Kagoshima City is located on the southwestern coast of the island of Kyushu in Japan. It is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture and is known for its natural beauty, with active volcano Sakurajima and the Kagoshima Bay area being popular attractions. The city has a rich history and played an important role in the development of modern Japan in the late 19th century. Find out about how to get to Kagoshima, accommodation, food and drink, and more below.
Kagoshima can be easily reached by air, with Kagoshima Airport located just 40 kilometres from the city centre. The airport offers regular flights to and from major cities throughout Japan – just 1 hour 55 minutes from Tokyo Haneda, as well as international destinations such as Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, and Hong Kong.
From the airport, travellers can take a bus, taxi, or limousine service to reach their destination in the city.
Kagoshima can also be reached by train, with the city being served by the Kyushu Shinkansen. The train station is located in the centre of the city, making it a convenient option for travellers. Kagoshima is just 1 hour and 17 minutes ride from Fukuoka, and 3 hours and 50 minutes from Shin-Osaka.
Once in Kagoshima, the city’s compact size and flat terrain make it easy to explore on foot. There is also a tram and that can take you to various parts of the city, and taxis are readily available for longer journeys.
Additionally, the city has a ferry terminal that offers regular services to active volcano Sakurajima. Hydrofoil services to the islands of Yakushima and Tanegashima and transport to Amami Oshima are also regularly available from the city.
Kagoshima offers a variety of accommodation options for travellers, ranging from traditional Japanese inns and hotels to modern luxury resorts.
Ryokan are a great way to experience traditional Japanese culture and hospitality, and Kagoshima has a great selection in the Kirishima region. We highly recommend Gajoen (Relais & Châteaux), Ishihara-so, and Kai Kirishima.
For travellers who prefer a more modern or Western-style experience, Kagoshima City offers Shiroyama Hotel on the mountain overlooking the city, and the newly built Sheraton Hotel close to the city centre.
For the luxury traveller private resort Tenku (Relais & Châteaux) is highly recommended.
Kagoshima has a wide range of accommodation options to suit a variety of budgets and preferences, from traditional Japanese ryokan to modern hotels and resorts, as well as unique and alternative options.
Kagoshima is well known for local produce and agriculture, and has one of Japan’s highest self-sufficiency food rates at 89%.
Kagoshima is also the home of great meat – pork, chicken, and of course wagyu beef. The amazing Kurobuta pork is another local staple not to be missed.
Take a tour of the Kagoshima Fish Market and get up close and personal with the produce and workers in a way simply not possible in the crowded market in Tokyo. Finish up with breakfast with the fishermen for some of the freshest sushi and sashimi you will ever taste.
Japan is famous for hot springs, and Kagoshima has nearly 3,000 of them thanks to the volcanic nature of the prefecture. The fresh natural spring water they provide is also used to distil shochu, a local spirit made from sweet potatoes. There are over 100 distilleries producing an amazing 2,000 varieties of the local fire-water which is rapidly gaining international recognition.
Kagoshima is also Japan’s largest producer of green tea, covering over 30% of national production.
Kagoshima has a subtropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round. The city experiences hot and humid summers, with average temperatures ranging from around 25-30 degrees Celsius (77-86 degrees Fahrenheit).
Winter is mild, with average temperatures ranging from around 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-59 degrees Fahrenheit). Kagoshima also experiences a rainy season in June, during which the city receives a high amount of rainfall.
In general, the best time to visit Kagoshima is in the spring or autumn, when the weather is mild and pleasant, though early winter is also recommended to avoid the crowds.
A guide is not needed to explore the major attractions in Kagoshima City, but to get beyond the surface and have a deeper and more satisfying visit a guide is certainly recommended. The Samurai of Culture course includes an expert guide at all locations.
The centre of Kagoshima City is fairly compact and can be walked around quite easily. The tram is a cheap and pleasant way of getting from the Tenmonkan area over to Kagoshima Chuo Station and beyond. Taxis are also abundant and the majority now accept credit card payments.
Outside of the city there are regular local trains, but may areas are not easily accessible without a car. A private hire vehicle or rent-a-car are the best options for outlying areas.
Samurai of Culture includes use of a private hire service as transportation between venues.
There are both vegan and vegetarian options in Kagoshima City, and awareness of Halal, gluten free, and other requirements is improving yearly. Be sure to mention dietary requirements in advance when booking.
Sakurajima is an active volcano and can erupt several hundred times a year. It is one of the most closely monitored volcanoes in the world, and there is relatively little disruption when eruptions occur.