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Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/26 08:45
What are some good suggestions for rainy days in southern Kyushu (Kagoshima/Miyazaki).

I thought Ibusuki and the sand baths looked like a good option.
Would Takachiho possibly be enhanced by light rain?
Any other outdoor places that could still be nice (or enhanced) by some rain?

I know museums and indoor attractions are obvious choices. Are there any particularly interesting/worthwhile ones?
by Asker (guest)  

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/26 13:37
What about a good soak in on onsen?
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/26 13:38
My knowledge of these two prefectures is a bit spotty compared to other locations, but here is a go...

Chiran: there seems to be a nice Samurai district and important museum to do with Kamizake Pilots here

Izumi: This is one of the nicer Samurai towns in Kyushu - with a reasonable amount to see....

Obi Castle Town - there is quite a bit to see here. One of the better castle towns in Japan that does not have easy train access. Thus - it's set up for tourists when you get there but really need a car for ease of access

Miyazaki has a couple of museums which are ok for a more wetter day. Having a car helps in this part of Japan.

Note that I find that Takachiho is better when not raining. The shrines are a bit more rural and would be quite soggy than normal shrines. The rowing boat at Takachiho was also one of my highlights in Kyushu which will probably not run when there is a lot of rain due to potential flash flooding.

by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/26 16:53
Many of the places mentioned are ones I want to see, but are they good in the rain?

The samurai residences around the Kamikaze Pilot Museum are famous for their gardens, right? Do you think the rain would not ruin it too much?
I suppose the same goes for the other samurai and castle towns... I like those kinds of sites, but rain can put a damper on them.

Thanks for the heads up on Takachiho. It seemed like the kind of place that could look misty and pretty in the rain, but good to know it's not a good idea.

Would Kirishima Shrine and/or Tatsumonjisaka (i) be better options or also just a mess?

I'm trying to avoid having any wasted days in hopes of doing/seeing something at least somewhat impressive each day. Rain is of course annoying anywhere, but some places have one or two really good options that doesn't seem to be the case for Kagoshima and Miyazaki.
by Asker (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/26 17:12
The main thing about castle towns and sumurai residences is that there is normally lots of buildings you visit where you can go inside if it's raining. I like visit old towns on slightly drizzly days - but that's me. Note that I have not visited Chiran (yet) but have visited the other sites mentioned. Goto my main page (click on my name) and there will be pages on each site somewhere in my 200+ posts. I have not visited Kagoshima in depth yet but found Kirishima Shrine soso. The Open Air Museum was good - but is better in nice or cloudy weather.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/27 04:35
Chilean museum is fine in the rain. A couple of hours of interesting stuff.
by Winter Visitor (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/27 04:36
That should have read Chiran
Damn autocorrect!
by Winter Visitor (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/27 05:08
I donft plan specifically for rainy days, unless it is the rain season (June/July) which I try to avoid. But rain happens sometimes, so I always carry a poncho. I watch the weather forecast and rearrange plans such that mostly indoor activities (museum and such) fall on rainy days. Otherwise, rain can sometimes bring out unexpected beauty on sceneries that you didnft expect. I was hiking the Kumano-Kodo trail and it rained one day. I was initially disappointed because that was the day I planned to visit the waterfall and I wanted to snap a selfie at the pagoda with the waterfall in the background. I did not get that shot, because you could not see the waterfall from pagoda. Instead, I got a shot with a foggy shrine which gave a very mysterious look, and I thank the rain for that. It reminds me of that old adage about what to do when life serves you a lemon...
by drinklemonade (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/27 16:51
I am very sorry to disappoint you, but Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures are nice only when it is fine, ie. when the sun shines and the sky is clear. In rainy days, you have nowhere to go and see. So I advise you not to come in rainy season to these prefectures. When, during your stay, unfortunately it happens to rain, accept the unlucky situation as it is. As these prefectures are in the semi-tropical and mountain regions, they are charming from December to April, and, I repeat to say, when it is fine with a nice visibility. I donft deny rainy and mysterious atmosphere in general, but you canft find it here (except in Yakushima island). There are no old Buddhist temples like in Kyoto and Nara and other prefectures, because all ancient Buddhist temples were destroyed in the beginning of Meiji era (in 1870s) as the government policy, and Kagoshima (Satsuma) did it far more completely than other regions. Certainly, there are a few famous shinto shrines such as Kirishima Jingu, Udo Jingu, Miyazaki Jingu, but that are not worth taking the trouble to visit in the rain.

Do you think I exagerate? Believe me, I am a resident of Kagoshima city since more than forty years, and I have been to lots of places not only in these two prefectures, but in the whole Kyusyu and Honsyu. In general, in Kyusyu, there is few places that are attractive when it rains. There are always of course some exceptions...

By the way, do you mean Takachiho gorge by Takachiho? Takachiho gorge is situated certainly in Miyazaki prefecture, but in the northern part of the prefecture, almost next to Oita prefecture, so you canft consider it to be in the same region as Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefecture region in general. However, I recommend the view over Takachiho town and its basin from the hill-top called Kunimigaoka.
See these pages:

by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/27 17:22
Which month are you traveling? This question is often one of the most important in Japan due to it's pronounced change in seasons. If you travel in late summer/early autumn, also plan for the possibility of typhoons. That means staying in your hotel and not so much other options.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/4/27 20:24
These replies seem to be getting gloomier and gloomier...

I have only been to Kagoshima a few times, and never to Miyazaki, and I don't have any particularly brilliant suggestions, but if you already have plans to visit this part of Japan I wouldn't just cancel them. For one thing, it might NOT rain!

All of my visits to Kagoshima have been in June, for a total of around 8 days, and it only rained on a couple of those days, and in both cases not all day. The day it rained hardest I had plans to go to Healthy Land Spa in Ibusuki via the Ibusuki no Tamatebako tourist train. I decided to go despite the gloomy forecast, and it was definitely worthwhile, although I have to say it would have been better in a lighter rain (it poured buckets most of the time I was there). The train was a lot of fun anyway, and the rotenburo was phenomenal. (They also have a sand bath but I didn't try it.) The main difficulty I had was walking from Healthy Land to the bus stop during a period when it was really pouring, but even that ended up being okay (I had a fairly good umbrella, and it served me very well). Anyway, it was one of the best outdoor soaks I have ever had. (I even had the bath to myself for part of the time.) So I would say this is something you could do, possibly in conjunction with other things in that area. You really have to do your research regarding transit (in particular buses, but they are actually pretty workable), and if you want to take the Ibusuki no Tamatebako you should get seat reservations in advance. (Worst case you could take a local train, but they stop a lot and aren't as cute.) Also read the Healthy Land pages in detail, noting closure days for their various facilities.

For a rainy day that is not too stormy (as in high winds and excessive amounts of rain, which could possibly disrupt train transit and leave you stranded for many hours someplace in the middle of nowhere), consider recreational train riding. The JR Kyushu Special Trains that run between Kagoshima Chuo and Kumamoto (Hayato no Kaze, Isaburo-Shinpei, Kawasemi/Yamasemi) can make for a memorable day, and although the visibility will be diminished by clouds and mist, the scenery is still stunning, the trains are very cool, there are some very neat old train stations, and there are some nice bentos for sale along the way. I have done this route twice (once in each direction) and highly recommend it. But you really have to do your research as far as schedules go. And reserve seats. (Of course, if you are leaving this as a fallback only for a rainy day, it might not be possible to get them at the last minute.) The JR Kyushu Special Trains page is a starting point: If you are in Kagoshima, maybe you could go to the Tourist Information Center in the Kagoshima Chuo train station and see if they will help you plan this trip. (They can also suggest other rainy day activities.)

Two other possibilities for Kagoshima City are the aquarium and the Tenmonkan covered shopping arcade. The arcade is nothing terribly special but you can poke around there for a couple of hours and have a meal there, and it is protected from the rain, at least.

Of course, the train riding suggestions will be more appealing if you have a rail pass. Trains can get pretty expensive otherwise. But as far as I'm concerned, the fact that "rain happens" is one of the reasons why it's worth buying a rail pass even if you "do the math" and come up with individual tickets for your planned travel being a little bit cheaper than a pass.
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/5/7 12:07
Thanks for the suggestions. Actually, this was not a hypothetical rainy day situation. It was during Golden Week, so I knew the forecast. Since the trip is complete, I thought I'd share what I did on the rainy days for anyone who finds this question in the future.

-Ibusuki: As I thought, Ibusuki was a decent rainy day option. The sand baths are done under an awning instead of in the sunlight with the umbrellas like many pictures depict, but nothing about it is different.

-Kirishima Shrine: I think this is a good rainy day choice. The shrine is not that far from the bus stop, there are a lot of trees, and it definitely can give some atmosphere to the shrine.

-Miyazaki City Sites (Heiwa Park, Miyazaki Shrine, Prefectural Museum, etc): Heiwa Park is definitely better for good weather if you have the option. Miyazaki Shrine (and of course the museum) were nice in the rain.

-Takachiho: I ended up having to go in the rain. It was a light rain and I found Takachiho to actually be quite good in the rain, especially the Amano Iwate Shrine area. The boats in the gorge do still run when it rains, so you just have to decide if it's worth it in the rain (During Golden Week, rainy days can be better for the boats in terms of the hours you have to wait). I decided to forego the boats. Perhaps another trip when the weather is better and it's not Golden Week.

Overall, though, I found it to be true what I suspected and what others also attested to that it's not a great region for planning rainy day travel, but there are still good options.

Hopefully this can be useful to anyone who may stumble across it through a search in the future.
by Asker (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/5/7 20:35
Hi Asker,

Is there any specific highlights or things you would highly recommend in Kagoshima?

The reason I ask is I'm visiting in Dec/Jan and any other feedback will help with my itinerary...

I've only visited Izumi + the shrine you mentioned. I visited during New Years, thus I waited 90 minutes to get a car park and there was no place to turn around because of the roads in the local area. I guess that's why I did not enjoy it that much (the shrine)
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/5/13 12:01
The short walk/hike around Aira (from Kajiki Station) to Ryumon Falls and a small (but sort of famous) portion of an old pilgrimage route was nice.

The "Southernmost train station" is a little gimicky, but it's near the flower garden and Cape Nagasakibana (again, especially accessible with a car), so it's a common place to visit while in Ibusuki experiencing the sand baths.

Sakurajima has lots of lookouts and the torii gate covered by a former eruption is definitely an interesting site. I guess overall, the sites listed on japan-guide are all pretty nice. The Chiran Tokko Museum was well worth it (Definitely get the audio guide if you don't know Japanese. There is very little English on the actual exhibits, certainly not enough to make it meaningful) and the samurai district there is nice.

There is an isolated open air art museum in the Kirishima area that looked interesting.

But I think if you have a car, the opposite side of the prefecture (the former Osumi Province area) looks more interesting, both for photography and for possibly impressive sites. If I had more time, I would have looked into it. Some of the sites there look quite intriguing:

Of course beyond that, Yakushima is an obvious choice and there are lots of other less famous islands that seemed interesting, but my trip was only to the mainland, concentrated on places easily accessible from Kagoshima City since it was my first time and only half the trip was in Kagoshima.
by Asker (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/5/13 14:59
i cant understand why LikeBike's suggestion was so ignored! Kyushu is all about Onsen. There are hundreds of it, in all kinds of variation with many different water and shapes. All perfectly suited for rainy weather. So why dont make a few days just Onsen bathing?
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Kagoshima/Miyazaki Rainy Day Plans 2019/5/15 11:39
Glimpigumpi, I didn't ignore any suggestions. I considered onsen, but I preferred to see and do things. Also, none of the famous Kyushu onsen are in Kagoshima or Miyazaki (aside from the sand baths which I did), so it just didn't seem very interesting or worthwhile. If it were an Oita or Saga trip, I would definitely have considered onsen more.
Anyway, this was my trip, it's finished, and I enjoyed it. Please do not be upset over choices that I am satisfied with. Onsen can be good choices for rainy days. Nobody said it was a bad suggestion. It just wasn't what I wanted for this trip.
by Asker (guest) rate this post as useful

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