A Walk in Sakurajima
What distinguishes Kagoshima is a world-famous active volcano, Sakurajima. It’s only four kilometers (two miles) away from Kagoshima city. You can get to Sakurajima by a ferry, running every 10-15 minutes during the daytime.
Walking around the port is good enough to learn about Sakurajima and enjoy magnificent views of an active volcano and surroundings. I will show you highlights to look around for a half-day trip.
How to Get to Sakurajima
As I mentioned, the ferry takes you to Sakurajima from Kagoshima port for only 15 minutes. It's a short but fun-filled journey!
Kagoshima City Aquarium
This is the Kagoshima City Aquarium, located to next to Kagoshima port, which exhibits more than 500 kinds of sea creatures. Moreover, Kagoshima Bay is abundant with nutrients which allows numerous sea species to inhabit in the sea. If you are lucky, you come to see a group of dolphins jumping on the surface of the sea.
These are the noodles served by Yabukin, a noodle shop on the ferry. Not only tourists but also commuters traveling between Sakurajima and Kagoshima city slurp hot noodles to fill their stomach. Toppings include satsuma-age, a deep-fried fish cake, chopped leek and tenkasu, tempura flakes.
Hinoshima Megumikan Farmer’s Market and Restaurant
As you can see, the exterior of this building is shaped like the volcano. You can buy local products such as fresh vegetables, a wide variety of souvenirs and some snacks to nibble. It also has a restaurant that serves delicious dishes using local ingredients. Hinoshima Megumikan Farmer’s Market is about a 10-minute walk from the ferry port.
Let me show you some unique products available only in this season.
This is called Sakurajima Daikon, a brand of daikon radish which weighs in at an average 10-20 kg (22-44 pounds). The record radish was 31.1 kg (70 pounds) and 119 cm in circumference, registered as a Guiness record. Sakurajima Daikon radishes have lots of moisture and are often cooked in a hot pot with other ingredients.
These are called Sakurajima komikan, the Sakurajima mandarin, which are famous for their small size. They are almost the same size as an egg, about 4-5 cm. Small mandarins are processed into many products such as candy, jam, ice cream, and even udon noodles which are served in restaurants.
Foot Bath in Nagisa Park
The next attraction is my favorite place to release stress from a hectic day, with panoramic views of Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima.
Nagisa Park is very popular among tourists for its foot bath, which you can enjoy a hot spring in a casual way. The foot bath here is 100 meters long, the second longest foot bath in Japan. It's an amazing experience to soak your feet in a hot spring and see the plume of smoke issuing from the top of an active volcano.
These attractions are within a 30-minute walk from the Sakurajima ferry terminal. If you want to explore further, there is a sightseeing bus making round trips around the western part of Sakurajima.