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Sakurajima (桜島) is one of Japan's most active volcanoes and the symbol of Kagoshima. The volcano smokes constantly, and minor eruptions often take place multiple times per day. Located in the middle of Kagoshima Bay, Sakurajima is the area's most prominent geographic feature, having an elevation of 1117 meters and a circumference of about 50 kilometers.

Before a powerful eruption in 1914, Sakurajima used to be an island in the bay, but the massive lava flow from that eruption created the volcano's current land connection to the Osumi Peninsula in the east. For the majority of travelers, however, the volcano is still most easily accessed by the ferries that run the 3.5 kilometers between Kagoshima Port and the Sakurajima Ferry Terminal.

Sakurajima has three main peaks: Kita-dake ("north peak", 1117 meters), Naka-dake ("middle peak" 1060 meters) and Minami-dake ("southern peak", 1040 meters). The Minami-dake peak is currently the most active, with many eruptions taking place from the Showa Crater on the peak's eastern slope. It is prohibited to approach within two kilometers of the volcano's craters, but there are many observation points around Sakurajima where eruptions can be observed from about three kilometers away.

Travelers visiting Sakurajima can find many attractions just around the ferry terminal, including an onsen, foot baths, short hiking trails and an information center. Those who would like to further explore the volcano should travel by rental car, which can be taken across the water from Kagoshima by the ferries. Sightseeing buses, regular buses and rental bicycles are other possible methods of travel.

Around the ferry terminal

Nagisa Lava Trail

Nagisa Park Foot Bath

Sakurajima Visitor Center

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Admission: Free
Closed: No closing days

Magma Onsen

Daytime hours: 10:00 to 22:00
Daytime admission: 390 yen
Closed: No closing days

Dinosaur Park

Elsewhere around Sakurajima

Yunohira Observation Point

Kurokami Shrine Gate

Kurokami Observation Point

Arimura Observation Point

Getting there and around

How to get to Sakurajima

Central Kagoshima and Sakurajima are connected around the clock by frequent ferries. The one way ride takes 15 minute and costs 200 yen. The ferry terminal is a ten minute walk from JR Kagoshima Station or a five minute walk from the Suizokukan-guchi tram stop, and is also served by the City View Buses.

Cars can be taken onto the Sakurajima ferry and cost 1400 yen one way for 3-4 meter long cars or 1950 yen one way for 4-5 meter long cars. Those trying to avoid the ferry will need to make a 90 minute detour to reach the southeastern end of the Sakurajima peninsula via land (slightly faster if using the expressway).

How to get around Sakurajima

By far the easiest way to travel around Sakurajima is by rental car. Driving once around the coast of Sakurajima takes about an hour. Car rental outlets can be found in the city center and at Kagoshima Airport.

It is also possible to travel around Sakurajima by public transportation. There is a loop bus for tourists, the Sakurajima Island View Bus, that operates every 30 minutes from the ferry terminal to the Yunohira observation point and back. The fare depends on the distance traveled or is 500 yen for a 1-day pass.

Lastly, there are regular city buses that run roughly hourly from the ferry terminal along the northern coast and along the western coast of Sakurajima; however, they do not make the entire loop around the peninsula. To access the Kurokami area, a transfer of buses is required along the way, with connections only every 2-3 hours.

How to get to and around Kagoshima

Hotels around Kagoshima

Top rated in Kagoshima
Budget:
    • SHIROYAMA HOTEL kagoshima
      Luxury
      Featuring an open-air natural hot spring bath overlooking Sakurajima Volcano and the sea, SHIROYAMA HOTEL kagoshima offers a spa centre, 7 dining options and a concierge. Rooms have free wired internet. Some rooms come with a view of Sakurajima volcano and Kinko-wan Bay. All are equipped with an LCD TV with satellite channels, a fridge and a safe. The spa at SHIROYAMA HOTEL kagoshima offers a mist sauna, a flower bath and massage treatments. Guests can also enjoy karaoke and shopping. Restaurant Le Ciel offers panoramic city views and Western food, while other restaurants serve Japanese and Chinese specialities. Castle Park houses its own bakery and brewery. A free bus circulates between SHIROYAMA HOTEL kagoshima, JR Kagoshima Chuo Station and downtown area Tenmonkan, both a 10-minute drive away.
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    • Sheraton Kagoshima
      Luxury
      Sheraton Kagoshima has a fitness centre, garden, a terrace and restaurant in Kagoshima. This 5-star hotel offers a business centre and a concierge service. The accommodation offers room service, a 24-hour front desk and currency exchange for guests. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a coffee machine, a fridge, a minibar, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. Sheraton Kagoshima features some units with city views, and all rooms have a kettle. At the accommodation all rooms include bed linen and towels. A buffet breakfast is available every morning at Sheraton Kagoshima. Spa and wellness facilities including a sauna and a hot spring bath are at guests' disposal during their stay at the hotel. Guests at Sheraton Kagoshima will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kagoshima, like hiking and fishing. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Kagoshima Chuo Station, Museum of the Meiji Restoration and St. Xavier Church. The nearest airport is Kagoshima Airport, 39 km from Sheraton Kagoshima.
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    • FAV HOTEL KAGOSHIMACHUO
      Luxury
      FAV HOTEL KAGOSHIMACHUO is set in Kagoshima, within 2.9 km of Kagoshima Station and 1.3 km of Terukuni Shrine. Featuring a terrace, the 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The hotel has family rooms. All guest rooms at the hotel come with a flat-screen TV and a kitchenette. At FAV HOTEL KAGOSHIMACHUO the rooms come with bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Kagoshima Chuo Station, Museum of the Meiji Restoration and St. Xavier Church. The nearest airport is Kagoshima Airport, 38 km from FAV HOTEL KAGOSHIMACHUO.
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    • Gracias
      Budget-friendly
      Gracias is a self-catering accommodation located in Kagoshima, just a 5-minute walk from the ferry terminals offering high speed boats and ferries to Yakushima and Sakurajima. Air-conditioned apartments are fitted with a flat-screen TV, a balcony and a full kitchen with a microwave, a refrigerator and a stovetop. Private bathrooms are equipped with a hairdryer, a bath and slippers. Each apartment also comes with a view of Sakurajima. Gracias Apartment is within a 2-minute walk from the nearest convenience store, a cafe and a restaurant, while JR Kagoshima Station is a 15-minute walk away. Kagoshimachuo Station is a 20-minute tram ride away, while Kagoshima Airport is located 28 km away. No meals are served on site.
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    • Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Kagoshima
      Luxury
      Opened in 2012, Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Kagoshima is just a 2-minute walk from JR Kagoshima-Chuo Train Station and features a French restaurant and massage services. Its modern rooms impress with a 4-star decor and a spacious shower room with a bathtub. Free WiFi is available throughout the premises. Polished wood panelling, soft lights and plush carpets await guests in the rooms at Kagoshima Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel. Each room has an LCD TV with channels including CNN and China Central Television (CCTV), a fridge and an electric kettle with green tea, and the bathing area and toilet are separated for improved hygiene. Some rooms have views of Sakurajima volcano. The hotel is a 5-minute drive from the Ishin Furusato-kan Museum, which focuses on the Meiji Restoration. Sengan-en Japanese Garden is 6 km away. A free-use internet PC can be found at the lobby, and the 24-hour front desk offers laptops to guests at a surcharge. A coin launderette is available for use. A Japanese/Western breakfast is served for an extra fee at Kuwahara Restaurant, where French course lunches and dinners can also be enjoyed.
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    • Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan PREMIER - former Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan
      Luxury
      Featuring 4-star accommodation, Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan PREMIER - former Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan is situated in Kagoshima, 1.8 km from Kagoshima Chuo Station and 2 km from Kagoshima Station. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Minato Odori Park is 1.1 km away and Kagoshima City Museum of Art is less than 1 km from the hotel. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a shower. At Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan PREMIER - former Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan the rooms include bed linen and towels. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan PREMIER - former Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan include Museum of the Meiji Restoration, St. Xavier Church and Terukuni Shrine. The nearest airport is Kagoshima Airport, 38 km from the hotel.
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    • Hotel Gran Cerezo Kagoshima
      Mid-range
      Featuring an on-site bar and public baths, Hotel Gran Cerezo Kagoshima offers free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available on site. Kagoshima Chuo Station is a 7-minute tram ride. All air-conditioned rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV and electric kettle. Amenities include toothbrushes, pajamas, refrigerator and desk. Featuring views of Sakurajima Island, an on-site restaurant Kizuna serves Japanese and Western-style dishes prepared with local produces. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk that offers free luggage storage. The entire property is non-smoking and guests can smoke in the designated smoking area. For guests' convenience, a drinks vending machine is provided. Tenmonkan Park is a 7-minute stroll away from Hotel Gran Cerezo Kagoshima and Water Front Park is situated a 10-minute drive away.
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    • Hostel Tomal
      Budget-friendly
      Hostel Tomal is located in Kagoshima, within less than 1 km of Terukuni Shrine and a 10-minute walk of St. Xavier Church. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is non-smoking and is set 2.6 km from Kagoshima Chuo Station. All rooms have a shared bathroom fitted with a shower and a hairdryer, while selected rooms also offer a kitchen equipped with a fridge. Popular points of interest near the hostel include Kagoshima Station, Minato Odori Park and Kagoshima City Museum of Art. The nearest airport is Kagoshima Airport, 39 km from Hostel Tomal.
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    • Apartment Hotel Ecott
      Mid-range
      Situated 9.1 km from Kagoshima Chuo Station, Apartment Hotel Ecott offers accommodation with a balcony. This 3-star aparthotel offers a lift and full-day security. There is a terrace and guests can make use of free WiFi, free private parking and an electric vehicle charging station. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen with a dining area, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet, slippers and a hair dryer. A microwave, a fridge and stovetop are also available, as well as a kettle. All units have a desk. A bicycle rental service is available at the aparthotel. Kagoshima Station is 10 km from Apartment Hotel Ecott, while Kagoshima Municipal Science Hall is 6.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Kagoshima Airport, 49 km from the accommodation.
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    • Henn na Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan
      Luxury
      Featuring 4-star accommodation, Henn na Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan is situated in Kagoshima, 1.7 km from Kagoshima Chuo Station and 1.8 km from Kagoshima Station. The property is located 1.1 km from Museum of the Meiji Restoration, less than 1 km from Kagoshima City Museum of Art and a 15-minute walk from Reimeikan. The hotel has a sauna, a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. Popular points of interest near Henn na Hotel Kagoshima Tenmonkan include St. Xavier Church, Terukuni Shrine and Minato Odori Park. The nearest airport is Kagoshima Airport, 38 km from the accommodation.
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