Kagoshima (鹿児島) is a large city in southern Kyushu surrounded by exceptional scenery and often called the “Naples of the Orient”. While there is not loads to do here, it is a nice stop off with a few places to check out.

Budget travel tips

  • Spend a cheap night here before going off to the islands, such as Yakushima.
  • Budget airlines such as Jetstar and Peach now service this city, and prices can be better than buses or trains.

Things to do

Sengan-en (仙巌園)

A wonderful example of traditional Japanese gardens, made in 1659 as a villa for a feudal lord. Take a bus from Kagoshima-Chuo station.

Cost: 1000 yen (including museum)

Open:  8:30–17:30

Mt. Sakurajima (桜島)

The iconic mountain of the city, this is actually an active volcano still emitting smoke. Various walks and hot springs around the peninsula. Take a ferry from Kagoshima Port.


Take a relaxing walk along the promenade at Kita Wharf, watching the ferries and walking along the beaches. Located in the waterfront zone in the city. Also includes a free hot spring.

How to get here

With a Japan Rail Pass or Kyushu Rail Pass

Take the Shinkansen to Kagoshima-Chuo station.

Without a rail pass

If coming from outside Kyushu, it’s best to fly. There are buses from Osaka (Kintetsu Bus), but it is cheaper to fly. If coming from another city in Kyushu, take a local/express train or bus. The SUNQ bus pass can also be used to Kagoshima.


Hostels and cheap hotels

Green Guesthouse

A reasonable hostel with various types of Japanese and Western style rooms. Roof has great views over the city and of Sakurajima. Check prices at Booking.com

Kagoshima Little Asia Guest House

Another nice guesthouse, this one is only a few minutes walk from Kagoshima-Chuo station. Lots of free things, like wifi and bicycles. Check prices at Booking.com.

More at Booking.com


Kagoshima Travel Guide

Kagoshima City Official Website

Published by Matthew Baxter

Matthew Baxter is a British travel author who lived in New Zealand and Japan for many years. Having traveled across these countries, without much money, he has built up an extensive knowledge of budget travel, and also worked at many leading tourism companies in both countries. He also writes professionally for several websites and publications, such as the GaijinPot, All About and the Japan National Tourist Association. Those heading to Taiwan should check out his new site, Taiwanna Travel.