Travel back to the time of the samurai
Izumi is a historic town in northern Kagoshima which was once populated by a large garrison of samurai guarding the border with the neighboring Higo domain. Stroll around the historic buildings and immaculately preserved stone walls and feel as though you’ve been transported back to the time of the samurai.
Beautifully preserved samurai houses
The fascinating Izumi Fumoto History Museum
A laid back ox-cart ride through the historic town
An unforgettable kimono experience
How to Get There
Izumi is easily accessible from both Kagoshima and neighboring Kumamoto. You can get there in just 15 minutes by bullet train from Kagoshima Chuo Station, or in an hour from Fukuoka. Alternatively, the Hisatsu Orange Railway provides a more scenic route to Izumi with a beautiful two-hour journey up the coastline.A shuttle bus is available from Kagoshima Airport, which takes an hour and 30 minutes.
Picture perfect samurai town
Along with the house and gardens of Sengan-en, and the samurai residences of Chiran in the south, Izumi is one of the best places to get a feel for Edo period (1603-1867) Kagoshima. The houses in this area were built over 400 years ago to strengthen the borders of the Satsuma domain. Many samurai were once stationed here, and the carefully constructed stone walls and remaining houses give us a rare glimpse into the everyday life of a feudal warrior. Around 150 buildings from the Edo period remain today, and exploring them can reveal some surprising secrets.
Relics of the past
The Izumi Fumoto History Museum is a good place to start exploring this authentic samurai wonderland. You can see a wonderfully preserved collection of swords, armor, and scrolls passed down in the samurai families of Izumi. An aerial overview of the town provides a great teaser for the route ahead, and the exhibits really let you imagine how the samurai of Izumi lived.
Samurai secrets revealed
The majority of the samurai houses in Izumi are still inhabited and are occupied by the descendants of the samurai they were originally built for. A few of the houses are open to the public, and you will discover surprising features that reveal the warrior mentality of the samurai that lived there. One house even has an escape tunnel built into the hearth in case of attack.The houses also have small but well-kept gardens, which have a more functional feel than the decorative gardens of Kagoshima’s other samurai town Chiran, or the feudal lord’s vast garden at Sengan-en.
Ride in style
One leisurely way to get around Izumi Fumoto Samurai Residences is via ox-cart. Make a reservation, hop on board, and enjoy a slow-paced tour of the houses while chatting with a knowledgeable guide about the lifestyle of the Izumi samurai. The ride lasts about 25 minutes.
Look the part
If you feel a little out of place walking around a traditional Japanese town in your regular clothes, consider changing into a kimono to enhance the experience. Kimono and tea experiences are held at Izumi Fumoto Samurai Residences, and with a prior reservation you can look and feel the part while wandering through the historic town. You can also keep the kimono and obi sash once the experience is over.
Izumi is truly a hidden gem for history enthusiasts and those interested in samurai culture. The town’s well-preserved samurai houses and fascinating history museum offer a unique glimpse into the lives of these feudal warriors. Exploring Izumi’s streets and buildings, it’s easy to imagine oneself back in the time of the samurai, surrounded by the sights and sounds of a bygone era.
To get to Izumi, visitors have several transportation options. The town is easily accessible from both Kagoshima and neighboring Kumamoto. Those coming from Kagoshima can take a 15-minute bullet train ride from Kagoshima Chuo Station. From Fukuoka, it takes about an hour to reach Izumi. For a more scenic route, travelers can opt for the Hisatsu Orange Railway, which offers a beautiful two-hour journey up the coastline. Additionally, a shuttle bus is available from Kagoshima Airport, with a travel time of approximately one hour and 30 minutes.
Once in Izumi, visitors will be greeted by a picture-perfect samurai town. Along with the famous house and gardens of Sengan-en, and the samurai residences of Chiran in the south, Izumi offers a unique opportunity to experience the Edo period (1603-1867) in Kagoshima. The houses in Izumi were built over 400 years ago to protect the borders of the Satsuma domain. Today, around 150 buildings from the Edo period still stand, providing a fascinating glimpse into the everyday life of the samurai.
A visit to the Izumi Fumoto History Museum is a must for anyone interested in samurai culture. The museum houses a remarkable collection of swords, armor, and scrolls that have been passed down through the generations of samurai families in Izumi. The exhibits offer a glimpse into the lives and traditions of the samurai, allowing visitors to imagine what life was like during that time.
One of the unique aspects of Izumi is that many of the samurai houses are still inhabited by the descendants of the original samurai. Some of these houses are open to the public, providing an opportunity to explore their interiors and discover the hidden secrets of the samurai. One house even features an escape tunnel built into the hearth, showcasing the defensive mindset of the samurai.
In addition to the well-preserved houses, Izumi also offers the chance to experience a leisurely ox-cart ride through the town. This slow-paced tour allows visitors to enjoy the scenery and learn more about the lifestyle of the samurai from knowledgeable guides. The ride lasts approximately 25 minutes and offers a unique perspective on the town.
For those looking to fully immerse themselves in the samurai experience, changing into a kimono is highly recommended. Izumi Fumoto Samurai Residences offer kimono and tea experiences, allowing visitors to dress in traditional clothing and explore the historic town in style. With a prior reservation, participants can also keep the kimono and obi sash as a memento of their time in Izumi.
In conclusion, a visit to Izumi is a journey back in time to the era of the samurai. The town’s well-preserved samurai houses, fascinating history museum, and unique experiences offer a comprehensive look into the lives of these feudal warriors. Whether strolling through the streets, exploring the historic buildings, or donning a kimono, visitors to Izumi will feel as though they have been transported back to the time of the samurai. It is truly a destination that should not be missed by history enthusiasts and those seeking a deeper understanding of Japanese culture.
Address And Maps Location:
5 Fumoto-cho, Izumi-shi, Kagoshima-ken