History / Culture / Tour Spots in Kagoshima Area

  • Kirishima Shrine
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    4.0
    976 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.

    The first historical reference to Kirishima shrine is in the year 540. It had a solemn and mysterious atmosphere.xa0There are many nice hot spring inns nearby, and it is a recommended sightseeing...

  • Chiran Peace Museum
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    4.5
    712 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.

    We were on a tour, so I hadn’t read any reviews beforehand, but as we had limited time in the museum I did not hire an audio guide. I wish I had as very few exhibits have an English translation. The...

  • Museum of the Meiji Restoration
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    4.0
    434 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.

    Fantastic museum next to the river You can use headphones to help understand and follow the different displays as most are in Japanese. Do the historic walk next to the river as it is beautifully set...

  • Kanoya Air Base Museum (Kanoya Sky Museum)
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    4.5
    126 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...

  • Kirishima Open-Air Museum
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    4.5
    83 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Airagunyusuichou Koba 6340-220
    An expansive outdoor art museum located on a plateau 700 meters above sea level on Mt. Kurinodake (1,094 meters) in Yusuicho, Airagun, Kagoshima Prefecture. The extensive grounds are dotted with 23 works of art by Japanese and international artists which make use of the local terrain and natural beauty. One of the distinguishing features of the museum’s pieces is that in addition to be able to be enjoyed visually, visitors are free to touch and even lean on them. Most museum goers enjoy taking photos together with the unique exhibits. The distinctive rectangular art hall contains the museum’s indoor exhibits and special exhibitions as well as a cafeteria where visitors can take a break.

    I had wanted to see Kusama’s work but didn’t realize how much more there was to see at this museum. My son and husband expected to be finished very quickly but we were there for a couple of hours...

  • Yakusugi Museum
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    4.0
    89 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagoshima Pref. Kumagegunyakushimachou Ambou 2739-343
    This museum located on the east side of Yakushima Island provides information on Yakushima cedars and the ecology of Yakushima. The museum contains numerous hands on exhibits such as the Inochi Branch, a tree branch which broke off of the Jomon Sugi due to the weight of a heavy snow, and a cross section from a 1,660 year old Yakushima cedar tree. The exhibit which lets visitors shave off Yakushima wood to smell the distinctive perfume and a cedar wood grain puzzle are particularly popular with children. Normally requires around 45 minutes to see the whole museum.

    This museum is small, but very nice. You have to take off your shoes and the floor is made of Yakusugi wood, which is moving, something that is great in my opinion. The surroundings of the museum...

  • Kagoshima Jingu Shrine
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    4.0
    106 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.

    山幸彦として知られるヒコホホデミを祀る、南九州最大級の神社です。現在の社殿は江戸時代の建物で国重文、彫刻などの装飾や天井の植物の餌が美しく巨大な社は壮麗な感じを覚えました。比較的近くにある霧島神宮とはまた違う趣で興味深かったです。

  • Museum Shoko Shuseikan
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    4.0
    172 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...

  • Kamafuta Shrine (Itate Tsuwamononushi-jinja Shrine)
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    4.0
    112 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Minamikyushushi Eichoubeppu 6827
    A Shinto shrine located in Ei-cho, Minamikyushu City, Kagoshima Prefecture. Officially Itate Tsuwamononushi-jinja Shrine, the shrine is also known as Kamafuta (“Pot Lid”) Shrine. The shrine is famous for its unique ways of worship, which include throwing unglazed pottery pot lids and wearing a pot lid on top of the head to pray for one’s wish to be granted. The shrine is believed to grant worshippers such boons as victory in competitions, better fortunes, protection from misfortune, and luck in war, and as such is even visited by entertainers and famous athletes. From the “Cape of Hope” behind the shrine, visitors can enjoy a view of vast ocean and Kaimondake Volcano.

    The shrine seems very new and looks nice. When we arrived relatively early in the morning there was nobody there - which I would highly recommend! Not long into our visit a bus of Chinese tourists...

  • Kagoshima City Museum of Art
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    4.0
    68 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...

  • Hirasaki Shrine
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    4.0
    64 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Ibusukishi Kaimonjucchou 1366
    This former government-supported Shinto shrine is located a 10-minute walk from Kaimon Station on the JR Ibusuki Makurazaki Line. The shrine is dedicated to Ohirume-no-muchi-no-mikoto (Amaterasu-omikami), the supreme deity of japan. Since ancient times, worshippers have come to this shrine seeking blessings of traffic safety and the safeguarding of the fishing industry. Beyond an avenue of cherry trees, a sacred camphor tree, more than 1,000 years old, stands on the grounds, protecting the sanctity of Satsuma’s (Kagoshima’s) most important shrine. The gorgeous main shrine building is red lacquered. Shrine treasures include a maki-e gold and silver lacquerware toiletries case designated a National Important Cultural Property, and ancient documents concerning the Shimazu clan and tablets received from Ryukyu.

    開聞岳の方面から池田湖に向かい際に立ち寄りました。この地域を代表する神社らしく、クスノキの説明の看板にありましたが、境内には樹齢 1000年を越える古木も多数あるらしく、その歴史が伺えます。人は少なく快適に見学できました。

  • Hotarukan Tomiya Shokudo
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    4.0
    62 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...

  • Wake Shrine
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    3.5
    50 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.

    和気清麻呂を祀った神社で学問、建築の神様です。和気の湯があるのも温泉地らしい。坂本龍馬が新婚旅行で訪れたそうです。

  • Tanegashima Development Center Firearm Museum
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    4.0
    69 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.

    種子島と言えばロケットと鉄砲伝来ではないでしょうか。鉄砲だけではないですが、種子島の歴史を学ぶことができます。展示の仕方も人形劇?みたいなものもありちょっと楽しむことができました。展示スペースは広いように感じましたが、1時間もあればゆっくり見学することができます。

  • Satsuma Denshokan
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    4.5
    61 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...

  • 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...

  • Southern Cross Center
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    4.0
    56 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.

    島の高台に位置しているので、建物の最上階に昇れば東西南北すべてが眺められ、島の全貌を手に取れます。 また、館内には、与論島の成り立ちや戦争、独自の民族文化まで学べます。 より与論島が愛しくなります!

  • Bansei Tokko Peace Museum
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    4.5
    26 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...

  • Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village Center
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    4.0
    53 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.

    高速船やフェリーが発着する屋久島の宮之浦港。その港に面して、屋久島環境文化村センターがありました。 館内には、屋久島についての展示がなされています。有料ゾーンになりますが、大型映像ホールでは毎時1回、屋久島の自然を紹介した迫力ある映像が上映されていました。私たちがこの施設を訪れた日は雨で、予定していたトレッキングは翌日に変更してこちらを訪れたんですが、この映像で、屋久島を深く知ることができてよ...

  • Nitta Shrine
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    4.5
    27 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagoshima Pref. Satsumasendaishi Miyauchichou 1935-2
    A Shinto shrine located on top of Mt. Shinki 10-minute drive from Sendai Station. Unusually, the grounds also encompass an imperial tomb. The stately architecture which once led to it being called the “top shrine in Satsuma Province” is still intact today, and some say the power of the land is strong here. The shrine is dedicated to Ninigi-no-Mikoto, god of rice. The Bou-odori and Yakko-odori dances offered during the shrine’s rice planting festival in June have been designated Intangible Folk-Cultural Properties by the prefecture. According to legend, expecting mothers who rub the heads of the lion-dog statues carrying cubs in front of the shrine will be granted an easy delivery, and the shrine is also frequented by couples seeking to be blessed with children.

    神代三山陵の一つ可愛山陵に参拝するために新田神社に向かい、ファミリーマート隣にあるニノ鳥居横の駐車場にとめて歩いて登りました。 新田の名はニニギノミコトが川内川より水をひいて新しく水田をつくったことに由来するそうです。まずはニノ鳥居をくぐって降来橋を渡ります(一の鳥居は川内川近くにあります)。橋を渡った先の石段が参道ですが、上の方は遠すぎて見えません。300段以上ある石段を登りますが、非常に特別...

Kagoshima Areas

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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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