[Kyushu 100] Kagoshima Tourist Spot Top 30 

“Kyushu 100” is the project to introduce the fascinations of 100 spots representing Kyushu chosen by traveler’s review. In order to let you know more fascination of Kyushu beyond 100 spots, we introduce the spots for “Eat” ,”Play” and “Stay” of 7 prefectures in ranking order.

Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southernmost tip of the island of Kyushu. In the Edo period, Kagoshima thrived greatly under the rule of Satsuma Domain. The climate is mild and comfortable. There is an abundance of pristine wilderness, and one can find a great many Onsen hot springs full of unique characters. We will be introducing the best of tourist spots in Kagoshima in the order of popularity. You will be sure to find a perfect destination to visit with your family, friends or your loved one.

Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley (Yakushima Town)

Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley is a moss-covered virgin forest in the Shiratani River basin in Yakushima. Mountain trails are well developed, and trekking there is relatively easy. The scenery is beautiful on a clear day, but a hazy sight of the forest on a rainy day is also fantastic. It is very well known as the model of the forest depicted in the motion picture Princess Mononoke.

Photo by めのまえ


No words will ever come close to describing it. No one can tell me that it isnt the most beautiful place on earth. Also well worth going to the top of trail for view!! Go here if you possibly can- SO worth the extra travel and expense it takes to get here! Review from KC
Beautiful semi old growth forest. Many moss covered logs and rocks. Easily accessible by car, which in itself is a spectacular part of the journey, though the roads do narrow towards the top of the mountain. Entry is 300yen – practically a steal for such a well maintained facility. Tracks aren’t well marked, but are well worn, and with a lot of other travelers you’d never get lost. Review from DGNichols

Chiran Peace Museum (Minami-Kyushu City)

At the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots, letters and photographs left by the Kamikaze pilots, who died to protect their families and the country, are on display, in addition to the fighter planes and other artifacts used during the war. To think of their hopes for peace is a touching experience.

Photo by EricAmstelveen

Photo by ぷ会長

Went here as part of a tour from a cruise ship itinerary. I found the displays interesting and peaceful. Even though it is in remembrance of Japanese war history it is interesting to get their perspective and the importance of defending their homeland to them. The displays are not insulting to anyone and is build much like the war memorials you will find in any country around the world. Review from Brisbane41
Easily accessible from Kagoshima-Chuo and JR Kiire by frequent bus. Impressive museum, not too large, with letters from the pilots before their flights, objects, planes… the only downside of this museum is that most of it is in Japanese. English audioguide is available though. 30 minute walk from the Chiran Samurai district Review from Yavianice

Sakurajima (Kagoshima City)

Sakurajima, known as the symbol of Kagoshima, is an active volcano in Kinko Bay. The lava-covered land and the rugged mountains remind us of the mysteries of our mother earth. The numerous Onsen hot springs are just one of its many attractions.

Photo by Lindy777

Photo by kaori-1984

This active volcano on the other side of Kagoshima city is an icon of Kagoshima. It takes only 10min bus ride from the city center to the ferry station and it takes 15 min by ferry. Though there are not many attractions on the island, you can still enjoy walking around, a hot spring bath, rental fishing in the open sea (I caught 5 fish !) and so on. With great ocean view, it is a good place to enjoy for a half day. Review from HIRO H
This active volcano is worth a visit by ferry and by bus. Very impressive when it sends a plume of ashes up in the sky. Beautiful coastline around it. Probably worth an overnight stay. Review from JFLR187198

#4 Healthy Land Tamatebako Onsen (Ibusuki City)

Healthy Land Tamatebako Onsen is a geothermal health spa facility located in Ibusuki City. Its best feature is an open-air bath with a superb view facing the ocean. A Japanese-style bath overlooking Mt. Kaimondake and a western-style bath overlooking Mt. Takeyama may be enjoyed on every other day. In addition, there is a heated swimming pool, a multi-purpose ground and other facilities.

Photo by タローさん

A huge open-air onsen with 180° ocean view right at front, a breathtaking sunset view and in infinity pool style is the ultimate onsen experience. This is one of the best public onsens I have ever tried. Bath rotates, women on one side, men on the other side, then next day, switches. I was lucky, the day I went, the onsen on the women side was the famous one. They also have hot sand onsen.Review from ohlovetotravel
Stumbled upon this onsen at the end of the day about 30 minutes before closing time. Probably the best rotenburo (outdoor) bath that I’ve experienced. Stunning looking out to sea a the sun set. And all for a ridiculously cheap price. Less than 500 yen! Review from OSAKADAN

#5 Taikoiwa (Yakushima Town)

At the end of the Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley trekking course, set deep in the innermost area is a huge rock called Taikoiwa, from where you can command an excellent view. On a clear day, you may get a full view of the Yakushima forest.

Photo by chapi_neko

When I finally reached Taiko iwa Rock I simply couldn’t believe my eyes. After few hour long hike in a depths of old forest all of the sudden I saw an amazing view on mountains and valleys around… it’s not possible to describe. Unforgettable experience. Review from Maria Anna M
We climbed up to Taikoiwa early morning and luckily the weather was very nice and we had a great view. As there was nobody else, we had a second breakfast to re-energise ourselves for a big walk (we were walking to Jomonsugi from Shiratani Unsuikyo). This place is a must when the weather is nice and the visibility is good. Review from Pengapa

#6 Yakusugi Land (Yakushima Town)

Yakusugi Land is a vast expanse of virgin forest where you will come across huge Yakusugi cedar trees everywhere. Here, there are a wide variety of trails available to suit for everyone from novice hikers to experienced mountaineers.

Photo by Matthew C

This is a very easy hike, with wooden platforms near the beginning and easy signposting to follow. Plenty of cedars to see and the occasional river to cross, though it never amazed me in the same way that Shiratani Unsuikyo did. Maybe good if you’re exhausted from a more taxing hike from earlier in your stay? Review from PsychoSavager
An easy trek that takes less than two hours (says 150min on guide). It’s low season and great to be almost alone in the magical forest. It sometimes drizzled from the low clowds but it was only refreshing. Do it! Review from Culprido

#7 Oko Fall (Yakushima Town)

Oko Fall is one of the largest in Yakushima and is chosen as one of Japan’s Top 100 Waterfalls. The sight of water falling from an 88m-high cliff with dynamic sprays is simply overwhelming. Approach its basin for a spectacular view. There is a carpark available, and it may be accessed by buses and other vehicles.

Photo by Tsutomu A

Easy to access, great views, nice walk along the river and down to the beach…great place for a picnic or a swim in the summer. Review from nicolajones08
Oko Fall is the best of all waterfalls we visited in our round island tour of Yakushima. From the base, the view of the fall is impressive and the rhythmic sound of the fall is enjoyable. There are rocks in front of the fall. If you are wearing suitable shoes or boots, try climb up those rocks and get a closer view and feel of the fall. It is entirely different feel! Review from ryanteo

#8 Sakurajima Ferry (Kagoshima City)

Sakurajima Ferry links the ports of Kagoshima and Sakurajima in about 15 minutes. The view from the deck is scenic, and there is a noodle restaurant on board. Apart from the regular service, there is a “Yorimichi (detour) Cruise” sailing around Kinko Bay once a day which is also very popular among tourists.

Photo by kimito512

It was my first time taking a ferry that could house so many vehicles. The view of the volcano approaching while standing on the top deck of the ferry was also amazing. Review from xwzy
Ferries very convenient – leave every 15 minutes. Suggest you time travel to meet the 1-hour tour bus that takes you to various volcano viewing points. Also, make sure you get a seat at the front of the ferry (either on deck or indoor) for a magnificent panorama as you approach the island.Review from Peter W

#9 Sengan-en Garden (Kagoshima City)

Sengan-en Garden is the site where the 19th lord, Mitsuhisa, of Shimazu Clan that ruled Satsuma Domain erected a villa in 1658. In this vast garden overlooking Sakurajima and Kinko Bay, various flowers bloom from season to season. In the late Edo Period, an ironworks and a glass factory were built on the premises. The factories are long gone, but the sites still remain there.

Photo by SFVoyageur

This is now my third time visiting the Senganen Gardens of Kagoshima. The beautiful landscape, and history of the gardens is truly magical. English translations are availabe for maNY of the exhibits, and do not miss the Residense tour. Review from Stonewallgreyfox
Went to visit the large garden of Senganen in Kagoshima on the East coast of southern Kyushu in May 2016. The park faces the active volcano, Sakurajima on the island just off the coast. The garden is very old and has beautiful rock work, streams and small ponds. Review from mefixer

#10 Wilson Stump (Yakushima Town)

The Wilson Stump is a huge stump of a Yakusugi cedar in Yakushima. Inside the stump, a spring gushes out to form a small stream. The inner cave can be entered. It is well known that, when looked at a certain angle, the sky forms a heart shape.

Photo by 福岡にこにこ

You can feel the gravity of the forest there. Spend a little while longer inside the stump than just trying to taking the photo with the perfect heart, (which is actually more difficult than you thought, we have to ask a local on that) the sound of a stream passing through, the smell of the forest and the tiny temple inside (!!!), give me the sense of how sacred this place is. Review from Carolyn C

#11 Kagoshima Prefectural Yoshino Park (Kagoshima City)

At Kagoshima Prefectural Yoshino Park, there are 70,000 trees of 140 kinds. In springtime, about 40,000 azaleas and cherries will be in full bloom. It is one of Japan’s Top 100 Urban Parks and, from the viewing platform, one can overlook Sakurajima, the Kirishima mountain range and Mt. Kaimondake. Its wide expanse of lawn is a perfect place to spend some lazy time with your family.

Photo by BillWaqalevu

My husband, my 1 year old and I went to this park to view cherry blossoms and it was lovely! Not only was it free to enter, we could rent a baby push (for free), just had to fill it a form. Then we could comfortable peruse around the park. Even though during those times (cherry blossoms season), it is very crowded, we still got good pictures. Review from Aqua M
The Park is free of charge. We visited in early April and we were told by previous visitors that there were over 700 Sakura trees there and which were all in full bloom. The landscaping and the colourful flowerbeds with majestic Mount Sakurajima in the backdrop makes for numerous great family photo opps! Review from BillWaqalevu

#12 Kanoya Air Base Museum (Kanoya City)

Kanoya City used to be home to a naval base. At Kanoya Air Base Museum, many materials and documents since the foundation of the old imperial navy up to the WWII as well as those relating to the war are on display. Exhibition includes articles left by the Kamikaze suicide attack squad pilots and those illustrating the present activities of the Maritime Self Defence Force.

Photo by ブルービリーブ

The 4 engined Emily float plane is the real highlight here and it is the first aircraft you see upon approach, what a sight! Most of the aircraft are outside and unfortunately and most are looking good externally. The Zero is indoors and looks fantastic. The Kamikaze exhibition is very interesting.Review from PhilG8
This is an outstanding museum, dedicated to Japanese Naval Aviation History and the second floor dedicated to the Kamikaze Operations in WW-II. Several former Japanese Naval aircraft are on display outside and an A6M Zero on the second floor solely dedicated to the Kamikaze pilots and their memorabilia (no photos allowed on the second floor).Review from GaryRW_01

#13 Jomonsugi (Yakushima Town)

Jomonsugi is the largest kind of Yakusugi cedar growing wild in Yakushima, and is known as the old tree representing Yakusugi. The road to Jomonsugi is long and difficult, requiring considerable physical strength and equipment. Novice visitors are advised to participate in an organized tour. Its mysterious figure is certainly worth a visit.

Photo by 東京の関西人

The most difficult part of this hike for me was the fact that a mountain bus which drives to the starting point of the hike was as early as 5 a.m. But it was worth it. The hike is long, but not really difficult, the first part is marked by railway tracks, while the second part is mostly a wooden board walk.Review from Maria Anna M
The trail to Jomon Sugi consists of two distinct parts: first, an easy, mostly-flat walk atop an old railbed; and second, an arduous, high-stepping scramble over tree roots and boulders and up seemingly endless flights of stairs. Our visit coincided with a major rainstorm, which added to the challenge of the climb. Weather aside, however, the trail deserves to be better maintained because it attracts so many people. Review from Andrew1234

#14 Kirishima Jingu Shrine (Kirishima City)

Kirishima Jingu Shrine consists of the beautiful vermilion-lacquered innner shrine, the front shrine and the imperial envoy’s shrine, all gorgeously decorated. Because of its stately appearance, it is often referred to as “Nikko (Toshogu Shrine) in Western Japan.” It is also known as the honeymoon destination for the late Edo period patriot, Ryoma Sakamoto, and his wife, O-Ryo.

Photo by ycd38622

It is a large bright red shrine set against deep green and very tall pine trees. It is beautiful. The breezes are especially refreshing amidst very hot summer weather. Review from Belinda C
I’ve visited quite a few shrines in Japan, mostly are big and too touristy. Kirishima shrine is so far the best I’ve seen and somehow very special, it’s not too touristy and feels original. Nice, serene and small shrine. Review from harle l

#15 Honohoshi Beach (Setouchi Town)

Honohoshi Beach lies in the southernmost part of Amami Oshima. Many people will associate white sandy beaches with Amami Oshima but, here on Honohoshi Beach, you will find little round pebbles instead of sand that make a mysterious dry sound as the waves wash back.

Photo by lomolabo

Not sand but round stones here and there. The waves of flow rounds stones. Listen to the interesting sounds being taken back to the water. And enjoy the jumping stones by the tide.Review from scomitcheese
From the parking, I walked to the beach through the wild plain something like Jurassic Park. You can feel the magnificent atmosphere and powerful nature around here. Review from Hanamizuki

#16 Seibu Trail (Yakushima Town)

Seibu Trail refers to a road that runs on the west side of Yakushima. A World Heritage site is included. Driving through the narrow winding road is only recommended to skilled drivers, but cycling is also possible. You will see huge banyan trees along the trail, and there may be a chance or two of coming across a Yakushika deer or a Yakuzaru monkey.

Photo by もん

Unbelievably gorgeous–a magical forest with tame deer and fuzzy monkeys. Easy hike at the beginning, really rugged at the top, but worth the panoramic view from the summit. Review from aussiesinspain

#17 Satsuma Denshokan

At Satsuma Denshokan, a collection of about 3,000 Satsuma porcelain and other pieces of Satsuma art are on public display. A Mr. Shimotakehara, founder of Ibusuki Hakusuikan Inn, and his son amassed this magnificent collection. You will be able to appreciate the beauty unique to Satsuma that was exposed to foreign culture on many occasions.

Photo by TakahiroSHUTOH

Admission fee is as high as 1500 JPY, but worth it. Interior/exterior view and lots of beautiful antiques, must see. Charge free baggage deposit and multi-language audio guide. Staffs are very polite and friendly. They have a Italian restraunt in here, nice foods for affordable price. Review from longpin
They have headsets and the explanations are extensive. The review of the pottery on the first floor goes on for a little it too long, but does give a very good understanding of the development of the pieces exhibited. On the second floor there is a good display of the Satsuma history in written articles, clothing, art works and wood block prints. There is also a good display of Chinese pottery (Minq and Qing dynasties).Review from ichibanwanderer

#18 Kagoshima City View Bus (Kagoshima City)

Kagoshima City View Bus is a city-operated bus service going around various tourist spots within the city. You may get on or get off at any bus stop at your leisure. It is an ideal means of transportation for your city sightseeing. The tram-like old-fashioned livery of the bus is very attractive.

Photo by 一憲吉

This city view bus depart at the Kagoshima-Chuo Station, one-day pass costs 600 yen, tourists can enjoy any time, the bus travel to many travel spots, I take this bus to the tenmonkan street. Review from hiuwaiwai
If you are a tourist and want to check around the Kagoshima city area, then this bus is the best way. Leaving from the Kagoshima central station, it stops all major spots every 30 min within 1hr and this all day ticket is cheap (you can buy even in the bus – Japanese Yen cash only). English announcement is available but need to pay attention not to miss the spot you want to drop by. Review from HIRO H

#19 Nagata Inakahama (Yakushima Town)

Nagata Inakahama is a beautiful white sand beach in Yakushima, also known as Japan’s largest spawning ground for sea turtles. During the spawning season, observation meetings are held. You should remember to observe and adhere to rules because sea turtles are very sensitive and delicate.

Photo by 804fumiakih

Unfortunately the weather was cloudy when we arrived at the beach–but that didn’t stop us from enjoying ourselves. We were able to grab some amazing photos. There was no one around at the time and we were able to relax in peace after an exhausting hike that morning. Review from josstewit
I visited the beach with my guide (from Yakushima Experience). In winter there is not much to see here, but we enjoyed a nice walk in the rain along the sandy beach. In summer, this is the best place to watch sea turtles lay eggs!Review from nicolajones08

#20 Yoggo Valley (Yakushima Town)

Yoggo Valley, located upstream of Nagata River in Yakushima, is a best-kept secret since old days as a place of relaxation and refreshment for the local inhabitants. There are white granite rocks all over the valley, and the river shines in a beautiful emerald green shade under the sun.

Photo by simamura-yunikuro

“Accessible from Inakahama, 15 minutes by car, Yoggo is a small valley comprising a stretch of foest and a small beautiful whitewater river.
Quite a romantic spot – great place for a picnic. Be careful after rains as the river would be treacherous and advise against swimming.”Review from DGNichols

#21 Museum of the Meiji Restoration (Kagoshima City)

Satsuma is the birthplace of such illustrious political figures as Takamori Saigo and Toshimichi Okubo. At the Museum of the Meiji Restoration, you can learn about efforts by patriots in the late Edo period to achieve the Meiji Restoration and about the state of affairs in Japan at the time, while enjoying images and games.

Photo by 悠々

We were there on weekday, not crowded. Some students were there for field trip. We spent half day there, not enough. The place is huge! Well-preserved buildings from the Meiji-period were moved and reconstructed there. If you love historical/architectural buildings, you will love this place. The most fun part was the steam train, streetcar, and a 1920s bus.Review from mwfwinnie
Gave me an in sight to Earlier, days of Politics, in Japan , and was very Surprised to Learn the Portuguese,were one of the First to Bring Western Culture to Japan Kagoshima,English Lanuage is available Through Head sets,I found it to be a very knowledgeable visit. Review from Robert499

#22 Sakurajima Nagisa Foot Bath Park (Kagoshima City)

At the Sakurajima Nagisa Park not far from Sakurajima Port, there is a 100m-long foot bath. Here you may enjoy a foot bath while admiring the magnificent view of the mountain range of Sakurajima and Kinko Bay. At dusk, you can also watch the superb sunset in the city of Kagoshima.

Photo by papabu

I think that the footbathes offers a good opportunity to introduce a part of Japanese onsen culture to the visitors from foreign countries. In addition, surprisingly, it is very long! Rare, unusual, uncommon! I was amazed at the sight. Also the scenery is beautiful. Review from ferretMAMA

#23 Kirishima Open-Art Museum (Yusui Town)

At the Kirishima Open-Air Museum, located on the hillside of Mt. Kurinodake in Yusui town, modern sculptures by well-known artists at home and overseas are laid out on display taking advantage of the natural terrain and tree growth. The museum covers a wide ground and has a cafe on the premises, allowing visitors to enjoy modern art in a relaxed manner.

Photo by yuyu609

“The outdoor part of the museum has around 30 sculptures/art pieces scattered around the site. A very pleasant walk will take you through all of those – some are more interesting than others, but overall it’s an interesting experience.
Highly recommended. “Review from BKoo
Indoor and outdoor were quite good and the garden well-maintained. Very reasonable entry price.There is a cafe on site which was quite acceptable. Staff are very obliging. Review from Art20thC

#24 Mt. Kaimondake (Ibusuki Town)

Mt. Kaimondake is a volcano 924m above sea level, located at the southern tip of Satsuma Peninsula. While it is not such a high mountain, it has a strong presence because it stands out in the middle of an open expanse of land. It is of a well-balanced conical shape, and is often referred to as the Satsuma Fuji.

Photo by arie55

We had an awesome sunset at Kaimondake. There weren’t so many people. A bus of tourist was about to leave when we arrived. A few locals just arrive for their daily fishing hobby. Definitely a must and not to be missed especially when it’s free! Review from Nurfitrah
Perfectly conic shape standing by the sea, it is so impressive and photogenic mountain. It can be easily seen from almost anywhere in the region, you don’t need to search a specific angle for pictures. Review from kazuwox

#25 Yurigahama Beach Offshore Cruise Boat (Yoron Town)

Yurigahama Beach appears only at low tides off the shores of Yoron Island. The sandy island in the middle of the blue sea looks almost like a paradise. Take a glass-bottom boat linking Oganeku Beach and Yurigahama Beach, and you will enjoy the sight of a coral reef and tropical fish under your feet.

Photo by riek0

Yurigahama Beach has a higher value because it appears only for a limited time. We enjoyed the cruise boat, while being astonished by amazing scenery. You should try once in your life.Review from KAZUKI Y
We visited Yurigahama Beach in early November, but it was still hot and we could swim there. When enjoying the cruise boat, we were lucky to find the sea turtle. As only with a 5-minute cruise, you don’t have to worry about seasickness or toilet. Review from a0kim

#26 Terasaki Beach (Yoron Town)

Terasaki Beach is located in the northern part of Yoron Island, with contrasting views of a white sandy beach and a rocky area. Water is crystal clear and, when you dive, you will find varieties of colorful fish.

Photo by hide2004

Private, peaceful, clear blue waters and white sand. The most beautiful beaches in the world!! This Island is a hidden diamond. People are sweet and friendly, love to communicate. Review from maria1971aloha
There are a few camping sights by the beaches. 30 min flight from Naha Okinawa, a must getaway for people who just want to do nothing and lay in the sun. Review from Hiromi

#27 Kirishima Distillery (Kirishima City)

At the foot of Mt. Kirishima, there are distilleries producing such popular Shochu as “Akarui Noson” and “Noka-no-Yome” using natural water springing out of the Kirishima mouontain range. Free tours with tasting are available. Why don’t you sample their limited-edition Shochu at the distilleries?

Photo by 三度の飯より風呂

We enjoyed the manufacturing process with detailed explanation by staff, while feeling the sweet scent of potatoes being steamed. After tasting, you can purchase a variety of bottles of Shochu including the limited bottles sold only here. This is not a huge distillery with automation process and I find the high quality only hand-made product could have. Review from jalgl0bal1
I could enjoy the inspection without an advanced reservation. You can taste various types of Shochu, but I was more impressed by the hospitality of the staff. Review from hisadaitaku

#28 Tanegashima Space Center (Minami Tanegashima Town)

Tanegashima Space Center is a facility owned by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), located on Tanegashima Island. Buildings are scattered about on a nature-rich land facing the bay. There are three rocket launching pads. Free guided tours are available, subject to reservation. It is an impressive experience to look at a real rocket up close.

Photo by かきちゃん65

We joined the free tour and, due to the weekday, there was only our group. Thanks to the thoughtful and scrupulous explanation by young female staff, I could imagine the rocket launching moment I saw on TV. I recommend you an advanced reservation for the free tour.Review from Bocchann
In a huge ground maintained well, there are a variety of facilities including rocket launching pads. You can also have inspection for some part of the Science/Technology Building, where H-2A and H-2B rockets are actually being launched even now. When the launching day is approaching, you are not allowed to enter.Review from ちゃっぴーがーる

#29 Saraku (Ibusuki City)

When in Ibusuki, do try a hot sand bath by all means. Saraku is an Onsen spa facility with a hot sand bath facing the ocean, a large communal bath and a resting lounge. Here, you can feel the warmth and weight of sand, listening to the sound of lapping waves in total relaxation.

Photo by janelau30b

I used my JR Pass and travelled down from Kagoshima just to buried in hot sand – and I loved it. I admit I was a little scared to begin with, but I relaxed into it and it was great. Nice bath afterwards Review from tav_mind

#30 Kurasaki Beach (Tatsugo Town)

Kurasaki Beach is particularly popular among the local residents of Amami Oshima. It is a shallow beach with gentle waves, and is perfect for sea bathing, snorkeling and diving. Access from Naze City or Amami airport is easy and convenient. Enjoy the long and white sandy beach.

Photo by M M

After having visited here for diving trial for the first time, I was completely attracted by this beach. After that, I came back for snorkeling by myself again. You can find many fishes including yellow-tailed anemones with snorkeling and so please don’t forget the snorkeling gear when you come here.Review from Koji S

Every spot of “Kyushu 100” chosen by travelers is full of fascination. Now, let’s go and experience 100 spots chosen by travelers!

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Ranking method:”Kagoshima Tourist Spot Top 30″ was aggregated by the unique algorithm based on the review evaluations in Japanese posted during July 2015 – June 2016 in terms of Tourist Spots in Kagoshima.