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Come to Kagoshima! Three little-known Kagoshima prefecture places that everyone should know about

Kagoshima is a prefecture with a relatively large area located on the southernmost tip of the island of Honshu. It is also known by its historical name, “Satsuma.” There are many places with a historical feel in the prefecture.
The most well known tourist hot spot is Sakurajima, and many people are likely to think of it first when tourism in Kagoshima comes to mind. The likes of Kaimondake volcano and Cape Sata are also quite famous. In addition to Kagoshima being part of Honshu, it also includes the isolated islands of Yakushima, Amami Oshima, and Tokunoshima.
There are many sights to see, and in one visit it is only possible to see a small portion of what the prefecture has to offer. Of course it is always good to go around to the famous places, but this guide will cover some amazing little-known spots that are only famous among the locals.

1.Kirishima Shrine and area

First on the list is Kirishima. Kirishima is a city with plentiful nature in the northern part of Kagoshima. Legends have been set there since ancient times, and a mysterious atmosphere surrounds the place.
A big recommendation for visiting Kirishima is to go to Kirishima Shrine. Its history is quite long, having been built in the sixth century. The shrine worships Ninigi no Mikoto, a Japanese god that appears in the oldest historical texts of Japan, “Records of Ancient Matters” and “Nihon-shoki.” The shrine is quite formal. It has come to be known as a power spot in recent years, so many people from all over the country visit to receive power.
The shrine grounds are full of blooming cherry blossoms in the spring. Also, in the fall the colors of the leaves are beautiful, as many locals will tell you. There is another shrine in Kirishima, called Kagoshima Shrine, as well. Its main shrine is one of the largest in Japan, and it has been registered as a famous prefectural cultural property. People come from all over the country to look at the elegant railway station nearby which is sure to impress any train buff. This station has recently become famous for the fact that adorable cats have become tourist ambassadors for it. Feel free to go there and meet them for yourself!

2.The two waterfalls on the Osumi Peninsula, Okawa no Taki and Kamikawa Otaki

The second place on the list is found on the Osumi Peninsula.
Osumi Peninsula is on the southernmost tip of Honshu, on Cape Sata. There are no other famous locations in the area other than Cape Sata, but there are two amazing places that are well known by the local people. These spots are the two waterfalls, Okawa no Taki and Kamikawa Otaki. Okawa no Taki is a mysterious waterfall that is 60 meters wide and has an emerald green plunge basin. Kamikawa Otaki is a waterfall with a lot of water volume and force. There is a roadside station in the area which of course sells local souvenirs and specialties, but also has a foot bath to help relieve fatigue. It has gathered fame as a place to look out at Sakurajima while your feet are submerged in a nice bath.

3.Tokara Islands

The third place on this list is not on the island of Honshu; it is actually a group of isolated islands. Yakushima and Tanegashima are world famous islands, but the Tokara Islands are also quite recommended. There are about 10 islands in the sea in between Yakushima and Amami Oshima; those make up “Japan’s last unexplored region,” the Tokara Islands. The nature on the islands has not been disturbed, and still remains. The islands are surrounded by nature, and there are not many man-made things to see. Being surrounded by the beautiful sea and nature really makes you feel as though while you are still visiting Japan, you are visiting a island country in the far-south.

Top image:霧島神宮

This post is also available in: Japanese

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