Sakurajima is an active composite volcano located in Kagoshima Bay. It is a symbol of Kagoshima, and part of Kirishima-Yaku National Park. The volcano began to form around 26,000 years ago, and it has had 17 major eruptions. Sakurajima used to be an island, as its name suggests (shima means island), but the lava flow from the 1914 eruption filled the strait between Sakurajima and the mainland, connecting it to the Osumi Peninsula. Even in the present day, Sakurajima has small-scale eruptions nearly daily.
However, many people live on Sakurajima. It is said that volcanoes are a source of blessings, including delicious crops and hot springs that relieve people’s fatigue.
The smoke that Sakurajima spews is powerful and entrancing, making it a popular attraction.
Travel to Sakurajima from the city center of Kagoshima is easy, being just a 15-minute ferry ride away. The ferries travel from Kagoshima Port to Sakurajima Port. The view from the ferries is also spectacular: you can see the smoke rising from Sakurajima, the streets of Kagoshima, and if you are lucky, you can sometimes see dolphins swimming as well! (Ferry fare: Adults 200 yen, children 100 yen)
Showa Volcanic Area Observatory
There are many observatory areas on Sakurajima with great views, but we recommend the “Showa Volcanic Area Observatory” and its “Kurokami View Spot.” This observatory overlooks the Showa Crater, which has erupted frequently since 2006.
(Showa Volcanic Area Observatory Address: Kurokami Town, Kagoshima City)
For those who wish to experience the mountain that is right before their eyes, we recommend the “Yunohira Observatory.” It features the closest location that people can reach to the vents of Sakurajima.
(Yunohira Observatory Address: 1025 Koike-cho, Sakurajima, Kagoshima Prefecture)
Sakurajima Yogan Nagisa Park
You can also enjoy hot footbaths at Sakurajima Yogan Nagisa Park, free of charge. Spanning a length of 100 meters, it is Japan’s largest footbath. It is sure to relieve and heal your tired feet after walking around!
(Sakurajima Yogan Nagisa Park Address: 1722-3 Yokoyama-cho, Sakurajima, Kagoshima Prefecture)
Basic information on Sakurajima
- Sakurajima, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima
- 15 minutes by ferry from Kagoshima Port
- 099-245-2550 (Office of Minna no Sakurajima Council)