I spent last June 3 days in Kagoshima, in the most southern part of Kyushu, and my priority there was to visit the volcanic island of Sakurajima. As its geographic location implies, it was already really hot mid June but we still decided to ride the ferry to stroll in the middle of volcanos. The Sakurajima ferry costs only 160 yen one way and you can enjoy free footbath on the island so it seeme like a good deal.
We planned our itinerary while I was making sure my calves were becoming red as lobsters and went slowly to the closest observatory, supposed to be 30 minutes away. I was probably walking really slowly ,having no shade to hide from the burning sun, the joys of 12 o’clock, because we took one hour to arrive.
I like walking and really enjoyed the landscape, but I quickly finished my water and for the first time wde managed to walk an hour without seeing a vending machine. If you’re visiting in summer, please take water if you don’t want to become like the cat below:
About 5 minutes from the observatory there’s a kinda strange monument that would sit perfectly in Brütal Legend, « Portrait of a Scream ». It’s a tribute to Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, a Sakurajima born musician who performed during a rock festival held on the island in 2004. Sakurajima has only 6000 inhabitants, but on that day, 75000 were there.
If you don’t feel like walking, there’s a sightseeing bus that takes you to both the observatory and the monument, and also to the island main observatory and village. It comes every hour and stops a few minutes at every place. It stops about 15 minutes to the main observatory, and that’s enough to enjoy the view, roast in the sun, take a few pictures and go.
After going back from the observatory on the sightseeing bus that allowed us to go to the ferry station in ten minutes instead of 3 hours, we decided to explore that weird dinosaur thing that was on the map. The Dinosaur Park is a big park for kids with swing, slides, and stuff you can climb on, and features derpy dinosaurs, because it makes the world a better place.
The park also has a nice view on the volcano, pretty hydrangeas (I’m annoying when it comes to hydrangeas ) and a photogenic deserted building.
In June it was impossible to visit the caldera, the volcano being super active, but the island itself is already a nice enough place to hang out.