Sakurajima, an active volcano located about 4 km across the sea from downtown Kagoshima City, is the symbol of life in Kagoshima. About 4,000 people live on Sakurajima, which you can reach on a 15-minute ferry ride. Near the harbor, there is a small volcano museum and a visitor center where you can rent a sports bicycle and challenge yourself to ride around Sakurajima’s 36-km circumference.

Sakurajima Island View, a hop-on hop-off bus that departs from and arrives at Sakurajima Port and stops at all the main attractions, is also a convenient way to get around. You can get on and off where you like. (Buses run every 30 minutes. The full circuit takes about 55 minutes. One-day pass: ¥500) There are several lookout points on Sakurajima. The highest of these is Yunohira Observatory, which affords visitors with a 360-degree panoramic view.

The Arimura Lava Observatory, located in the middle of a 1 km-long lava trail, is close to the crater, and on some days, you can even hear and feel the rumbling of eruptions. At the Lava Nagisa Promenade near the harbor, there is a 100-meter-long footbath where you can experience natural hot spring water for free, so why not have a relaxing dip before heading home?

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