Satsuma Irohanoyu

Searching for Ryoma 3: Kirishima

Senganen Japanese Garden

Senrigataki Falls

Senrigataki Fall looks good and sounds eveb better. The path we have to follow to see the waterfalls takes us through beautiful spots. Among so many trees is difficult to have a clear view of the waterfall. We are going deep into the forest and we are passing through several tunnels. In the middle of […]

Tadamoto Park Cherry Blossom Festival

Venue: Tadamoto Park, Kagoshima When: Late Mar – Mid Apr 2022 Each year during spring, Kagoshima's Tadamoto Park pops with color thanks to an impressive 1000 cherry trees on the grounds. In fact, the park is so well regarded for its beauty that it was listed as one of Japan's Top 100 cherry blossom viewing […]

Yakushima’s Shiratani Unsuikyo

Preserved ancient wood On the bus journey on the way there At the start of the trails Quite soon you come to this It was up there I saw my wild deer One of the ancient trees There are a number of handsome bridges along the way This might be handy for sheltering from the […]

Yakusugi Land, Yakushima

Moss slowly taking over a tree The unpromising view from the bus, even before we started into the mountains The Shinsen lodge The start of the trails The water flowing in the shallow river is one of the few sounds There are occasional flashes of colour Moss slowly taking over a tree Yakushima is famed […]

Kagoshima to Fukuoka by motorbike

Panaroma on the open road Sakurajima Ferry Lake Ezuko, Kumamoto, Kyushu Island Panaroma on the open road (Photo: Groucho) Let me introduce the 3 Blind Mice motorcycle touring club founded in Osaka, Japan in 1993 by one Scot, one Aussie and an Englishman, none were blind nor mice, but read on. The Aussie, Steve Leave […]

Chisun Inn Kagoshima

If you come out of the room to take a picture of the funky magnetic signs, remember not to leave your key inside My bed My desk and little TV The entrance from the street Inside the entrance If you arrive in the daytime it looks like this Chisun Inns are a nationwide chain of […]

Dormy Inn Kagoshima

The large selection of the buffet style breakfast The entrance of Dormy Inn Kagoshima Amenities in your room include a hair dryer, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and a small fridge Dormy Inn Kagoshima has double rooms and twin rooms Every room has a washlet toilet Shampoo, conditioner and body soap are for free The large selection […]

Hotel Gasthof, Kagoshima

My cozy room with its high bed My desk and van Gogh My fridge and TV The corridor on the second floor It's near the station, but on a quiet little side street Reception My cozy room with its high bed Business hotels are generally inexpensive and conveniently located, but can also sometimes be lacking […]

Hotel Kirishima Castle

Japanese tatami room Japanese tatami style room: simple and elegant The exterior of Hotel Kirishima Castle The lobby A combination of Japanese tatami and Western style room A different view of a combined Japanese tatami and Western style room Japanese tatami room A hot spring resort among natural beauty, Kirishima was the first national park […]

Kagoshima Little Asia

Back entrance, open twenty-four hours Information on the rates Private room Back entrance, open twenty-four hours Serving as the end of the shinkansen (bullet train) line and with ferry services to various islands (including Okinawa and Yakushima), Kagoshima is a frequent stopover for many travelers on their way down south. But hostels are a bit […]

Ryokan Ginsyo

Tub with a view at the Ryokan Ginsyo One of the second floor suites at the ryokan A shot of part of breakfast – the middle of the table is filled with hot spring water used to boil your breakfast eggs If you're thinking of overnighting in Ibusuki, the town at the bottom end of […]

Minshuku Umikawa, Yakushima

The minshuku from outside Some of the decor around the inside The painting that welcomes you at the entrance The bath is covered to keep the water hot My room, before I laid out the futon Each room has a little TV in the corner If you choose to visit Yakushima it's best to stay […]

Yon Maru Cafe and Kominka Inn

View of Yon Maru Cafe from outside Kominka Inn Tarumizu A look at the Japanese-style rooms of Kominka At Kominka, you can experience an old-fashioned Japanese bath Gather with other guests and heat up some tea Yon Maru’s modern decor provides a nice contrast to the inn’s old fashioned style View of Yon Maru Cafe […]

Hope is in the Cycle

Social innovators, left to right: Mariko, Robin, Keiko Sustainable Tourism in Japan Panel (left to right) moderated by Jonathan Soble (API) with Yu Aoki, Dennis Chia, Tomotsugu Yamakawa All seats filled plus volunteers standing! Breakout topic Breakout session This was the huge question underlying the event last night, the first time I attended Social Innovation […]

Aira Sanryo (Imperial Tombs)

The imperial burial tomb Aira Sanryo (Imperial Tombs) Koi flaunt their colors for the tourists. The imperial burial tomb Ōsumi Peninsula in southeastern Kyūshū’s Kagoshima Prefecture has historically been one of the farthest outposts of the mainland Japanese empire. This sense of remoteness is still mostly true today. Without so much as a train station […]

Nagashima Museum, Kagoshima

This is a very big bird Lions guard the entrance There are a lot of different sculptures in the garden There's another one like this at the Musee Nakamura The cute stand selling museum goods The view across the city and bay to Sakurajima This is a very big bird For a city of its […]

Musee Nakamura Shinya, Kagoshima

Three of the ten disciples of Buddha The gold color stands out among the stone and bronze elsewhere A scholar finds himself in good company Of all the sculptures, this was the one I most wanted to come to life Coming through! After you, sir. No, I insist. Though I hadn't heard of him before […]

Kagoshima City Museum of Art

The lofty ceiling of the atrium A statue on the forecourt Relax over a coffee or cake at Hanacafe The staircase in the atrium Another statue in front of the museum The museum building The lofty ceiling of the atrium For not that large a city, Kagoshima seems to be blessed with more than its […]

Samurai Residences of Izumi

Strolling around in the streets between samurai residences Entrance to the Takezoe Residence Preparing for the tea ceremony Lined up in rows, trying seiza seating style Receiving tea and snacks in traditional form Preparing to board the ox carriage Izumi, located in the northwestern corner of Kagoshima Prefecture is a Kyushu Island town with ancient […]

Isa City, the Birthplace of Shochu

Koriyama Hachiman Shrine A quaint Shrine Lanterns show the way Torii gate Hand ablution well at the shrine Many visitors expressing their hopes Koriyama Hachiman Shrine Located in Kagoshima Prefecture's northern region, Hokusatsu, lies the small city of Isa. A modern city established in 2008 with the merger of Okuchi and Hishikari, this city of […]

Kagoshima Christmas Market

The show of Christmas lights outside the station area Lots of lit up Christmas trees lined the path towards Kagoshima-chuo Station The Christmas tree of light would change into beautiful colours The seating area for people to enjoy the food from the Christmas markets A line of stalls for the Christmas market The smaller Christmas […]

A Trip to Kagoshima City Aquarium

Kagoshima City Aquarium The Kuroshio Great Tank Taka ashi (tall leg) crabs Kagoshima City Aquarium You might expect a coastal city to have a superb aquarium. Kagoshima City Aquarium fits this bill admirably, and provides a great experience for the whole family. The aquarium makes a great addition to a trip to Sakurajima, as it […]


Car covered in ash Sakurajima (somewhere under all the ash) Central Kagoshima Car covered in ash When I first arrived in Kagoshima, I pulled into a convenience store and was surprised to see a car parked next to mine covered in dirt. What had they been doing, driving off-road, on the beach? It wasn’t until […]

Kanehama Coast

Kanehama Coast in Takasu, Kanoya City Kanehama Coast Allied Forces Landing Monument Allied Forces Landing Monument Kanehama Coast Kanehama Coast Japan may be a gold mine for hidden historical gems and local secrets that your average tourist will not stumble upon, but Kanehama Coast in the quaint Takasu fishing hamlet of Kanoya City is a […]

Kirishima Open-Air Museum

The point where the cone tip touches the stone symbolizes a source of new energy “Satsuma Brilliance” represents a sweet potato leaf “Insiders” by British artist Sir Antony Gormley OBE The museum offers stunning views of the countryside A shoe by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama “Flowers of Shangri-la” symbolizes life, hope and the soul Set […]

Kirishima Shrine

General view of Kirishima shrine Torii gate marking the approach and entrance to Kirishima shrine Bow before entering through the torii gate. The inner part of the shrine is a holy place, a place for enshrined Gods. You should show the appropriate respect. Purification fountain Found near the entrance, the water of these fountains is […]

Kunimiyama-Daikoku Temple

Temple Entrance in Sunset Kunimiyama-Daikoku Temple Kunimiyama-Daikoku Temple Kunimiyama-Daikoku Temple Mt. Kaimon from the Temple Cherry Blossoms Along the Stairways to the Temple Temple Entrance in Sunset Makurazaki City –A Southern Town Makurazaki is a traditional small town located along the southern coast of Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost large island. It has some of the most […]

Memorial to the Battleship Yamato

View of the Pacific from the Tokunoshima coast Memorial tower Memorial tablets for the deceased Come for the battleship, stay for the views! The remote island of Tokunoshima, in Japan's balmy southern seas, has a memorial to the famous Battleship Yamato, the pride of Japan's navy that was sunk by American bombers on 7 April […]

Ohara Festival

Venue: Tenmonkan When: Early Nov 2021 Kagoshima's biggest annual festival returns each November promising traditional dance parades, taiko performances and a whole lot more. Occupying the tram line route in the downtown Tenmonkan area, the festival originally started in 1949, to mark 60 years since Kagoshima's municipalisation, with thousands of people turning out each year […]

Sakamoto Kurozu Tsubobatake

Tsubobatake overlooking Sakurajima Look for this sign The on-site shop Sakamoto’s most popular products A museum display Part of the facility A unique and fascinating sightseeing spot in Kagoshima is the factory shop and storage facility of Sakamoto Kurozu, or as they call it, 'Artisan Amber Rice Vinegar'. A more literal translation is 'black vinegar'. […]

Searching for Ebisu

Ebisu Another Ebisu. Yakushima Island. Lighthouse on Yakushima Island. And another Ebisu. Yakushima Island. Ebisu (Photo: Rey Ventura) Ebisu is my favorite brand of beer. Gold, white, and dark brews—to me they’re all dear. The logo on its bottle: a fat smiling fisherman wearing a tall conical hat; his right hand clutching a fishing rod […]

Sengan-En Garden, Kagoshima

Chrysanthemum displays lining the path to the little gate Some of the garden's peaceful scenery How long do we have to wear this? The view from the garden across the bay to Sakurajima The Kyokusui garden, where the poetry contest is held Around the garden are informative boards telling you about its features and traditions The […]

Shirakane Ishigura Museum

Shirokane Ishigura Museum Historic bottles A demo to show the distillation process to make shochu Models show the traditional methods of the ishigura Inside the distillery Shochu in progress There are few places better to taste and learn about shochu (the Japanese alcohol typically made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat or brown sugar) than […]

Statues of Kagoshima

Two local samurai discuss the future of Japan Okubo Toshimichi, a prominent modernizer in Meiji-era Japan I have no idea who this is In 1865 some students from the area were secretly sent to study in Britain I don’t know who this is either The foreigners are coming! Townsfolk run to the port when the […]

The Beauty of Flowers

Feb 16th Mar 21st Waterlilies by Claude Monet will be on display at the event (Photo: Claude Monet/CC BY SA 2.0) Venue: Kagoshima City Museum of Art When: Feb 16th – Mar 21st 2021, 9:30am – 6:00pm Flowers have been a source of artistic inspiration since ancient times, and a special exhibition taking place at […]

The Last Samurai

Sakurajima from the top of Shiroyama. Saigo might have seen this before he killed himself here Kagoshima(Tsurumaru) Castle. This had been resided by Shimazu(Satsuma) clan and the fierce battle was fought here during the Satsuma Rebellion Bullet holes in the stone wall of Kagoshima Castle, gouged during the Satsuma Rebellion The cave in Shiroyama Saigo […]

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