When to travel?

The climate is very warm, but the strong typhoon hits the prefecture every year.  The weather is also very tropical, which you may feel like as if you are in Eastern Asian country.

Best season: Feb-Dec (Jun is monsoon, Jul-Aug could be hot and humid, Sep is typhoon)
Cherry blossoms: end of Mar-Apr
Foliage: Nov-Dec

Events / Festivals

Feb-Mar: Hatsuuma festival (初午祭), Kirishima 霧島
Apr: Oshaka festival (お釈迦祭り), Shibushi 志布志
Jul: Rokugatsuto (六月灯), Kagoshima
Jul: Ogionsa (おぎおんさぁ), Kagoshima
Oct: Myoenji temple visit (妙円寺詣り) Kagoshima to Hioki 日置
Nov: Ohara festival (おはら祭り), Kagoshima
Nov: Yagoro don festival (弥五郎どん祭り), So 曽於

Touristic spots

Capital city: Kagoshima (鹿児島)

It is a city of volcano.  As mentioned in Kyushu article, there is an active volcano called Sakurajima (桜島), which is still making eruption and ashes fall down to the city.

The city is rather small; however, it is also full of attractiveness.

Yoshino Park (吉野公園) is full of seasonal flowers, with Sakurajima background.
Senganen (仙厳園) Japanese garden made by Shimazu Mitsuhisa (島津光久).  Sakurajima can be seen from the house.

Chiran (知覧)

Chiran is a small city known as Little Kyoto.  The traditional Japanese style houses are well-kept in the town, with tropical trees and ambiance adding the colors on it.  The place is famous for their Japanese green tea, so enjoying a green tea in Japanese Tea house is a great idea.

The place is also famous for being the base of Kamikaze, a special attack team which have used their airplane to attack the enemy during the World War 2.  There is a museum where you can feel the importance of peace.

Traditional Japanese houses, with the tropical essence.

Mt. Kaimon (開聞岳)

Mt. Fuji in Kagoshima, the height is 924 meters.  The mountain stands at the end of peninsula, with half of the mountain facing to the ocean side.  The mountain has a perfect shape with the ocean background.  Accessible from Ibusuki and Chiran.

Mt. Kaimon, Mt. Fuji of Kagoshima.

Amami island (奄美大島)

Amami is a big island which now belongs to Kagoshima prefecture; however, the island developed a very unique culture, which could be seen in Okinawa.  The island is the newest World Heritage site of Japan.

The island is full of ocean activities and their so-called Amami Blue mesmerizes all the visitors.  The island also has a huge tropical forest, which is considered as very sacred.  Visitors can enjoy not only the ocean but also mountain in the island.

Amami is a heaven for scuba divers.  Whales can be seen in a very limited time.
Kinsakubaru (金作原) is a forest, the access is strictly limited, only the guided tour is available.

Ibusuki Hot spring (指宿温泉)

This is a very unique hot spring.  You may imagine hot water when thinking about hot spring, but what makes this Ibusuki Hot spring so famous and popular is that they are sand bath. Yes, you put your body into sand!

You go to the beach and lay on the sand, then the staff will put sand over your body.  The sand is warm enough to make you sweat.  After 10 minutes, you come out of the sand and you will notice that your body is lighter.  There is hot water bath facility available after sand bathing.

Very unique bathing style.