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Located on the southern tip of Kyushu, Kagoshima Prefecture extends 600 km/372.8 Miles from its borders in the north to its boundaries in the south, separate from Okinawa Prefecture. It is blessed with exceptional scenery, of beautiful oceans, mountains, rivers, and is home to many hot springs and diverse, rich nature. There are also many cultural and historical sites. Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture include about 30 islands far to the south, among which is Yakushima Island, an island registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tokara Islands, a chain of twelve islands of varying in size and stretching over a distance of 162 km/100 miles, and Amami Oshima, the second largest isolated in Japan.
 
The Koshikijima Islands, 30 km off the western shore of the Satsuma Peninsula, are famous for wild Japanese lilies. The lilies cover the islands in pink during full bloom after the rainy season. Another popular destination is Tanegashima Island and Uchinoura Town. Tanegashima Islands is especially known for its rocket-launching bases, some of which are among the most technologically advanced gateways to space.
 
At a closer glance, the landscape of the main prefectural area are volcanic areas like the Kirishima mountain range and active volcano, Sakurajima, and national parks like the Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park (includes Yakushima Islands and Kuchinoerabujima Islands) and the Nichinan Kaigan Quasi-National Park, known for thriving subtropical plants like Livistona, a type of fan palm. The nature and parks in Kagoshima Prefecture range fromo temperate to subtropical.

Hugging the shore of Kinko Bay, this southernmost city of Kyushu is warm, sunny and relaxed. It features palms, flowering trees and bushes, and broad avenues. With the ominous Sakurajima Volcano overlooking Kagoshima across the bay, the city is often called the ‘Naples of Japan’.
 
The Shimazu clan, ruled over the city of Kagoshima for nearly 700 years. As an important trading centre for China, contact with merchant vessels from around the world played a significant part in this port city’s development. The arrival of St. Francis Xavier in 1549 brought further outside influence, resulting in a number of Japanese converted to Christianity. In the mid-19th century, the Tokugawa shogunate began to lose strength and the Shimazu family was beginning to look toward the future. They built the first western-style factory and smuggled 19 young men out of the country so they could learn foreign languages and technology in Britain. On their return, these men played an important part in the Meiji Restoration and the modernisation of Japan.
 
An important local figure during the Meiji Restoration was a samurai by the name of Saigo Takamori. He was an educator, scholar, philosopher and poet who played a major role in the restoration of the Emperor Meiji and the advancement of technology. When the ancient rights of the samurai class were rescinded, Takamori became disillusioned. He led a brief and unsuccessful rebellion, and eventually committed ritual suicide. To this day, many Japanese remember Takamori by visiting the spot where he died on Shiroyama Hill.
 
Where You are dock
Cruise Ships dock at the Taniyama Wharf Marine Port, located approximately 5.5 miles (8.8 kilometres) from the city centre, a 20-minute taxi ride, 30 minutes by local bus or 45 minutes by local train.
 
Things to See
 
Chiran
During Japan's Feudal Era, Chiran was a stronghold of the Shimazu samurai. Stroll down a street lined with well-preserved samurai houses and their gardens.
 
Ibusuki
The Satsuma Peninsula's foremost resort is famed for its unique sand bath. Geothermal springs heat the sand to approximately 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
Sakura Jima
Mt. Sakura Jima rises over 3,000 feet above the waters of Kagoshima Bay. The volcano has erupted over 30 times in recorded history and is still mildly active today.
 
Lake Ikeda
The largest lake on Kyushu is actually a caldera, a collapsed volcano. The lake serves as a stunning frame for Mt. Kaimon, a volcano that recalls Mt. Fuji in shape.
 
Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots
Chiran Air Base was home to Japan's Kamikaze squadrons. Tour the Tokko Heiwa Kaikan with its comprehensive collection of aircraft, models, mementoes and photographs of the Special Attack Corps.
 
Senganen (Iso Garden)
The superb 17th-century garden offers views of Sakura Jima. Many historic relics remain in the garden and villa. The garden overlooks magnificent Mt. Sakurajima and Kinko Bay. The Shoko Shuseikan Museum is also located in the Iso Garden.
 
Kirishima Onsen
One of the most unique onsen in Japan features a large, extravagantly landscaped pool in a covered hall. Smaller pools surround the main onsen, while a fountain sends a spray of water skyward.
 
Ishin Furusato-kan Museum
The museum chronicles the dramatic events that led to the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the restoration of imperial rule. Laser holograms and state of the art sound bring dramatic incidents to life.
 
Other Sites

City Art Museum
The museum features a small, permanent collection that is principally dedicated to the works of local artists, but also includes paintings by European impressionists.
 
Kagoshima Prefectural Museum of Culture
On the former castle site, the walls and impressive moat are all that remain of the 1602 complex.
 
Saigo Takamori
There are numerous reminders of Takamori’s importance, including a large statue of him near the City Art Museum, the cave where he hid, and the place where he eventually committed suicide.
 
Eating Out
Popular Satsuma (the original name of the Kagoshima area) cuisine includes Satsuma-age, a fried fish sausage; tonkatsu, delicious pork that has been cooked for hours in miso and brown sugar; and Satsuma-jiru, a chicken and vegetable miso soup. Try some of the huge radishes or delicious Satsuma oranges, both grown in the fertile soil of Sakurajima.
 
Shopping
Tenmonkan in the city centre is the place to shop, and there are a number of local products worth investigating. The most famous is Satsuma pottery, produced in the Kagoshima area for almost 400 years and available in everyday black and elegant white varieties. Others are oshima tsumugi, a beautiful silk made into clothing, handbags and wallets; shochu, an alcoholic drink made from sweet potatoes; chests made from yaku cedar; and karukan, a delicious white cake made from rice. The local currency is the Japanese yen.



 
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