Kagoshima, Japan - Home of Mount Sakurajima

  • 01 of 12

    Dormant Volcano Near Kagoshima, Japan

    Dormant Volcano Near Kagoshima, Japan
    ••• Dormant Volcano Near Kagoshima, Japan. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Kagoshima, a city on the southern end of Kyushu, is dominated by Mount Sakurajima, a very active volcano located on a peninsula across the bay from the city. The Seven Seas Voyager had a day in Kagoshima, and we chose to do a tour that included Sengan-en (Iso Garden) and Mount Sakurajima.

    Our day in Kagoshima was very rainy, so we did not see as much of the gardens as we would have liked. What we did see was lovely, and the formal Japanese gardens reminded me of those we had seen at Shimonoseki. Sengan-en was the summer home of the Shimadzu clan, a family that controlled Kagoshima for over 700 years, so the site also had some historical family residences and museum pieces.

    The highlight of the day was the time we spent near Mount Sakurajima, a volcano that frequently spews ash and smoke over the city. Farmers grow the world's largest radishes and some of the world's smallest oranges in the area around the volcano, adding to its mystique. We didn't let the rain ruin our day in...MORE Kagoshima!

    As we sailed to Kagoshima, we passed by this dormant volcano. At first we thought it was the active volcano Mount Sakurajima, but this one is further south.

    This volcano demonstrates a traditional cone-shaped structure often seen in volcanoes.

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  • 02 of 12

    Cherry Blossoms at the Sengan-en Gardens in Kagoshima, Japan

    Cherry Blossoms at the Sengan-en Gardens in Kagoshima, Japan
    ••• Things to See in Kagoshima, Japan Cherry Blossoms at the Sengan-en Gardens in Kagoshima, Japan. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Although April is when the majority of cherry blossoms brighten up Japan, these cherry blossoms were blooming in late February.

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  • 03 of 12

    Sengan-en Garden in Kagoshima, Japan

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  • 04 of 12

    Sengan-en Garden in Kagoshima, Japan

    Sengan-en Garden in Kagoshima, Japan
    ••• Things to See in Kagoshima, Japan Sengan-en Garden in Kagoshima, Japan. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Sengan-en was the summer home of the Shimazu clan that ruled Kagoshima for over 700 years.

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  • 05 of 12

    Messages at Shrine in Sengan-en Garden - Kagoshima, Japan

    Messages at Shrine in Sengan-en Garden - Kagoshima, Japan
    ••• Things to See in Kagoshima, Japan Messages at Shrine in Sengan-en Garden - Kagoshima, Japan. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    These paper wishes adorn a shrine near Sengan-en Garden near Kagoshima, Japan.

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  • 06 of 12

    Ferry from Kagoshima to the Sakurajima Volcano

    Ferry from Kagoshima to the Sakurajima Volcano
    ••• Things to Do and See in Kagoshima, Japan Ferry from Kagoshima to the Sakurajima Volcano. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This ferry makes frequent trips between Kagoshima and the Sakurajima Volcano peninsula.

    The ferry is normally used for commuters, but is also an important part of the evacuation plan for if (when) Mount Sakurajima has a major eruption.

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  • 07 of 12

    Covered Sakurajima Fruit Tree Blossoms

    Covered Sakurajima Fruit Tree Blossoms
    ••• Things to See in Kagoshima, Japan Covered Sakurajima Fruit Tree Blossoms. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Blossoum on fruit trees are covered to protect the delicate blooms from the falling ash and small rocks that often erupt from Mount Sakurajima.

    The soil surrounding Mount Sakurajima grows some of the world's largest daikon radishes. These Sakurajima Mammoth Radishes sometimes grow to more than 100 pounds in Japan, but only about 15 pounds when grown elsewhere. Farmers also grow very tiny oranges, which must be a strange contradiction to the giant radishes.

    Most of the covered fruit trees we saw were loquats (Japanese plums).

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  • 08 of 12

    Sakurajima Culvert Used to Direct Lava Flow Away from Populated Areas

    Sakurajima Culvert Used to Direct Lava Flow Away from Populated Areas
    ••• Things to See in Kagoshima, Japan Sakurajima Culvert Used to Direct Lava Flow Away from Populated Areas. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This large culvert was not built to carry water away from Mount Sakurajima; it is designed to carry lava from the erupting volcano into the sea.

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  • 09 of 12

    Volcanic Lava Rocks on Sakurajima Volcano near Kagoshima, Japan

    Volcanic Lava Rocks on Sakurajima Volcano near Kagoshima, Japan
    ••• Things to See Near Kagoshima, Japan Volcanic Lava Rocks on Sakurajima Volcano near Kagoshima, Japan. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The presence of millions of volcanic rocks is a somber reminder of the power of Mount Sakurajima.

    Mount Sakurajima spews rocks and ash so frequently that school children are required to wear hard hats when out of doors. We passed by some small children walking home from school and were surprised to see them dressed in their helmets! The peninsula where Mount Sakurajima is located also has many sturdily built shelters along the roads. These are useful as bus stops and for shelter when the volcano erupts.

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  • 10 of 12

    Mount Sakurajima Volcano near Kagoshima, Japan

    Sakurajima Volcano near Kagoshima, Japan
    ••• Things to See in Kagoshima, Japan Sakurajima Volcano near Kagoshima, Japan. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Mount Sakurajima used to be on an island. After the eruption of the volcano in 1914, the gap with the mainland was closed, and now it is on a peninsula.

    It was a rainy day in February when we visited Kagoshima and Mount Sakurajima from the Seven Seas Voyager cruise ship. We never saw the summit of the volcano, but were told it smokes and smolders most of the time!

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  • 11 of 12

    View of the Tuna Farming in Kinko Bay near Mount Sakurajima and Kagoshima, Japan

    View of the Tuna Farming in Kinko Bay near Sakurajima and Kagoshima, Japan
    ••• Things to See in Kagoshima, Japan View of the Tuna Farming in Kinko Bay near Sakurajima and Kagoshima, Japan. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The bay near Kagoshima is filled with structures for farming tuna for sushi.

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  • 12 of 12

    Arimura Lava Observatory at Mount Sakurajima near Kagoshima, Japan

    Arimura Lava Observatory at Mount Sakurajima near Kagoshima, Japan
    ••• Things to See in Kagoshima, Japan Arimura Lava Observatory at Mount Sakurajima near Kagoshima, Japan. Kagoshima Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The Arimura Lava Observatory provides the closet view of Mount Sakurajima, a large active volcano that dominates Kagoshima.

    The park at the observatory has an interesting walking trail through the lava fields and the view of the lovely, peaceful bay is a sharp contrast to the smoldering volcano.