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About Kagoshima

You'd be forgiven for thinking of Japan as a bustling blend of high-tech living, ancient monuments, healthy seafood and world-class technology giants. All true. Which is why you'll certainly be surprised to discover the tropical island idyll of Kagoshima.

It's been called 'Japan's Hawaii' and compared to distant Naples. And you'll see why the moment you feast your eyes on its sheer beauty. Dominating its own version of the 'Bay of Naples', Kinko Bay is dominated by the mighty Sakurajima, an active volcano that towers above.

The volcano used to occupy a smaller island, but was connected to the mainland following an eruption in 1914. Kagoshima also draws its comparisons because of a mild climate and its many palm trees, giving it a truly tropical feel. The hiking trails are worth trying, as some get you really close to the volcano itself. And the restaurants and eateries are always an attraction.

 

Shore excursions in Kagoshima

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

City of Kagoshima

Activity high

Duration: 4 hours

Experience Kagoshimas human spirit with the beauty of nature.

Soak up the sights of downtown Kagoshima as you travel to the Iso Gardens. Make a brief stop at the site of the former military school where the walls are still scarred by the marks from bullets and cannon balls fired during the WWI over 100 years ago.

Iso Gardens were used as a summer home by the Shimazu Lords, and this lovely park area is now recognised as one of Japan’s most well laid out gardens. Take a leisurely walk through the grounds and admire the scenic backdrop of Mount Sakurajima and Kinko Bay.

Pass by the ruins of Kagoshima Castle before arriving at Shiroyama Observation Deck. Rising from the heart of the city is Shiroyama Hill, the park is a natural refuge from city life and a symbol of Kagoshima. This was the final battleground of the Satsuma Rebellion and has been designated as a national historic site. The entire mountain is covered with over 600 species of subtropical plants. After a short walk through the subtropical vegetation, you will reach the observation platform, offering a striking view of the city’s great landmark, Mount Sakurajima.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking on this tour. Guests are advised to carry local currency for purchases. The visit to the Iso Gardens includes walking over uneven, bare and gravelled grounds. Comfortable, flat, walking shoes are recommended. This tour may operate in reverse. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted by local vendors.

Highlights of Kagoshima

Activity medium

Duration: 5½ hours

Visit Sakurajima, the Iso Garden and other highlights of Kagoshima on this excursion.

Departing the port by coach, enjoy a short drive before boarding a ferry for an approximately 15-minute journey to Sakurajima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes.

Considered one of the most famous sightseeing spots of Kagoshima, Sakurajima rises over 3,000 feet above the waters of Kagoshima Bay. The volcano has erupted over 30 times in recorded history and is still mildly active today. Visit the Arimura Lava Observatory, where you can enjoy the spectacular view, before boarding the ferry back to Kagoshima.

Once back in Kagoshima port, board your bus for a leisurely drive to Sengan-en (Iso Garden). Sengan-en is a traditional Japanese garden and stately home in Kagoshima, Japan, that has been passed down in the Shimadzu family for over 350 years. The garden boasts magnificent views of the active volcano Sakurajima, whilst the house provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of a powerful feudal lord.

Re-board your coach and drive through to the statue of Saigo Takamori and other icons as you head back to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour and approximately 100 steps at the Sakurajima Observatory. The visit to the Iso Gardens includes walking over uneven, bare and gravelled grounds. Comfortable, flat, walking shoes are recommended. This tour is not considered suitable for passengers with walking difficulties. This tour may operate in reverse. Guests are advised to carry local currency for purchases.

Highlights of Kagoshima

Sakurajima

Activity high

Duration: 5 hours

See the destructive force of an active volcano.

Mount Sakurajima dominates the skyline above Kagoshima City and is said to change its colours seven times during the course of a day. A 15 minute ferry ride will take you to Sakurajima Island where you can view the volcano’s vast lava fields that were caused by three major past eruptions. The most violent eruption occurred in 1914 when a lava flow of over three billion tonnes destroyed numerous villages.

Visit one of the observatories where you can view the barren mountain slopes and vast lava field. Mount Sakurajima's fertile areas produce two well-known products, the Sakurajima Daikon, a basketball sized white radish and the Komikan, the world's smallest tangerine.

The Shimazu clan ruled the castle town of Kagoshima from 1341 until 1868 during the feudal age. During the mid 17th Century the lord of the Shimazu created Iso Gardens and the family villa stands in the heart of the grounds. The borrowed scenery of both Mount Sakurajima and Kinko Bay make the gardens a perfect place for an unforgettable photograph. Take a leisurely stroll around the grounds before returning to the ship.

Essential information

This tour will operate by coach, ferry and on foot. There is approximately two hours walking on this tour and approximately 100 steps at the Sakurajima Observatory. This tour may operate in reverse. The visit to the Iso Gardens includes walking over uneven, bare and gravelled grounds. Guests are advised to carry local currency for purchases. Comfortable, flat, walking shoes are recommended. This tour is not suitable for those with limited mobility. Only Japanese Yen will be accepted.

Sand Spa and Samuri

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 7 hours

Enjoy a unique Japanese spa experience and uncover the secrets of the ancient Samurai.

Sit back and enjoy a relaxing drive to the Satsuma Peninsula to Ibusuki. Ibusuki is the Satsuma Peninsula's foremost resort, famed for its therapeutic sand baths which are reputed to be a "tonic" for circulation and general health. Hot springs heat the sand to approximately 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon arriving at the hotel, you'll don a yukata and sit back as you're covered with warm sand up to your neck, followed by a shower and a Japanese-style bath.

After a truly unique and relaxing spa experience, you'll enjoy a Japanese-style lunch at a local hotel.

After lunch continue on to Chiran, once the stronghold of the Shimazu samurai, which boasts a lane lined by residences of warriors who lived in the Edo period (17th through to mid-19th centuries). The dwellings offer a glimpse of what life was like for provincial samurai in those days. Stroll down a street lined with well-preserved samurai houses and their small gardens.

Essential information

This excursion is conducted by coach and on foot. Guests must be in good health and should not suffer from heart trouble, high or low blood pressure or skin conditions to participate in this tour. Anyone with medical conditions should consult their doctor prior to booking. Instruction should be followed at all times. Local currency should be carried for additional purchases. The order of visits may vary.

Scenes of Kagoshima

Activity low

Duration: 3½ hours

Soak up the spectacular views of Kagoshima from Shiroyama Park.

Join your coach and travel through the city suburbs to the heart of Kagoshima. You'll pass Kinko Bay and witness the bronze statue of Saigo Takamori, one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history. Saigo Takamori lived during the late Edo Period and early Meiji Era, and has been dubbed: "The last true samurai."

Shiroyama Park is located in downtown Kagoshima that extends over Mount Shiroyama. With an elevation of 351 feet, the mountain formerly served as the site of a castle fortification, which led to its name. Shiroyama literally translates to ‘Castle Mountain’ in Japanese. Continue on to the lookout point on Shiroyama and admire panoramic views of the city and Sakurajima Island, one of Japan's most active volcanoes (weather permitting). Sakurajima is considered the landmark of Kagoshima and rises over 3,000 feet above the waters of Kagoshima Bay. The volcano has erupted over 30 times in recorded history and is still mildly active today with minor eruptions taking place multiple times per day.

You'll make a stop at the Shochu Brewery to sample sweet potato spirits before your return drive to the pier.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking on this tour. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. Guests are advised to carry local currency for purchases. The order of visits may vary.

 

A selection of cruises to Kagoshima

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