Chiran - Samurai residences
There are samurai houses and 7 beautiful Japanese gardens in this area. The structure of these samurai houses is unique and now those houses are used as cafes or small restaurants. Enjoy strolling this preserved district that dates back about 250 years.
Sample Itinerary (8-hour tour)
Start your tour with Sengan-en garden, a large traditional Japanese-style garden which used to be the villa of the Shimazu family, the most powerful feudal lord in the area. From the garden, enjoy the spectacular view of active volcano Sakurajima. You can also take a glimpse of the lifestyle of a powerful feudal lord here. After exploring the garden, visit Shoko Shuseikan Museum and learn over 800-year history and culture of Shimazu family. The building of this museum was designated as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2015 for its unique contribution to Japan's industrialization and modernization.
Then, you will be escorted to an observatory in Shiroyama Park. Enjoy a spectacular view of downtown Kagoshima, Kagoshima Bay, and Sakurajima Island. It is hard to imagine that this place was the site of the final battle of the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877.
Before lunch, stop by and see the ruins of Tsurumaru Castle, which was owned by the Shimazu family. The original castle was built in 1604, but after 260 years of history, castle donjon was burned in 1874 and has never been restored. Nowadays, you can only see the remained ruins such as stone walls, moat and stone bridge.
Kagoshima is blessed with a variety of local food thanks to the abundant nature. One of the most famous food is Kurobuta pork which is uniquely raised with Kagoshima sweet potatoes. Enjoy Tonkatsu, pork cutlet, or Shabu-shabu for your lunch.
After lunch, enjoy exploring the shopping arcade, Tenmonkan. There are souvenir shops and department stores where you can find local crafts such as Satsuma yaki pottery, Satsuma Kiriko cut glass, local specialties and confectionaries. If you are interested, try shaved ice called "Shirokuma" which has been loved by the locals. This shaved ice is seasoned with condensed milk and a variety of fruits are scattered on top. You can also stop by a shochu liquor shop in this shopping area. Kagoshima produces the most shochu out of any other prefectures in Japan. If you would like, you can taste some different kinds of shochu commonly made from sweet potato, barley, rice, buckwheat and sugar cane.
At the end of the tour, take a ferry to visit Sakurajima, the symbol of Kagoshima. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world with minor eruptions taking place almost every day and you will be able to see the smokes coming out. Along with the Kirishima Massif and Kinkowan Bay, it is designated as a national park. Stop by a visitor center and learn the history of Sakurajima's eruption, plant succession on the lava, etc. Outside of the visitor center, there is a 100-meter-long foot bath with hot spring. Take a break at the foot bath while observing the Kinkowan bay and the Sakurajima.
Take a bus to the Yunohira Observatory, highest point where visitors can go up and the closest point to Sakurajima's crater, commanding a dynamic view of Sakurajima.
Chiran - Samurai residences
Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots
This museum is dedicated to the lives and deaths of Kamikaze suicide pilots who sacrificed themselves in the name of the Japanese emperor in WWII. The location itself was also the training base once, making this museum more significant and poignant. The mission and hope of here is to let people know how devastating the war could be and prevent it from happening again.
NOTE) If you would like to visit above two places in Chiran area, total around 5 hours will be spent, 2 hours for round trip between Kagoshima city center and Chiran area and 2 - 3 hours to visit sightseeing spots.
Price for this sample itinerary
(price per group)
|2 persons||3 persons||4 persons|
|8 hours||77,000 yen||83,000 yen||90,000 yen|
(10% consumption tax included)
Including: Nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide, admission fees, public transportations, service charge and consumption tax
Not Including: Lunch
- Our private tours can be customized to your interests and preferences. Let us know any place you wish to visit. If you would like to include one of the sites among above-mentioned "Alternatives", please let us know.
- The price is for the sample itinerary above. Price may be subject to change depending on the sites you choose.
- Private car can be arranged for extra fee
- Tours can be arranged for a larger group. We will recommend appropriate transportation taking your group size into consideration.
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