Kagoshima: Wikis


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—  Core city  —
鹿児島市 · Kagoshima City
Kagoshima today with volcano Sakurajima in background.

Location of Kagoshima in Kagoshima
Kagoshima is located in Japan
Coordinates: 31°36′N 130°33′E / 31.6°N 130.55°E / 31.6; 130.55
Country Japan
Region Kyūshū
Prefecture Kagoshima
 - Mayor Hiroyuki Mori
 - Total 546.96 km2 (211.2 sq mi)
 - Density 1,108/km2 (2,869.7/sq mi)
City Symbols
 - Tree Camphor
 - Flower Kyōchikutō
Website City of Kagoshima
Phone number 099-224-1111

11-1 Yamashita-machi, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima-ken

Kagoshima (鹿児島市 Kagoshima-shi ?) is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwestern tip of the Kyūshū island of Japan, and the largest city in the prefecture by some margin. It has been nicknamed the "Naples of the Eastern world" for its bay location (Aira Caldera), hot climate and impressive stratovolcano, Sakurajima.

As of 1 January 2005, the city had an estimated population of 605,650 and a density of 1,107.81 persons per km². The total area is 546.71 km². In 2003, the city had an estimated population of only 554,136 and density of 1,911.41 persons per km². The total area was 289.91 km².

The city's total area nearly doubled between 2003 and 2005 as a result of five towns—the towns of Kōriyama and Matsumoto, both from Hioki District, the town of Kiire, from Ibusuki District, and the towns of Sakurajima and Yoshida, both from Kagoshima District—merging into Kagoshima on November 1, 2004.

Kagoshima is approximately 40 minutes from Kagoshima Airport, and the city features large shopping districts and malls, is served by trams, and has many restaurants featuring Satsuma Province regional cuisine: kibi (a kind of tiny fish), tonkatsu (caramelized pork, as opposed to the breaded version encountered elsewhere in Japan), smoked eel, and karukan (sweet cakes made from steamed yams and rice flour). A large, modern aquarium has been installed on the old docks overlooking the volcano. The Senganen (Isoteien) Japanese garden is just outside the city.

The St. Xavier church is a reminder of the first Christians who came to Japan.

One of the best places to see the city (and the active volcano across the bay) is from the Amuran Ferris wheel on top of "Amu Plaza," the shopping centre attached to Kagoshima Central Train Station. The wheel has two completely transparent gondolas which give a 360-degree view from 91 m above the ground.



Kagoshima was the center of the territory of the Shimazu clan of samurai for many centuries. It was a busy political and commercial port city throughout the medieval period and into the Edo period (1603–1867) when it formally became the capital of the Shimazu's fief, the Satsuma Domain. Satsuma remained one of the most powerful and wealthiest domains in the country throughout the period, and though international trade was banned for much of this period, the city remained quite active and prosperous. It served not only as the political center for Satsuma, but also for the semi-independent vassal kingdom of Ryūkyū; Ryukyuan traders and emissaries frequented the city, and a special Ryukyuan embassy building was established to help administer relations between the two polities and to house visitors and emissaries. Kagoshima was also a significant center of Christian activity in Japan prior to the imposition of bans against that religion in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Map of the Bombardment of Kagoshima on 15 to 18 August 1863

Kagoshima was bombarded by the British Royal Navy in 1863 to punish the daimyō of Satsuma for the murder of Charles Lennox Richardson on the Tōkaidō highway the previous year and its refusal to pay an indemnity in compensation. (See 'Bombardment of Kagoshima').

Kagoshima was the birthplace and scene of the last stand of Saigō Takamori, a legendary figure in Meiji Japan in 1877 at the end of the Satsuma Rebellion.

Japan's industrial revolution is said to have started here, stimulated by the young students' train station. Seventeen young men of Satsuma broke the Tokugawa ban on foreign travel, traveling first to England and then the United States before returning to share the benefits of the best of Western science and technology. A statue was erected outside of the train station as a tribute to them. The city was officially founded on 1 April 1889.

Kagoshima was also the birthplace of Tōgō Heihachirō. After naval studies in England between 1871 and 1878, Togo's role as Chief Admiral of the Grand Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Russo-Japanese War made him a legend in Japanese military history, and earned him the nickname 'Nelson of the Orient' in Britain. He led the Grand Fleet to two startling victories in 1904 and 1905, completely destroying Russia as a naval power in the East, and thereby contributing to the failed revolution in Russia in 1905.

The City was covered deep in ashes after the 1914 eruption of the Sakurajima volcano which is seen in the distance across the bay.

The 1914 eruption of the volcano across the bay from the city did spread ash throughout the municipality; but relatively little disruption ensued.[1]

Shinkansen (bullet train) service opened on 13 March 2004 between Kagoshima-chūō and Shin-Yatsushiro.

Sadomitsu Sakoguchi, the renowned Japanese diplomat, revolutionized Kagoshima's environmental economic plan with his dissertation on water pollution and orange harvesting.

Today, Kagoshima is home to a distinctive dialect of Japanese, differing from the usual Kyūshū dialects with its pronunciations of the yotsugana.


Kagoshima has a humid subtropical climate, marked by cool, relatively dry winters, warm, wet springs, hot, wet summers and mild, wet falls.

Weather data for Kagoshima, Japan (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 12.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.3
Average low °C (°F) 4.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 79.4
Snowfall cm (inches) 2
Sunshine hours 136.9 129.1 145.7 160.5 171.0 122.4 191.1 206.7 168.8 183.4 152.0 151.3 1,918.9
% Humidity 65 66 69 71 71 78 76 76 73 70 69 69 71
Avg. snowy days 2.2 2.6 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 5.9
Source: [2] 2009-06-08

Points of interest

Tenmonkan G3

Neighboring municipalities


Japan Air Commuter, a subsidiary of Japan Airlines, is headquartered in Kagoshima.[3]




All lines are operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyūshū)


  • kagoshima city tram taniyama line
  • kagoshima city tram kohrimoto line



  • Kagoshima City Bus
  • Kagoshima Kotsu
  • Hayasida bus
  • Nangoku Kotsu
  • JR Kyushu bus
  • MTA Bus


  • Sakurajima Ferry
  • A Line (to southern islands)
  • Marix Line (to southern islands)
  • RKK Line (to Okinawa)
  • Toppy (to Tanegashima and Yakushima)
  • Seahawk (to Koshikijima Islands)


Kagoshima Airport in Kirishima (35 km NE of Kagoshima)

Sister cities

Kagoshima is sister cities with

and friendship cities with


  1. ^ "Kagoshima", Illustrated London News. 24 January 1914.
  2. ^ "気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値)". Japan Meteorological Agency. http://www.data.jma.go.jp/obd/stats/etrn/view/nml_sfc_ym.php?prec_no=88&prec_ch=%8E%AD%8E%99%93%87%8C%A7&block_no=47827&block_ch=%8E%AD%8E%99%93%87&year=&month=&day=&elm=normal&view=.  
  3. ^ "会社概要." Japan Air Commuter. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  • Amu Plaza Visitors Guide (2006) available in Amu Plaza, Chūō Station, Kagoshima, Japan

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Kagoshima (鹿児島) is the capital of Kagoshima prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan.


Kagoshima is a historical city watched over by the looming bulk of Sakurajima (桜島), an active volcano that regularly dumps ash over the city and erupts a bit every now and then to remind people it's still there. The home of near-mythical samurai hero Saigo Takamori (see History), it's full of sites related to the Satsuma Rebellion.

Get in

By plane

Kagoshima's Airport is one hour away from Kagoshima's main train station by Bus (¥1200). JAL and ANA offer flights into Kagoshima from several major cities in Japan. Kagoshima Airport is also the starting point for many flights to Okinawa and the surrounding islands.

By train

Rail travel into Kagoshima changed dramatically in March of 2004, with the opening of a 126-kilometer stretch of the Kyushu Shinkansen as far north as Shin-Yatsushiro station. To reflect with this opening, the Japan Railways station at Nishi-Kagoshima was renamed to Kagoshima-Chuō (鹿児島中央), and is now Kagoshima's main rail station.

The Kyushu Shinkansen will eventually extend all the way north to Hakata station in Fukuoka in the spring of 2011, but in the meantime, to reach Kagoshima from Fukuoka, you can take a Relay Tsubame limited express train to Shin-Yatsushiro, then change there to the Kyushu Shinkansen Tsubame train. The Relay Tsubame trains follow a newly-built spur directly to the Shinkansen platform. All you have to do is walk across the platform to take the bullet train, which is timed to depart about 3 minutes after the arrival of the Relay Tsubame.

It takes approximately 2 1/2 hours to go from Fukuoka to Kagoshima by train, at a cost of ¥10050. If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can take these trains at no charge.

Sleeper Trains

Because most overnight trains from Tokyo and Kansai to Kyushu have been discontinued, traveling overnight to Kagoshima is difficult, but it IS possible. If you're willing to constantly change trains, you will be rewarded as your journey will double as lodging.

From Tokyo

From Tokyo you will have to take FOUR trains: the 10 PM Sunrise Seto/Sunrise Izumo overnight service to Okayama, the Shinkansen from Okayama to Hakata, the Relay Tsubame to Shin-Yatsushiro and finally the Kyushu Shinkansen. This route has you leaving Tokyo at 10 PM and getting to Kagoshima-Chuo at 11:30 AM the next morning. (13 1/2 hours)

Japan Rail Pass holders must pay the lodging charge on the Tokyo-Okayama segment; the rest of the trip is covered under the pass. Lodging charges currently range from ¥9450 for a B solo to ¥10500 for a B single, to ¥16500 for an A single deluxe. If you really want to travel on the cheap side, ¥3660 gets you your own floor space... literally, you sleep on the floor.

From Kansai

The second overnight option is best done from the Kansai area; this has you traveling the overnight segment along the eastern part of Kyushu.

You will need to travel to Kokura station during the evening on the San'yo Shinkansen. Once there, board the Dream Nichirin limited express train that travels down Kyushu to Miyazaki. Finally, after a one-hour layover in Miyazaki, take the Kirishima limited express, which travels across the south to Kagoshima-Chuo. As of March 2009, this routing has you leaving Shin-Osaka at 8:59 PM, arriving at Kagoshima-Chuo at 9:36 AM, for a traveling time of 12 1/2 hours.

This entire journey is fully covered under the rail pass. For a charge of ¥4000, ordinary Rail Pass holders can upgrade to a more comfortable Green Car seat on the Kokura-Miyazaki segment.

It is possible to start this option even from Tokyo, but you would have to leave Tokyo station on the Hikari service leaving at around 5:30 PM, then change to the Hikari Rail Star as described above. This results in a much longer travel time of 16 hours, but the good news is that the trip is covered 100% by the Japan Rail Pass.

By bus

Various overnight bus services are available to Kagoshima from Osaka and Kobe (~¥10000 one way; ~¥21000 round-trip). Daytime and nighttime buses also run from Fukuoka (yen 5400 one way; 4 hours) and Oita. There are day buses from Kumamoto for about ¥3600; 3 1/2 hours.

By ferry

Kagoshima is one of Japan's most busy ferry terminals, with a plethora of ferries connecting mainland Japan to it's southern islands. For the Okinawan archipelago there's several routes towards Naha which stops on different islands along the way. Operators include Matrix Line [1] and A Line ferry [2] - expect the full journey towards Naha to take around 25 hours, although you can stop halfway through in the Amami Islands. Towards the world heritage site of Yakushima and the island of Tanegashima near Kyushu you can opt for either Orita Kisen [3] (4 hrs, yen 4000) or the Toppy [4] hydrofoils completing the journey in just under 2 hours (yen 7000). Finaly for the Tokara Islands, the municipality [5] operates 2 weekly ferries plying the route in around 7 hours (Yen 6000).

Get around

Streetcars are a convenient way to get around Kagoshima city. Both lines 1 and 2 can be boarded at the Kagoshima station; only line 1 runs by Kagoshima-chuo. Board the tram from the back door, and pay the ¥160 per ride fee when exiting the front door. If you don't have exact change, the fare machine can make change, but it is polite to get your change during the ride, so as to not hold people up when at your final stop. Streetcar signage varies by the age of the streetcar; some have electronic signs that indicate the stop, but many do not. Streetcar information and a route map are available from www.synapse.ne.jp.

The ferry between volcanic island of Sakurajima and Kagoshima harbor operates frequently and around the clock. The boat ride will take about fifteen minutes.

Given Kagoshima's relatively small size and straighforward layout, buses (¥150) are less confusing than in larger Japanese cities.

If you plan to make Kagoshima a base for multiple trips, or make Kagoshima a stop on a trip throughout Kyushu, then a 5-day Kyushu rail pass may be the best option. If you are travelling from Tokyo or farther via train, then a 7-day Japan Rail pass is about the same price as a one-way shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Kagoshima. Both of these passes have extensive limitations; be sure to review terms and purchase your pass before entering Japan.

Mt. Sakurajima seen from Yunohira Lookout
Mt. Sakurajima seen from Yunohira Lookout
  • Sakurajima, Kagoshima's temperamental (and active) volcano can be reached by ferry in a matter of minutes. Face your fear and get up close and personal - just don't wear too much white, as the ash will leave you looking slightly grey. Yunohira Lookout is a two hours hike or 15 minutes drive from Sakurajima harbor and gives you a good view both to Kagoshima harbor and Sakurajima volcano. There are also a couple of other lookout points, where you can take a closer look at the volcano. Because Sakurajima is essentially an active volcano, remember that tourists are forbidden to go within 2 km of the crater.
  • Tsurumaru Castle. Once the castle of the Shimazu clan who governed the Satsuma domain till the Meiji Restoration, it was destroyed during the Satsuma Rebellion. The only parts remaining today are the wall and the moat. Since it's around so many sights and monument around Kagoshima, it's a nice sight to see and it contains the Reimeikan.
  • Kagoshima Prefectural Museum of Culture (Reimeikan)

Beautiful museum with nice expositions retracing the origin and evolution of the first habitants of the southern Kyushu area till the Meiji restoration. Generic information is available in english but for more details about the differents pieces contained in the exposition, a Japanese reading friend should be brought to fully enjoy all the information available.

  • Sengan'en Garden
  • Kagoshima City Aquarium (Io World)
  • The Nanshu Cemetery


Tenmonkan shopping arcade has a plethora of shops, where you can satisfy your consuming needs.

  • Satsumaimo-no-Yakata, Tel: +81 (0)99-239-4865. Several hundred types of sweet potato products.
  • Jelly Beans, Tel 099-216-8800. The only specialist English bookstore in the prefecture, with a nice second hand section as well. Take the No 1 Streetcar to Shinyashiki and hop off, you shouldn't have too many problems from there; just follow the signs. The shop is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, but if you call in advance and let them know you are coming they will try their best to open it up especially for you on Sundays and Mondays! The store is open 10am - 7pm
See Kagoshima prefecture for listings of regional dishes.


Kagoshima is known throughout Japan for its sweet potato shochu, or imo-jochu (芋焼酎). While shochu is often compared to vodka, it first goes through a fermentation process. In Kagoshima, almost all restaurants have imo-jochu, and some have hundreds of different brands. Even the Shinkansen platforms at Kagoshima-chuo station have a bar/shop with 100+ varieties of shochu.

In Kagoshima, the most common way to drink shochu is mixed with hot water, or oyu-wari. This releases the fragrance of the shochu, and also reduces the alcohol content to be on-par with wine. Because Kagoshima is the center of manufacture, many factories offer tours and have small shops for tasting and purchasing the locally made shochu.



If you're looking for inexpensive accommodation, the tourist information in the Kagoshima station can hand you a leaflet, where they have listed all the inexpensive options in Kagoshima. They can also check availability and book the accommodation for you.

  • Nakazono Ryokan, 1-8 Yasuicho, 099-226-5125. Near the City Hall and close to the ferry terminals. A pleasant place to stay and has a helpful manager. ¥4200.  edit
  • Sakurajima Youth Hostel, 189 Yokoyama, Sakurajima-cho, +81 99 2932150. If you want to stay overnight on the Sakurajima island, the youth hostel is practically your only budget option. A bed in the dorm will cost you ¥2650 and includes the usage of the hot bath they have downstairs. Note, when I visited in June 2007 the bath was very much out of order.  edit
  • Moon GaramMasala Guest House. Also on Sakurajima, 5 minutes walk from the ferry terminal is this tiny guesthouse. Don't go for expecting anything else than a bed and two very friendly owners one of whom speaks perfect English. About ¥1500 for the night.  edit
  • Asahi Business Hotel, 中央町20-12, Chuō-machi 20-12 (2 minutes walk from Kagoshima-Chuō station), +81 99 2569158. Small and old-fashioned rooms but include TV and shower. Singles ¥3800, twins ¥7000.  edit
  • Kagoshima Little Asia Guest House, [6]. Around the corner from Kagoshima-Chuo station, ask for directions at the information booth at the station. Free internet and laundry, guest kitchen, TV, ¥280 dinner, weekly and monthly rental available at discount. Both owners speak very good English. Male/Female Dorm ¥1500, singles ¥2500, twins ¥2000 per person..  edit
Routes through Kagoshima
OitaKirishima  N noframe S  END
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary





Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. A city in the south coast of the island of Kyushu in Japan
  2. A prefecture in southwestern Japan


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Simple English

Kagoshima can mean a few things:

  • Kagoshima Prefecture - One of 47 prefectures in Japan. It is part of Kyushu.
  • Kagoshima, Kagoshima - the capital of Kagoshima Prefecture


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