Renowned for its sunny climate and friendly people, Japan’s Kagoshima is a captivating bayside city with a mystical atmosphere. Nicknamed the ‘Naples of the Eastern World’ thanks to the active volcano Sakurajima just across the bay, Kagoshima also boasts a history rich with samurai and artistry.
Kagoshima is packed with plenty of exciting things to do and see on holiday. The UNESCO-listed Sengan-en traditional garden is a highlight, filled with photographic shrines and symbolic sculptures set against the backdrop of Sakurajima and Kinko Bay. In the city you’ll find the statue of Saigō Takamori, one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history who helped to lead the Meiji Restoration.
Kagoshima is home to a range of historical and cultural museums. Art fans should check out the Kagoshima City Museum of Art, home to works by modern-day Kagoshima painters, 16th-century porcelains and woodblock prints and a wonderful collection of Sakurajima paintings. To learn more about the history of Japan, head to the Museum of the Meiji Restoration. It offers insights into the sweeping social and political changes of the time, as well as samurai loyalty, sword techniques and the influence of the West.