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Kagoshima city

KagoshimaMap of Kagoshima city Kagoshima city is the capital of Kagoshima Prefecture, and is located roughly in the center of the prefecture.
It has a population of over 600 thousand people, so it is the largest city in the southern part of Kyushu island.

It is on the east side of Satsuma Peninsula, and faces Kagoshima Bay.
Straight in front of the downtown, we can see active Sakurajima volcano. Often its volcanic ash comes down in this city.

The scenery that an active volcano is close to a large coastal city is similar to Naples (Napoli) in Italy.
So Kagoshima is sometimes called the "Napoli of the Orient".

(Kagoshima city has "Napoli Street", and Napoli city has "Kagoshima Street" (Via Kagoshima).
Kagoshima has a sister city relationship with Napoli.)

In the middle of the 14th century, Shimazu Family built a castle, and this city had developed since that.

In 1549, Francisco de Xavier (1506-1552) from the Society of Jesus landed here, and he first intoduced Christianity to Japan.

In the middle of the 19th century, Nariakira Shimazu (1809-1858, the 28th lord of Shimazu Family) generated some industries using the Western advanced technology during a period of national isolation.
He constructed reverberatory furnace and blast furnace, then form the foundation of modern industrialized nation.
The advanced culture created many progressive samurai, so they overthrew the feudal government.
Takamori Saigou (1828-1877) and Toshimichi Ookubo (1830-1878) were the prominent samurais and politicians.

Kagoshima had been a castle town, but the old town had been destroyed by the bomberment by Britain in 1863, the civil war in 1877 and the air laid in 1945 during the World War II.
So this city hasn't many historical spots.

Popular spots in Kagoshima city

  • Museum of Meiji Restoration /1/ : The museum introducing Meiji Restoration around 1868 and Satsuma Domain.
    The images and documents about advanced Satsuma Domain and samurais are displayed.
  • Toshimichi Ookubo statue /2/ : The bronze statue of Toshimichi Ookubo.
    He was a samurai born in Kagoshima city, and was one of the persons who overthrew feudal Edo government and founded the Meiji government in 1868.
    He hold important positions such as Minister of Finance and Interior Minister, but he was assassinated in 1878.
  • Takamori Saigou statue /3/ : The bronze statue of Takamori Saigou.
    He was a samurai born in Kagoshima city, and was one of the persons who overthrew feudal Edo government and founded the Meiji government in 1868. And he became the General.
    But considerable disagreement about foreign policy occured, so he went into opposition in 1873.
    He founded a private school in Kagoshima, and many hot-blooded young men gathered.
    However, the members who had aggravated a grievance against the government rose in revolt in 1877.
    When the revolt was suppressed by government troops, Saigou chose death at Shiroyama hill.
  • Saigou Cave /4/ : The cave where Takamori Saigou died in 1877.
    He had stayed in this cave for his last 5 days in the revolt against the government.
    Saigou and his last troop had taken refuge in this cave. Many of his partisans had already been killed, so he admited his defeat there.
    And he ordered his friend to cut off his head. He was gone by his friend's sword.
  • Shiroyama observatory /5/ : Shiroyama is a hill located to the north of central Kagoshima city.
    Kagoshima Castle was set up on this hill from 1601 to 1614.
    And Saigou troop was destroyed here in 1877.
    The hill is 107 meters high, and the observatory has a nice view of central Kagoshima, Kagosima Bay and Sakurajima.
  • Nanshu Cemetery /6/ : Nanshu is the art-name of Takamori Saigou. (Nanshu Saigou)
    This cemetery has 2,032 tombs of the members of Saigo troop. Saigou's tomb is in the center of the cemetery.
    Around this cemetery, there are Nanshu Shrine and Nanshu Memorial Museum.
  • Sengan-en garden /7/ : The ruin of Shimazu family's villa and its Japanese garden.
    The garden was built in 1658.
    It is about 5 hectares wide, and is near Kagoshima Bay.
    Sakurajima and Kagoshima Bay are its borrowed landscape.
  • Shouko-shuuseikan /8/ : The museum introducing Shimazu family and local industries in Kagoshima.
    The building was built as a machine factory by Nariakira Shimazu in 1865 during a period of national isolation.
    It is in the site of Sengan-en.
  • Board Walk /9/ : The promenade along Kagoshima Port.
    The trails are made of many wooden boards.
    It is the nice scenic spot on the waterfront.
  • Tenmonkan /10/ : The downtown of Kagoshima city. It is also the largest downtown in the southern Kyushu Island.
    There are many shops and restaurants.
    Many streets have arcades to protect against volcanic ash and strong sunlight.
Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By railroad

By Kyushu Shinkansen, about 2 hours and 10-20 minutes from Hakata.
(The section between Hakata and Shin-Yatsushiro is under construction until 2011.)

By airplane

  1. To Kagoshima Airport, about 1 hour and 50 minutes from Tokyo (Haneda), about 1 hour 10 minutes from Osaka (Itami).
  2. From Kagoshima Airport to central Kagoshima city, about 40-50 minutes by express route bus.

Museum of Meiji Restoration Toshimichi Ookubo statue
Photo by Kagoshima City
Takamori Saigou statue
Photo by Railstation.net
Saigou Cave
Photo by Kagoshima City
A view of Sakurajima and Kagoshima city from Shiroyama
Nanshu Cemetery
Photo by Kagoshima City
Sengan-en garden
Shimazu family's villa in Sengan-en Ancient elegant ceremony in Sengan-en
©Kagoshima Prefectural Tourist Federation/©JNTO
Photo by Kagoshima City
Board Walk
Photo by Kagoshima City
A street in Tenmonkan Ohara Festival in November
Photo by Kagoshima City

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Tanegashima Space Center
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