"What to Do & See" in Kagoshima Area

If you are interested in history, such as the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate, there are many things to do in Kagoshima.
In particular, the famous places related to Takamori Saigo cannot be visited in one day.
Also, Kirishima City near Kagoshima Airport is a place associated with Ryoma Sakamoto, who is said to have taken his first honeymoon in Japan. If you are arriving by airplane, you will be able to get around efficiently. Kagoshima is also a place where you can feel the great nature of Sakurajima. Please be sure to visit Sakurajima as well.

Kagoshima City Area

Senganen Garden

Senganen, a World Heritage Site, is the former residence of the Shimazu family, the lords of the Satsuma domain, and from its vast garden you can see Sakurajima. As you enter, you will see the World Heritage Orientation Center on your left and the reflecting furnace in front. To the right is the souvenir shop area, where you can walk around through the store buildings, and finally return to the stores.
The Shoko Shuseikan is the building next to the exit.
You can see Sakurajima clearly from the park, and there is also a Sakurajima observation point.

Location: 9700-1 Yoshino-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima 892-0871, Japan
Phone number: 099-247-1551
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(There is no specific last entry time, but it is recommended to enter the park by 4:00 p.m., as it takes at least one hour to go around the park.
Closed: Basically all year round (only the first Monday in March is closed)
Admission: Adults 1000 yen/1500 yen, Students 750 yen
Comment: Parking is available near the entrance to Sengen-en and costs 300 yen. It is a large garden. It takes about 30 minutes to walk around the garden and get to the Sakurajima observation point and back. Therefore, if you visit Sengen-en, you should allow at least one hour. Usually, if you take your time to go around, eat at some stores, do some shopping, and visit the Shoko Shuseikan, you will need two to three hours.

Ishin Furusato-kan

Satsuma produced not only Takamori Saigo, Toshimichi Okubo, and other leading figures of the Meiji Restoration, but also Iwao Oyama, Heihachiro Togo, and many others who left their mark on history.
The Ishin Furusato-kan is a facility where visitors can come into contact with the Meiji Restoration through the Ishin Experience Hall.

Location: 23-1 Kajiya-cho, Kagoshima City, 892-0846, Japan
Phone number: 099-239-7700
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last admission 4:30 p.m.)
Closed: Basically all year round
Admission: Adults 300 yen, Students 150 yen
Comment: Parking is free for visitors to the Ishin Furusato-kan. The parking lot is across from the birthplace of Saigo Takamori (Saigo Todo). The Furusato-kan is located in the Ishin Furusato no Michi area. Next to the Furusato-kan is the birthplace of Toshimichi Okubo, and a short walk away is the statue of Toshimichi Okubo. The birthplace of Iwao Oyama and Heihachiro Togo are also about a five-minute walk from the museum, so you can see the birthplace of Satsuma's great men together with the museum.

Birthplace of Takamori Saigo

This is the birthplace of Saigo Takamori and Saigo Todo, just a short walk from the Ishin Furusato-kan.

Location: 5 Kajiya-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 892-0846
Comment: It is a park, so there is no closing time. It is located in a park-like plaza across from the Ishin Furusato-kan parking lot.

Statue of Toshimichi Okubo

The bronze statue of Toshimichi Okubo is located near the Takami Bridge on the street where the streetcar runs between Kagoshima Chuo Station and Tenmonkan. If you cross the street and walk toward the Ishin Furusato Museum, you will reach the birthplace of Okubo Toshimichi in about five minutes.

Location: 1 Nishi Sengoku-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture
Comment: The statue is located along the street in a park-like area called Lions Square, so you can see it at any time.

birthplace of Toshimichi Okubo

This image is located next to the Ishin Furusato Museum.
After crossing the street from the statue of Okubo Toshimichi, you will soon come to a riverside road called "Rekishi Road (Ishin Furusato no Michi)", which leads straight to the Ishin Furusato Museum.

Location: 3-26 Kajiya-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 892-0846
Comment: This is a park, so there are no closed hours. History Road Restoration Furusato-no-michi is a little bit high, and this place of Toshimichi Okubo's birth is down the stairs from there, so walk from the Toshimichi Okubo statue side, and when you get near the Restoration Furusato-kan, look down on the left side.

Birthplace of Iwao Oyama

The birthplace of Iwao Oyama is located along a rather large road. If you are coming from the birthplace of Takamori Saigo, do not cross the street at the first traffic light, turn left and you will find it along the street.

Location: Kajiya-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 892-0846
Comment: There are many birthplaces in Kajiya-cho, including the birthplace of Iwao Oyama and Heihachiro Togo. Oyama Iwao is the larger of the two, but as you can see in the photo, it is a stone monument standing along the road. As you can see in the photo, the monument is located along the road or between buildings, so be careful to look for it one by one. There is an information board at each birthplace.

Birthplace of Heihachiro Togo

The birthplace of Heihachiro Togo is a stone monument that you can find by crossing the road from the birthplace of Iwao Oyama and walking along the road beside the Kagoshima Chuo High School. There is an information board, so you can find it.

Location: 11-24 Kajiya-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 892-0846
Comment: The birthplaces of Saigo Takamori, Okubo Toshimichi, Oyama Iwao, and Togo Heihachiro are concentrated in this area around the Ishin Furusato-kan. Depending on how long you stay at the Furusato-kan, you can walk around the area to see the birthplace of the four men and the bronze statue of Toshimichi Okubo in about 30 minutes. It will take you about 30 minutes to walk around the area to see the four birthplaces and the bronze statue of Toshimichi Okubo.

Shiroyama Park Observatory

Kagoshima's tourism website says it is "the royal spot to see Sakurajima," and the Sakurajima seen in the back while looking down on the city of Kagoshima is worthy of the name "royal spot".

Location: Shiroyama-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 892-0853
Hours: Since it is a park, there are no closing hours. The night view is said to be beautiful at night. It will be a place where you can enjoy day and night.
Comments: There is no specific address, so it might be easier to enter Shiroyama Hotel Kagoshima (phone number 0992242211) into your navigation system. The hotel is imagined to be just behind the park, so if you are coming towards it from the Saigo Takamori Cave, the park parking lot is in front of the hotel. From the parking lot, it's a few minutes' walk to the observatory, but the observatory itself is not that big, and you can see Sakurajima and the city from a corner of the park. The observatory itself is not very big, and you can see Sakurajima and the city from a corner of the park. 30 minutes is enough time to take some pictures and enjoy the view.

Takamori Saigo Cave

This cave is on the right side of the road on the way from Reimei-kan to Shiroyama Observatory.
It is said that Saigo Takamori spent his last five days in this cave.
Across from the cave is a store, and next to it is a hot spring called Shiroyama Choujousen.

Location: 19 Shiroyama-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 892-0853
Hours: The cave is located along the road, so it never closes, but you won't be able to see anything after dark.
Comments: You can easily find the cave itself, but the parking lot is in front of the store on the other side of the cave. So I guess it is the parking lot of the store, but it looks like you can park there since there is a sign.
Except for the fact that it depends on the hot springs and the stores, the only way to see the cave is from outside the fence, so unless you are a big fan of Takamori Saigo, you can go around in about 10 minutes.

Tsurumaru Castle Ruins 

Tsurumaru Castle Goromon

After being destroyed by fire in the Meiji era (1868-1912), the Tsurumaru Castle Goromon gate was restored in 2020, bringing its appearance back to the city of Kagoshima after 147 years.
It is located along Route 10, so you can easily find it if you go nearby.

Tenshoin Atsuhime Statue

Location: 7-2 Shiroyama-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture
Comment: The ruins of Tsurumaru Castle (Kagoshima Castle) are the ruins of a castle, but there is no castle.
The highlight of the site is the beautifully restored Tsurumaru Castle Goromon Gate.
If you go through the gate, you will find Reimei-kan (Kagoshima Prefectural History and Art Center) and a statue of Atsuhime Tenshakuin near the entrance. If you want to stop by the Reimei-kan, the time you spend in this area will depend on how long you stay at the Reimei-kan, but if you just want to take pictures of the gate and the Atsuhime statue, 10 to 15 minutes is enough because the statue is close to the gate.

Bronze Statue of Takamori Saigo

The bronze statue of Saigo Takamori, a symbol of Kagoshima, stands along Route 10 near the Kagoshima City Museum of Art and Reimei Kan.

Location: 4-36 Shiroyama-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 892-0853
Comment: The statue stands along the road, so you can see it anytime.

Ioworld Kagoshima Aquarium

The aquarium where you can see whale sharks is the Io World Kagoshima Aquarium.
It is located near the Sakurajima ferry terminal in Kagoshima City.

Location: 3-1 Honko Shinmachi, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 892-0814 Japan
Phone number: 099-226-2233
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last entry at 5:00 p.m.)
Extended hours are available during Golden Week and summer vacation weekends.
Closed: 4 days from the first Monday in December
Admission: Adults 1,500 yen, Students 750 yen

Areas around Kagoshima Airport

Saigo Park

Saigo Park is located just outside of Kagoshima Airport. In this park, there is a bronze statue of Saigo Takamori, one of the largest statues in Japan, standing 10.5 meters tall and weighing 30 tons.
It is across the street from the airport exit, so you can get there on foot.
It is a must-see spot.

Location: 856-1, Furoku, Mizobe-cho, Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
This is a park, but it has a gate. The gate closes after hours.
The statue of Takamori Saigo can be seen about 80% of the time from the parking lot outside the park.
Admission: Free
Comments Parking is free. The main entrance to the park faces the street on the airport side, but the parking lot is behind the statue, so it is on the opposite side of the main entrance. If you want to take your time, you can take a look at the materials on display before you get to the statues, and if you just want to see the statues, it's not a very big park, so you can take pictures of the statues even if you stay for 10 minutes, so it won't be too much of a burden even if you have a busy schedule.

Shiobitashi Onsen Ryoma Park

In 1866, Ryoma Sakamoto and his wife, Oryo, took the first honeymoon in Japan. On that occasion, they visited Satsuma. It is said that they stayed here for 18 days. Today, Shiobitashi Onsen has been transformed into Shiobitashi Onsen Ryoma Park, where visitors can take a day trip to the hot spring, though they cannot stay overnight. In the park, there is a museum, a monument to Ryoma Sakamoto's new marriage, a footbath, and the stone stairs that Ryoma and Oryo climbed when they visited here.

Location: 3606 Shuku Kubota, Makizono-cho, Kirishima City
Phone number: 0995-76-0007
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Closed: Basically Mondays
Admission: Bathing fee: 380 yen for adults, 150 yen for children / Museum entrance fee: 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for children
Comments: There is a bridge across the river to the park, and the first parking lot is near the bridge, where you can park about 10 cars. If this lot is full, there is a second parking lot 800 meters away. Parking is free of charge.
The park is not very big, with a statue on the left across the bridge, a museum in front, and a day spa on the right. If you want to take a hot spring bath, you have to pay at the counter of the museum.
The museum is well-stocked and you can take pictures.
Behind this museum is a mountain, and on the mountain are the stone steps that Ryoma climbed, which you can still climb (108 steps).
The statue, the museum, the hot spring, and the stone stairs are the most important things to see in this park.
The statues are easy to take pictures of, and the 108 stone steps only take about 10 minutes.
The museum is not that big, so even if you take your time, it will only take about 30 minutes. The rest of your time in the park will depend on how much time you want to spend in the hot spring. If you spend 30 minutes in the hot spring, you can spend 1 hour and 30 minutes in the hot spring, 10 minutes in the hot spring, and 10 minutes in the museum, you can visit the park in 30 minutes. There is also a free footbath in the park, so you can enjoy the footbath even if you don't take the onsen.

Aira City area

The largest giant tree in Japan, Kamo's Largest

Aira City is about a 30-minute drive from Kagoshima Airport on the way to Kagoshima City. Gamo Hachiman Shrine in Aira City is home to Japan's tallest tree, said to be 1,500 years old.

Location: 2259-1, Kamikutoku, Gamo-cho, Aira-shi, Kagoshima 899-5302
Phone number :0995-52-8400(Gamohachiman Shrine
Hours: 24 hours
Admission: Free
Comment: There is a parking lot for Gamo Hachiman Shrine. If you park your car at the shrine parking lot, the big kusu is very close, but you may feel the atmosphere better if you park your car at the parking lot of Gamo Kankou Koryu Center at the entrance of the shrine and walk from the entrance to see the big kusu.
The Gamo Tourism Exchange Center is a facility that sells local specialties and has a panel display of Gamo's history. The Gamo Bukeyashiki Dori (street of samurai residences) is just around the corner, so you can use this center as a base to walk around both of them.

Gamo Samurai Residence Street

This is one of the samurai settlements that was established during the time of the Satsuma Clan, and it is one of the few areas in Kagoshima Prefecture that still retains the atmosphere of that day.
The area is now inhabited by ordinary people and is not a tourist facility.
Therefore, it is an area where you can feel the atmosphere of those days while paying attention to the residents.

Location: 2308-1 Kamikutoku, Gamo-cho, Aira-shi, Kagoshima-ken 899-5302 (Gamo Tourist Exchange Center)
Hours: Gamo Bukeyashiki-dori is an area where ordinary people live. Therefore, respect for local residents is important for sightseeing. This is an area that should be avoided early in the morning and late at night.
Comment: The parking lot is located at the Gamo Tourism Exchange Center, so the location is also the Exchange Center. If you park at the Koryu Center parking lot, you will see Gamo Buke Yashiki Dori on the opposite side of Ookusu.

Shiba-zakura Garden "Hananomori Kamonshirao

Hananomori Kamonshirao, a mossphlox garden, is located about 4 km from Gamo no Okusu.
According to the Aira City Tourism Association's website, the garden is maintained by private individuals, and the best time to view the moss blossoms is from late March to mid-April.

Location: 1504 Shirao, Gamo-cho, Aira-shi, Aira 899-5305
Phone number: 080-8355-1290
Admission: Free
Comment As you head from Gamo Kankou Koryu Center, you will see a public hot spring facility called "Aira City Hot Spring Center Kusunoyu" on your left. This place is easy to find. After passing this place, turn left on a slightly narrow road, cross the river, and go a little further and you will see it on your right.
There is a parking lot across the street from the Shiba-zakura Garden where you can park quite a few cars, so basically, you don't need to worry about parking.
It was mid-April when I visited, and there were not many moss blossoms. However, I could feel the atmosphere of the place, which would be very beautiful when the trees are in full bloom.

Hot spring Taki no Yu

Taki-no-yu is located about two kilometers from Hananomori Kamonshirao.
This is an unmanned facility, and when you enter, you have to put money in the fee box next to the door.

Location: 1477 Shirao, Gamo-cho, Aira, Kagoshima, 899-5305, Japan
Phone number: 090-4983-2055
Hours: I didn't see any opening hours listed on the facility, so you can enter anytime, but there was also a phone number listed.
Fee: 200 yen
Comment: This is an unmanned hot spring where you can enter for private use. You have to close the key on the door when you enter.
There is a parking space and it is easy to find from the street, so if you go at a bright time, you won't get lost.


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