Kagoshima Full-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide

This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Kagoshima!

Of the many options for tourists to Kagoshima, perhaps the most unique is getting up close and personal with live volcanoes–some so active that certain hiking trails are closed. Expect to hear a rumble and to feel the ground shake from the daily eruptions.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a six-hour tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.
* Duration: 6 hours
* Starts: Kagoshima, Japan
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Historical & Heritage Tours




This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Kagoshima!

Of the many options for tourists to Kagoshima, perhaps the most unique is getting up close and personal with live volcanoes–some so active that certain hiking trails are closed. Expect to hear a rumble and to feel the ground shake from the daily eruptions.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a six-hour tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Pass By: Mount Sakurajima, Kagoshima Kagoshima Prefecture

Sakurajima (桜島) is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and the symbol of Kagoshima. The volcano smokes constantly, and minor eruptions often take place multiple times per day. Located in the middle of Kagoshima Bay, Sakurajima is the area’s most prominent geographic feature, having an elevation of 1117 meters and a circumference of about 50 kilometers.

Before a powerful eruption in 1914, Sakurajima used to be an island in the bay, but the massive lava flow from that eruption created the volcano’s current land connection to the Osumi Peninsula in the east. For the majority of travelers, however, the volcano is still most easily accessed by the ferries that run the 3.5 kilometers between Kagoshima Port and the Sakurajima Ferry Terminal.

Pass By: Sengan-en, 9700-1 Yoshino-cho, Kagoshima 892-0871 Kagoshima Prefecture

Senganen Garden (仙巌園), also known as Isoteien (磯庭園), is a Japanese style landscape garden along the coast north of downtown Kagoshima. One of the garden’s most striking features is its use of Sakurajima and Kagoshima Bay as borrowed scenery. The garden also includes small ponds, streams, shrines and a bamboo grove.

Senganen was constructed in 1658 by the wealthy Shimazu Clan, one of the most powerful feudal clans during the Edo Period (1603-1867). The Shimazu ruled the Satsuma domain (present day Kagoshima) for almost 700 years until the end of the feudal age in 1868. They continued to be influential into the modern era as some of the earliest adopters of Western science and technology.

Pass By: Reimeikan, 7-2 Shiroyamacho, Kagoshima 892-0853 Kagoshima Prefecture

The Reimeikan Museum (黎明館) is dedicated to local history and culture. On three spacious floors it presents a wide variety of exhibits that cover the span of Kagoshima’s history from ancient to modern times. There are a few interesting models, such as a large diorama of downtown Kagoshima at the beginning of the Showa Period (1926-1989) and a small scale model of a village from the middle ages.

The museum was built on the former site of the local castle, known as Kagoshima or Tsurumaru Castle, and is surrounded by parts of the former moat and stone walls. The museum and castle ruins are located at the base of Mount Shiroyama, which literally means “castle mountain” in Japanese.

Within the vicinity of the museum there are a few other museums and cultural attractions. One of the most popular is a statue of the local hero Saigo Takamori, a leader from the Meiji Restoration of the late 1860s. Saigo is believed to have died in combat on Shiroyama mountain.

Pass By: Shiroyama Park, 3819 Kokubu-kamikogawa, Kirishima 899-4316 Kagoshima Prefecture

Shiroyama Park (城山公園, Shiroyama Kōen) is a park in downtown Kagoshima that extends over Mount Shiroyama. With an elevation of 107 meters, the mountain formerly served as the site of a castle fortification, which led to its name. Shiroyama literally means “castle mountain” in Japanese. The castle’s former grounds at the base of the mountain now serve as the site of the Reimeikan Museum.

The park is most famous for its Shiroyama Observatory with spectacular views over downtown Kagoshima, Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima. The night view is also nice, particularly if a clear sky and bright moon allow Sakurajima to remain visible. Nice views can also be enjoyed from the Satsuma no Yu outdoor hot spring bath at the nearby Castle Park Hotel, which is also open to non-staying guests.

Pass By: Terukuni Shrine, 19-35 Terukunicho, Kagoshima 892-0841 Kagoshima Prefecture

Terukuni Shrine, located at the foot of Shiroyama, enshrines the spirit of the 28th head of the Shimazu clan, Shimazu Nariakira. Built in the mid-18th century, visitors are sure to be impressed at its scale.

Visitors to the shrine may be privy to witnessing a Japanese wedding ceremony, and during the event held every July called Rokugatsuto, lanterns line the shrine grounds, making it a must-see if you find yourself in Kagoshima during the summer.

Pass By: Saigo Takamori Statue, Central Park, Kagoshima Kagoshima Prefecture

The Statue of Saigo Takamori, located a short 10 minute walk from Terukuni Shrine, is devoted to the samurai who who worked to bring Japan into the modern age. Built in the man’s hometown 50 years after his death, this impressive statue towers 8 meters into the sky.

This copper statue was sculpted by the same artist as the famous Hachiko statue located by Shibuya Station in Tokyo. Saigo’s formidable presence, the man draped in military garb, is made even more impressive by the towering mountains situated behind him.

Pass By: Tsurumaru Castle Ruins, Shiroyamacho, Kagoshima 892-0853 Kagoshima Prefecture

Kagoshima Castle (the Tsurumaru Castle Ruins), is located in a corner of the city where the town’s castle once proudly stood. Originally known as Tsurumaru Castle, it was built in 1602 and burned down in 1873, though its stone walls and moat still remain as a reminder of the strength of the Shimazu clan.

Also located within the castle grounds is a statue of princess Tenshoin Atsuhime and the castle ruins house historical documents and artefacts, making it a must-visit for history buffs.

Pass By: Ishibashi Park, 1-3 Hamamachi, Kagoshima 892-0812 Kagoshima Prefecture

Ishibashi Park is a park located in Kagoshima City.

This park houses Ishibashi Memorial Hall, a museum that displays the history and bridge building technology for the stone bridges, built during the Edo period, that line the Kotsukigawa River which runs through the middle of the city.

Of these bridges, the largest of the 3 remaining structures is the Nishidakyo Bridge, the largest of all, which was used by locals for 150 years before it was eventually moved. The area below the bridge is now available for children to play and is beloved by locals as a place to rest and relax.

Pass By: Xavier Park, 4-9 Higashisengokucho, Kagoshima 892-0842 Kagoshima Prefecture

Francisco Xavier, a Jesuit monk known for traveling to Japan to spread the word of Christianity as well as to introduce foreign culture, came to Japan in 1549 and is said to have spent nearly a year living in Kagoshima. Xavier Park was established on the 400th anniversary of the monk’s coming to Japan and houses a statue of the man himself and a memorial plaque.

Incidentally, there was also a Christian church built during the Meiji period in the Terukunicho district of the city named after and built in honor of the man. While this church was lost during the war, a portion of the sanctuary and some rebuilt portions of the church exist today.

Pass By: Museum of the Meiji Restoration, 23-1 Kajiyacho, Kagoshima 892-0846 Kagoshima Prefecture

In 1868, the Tokugawa Shogunate that had ruled the country for over 250 years was toppled, paving the way for the Meiji Government to be formed. The period between the fall of the Tokugawa and the rise of the Meiji Government is known as the Meiji Restoration. One particular region that played a key role in the Meiji Restoration is Kagoshima itself.

At the Museum of the Meiji Restoration, a place where the merits of the people of Kagoshima are remembered, is a must-visit for any history buff interested in diving into the conflict that occurred as Japan entered into the modern age.

Inside the museum, visitors will find films, dioramas, and even robotic and other high-tech exhibitions on display. In the Restoration Experience Hall located on the 1st floor, patrons can even see a performance using robots of two of the city’s most important figures, Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi!