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Sakurajima volcano

SakurajimaMap of Sakurajima Sakurajima is an active volcano, and is just east of central Kagoshima city.

It is a volcano towering in the center of Kagoshima Bay, and was originally a volcanic island.
The volcanic activity started about 22 thouthand years ago, and the volcano is still very active.
Since recorded history, it has erupted more than 30 times. Especially, the eruptions in the 1470s, 1780s and 1914 were very great.

The eruption in 1914 changed the map of Kagoshima.
The lava flowed down to the east and filled the narrow channel.
At last, the volcano island had attached to Oosumi Peninsula.
Over 1 meters of The volcanic ashes fell around the volcano, and the agricultural crops were completely destroyed.

"Sakurajima" is the name of the volcanic island.
It is about 12 km from east to west and about 10 km from north to south in width.
The formal name of the volcano is "Ontake".
Ontake has main 3 peaks. They are Kitadake (1,117 m), Nakadake (1,060 m) and Minamidake (1,040 m).

Small villages are dotted along the coastline.
And farming is run on the land of volcanic ashes.
Sakurajima-daikon is a huge and turnip-shaped radish. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest radish.
Sakurajima-komikan is a small mikan (seedless and easy-peeling citrus) within 5 centimeters. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's smallest mikan.

To visit Sakurajima, the ferry connects between Kagoshima Port and Sakurajima Port on the west coast of Sakurajima.
It is operated frequently, and it takes only 15 minutes.

Popular spots in Sakurajima

  • Yunohira observatory /1/ : Yunohira is a small peak 373 meters high, and is located about 2.5 km west of Kitadake peak.
    It is the popular observatory to see the main peaks of Sakurajima at a short distance.
  • Kurokami buried Torii Gate /2/ : Kurokami is a district on the east side of Sakurajima.
    The eruption in 1914, a volume of volcanic ashes filled this district. The Torii gate about 3 meters high in the Shinto shrine also was filled almost-totally.
    It has been preserved to transmit the intensity of the eruption to posterity.
  • Arimura observatory /3/ : It is the observatory on the south foot of the volcano.
    The lava flown down by the eruption in 1914 formed the rough field.
    A walking trail is set up.
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 tour bus

The tour bus visiting some popular spots in Sakurajima is operated twice a day.
It starts from JR Kagoshima-Chuo station, ferries from Kagoshima Port, and tours around Sakurajima.
The departure times are 9:00 and 13:40, and it takes about 3.5 hours.

Ferry to Sakurajima
Yunohira observatory Kurokami buries Torii Gate
Photo by Kagoshima City
Arimura observatory Walking trail in Lava field

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