Kagoshima Prefecture is one of the Japan’s most famous prefectures for tourism, where many tourists visit from abroad as well as from all parts of Japan. On the vast land stretching 600 kilometers north and south in hot climate, there are various and rich natural environment; unique islands including Yakushima, which is on UNESCO’s World Natural Heritage list, and the Amami archipelago, Sakurajima and other volcanoes, affluent hot springs, and rich forests; traditional culture nurtured in the people’s daily life, such as characteristic festivities, folk performing arts, and traditional industrial arts; plentiful supply of food as black pork, black beef, black vinegar, black sugar, and Sh?ch? liquor. Thus, Kagoshima is gifted with the foundation also for an “advanced prefecture in life”.
The prefecture’s capital, Kogoshima City has developed and is appointed as the center city of Southern Kyushu. In March 2004, the super-express train, “Kyushu Shinkansen Tsubame” started its service between Kagoshima Chuo station and Shin-Yashiro station, making Hakata station in Fukuoka and Kagoshima City now connected in 130 minutes at the shortest. In the spring of 2011, the entire Kyushu Shinkansen Kagoshima route will be in service, and Hakata station and Kagoshima Chuo station will be connected in 80 minutes.
Kagoshima City (Sakurajima)
Kirishima was appointed to be the first national park of Japan. Consisting of 23 volcanoes including the highest mountain Karakuni-dake and the cradle of Japan in mythology, Takachiho peak, Kirishima is famous for beautiful natural scenery; the red surface of mountains colored with flowers of Rhododendron kiusianum in early summer, the contrast of colored leaves with the evergreen woods of Japanese red pines in autumn, and trees covered with snow and ice in winter.
Thanks to many spas sprung on the foot of mountain, there are many modern western hotels and tasteful Japanese hotels (ryokan) along the valley. Facilities of horse riding, tennis, and other sports, as well as the hall particularly designed for music “Miyama Concert Hall”, which is the venue of this music festival, and the Kirishima Open-air Museum where you can enjoy great contemporary sculptures in the rich nature of Kirishima are tourists’ favorite places in the Kirishima highlands national resort.
In addition, Uenohara Relics, the remains of a village of 9500 years ago, were recently discovered in Kirishima City. Considered as one of the oldest and the largest remains in Japan, the relics are preserved as a historical cultural heritage, and “Uenohara Jomon no mori” opened in October 2002 as a park where you can see, experience and study the Jomon world.
Kirishima Open-air Museum
Uenohara Jomon no mori
Photos: Kagoshima Prefectural Visitors Bureau