How to travel between Kagoshima and Tokyo
Tokyo and Kagoshima are connected with each other by the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen. One transfer of trains is required along the way, typically at Shin-Osaka or Hakata Station. The one way trip takes about seven hours and costs around 30,000 yen. Japan Rail Pass holders will require an additional hour, because they cannot use the faster Nozomi and Mizuho trains, and have to use Hikari and Sakura trains instead.
JAL, ANA, Skymark and Solaseed are operating frequent flights between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Kagoshima Airport, while Jetstar connects Kagoshima with Narita Airport. Flight time is around two hours. The regular one way fares by JAL and ANA are around 44,000 yen, while discount tickets are usually available for between 11,000 and 29,000 yen. The fares by Solaseed Air are roughly 15 percent lower than the ones of JAL and ANA, while the fares by Skymark Airlines and Jetstar are even cheaper.
Kagoshima Airport is a 40-60 minute bus ride outside of the city center. The one way fare between the airport and various stops in the city center is 1250 yen. Many rental car outlets are located at Kagoshima Airport.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
Kagoshima's main train station is Kagoshima Chuo Station (formerly known as Nishi Kagoshima Station), while Kagoshima Station is a smaller station on the opposite side of the city center. There are two tram lines which serve both railway stations and provide quick and convenient service in the downtown area. One ride costs 170 yen regardless of the distance traveled.
Kagoshima also has an extensive bus network, providing access to sites that are not served by trains or trams. The City View Buses connect Kagoshima's most popular sightseeing spots and are particularly useful for tourists. There are three lines, which all begin at Kagoshima Chuo Station and pass by sites such as Senganen Garden, Shiroyama Park and the ferry terminal to Sakurajima. A single ride costs 190 yen, while a pass for unlimited rides on one calendar day is available for 600 yen.
The Welcome Cute pass is a pass for exclusive use by foreign tourists (passport required at the time of purchase) on trams, the City View Bus, the Sakurajima Island View Bus, other city operated buses and the Sakurajima Ferry on one or two consecutive calendar days. The 1-day pass costs 1200 yen, while the 2-day pass costs 1800 yen. The pass also includes discounts at some tourist facilities.
There are also a few sightseeing bus tours offered that take 3-6 hours to explore Kagoshima City, Sakurajima or both for around 2500 to 4000 yen. Tour guides in the buses give explanations in Japanese.
Kagoshima Airport is located quite far outside the city center, and is most easily accessed by airport buses that stops at a number of locations within the city, including Kagoshima Chuo Station and the high speed ferry terminal (高速船ターミナル, 1-2 buses per hour). The one way ride takes about an hour and costs 1250 yen.
There are four separate ferry terminals across the Kagoshima Port area for ferries leaving to nearby and faraway destinations (see map above): Shuttle buses operate every 15 minutes between Kagoshima Chuo Station and the terminals for ferries to Sakurajima and Yakushima (15 minutes, 160 yen one way). Ferries for Okinawa can be reached by the "Port Liner" bus which connects Kagoshima Chuo Station with Kagoshima New Port (20 minutes, 160 yen one way) once per day, timed to the ferries' departures and arrivals. All of the above mentioned buses also stop at Tenmonkan in the city center along the way.