If you were planning a trip to Japan, which city would you visit? Tokyo or Kyoto? Both are great cities, but if you want to experience something a little different, I suggest you visit Kagoshima. Kagoshima is a prefecture in the south of Japan and has its own unique nature and culture. I, born and raised in Kagoshima, will introduce my favorite sightseeing spots, food, and events. You will surely want to travel to Kagoshima.
Volcanoes and Hot Springs Symbolize Kagoshima!
Once you reach the city center of Kagoshima City, you will first be surprised to find a very large volcano. That volcano is called 桜島 (Sakurajima). The volcano is still erupting, but people live at the foot of the volcano and you can reach there by ferry. There are many other volcanoes in Kagoshima, and these volcanoes produce hot springs in various locations (For more, visit “Kagoshima Onsen Kingdom”). You should definitely try a hot spring bath in Kagoshima, and it is a great way to refresh your body and cleanse your skin.
Where Should You Go When You Go to Kagoshima?
The most classic tourist attraction is 仙巌園 (Sengan-en), an old and beautiful Japanese samurai residence. It is registered as a World Heritage Site and is a popular place to take pictures of the beautiful garden and Sakurajima.
There are many other shrines in Kagoshima. The most famous one is 霧島神宮 (Kirishima Jingu) shrine. The red shrine built in the forest is very mysterious.
If you want to visit major sightseeing spots in Kagoshima City easily, a bus tour is recommended.
Recommended Kagoshima Food
Kagoshima is famous for its livestock industry, so there are many restaurants serving delicious meat food. If you want to eat good meat at a reasonable price, I suggest you go to restaurant Nabeshima (Japanese only). It is a chain restaurant in Kagoshima, you can enjoy the most delicious of all beef, 黒毛和牛 (Kuroge Wagyu).
If you want a slightly different experience, you should go そうめん流し (Somen Nagashi). Somen is a traditional Japanese noodle. It is poured into circulating pure spring water, and people catch it with chopsticks and dip it in the dipping sauce. The famous place where Somen Nagashi is Tosenkyo in Ibusuki City.
Kagoshima also has its own unique sweets. One of the most popular sweets is shaved ice with milk syrup, Shirokuma. Shirokuma means “polar bear”. It is topped with fruits and looks like a polar bear’s face when viewed from above. The most famous restaurant for Shirokuma is Tenmonkan Mujaki in Kagoshima City (Japanese only).
Interesting Seasonal Festivals
I also recommend that you travel to Kagoshima for festivals.
The largest one in Kagoshima is “Ohara Festival” held in November. In this festival, 20,000 people dance to traditional Kagoshima music on the road. If you attend the festival, you will be amazed at the sight of so many people dancing all day.
My favorite festival is “Rokugatsudou”. It’s an event in July, when many lanterns with Kanji and pictures are decorated at shrines and temples. I would like you to visit this event and see the fantastic sight.
Kagoshima has many beautiful places and delicious food. I hope you will travel to Kagoshima and feel the charm of a new Japan!
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