History / Culture / Tour Spots in Kagoshima Area

  • Chiran Peace Museum
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    4.5
    692 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Minamikyushushi Chiranchoukori 17881
    This museum collects materials and personal items relating to the special attack unit (kamikaze unit) active at the end of World War II. The museum was erected on the site of a former launch base with the aim of preserving records of the time for future generations and in a prayer for peace. Parties of 10 or more can listen to a storyteller with advance reservation. The museum also provides English, Chinese, and Korean audio guides. A five-minute walk from the Tokkokannon-iriguchi bus stop.

    My sons and I went to Japan to visit my home country and home town Kagoshima. While there we decided to take a trip to Chiran to visit the Samurai town and the Peace museum at the same time. I was...

  • Museum of the Meiji Restoration
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    4.0
    427 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Kagoshimashi Kajiyachou 23-1
    Satsuma (now western Kagoshima Prefecture) was the birthplace of Saigo Takamori, Okubo Toshimichi, and numerous other heroes of the Meiji Restoration. The Museum of the Meiji Restoration uses a variety of means to present the history of Satsuma and Japan during that momentous time. The centerpiece of the museum is the historic dramas shown in the Meiji Restoration Experience Hall on the basement floor. In the “Road to the Restoration,” life-sized robotic models of figures such as Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi and multiple projection screens are used to present a stunning drama. In the “Satsuma Students, Go West” exhibit, the story of the students sent to study overseas in England in defiance of the national government is presented.

    The Museum is in a pleasant building along the promenade, not far from the main train station. There’s a nice walk along the river that passes the museum. The staff are quite helpful, though there is...

  • Kirishima Shrine
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    3.5
    48 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Kirishimashi Kirishimataguchi 2608-5
    A Shinto shrine dedicated to Ninigi, a god who is part of the myth of the founding of Japan. The current main shrine building was erected in 1715, although the shrine is believed to have been founded around the sixth century on Setoo Hill between Mt. Takachihonomine and Mt. Hinotokomine. Buildings such as the main shrine and worship hall are designated Important Cultural Properties. The shrine is also famous for having been visited by Sakamoto Ryoma on his honeymoon. The grounds are renowned spot for viewing the cherry blossoms and autumn foliage. A 10-minute bus ride from Kirishima-Jingu Station on the JR Nippo Main Line.

    坂本龍馬が日本で初めて新婚旅行に行ったといわれている坂本龍馬夫妻。 その2人が訪れたのが霧島高原です。 霧島神宮展望所からはその霧島高原を見渡すことができます。 霧島神宮にも参拝した龍馬とおりょうのパネルが境内にあります。(絵柄は小山ゆうの「お-い!竜馬」♪♪) そのパネルの先(パネルの背中側?)が展望台になっています。 広い境内ですが、龍馬とおりょうのパネルはすぐに見つかると思います。

  • Kurokami Buried Torii
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    4.0
    206 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Kagoshimashi Kurokamichou
    The 1914 eruption of Sakurajima resulted in great amounts of volcanic ash and pumice being erupted over eight thousand meters into the air, burying the entire Kurokami area. This torii gate belonging to Haragosha-jinja Shrine is said to have originally stood three meters high; today, only the top one meter remains unburied. The residents considered exhuming the torii, but the village mayor decided to leave them as is as a reminder of the eruption for future generations. The gate was designated a prefectural Cultural Property in 1958.

    This shrine buried by volcanic ash was restored by junior high children. The displays are all in Japanese; so, I would not have known had my local hosts shared that info. Its just impressive that...

  • Terukuni Shrine
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    4.0
    158 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Kagoshimashi Terukunichou 19-35
    Approximately a five-minute walk from the Tenmonkan bus and tram stop, this shrine dedicated to Shimazu Nariakira, the 11th leader of the Satsuma domain, is located close to the Kagoshima Prefectural Museum. Given the name Terukuni Daimyojin by royal decree in 1863, the main building was completed the following year and it became known as Terukuni Shrine. Many people believe even today that it is the guardian of Kagoshima Prefecture. The National Flag Festival that commemorate the official announcement by the shogunate of the plan to make the Hinomaru flag Japan's naval ensign is held on July 11, and the Rokugatsudo Summer Lantern Festivals in Kagoshima are held on July 15 and 16.

    Worth a visit, especially in the summer when the festival season is in full swing and many lanterns are decorated around. Free and easy to find.

  • Museum Shoko Shuseikan
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    4.0
    164 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Kagoshimashi Yoshinochou 9698-1
    This is a museum adjacent to Sengan-en. The collection hall is a group of factories that the Satsuma lord Shimazu Nariakira built for industrial development at the end of the Tokugawa period. The museum building was originally completed in 1865 as a machine factory. Currently it is utilized as a place to communicate the history of industrialization of the Shimazu family and Satsuma clan. In addition to the buildings, some of the exhibits are nationally designated Important Cultural Properties.

    This museum had some interesting exhibits about industrialisation but they were not displayed or labelled as well as they could have been. On the plus side however the gardens next to the museum were...

  • Kanoya Air Base Museum (Kanoya Sky Museum)
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    4.5
    121 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Kanoyashi Nishihara 3-chome 11-2
    A museum located on the grounds of Maritime Self Defense Forces Kanoya Air Base. The museum presents information and rare items spanning the time period from when the naval Kanoya flying corps was created in 1936 up to and including the history of the current Maritime Self Defense Forces Kanoya Air Base. The second floor of the museum provides information on topics such as the rapid developments which occurred in aviation technology in the 30-year frame from when naval aviation began; and a full portrait of the kamikaze fighters which emerged as part of Japan’s strategies during the Pacific War. The first floor of the museum presents history from the launching of the Coastal Safety Force in 1952 up to its reformation as the Maritime Self Dense Forces and on to the present day.

    You can see only one existing Kawanishi H8K a.k.a. Emily which was displayed in the U.S.A. after the 2nd world war and then brought to Tokyo and finaly here. This admission free Naval airforce museum...

  • Kagoshima Jingu Shrine
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    4.0
    100 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Kirishimashi Hayatochouchi 2496-1
    A Shinto shrine located in Uchi, Hayato-cho, Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture. Also known as the Shohachimangu, Kokubu Shohachiman, and the Osumi Shohachi, this shrine is the head shrine of all Shohachiman shrines nationwide. The shrine is dedicated to the legendary Yamasachihiko and the queen Toyotamahime no Mikoto. Records state this ancient shrine was founded during the reign of Emperor Jinmu (660–585 BCE) and is believed to grant expecting mothers an easy childbirth. The Hatsu-uma Festival, held on the first Sunday after January 18 according to the old calendar, is considered one of the three biggest events in Kagoshima Prefecture. During the unusual festival, a parade of dancers journeys to the shrine led by a sacred, bell-covered horse.

    This Japanese shrine with a lot big & old trees surrounding. Its also with an ancient story about the born of Gods grandchild here, quite interesting. Highly recommended to take a walk and...

  • Kagoshima City Museum of Art
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    4.0
    63 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Kagoshimashi Shiroyamachou 4-36
    This is a private art museum which is built on the ruins of Tsurumaru Castle Ninomaru which was once the castle of the Satsuma Lord Shimazu. The collection focuses on works by local writers and Western art since the 19th century. It also has oil paintings by Cezanne and a “Water Lily” painting by Monet. The collection of paintings depicting Sakurajima, the symbol of Kagoshima, is also spectacular. It is a 16-minute walk from Kagoshima Station.

    First room is mostly European artists, some very famous. There were some works Id not seen before. 2nd room more Japanese artists. Not huge but ok for entrance fee of ¥300 for permanent collection...

  • Tanegashima Development Center Firearm Museum
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    4.0
    65 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Nishinomoteshi Nishinomote 7585
    The distinctive exterior of this museum is modeled after a “nanbansen” one of the foreign European ships that first visited Japan. The museum displays a variety of ancient firearms, such as a Portuguese gun which made its way to Tanegashima in 1543 and examples of the first guns ever made in the country. The museum also has dioramas and videos presenting the history and culture of Tanegashima; stopping by the museum first before exploring the rest of the island will make your visit that much more interesting. A 10-minute walk from Nishinoomote Port.

    While there is a lot of history about Tanegashima and the introduction of firearms to Japan, most information was in Japanese. They did have a small English brochure. The bulk of the exhibit...

  • Satsuma Denshokan
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    4.5
    56 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Ibusukishi Higashikata 12131-4
    A history museum which presents the culture of the Satsuma (Kagoshima) region. The museum building was modeled after the Byodoin’s Phoenix Hall. The museum’s exhibits and exhibitions are designed around the concept of experiencing the history and culture of Satsuma with all five senses. Much of the museum’s collection consists of works of art from China and Satsuma handed down through the ages since ancient times in the region, including gorgeous ceramics decorated with gold. The museum also displays historic texts, medals, and calligraphic works dating to the late Edo period. Visitors can enjoy the tastes of Satsuma in the museum restaurant.

    Wasnt sure what to expect and the tickets were a bit dear (1500 yen per person), but I have no regret entering this outstanding museum. The building is neat, very attractive from within as it is...

  • Hotarukan Tomiya Shokudo
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    4.0
    59 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Minamikyushushi Chiranchoukori 103-1
    This army dining hall was run by Tome Torihama, who was praised as the mother of the Special Attack Units during World War II. The dining hall has been restored, and is now a museum. On the first floor of the dining hall, there are valuable exhibits such as photographs and memorabilia of members of the Special Attack Units, and on the second floor, there are exhibits detailing the life of Tome Torihama.

    We were looking forward to visiting this museum, as we had seen a few statues of Tome Tonihama around Chiran, and were familiar with her story prior to visiting. Tome owned a restaurant in Chiran...

  • Nagashima Art Museum
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    4.5
    51 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Kagoshimashi Take 3-42-18
    An art museum opened as part of Kagoshima City 100th anniversary celebrations in 1989. Visitors are greeted by Rodin’s “The Thinker” at the main entrance. The museum displays some 1,000 pieces, including paintings and sculptures, by international artists like Rodin and Chagall, as well as Satsuma ware. The museum also holds special exhibitions in a dedicated space one to two times a year. After checking out the museum, visitors can enjoy a casual light meal or cup of tea in the museum’s café, which boasts a sweeping view of Sakurajima and Kagoshima City.

    We visited this museum on our last day in Kagoshima. The most memorable museum was the Chiran Peace museum but this came a close second for different reasons. The museum was established 20 years ago...

  • The Remains of Nanshu Saigo
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    3.5
    56 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Oshima-gun, Kagoshima Tatsugo-cho Ryugo 166
    This wooden residence is where Saigo Takamori lived for around three years when he was ordered to stay in Amami Oshima Island. It is now a private property managed by the son of his wife, Aigana, and is open to the public as a paid-entry museum. The residence has valuable items such as Saigo Takamori's personal history and private writings, and a stone monument to his wife, Aigana, on display. There is also another monument with the lettering from Katsu inscribed on it.

    There was a sign that explains we need to pay 200yen per person, though nobody came out. The entrance was open so we entered and waited in front of the Saigo House. Then an old guy appeared from his...

  • Southern Cross Center
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    4.0
    52 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Oshima-gun Yoron Municipal Cho 3313
    This is a museum where you can learn about the history, nature and life of the Amami archipelago including Riccho, Yoron Town, Yoron Island. The fifth floor observation deck, the highest floor on the island, offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding area, and on days with good weather, the northern part of Okinawa and the neighboring islands can also be seen. You can enjoy exhibitions on different themes such as the sea and life from the first floor to the fourth floor. It also exhibits paintings by Masatoshi Ikeda, an artist from Yoron Island, items that belonged to Yoko Mori, who loved Yoron, and bicycles used in movies. It also introduces the special products and dialects of Yoron for an enjoyable tour.

    The Southern Cross Center is a definite must-do for those visiting Yoron, especially for those who wish to learn about its history. There are five floors with different themes, and an elevator that...

  • Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village Center
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    3.5
    50 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Kumagegunyakushimachou Miyanoura 823-1
    This science facility is located in Yakushima Town, Kumage County, Kagoshima Prefecture. It provides information about the wildlife and culture of Yakushima, as well as guides and community events. Inside the center, there is are models and panels, as well as a large video hall where the wildlife of Yakushima is displayed through dynamic exhibitions. There is also a cafe corner that overlooks Miyanoura Port and a product shop that sells souvenirs.

    This center has a lot of information about the island, and would be a great place to visit if youre unsure of where to go or what to do. Most of the staff can speak a little English, one staff...

  • Wake Shrine
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    3.5
    47 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Kirishimashi Makizonochoushukukubota 3986
    A Shinto shrine guarded not by stone lion dogs but rather stone boar. The shrine is dedicated to Wake no Kiyomaro, an ancient government official. The shrine used guardian boar statues because, according to legend, Kiyomaro’s palanquin was protected by a wild boar when he landed in Buzen Province with the aim of visiting Usa Jingu Shrine. The shrine is believed to grant worshippers boons relating to traffic safety, scholarly pursuits, and construction. Sakamoto Ryoma and his wife also visited the shrine during their honeymoon and a monument on the grounds commemorates this fact. Some 100 wisteria plants grow on the grounds of Wake Park in front of the shrine and a wisteria festival is held here each year from April to May when the plants are in bloom.

    This shrine has a Wisteria Pagola that blooms from mid April until early May. The shrine is up on a mountain and so the road up to the parking is very narrow but better than walking up. The parking...

  • Kagoshima Prefectural Museum
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Kagoshimashi Shiroyamachou 1-1
    A history and natural history museum located a five-minute walk from the “Saigo Dozo-mae” stop on the City View bus line. The museum was originally established to keep records on the great Taisho period eruptions of Sakurajima. The main building consists of animal displays and a special exhibition space on the first floor, an exhibit on the natural beauty of Kagoshima within a 600-kilometer area stretching north and south on the second floor, and exhibits such as a 3D theater which introduce the industries harnessing the natural abundance of Kagoshima on the third floor. A planetarium as well as displays of a variety of dinosaur skeletons, ammonites, and other fossils can be found on the fourth floor of Houzan Hall, the museum’s annex.

    Main theme of exhibition is geography, animals and plantes of Kagoshima area. There are many very nice stuffed animals, especially birds. They are look like they are real. There are few alive animals...

  • Kagoshima City Modern Literature Museum/Kagoshima Marchen Fairy Tale Museum
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    3.5
    35 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Kagoshimashi Shiroyamachou 5-1
    A literature museum located a seven-minute walk from Asahidori Station on the Kagoshima City Tram bound for Kagoshima Station and leaving from JR Kagoshima-Chuo Station. Visitors can come in contact with literary works connected to Kagoshima through the museum’s permanent exhibit, which looks at 28 writers with a particularly strong link to the area. The adjoining Marchen Fairy Tale Museum is fun for adults as well as children, and visitors can feel like they’re in their very own fairy tale through exhibits such as trick art, playground equipment, and seasonal events and decorations. A joint admission ticket which includes entry to both facilities is available.

    Went to the literature and the fairytale museums for ¥500. Spent about just over an hour to see both as no English info. If there were I couldve spent longer. Interesting displays but dont know the...

  • Bansei Tokko Peace Museum
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    4.5
    25 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Minamisatsumashi Kasedatakahashi 1955-3
    A museum built on the site of the former Bansei Airfield, the last base used by the army for kamikaze fighters during the Pacific War. Opened in 1993, the museum’s numerous exhibits include Japan’s only extant Navy Type Zero reconnaissance seaplane (Aichi E13A), messages left by blood relatives of kamikaze fighters, and articles which belonged to kamikaze fighters as well as portraits. Through testimony provided by relatives and people involved as well as other videos, visitors can learn about the final moments of close to 200 kamikaze fighters, including pilots as young as 17. A memorial service is held in front of the museum’s monument each year in April.

    This peace hall manages to convey both the futility of the waste of young lives with a recognition of those bravery of those involved. It’s a tricky balance but in delivering this the museum finds...

Kagoshima Areas

around-area-map

Over 100 active volcanoes across Kagoshima make it one of the Japan's most exciting prefectures. The prefectural capital, Kagoshima city, looks out to one of the prefecture’s most spectacular volcanoes, Sakurajima, an island of its own that can be visited and seen close up or admired from afar, with the promise of breathtaking sunsets complete with frequent puffs of smoke and ash. Down the Satsuma Peninsula, the most southerly part of mainland Japan, waterfalls, sand onsen, and fascinating history await, while Kagoshima's abundance of satsuma imo (sweet potato) provide a wholesome snack as well as one of Japan's favourite drinks - shochu.

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