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.
©Kagoshima Prefectural Tourist Federation / ©JNTO