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Tanegashima Space Center

Tanegashima Space CenterMap of Tanegashima island Tanegashima island is located about 40 km south of Kyushu Island, and there is Yakushima Island about 30 km southwest of this island.
In 1543, a Portuguese ship was tossed ashore on this island, and the Japanese first learned about firearms and gunpowder.

It is a long island, and the length is about 60 km from north to south.
Nishinoomote is the central city of this island and is located in the north part of the island.
Some ships between Kagoshima and Yakushima stop here.

Tanegashima Space Center is located in the southern part of the island.
It is one of Japan's space development facilities, and there are two orbital launch complexes.
It is now run by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

This facility was built in 1969, and all Japanese rockets have been launched here since 2006.
The buildings are dotted on the leafy hilly area, and the launch pads are on the cape surrounded by clear sea and coral reef.
So this facility is called "the most beautiful rocket launching site in the world".

In the site, there is Space Museum.
It introduces rocket, space satellite, International Space Station, and various fields of space development.
And guided tour is held three times a day. (Advanced reservations required.)

And there are a few observatory areas in the site.

When a rocket is launched, the museum is closed.
And the visitors must be more than 3 km away.
We can see the launch in some parks around the site.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency official website

How to get to here

By ship and route bus

  1. By high-speed ship, about 1 hour and 35 minutes from Kagoshima Port to Nishinoomote Port.
  2. By route bus, from Nishinoomote Port to Tanegashima Space Center, about 1 hour and 38 minutes.

By airplane and route bus

  1. By airplane, about 40 minutes from Kagoshima Airport to Tanegashima Airport.
  2. By route bus, from Airport to Nishinoomote, about 33 minutes.
    From Nishinoomote to Tanegashima Space Center, about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Tanegashima Space Center
©Kagoshima Prefectural Tourist Federation / ©JNTO
A launch pad

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Spots in Kagoshima Prefecture and its southern islands

Kagoshima city
Ibusuki onsen
Mount Kaimon
Mount Kirishima

Yakushima island
Tanegashima Space Center
Yoron island