Introduction

Kagoshima prefecture has a population of 1.6 million people, out of which roughly 0.5% are of foreign nationality.

The prefecture’s capital is Kagoshima City with around 600,000 inhabitants.

There are direct flights from Narita and Kansai airport to Kagoshima Airport (Narita: 2h/ Kansai: 70 minutes), as well as to Amami Airport (Narita: 2.5h/ Kansai: 75 minutes).
From Kansai Airport, you can also take a Shinkansen via Shin-Osaka station to Kagoshima, which takes around 5 hours.

Fireworks in Magurazaki
Fireworks in Magurazaki

Living in Kagoshima

Kagoshima is the southernmost prefecture of Kyushu and relatively warm throughout the whole year. Several smaller and bigger islands belong to the prefecture that is actually closer to Okinawa than to Kagoshima mainland.
Sakurajima is a unique place within the prefecture. The island was born 26,000 years ago and the volcano is still very active.

5,000 people live on the small island in front of Kagoshima City and both islands, as well as Kagoshima City inhabitants, are used to the volcano occasionally throwing out ash.

Tourists can enjoy one of the several hot springs the island has to offer or even get close to the lava flows.

Points of Interest

Yakushima

Yakushima, an island not far from the mainland, is a registered UNESCO Heritage Site and was the role model for the forest of the famous anime Princess Mononoke. 90% of the island is covered in a completely unspoiled forest, and some of the trees can be traced back to the Jomon period, being over 2,000 years old. The island offers great hiking trails but hikers are advised to bring a rain jacket as Yakushima’s rainfall rate is one of the highest in the world.

Check out our blogger’s complete guide of Yakushima here!

Forest on Yakushima
Forest on Yakushima

Amami Island

The Amami island is an archipelago between Kagoshima mainland and Okinawa. The islands offer beautiful sand beaches, clear blue water, and unique flora and fauna. The islands are home to some species that can only be found there and it is a popular whale-watching spot. The economy there is based on sugar cane agriculture and the distillation of brown sugar shochu.

Tanegashima

Tanegashima is home to the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center, where you will find Japan’s largest rocket-firing site.

Ibusuki hot springs

Ibusuki hot springs are famous for their Sunamushi Onsen, where you get buried into hot black sand and Onsentamarandon, a rice bowl dish with an egg that got cooked at hot spring temperature.

Sakurajima

Sakurajima view from Sengan-en Park
Sakurajima view from Sengan-en Park

Sakurajima produces the world’s biggest radish according to the World Guinness Record and can be found there accordingly in many dishes, as well as sweet potato and okra.

Local foods in Kagoshima

Kagoshima is known for swine breeding, particularly the Kagoshima Black Pig race.

Tea production is another agricultural sector, accounting for up to 30% of the nation’s total tea production.

Mamekanten, a dessert made of agar, beans, and fruits, is a local summer dish. Production of sweet potato shochu is thriving and Kagoshima is, in fact, Japan’s largest expenditure of shochu.

Sengan-en Park in Kagoshima City
Sengan-en Park

Average living expenses

The average rent for a one-room apartment in Kagoshima City is around 43.000 Yen monthly.

Living expenses in total including electricity, internet, mobile phone, food, and entertainment should be calculated with roughly 90.000 to 160.000 Yen monthly.

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