Get close to one of japan‘s most active volcanoes

The highly active volcano of Sakurajima is located only four kilometers away from the bustling city of Kagoshima. Part of the Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park, the 1,117-meter-high volcano frequently erupts, sending plumes of ash thousands of meters into the air.

Sakurajima is easily reached via a ferry which departs from Kagoshima City. Ferries to Sakurajima operate all day and depart from the port in Kagoshima City every 15 or 20 minutes. They take about 15 minutes to reach Sakurajima. From there, you can catch the Sakurajima Island View Bus which departs 15 times a day from Sakurajima port and stops at all major spots on the island. Bikes can also be rented at the Sakurajima Visitors Center.

Whether you want to take it easy or indulge in some serious trekking, Sakurajima is ideal for both. Strolling through the majestic and peaceful lava fields, visitors can imagine the intensity of past eruptions. You can also get a feeling for the power of the volcano at the Yunohira Observatory, which is the closest viewpoint to the crater. If you are lucky enough to witness an eruption, expect a dynamic display that may include a large plume of gray ash being launched thousands of meters into the sky and the smell of sulfur in the air.

If you prefer getting around on your own or in a small group, you can rent a powered bicycle at Hotel Rainbow Sakurajima or a mountain bike at Sakurajima Visitors Center. A full round trip of the volcano covers 36 kilometers and includes magnificent views of Kinko Bay, the Osumi Peninsula, Kaimondake, and of course the Sakurajima from different angles. There are shorter cycle routes close to the ferry terminal. Cycling is one of the best ways to see an eruption, and if you’re lucky, you may also see dolphins swimming in Kinko Bay while enjoying the sea breeze. At the halfway point of the round trip, make sure to stop by the almost-entirely buried shrine gate at Kurokami which shows the amount of lava ejected by the volcano during the major eruption in 1914.

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The volcanic soil of Sakurajima produces some special agricultural products. Sakurajima is home to an enormous radish, which can grow to 45 kilograms, and the world’s smallest peelable orange. Join a seasonal harvesting experience, and you will have the chance to interact with locals while finding out about the peculiar produce.

Whether you explore on foot, by bus or by bike, the best way to finish off a day exploring Sakurajima is by relaxing in a real volcanic hot spring. Stop by the Nagisa Park foot spa to enjoy views of Sakurajima while resting your weary feet before heading back to Kagoshima City.

Sakurajima offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with an active volcano. Its proximity to Kagoshima City makes it easily accessible, and the various activities and attractions on the island make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Don’t miss the chance to witness the spectacular eruptions, explore the barren beauty of the lava fields, and indulge in the local agricultural produce. Whether you choose to hike, cycle, or simply relax in the hot springs, Sakurajima promises an unforgettable experience that showcases the raw power and beauty of nature.

Address And Maps Location:

Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima-ken

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