amazing nature and the kind heart of the people of Kagoshima. We decided to move in the city of Kirishima, where we currently live, in June 2017. Since I was a child I was dreaming to live in the countryside, and Kirishima gave me the perfect occasion to follow and reach my dream. With the help of my husband I could start a small farm business: mostly we sell free range chicken eggs, but we raise a lot of other animals like wagyu (Japanese black cattle), goats, rabbits, quails and kurobuta (kagoshima black pork).
I really love living here. It’s so peaceful and there a lot of historical and natural spot to visit. If you like trekking you will definitely love to climb the mount Takachiho-no-mine, the course Kirishima Ridge Trail which follows the entire Kirishima’s mountain chain or visit the volcano Sakurajima . If you prefer more historical place, you must visit the Kirishima Shrine. The best way to end the day is to relax at the amazing natural onsen (Japanese hot springs) that you can find almost everywhere in Kagoshima prefecture. But what about the food? I love to eat and discover new tastes. For me the food quality is very important, and I can say that the food here in Kagoshima is simply the best: it’s fresh, tasty and with a very rich flavor. If you come in Kagoshima you can’t avoid to try Kurobuta tonkatsu, Torisashi (chicken sashimi), Gane and Kagoshima Ramen. And don’t forget about the famous Satsuma Shochu (distilled from regional grown sweet potatoes)
So I really recommend you to come to Kagoshima. You will not be disappointed : )
"Tanegashima is a pretty special place in Japan" - Ryan (US)
Hello, my name is Ryan and I work on the island of Tanegashima. Before coming here, I really didn’t know anything about Tanegashima other than the fact that it’s the “next-door neighbor” of Yakushima. In the time I’ve spent here though, I’ve learned that it’s got quite a bit of history and is, in fact, fairly well-known.
Tanegashima has beaches all over so it’s a great place to go surfing. Even if you don’t surf, you can still enjoy a relaxing time at Urada Beach in the north, or venture into the Chikura Caverns at Hamada Beach in the south. If you don’t like getting sand in your shoes, places like the Kishigazaki Lighthouse, Amamegakura Lookout Point, and Cape Kadokura all offer fantastic views.
Speaking of fantastic views, one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen was the launch of a rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center last year. Launches are conducted a few times a year and are always incredible to watch. In fact, people from all over the world come here for the chance to witness one.
While today the island is mainly known for its surf spots and space center, in the past it was famous for being the first site in Japan where guns were produced. You can learn more about those first guns as well as other aspects of the island’s history at the Teppō-kan museum in Nishinoomote City. English translations of the exhibits are available so you don’t have to worry about not understanding Japanese.
Due to its location in the subtropics, Tanegashima is able to grow crops that aren’t commonly grown in the rest of Japan, such as sugarcane, bananas, and passion fruit. It also is home to a type of sweet potato that is unique to the island—the Annou imo. Aside from that, there is a wide variety of seafood available, too.
Even though I’ve been here just a short while, I feel like Tanegashima is a pretty special place in Japan. I haven’t had much opportunity to travel elsewhere in Kagoshima, but Tanegashima is close enough to it that visiting other places within the prefecture isn’t too difficult. In the future, I look forward to exploring what else Kagoshima has to offer and I hope you can come experience the charm of Tanegashima for yourself as well.
“Kagoshima is an incredible place to visit!” - Steve (U.K.)
Hello! My name is Steve. I’m an English teacher working and living in Kagoshima Prefecture.
Initially, I planned to stay in Kagoshima for a year. Five years later… I’m still here!
Kagoshima has so much to do outdoors. Sakurajima, our active volcano, is a spectacular sight and there are numerous hiking trails across dormant volcanoes, too. Mount Takachiho in particular has amazing views of its volcanic landscape, as you pass layers of intense red and orange rock on your way to the summit. The mountain is also central to Japanese mythology and the birth story of Japan; with the closely connected Kirishima Shrine just a short drive away.
After a hike, you can relax and recuperate soaking in a hot spring. There are plenty to choose from, both public and private. The Kirishima Hotel has a wide range of public baths, open to hotel guests and visitors. For private hot springs, I recommend the Kirishima Miyama Hotel, also open to visitors. Plus, it's right next to the onsen market where you can try some hot spring cooked food.
If you manage to escape the mainland, Kagoshima has a whole chain of island adventures waiting. Kayak the coastal mangroves of Amami Oshima. Explore the ancient cedar forests of Yakushima. Or dive the coral reefs of Okinoerabu.
With so much to do outdoors and a rich cultural history rarely seen by international tourists, Kagoshima is an incredible place to visit! Come and see for yourself!
"Kagoshima has great seafood and the No.1 black pork and black beef in all of Japan!" - Melinda(Canada)
Hello. My name is Melinda and I am from Canada but now I consider Kagoshima second home. My husband was born in Kagoshima but when we met we were living outside of Tokyo. During the Golden Week holiday we came to Kagoshima so that I could meet his family. I immediately fell in love with everything Kagoshima has to offer and within a year moved here. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
There are so many things to love about Kagoshima. I am big on outdoor activities. In Canada I would swim, canoe and play softball in the summer and ski, skate and snowshoe in the winter. Living in Kagoshima has allowed me to continue my outdoor activities. In the summer I go snorkeling at one of the many beautiful beaches to see tropical fish and coral. There are kayak rentals, cycling courses, SUP, canyoning and the only jet boat in Japan. Kagoshima is subtropical so the streets are lined with palm trees which makes winter the perfect season for hiking. Active volcano Mt. Sakurajima sits across the bay from the city so we are blessed with an abundance of natural hot springs. I often go to hot spring baths in the winter and the natural sand bath in Ibusuki is one of my favourites. My favourite year round activities are riding my Harley and wearing kimono. I love the freedom of riding my Harley and keeping the Japanese culture and tradition alive when wearing kimono.
I have one more year round activity. I love eating. I’m a total foodie and the food here is delicious. Kagoshima has great seafood and the No.1 black pork and black beef in all of Japan! There are too many dishes to list here so when you visit Kagoshima be sure to come with a good appetite.
To learn more about Japan follow me on Instagram @thejapandiscovery
"Kagoshima is a place of such beauty and warmth that I would recommend it to anyone." - Joanna (U.K.)
A week after graduating from university, I was sat on a plane to Japan to teach English for a year. I was absolutely determined that one year was the longest I would stay, yet here I am 5 years later, continuing my love affair with this beautiful prefecture, Kagoshima.
When I first found out I would be placed in a small town called Ichiki Kushikino in Kagoshima, I was scared that I could become lonely or bored in such a small place. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Kagoshima is a prefecture with so much beauty and nature that every weekend there is something fresh and new to do. From the gorgeous beaches, the wonderful hiking trails and the abundance of quaint local festivals year-round, I found myself falling more and more in love with the place every day. Furthermore, the nature of living in such a small community creates a beautifully familial atmosphere in the prefecture as a whole. The community is kind and warm hearted, always eager to communicate and help those around them.
Having come from chilly England, some of my favorite things about living in Kagoshima are the temperate climate and the gorgeous beaches. I have spent my life craving the scenic beaches I saw in movies, and finally I live in a place where every inch of the coastline could be the background to a romantic movie scene. In particular, I fell in love with a gorgeous beach just outside Bounotsu in southern Kagoshima called Ajillo hama. The beach is set in a bay surrounded by gorgeous mountains, and the water is so clear you can look down and see tropical fish swimming around your feet. For anyone looking for a bit of paradise in Kagoshima, I highly recommend this beach.
Another thing that has grasped my heart in this prefecture is the traditional local spirit famously produced here: shochu. Shochu is not only delicious, but also incredibly low calorie, so we can enjoy many guilt free evenings indulging on this delight. For those who wish to learn more about the production of shochu, my recommendation is always to visit a fabulous shochu factory in Kushikino called Kinzangura. This factory has been created in an old gold mine, and you can not only learn all about the process of shochu making, but can also take a trip to the middle of the mountain on the original mine train. The excursion is topped off with tasters of their lovely products, including a gold flaked shochu which is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the stomach.
Kagoshima is a place of such beauty and warmth that I would recommend it to anyone. I have enjoyed my time living here so far, and I look forward to the many years to come.
To learn more about my life here in Kagoshima, please head over to my YouTube channel ‘Mina Kago Couple’.
"Kagoshima is in my heart" - Syamil (Malaysia)
Hello. My name is Syamil Shafeq and I am from Malaysia. I live in Kagoshima as a student at Kagoshima University. Why I choose Kagoshima University to further my study? Because this university offered a research about rocket engine and aeronautic that I crave the most all this while.
Kagoshima prefecture has a lot of fascinating places to visit. As a person who loves to explore new places, I have got a chance to visit a few places. There are Sogi no taki, Ajirohama, Yakushima Island, Sakurajima, Fukiage and Ibusuki.
Sogi no taki is famous because of it’s like you staring at Niagra Falls. Ajirohama has an underrated beach. Yakushima Island well known for having the gigantic shady trees. Sakurajima is the most active volcano and act as the symbol of Kagoshima. Fukiage has a fukiagehama which is long sand dune and also known as the breeding place for sea turtle to lay their eggs. Ibusuki is the place which has the black sand spas. The beachy volcanic sand baths which is naturally heated by hot spring water underneath the beach.
For my personal choice, the place that catch my eyes now and forever is Ajirohama located at Minami Satsuma. Why? Because it has astounding view although it is underrated place. It also has crystal clear blue water. As a nature lover, I recommend to other nature lovers out there to come here and escape from a hustle bustle city life. You need to take a speed boat to go to the beach including pay for the snorkelling set at the jetty port nearby.
As a Muslim, of course I need to find and eat halal food and surprisingly I am glad to state that there are no problem for me to find halal food here as there is halal restaurant and Muslim friendly restaurant from a local people and also from a Muslim from other countries.
Another reason why I love to stay here because of the friendly local people towards the foreigner and it makes me comfortable to stay here for a longer time as I can feel we are welcome here although we are from different races and languages.
Last but not least, although Kagoshima has a least human population, but it provides an excellent hospitality and facility. So definitely there is no problem also for me to stay here instead I am amused by the environment here.
Experience is the best teacher. I am welcoming all of you to visit Kagoshima. If you have a chance, please come to see the beauty nature at this area.
Hello. Nama saya Syamil Shafeq. Saya berasal dari Malaysia. Saya tinggal di Kagoshima sebagai pelajar di Universiti Kagoshima. Kenapa Universiti Kagoshima menjadi pilihan saya untuk sambung belajar? kerana Universiti ini menawarkan kajian berkaitan roket enjin dan aeronautik yang saya idamkan selama ini.
Prefektur Kagoshima mempunyai banyak tempat-tempat yang menarik. Sebagai seorang yang sukakan alam semulajadi, saya telah berkesempatan melawati beberapa tempat. Tempat seperti Sugi no taki, Ajirohama, pulau Yakushima, Sakurajima, Fukiage dan Ibusuki.
Sogi no taki terkenal dengan pemandangannya seperti melihat air terjun Niagra. Ajirohama mempunyai pantai yang tidak mendapat sambutan orang ramai. Pulau Yakushima terkenal kerana mempunyai pokok yang sangat besar. Sakurajima adalah gunung berapi yang sangat aktif dan merupakan lambang kepada prefektur Kagoshima. Fukiage terkenal sebagai tempat pembiakan penyu. Ibusuki adalah tempat mandi pasir gunung berapi yang secara semulajadi panas disebabkan air panas dari gunung yang berada di bawah pantai. Tempat pilihan saya ialah Ajirohama yang terletak di Minami Satsuma. Tempat ini mempunyai pemandangan yang sangat indah walaupun tidak dikenali oleh ramai orang. Airnya sangat jernih. Sebagai seorang yang sukakan alam semula jadi, saya mencadangkan kepada peminat alam semula jadi di luar sana untuk datang ke tempat ini dari kesibukan bandar. Anda perlu menaiki bot laju untuk pergi ke pantai termasuk membayar sewaan bot dan peralatan snorkel di jeti yang berdekatan.
Sebagai seorang muslim. Sudah tentu saya akan mencari makanan Halal untuk dimakan dan yang memeranjatkan ialah terdapat beberapa restoran halal dan mesra muslim disini. Antara sebab lain mengapa saya suka tinggal disini ialah sifat peramah orang tempatan disini terhadap orang asing dan ia membuatkan saya rasa selesa untuk tinggal disini dalam jangka masa yang lama kerana kedatangan orang asing disini sangat dialu-alukan.
Akhir sekali, walaupun Kagoshima mempunyai jumlah populasi manusia yang sedikit tetapi kemudahan hospitaliti dan fasiliti sangat mengagumkan. Semestinya tiada masalah untuk saya tinggal disini malah saya kagum dengan keadaan disini.
Jauh perjalanan luas pemandangan. Jika anda mempunyai dan diberikan kesempatan untuk melawati Jepun, saya sangat mengalu-alukan anda semua untuk datang ke Kagoshima dan menikmati alam semulajadi di sini.
Next article for you
Now is the time for a bike trip! Cycle beautiful Kagoshima
Savouring Kagoshima’s Wagyu
Eating and Drinking Your Way Around Kagoshima
Discover Amami Oshima
Kagoshima Food Adventure
Roam the tropical fairytale landscape of Japan’s south
Cherry blossom viewing information
Fired up about bullfights
Ibusuki and Sata: A Resort Rich in Local Legend
Illumination Spots in Kagoshima
The Traditional Festivals of Osumi
Explore a Land of Legends
Shochu Tasting, Distillery Tour
Enjoy the 'Autumn' of Kagoshima
Hot Spring Kingdom Kagoshima