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The row of cherry blossom trees along Kotsuki River






Kotsuki River(甲突川) flows through the center of Kagoshima City. It takes less than 10 minutes to go there from Kagoshima Chuo Station(鹿児島中央駅)on foot. There is a promenade along the river, and people can admire beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. This is the important place for Kagoshima citizens to enjoy the blossoms,and they appreciate the bloomings and enjoy picnics under the trees.

Cherry blossoms are precious and special existence for Japanese people. Taking a walk on the promenade while viewing them is move us very much,and might be one of the best amusement for us. You can go around there in less than one hour, so please stop by there before you leave Kagoshima!


Kiyomizu Iwaya Park








Due to the effects of global warming, the arrival of autumn has been gradually delayed in Kagoshima.But this year,the lingering summer heat was relatively short and the season changed to autumn immidiately.However that may be quite natural thing. The autumn leaves of Kiyomizu Iwaya Park(清水岩屋公園) are wonderful. The maple leaves floating on the river seem to be directing the season.

Kiyomizu Iwaya Park
It is located in Kawanabe Town, Minamikyushu City(南九州市川辺町). Manose River(万之瀬川) is flowing in the park,and it has the clear flow water. Magaibutsu(磨崖仏/Buddha statues carved in cliffs)are also famous. We can enjoy the blooming of cherry blossoms in spring, and the autumn leaves are beautiful,too. The campsite is fully equipped,so you can enjoy there all year round. Admission fee is free.


Kagoshima City Tram Part Three

7000 Series tram has appeared. When trams pass through Namida-Bashi Stop, they enter into the exclusive track. Since the course curves greatly, it is spectacular.

2100 Series bound for Kagoshima-Ekimae will arrive soon at Niken-Jaya Stop(二軒茶屋電停).

At Usuki-1-Chome(宇宿一丁目)Stop

This picture was also taken at Usuki-1-Chome Stop. As the temperature rose on that day, and was around 30 degrees centigrade. So heat haze occurred. Can you see the appearance of the tram is a bit hazy?

Taniyama(谷山)is the terminal stop of the tram. "The southernmost tram stop in Japan"monument(日本最南端の電停の碑)was built for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Kagoshima City Tram on July 1st 2012.

The tram bound for Kagoshima-Ekimae is waiting for departure at Taniyama Stop. This is the latest model"7500 Series",and has started operation since March 2017.

The pictures of tram are interesting. Because of its nature,trams run through urban areas, and they become united with the scenery of cityscape, so that changes in the times and changes in everyday life can be briefly expressed in them.

I always take pictures with those points in mind. My hometown gradually changes, namely there are both anticipation and loss feeling.These are related to the satisfaction of my mind.

In short,I care about my hometown. Will Kagoshima continue to develop? Or will it continue to decline? To love my hometown, that is to love myself. It could be a projection of mind for me.

Kagoshima City Tram Part Two

JR Kagoshima Chuo Station(鹿児島中央駅)and Kagoshima-Chuo-Ekimae Stop(鹿児島中央駅前電停)
Kagoshima Chuo Station is the main station and has the most passengers of Kagoshima Prefecture. It is the terminal station of Shinkansen(新幹線)at the southernmost of Japan. The current station building was built to open Kyushu Shinkansen(九州新幹線)in 1996.

Nishi Kagoshima Station(西鹿児島駅/old station building)
It was rebuilt because former station building disappeared in World War II. As Kyushu Shinkansen opened, it was rebuilt again to the current one, and its name has been also changed to Kagoshima Chuo Station.

Wakaki-Satsuma-no-Gunzo(若き薩摩の群像/Statue of Satsuma Students)
It is in front of JR Kagoshima Chuo Station Sakurajima Gate(桜島口),and was also produced by Nakamura Shinya in 1982. According to the order from Shimazu Clan(島津氏),Satsuma Domain(薩摩藩),they studied in the UK,and had played the central role in the development of Satsuma and Japan after returning homeland.

Korimoto Stop(郡元電停)
Route 2 trams depart from Kagoshima-Eki-Mae and arrive at Korimoto,the endpoint via Kagoshima-Chuo-Ekimae. In order to go to Taniyama,you need to transfer to Route 1. Please get a transfer ticket(乗り換え券/norikae-ken)from the driver. In addition, you have to transfer within an hour. Of course, if you have a one-day ticket, that's not necessary. The tram on the right side is called 1000 Series(1000形)and has started operation since 2002. It is the first "low-floor tram" of Kagoshima City Tram.

A view of Korimoto-Minamigawa Stop(郡元電停南側)from the pedestrian bridge. Perspective view and greenbed track are impressive. The purpose of greening is to mitigate the heat island phenomenon and to improve the urban landscape,and also has the effect of reducing noise.

The tram named 7000 Series waiting for the signal goes to Korimoto Stop. It has started operation since 2007

Namida-Bashi Stop(涙橋電停)
An old tram bound for Taniyama has just arrived. It is called 600 Series,and is over 55 years old. Awesome!

Kagoshima City Tram Part One


Kagoshima-Ekimae Stop(鹿児島駅前電停)
The tram stop is next to JR Kagoshima Station(鹿児島駅). The construction of Kagoshima Main Line was completed in 1909. At that time, Kagoshima Station was the terminal station of the line. But newly opened line has become Kagoshima Main Line since 1927. And original line has become Hisatsu Line(肥薩線). Kagoshima Station's name has not changed.

Shiyakusho-Mae Stop(市役所前電停)
The construction of Kagoshima City Hall Building was completed in 1937. The design was Ministry of Finance's Building Management Department(大蔵省営繕管財局工務部), and was also known as the department that designed National Diet Building.

Asahi-Dori Stop(朝日通電停)
The retro building on the left is Yamakata-Ya(山形屋), the local depertment store. The founder of Yamakata-Ya is Genemon,first generation(初代源衛門), and was a safflower merchant from Dewa(出羽),that is current Yamagata Prefecture(山形県).

The Shimazu's 25th lord Shimazu Shigehide(島津重豪)disliked Satsuma's conservative and closed style, opened the country and welcomed foreigner's entry. At this time, Genemon moved to Satsuma and ran a kimono shop(呉服屋). In Meiji Era(明治時代),Iwamoto Shinbei(岩元信兵衛),the fifth generation, developed Yamakata-Ya and the prosperity has been continuing until now.

Izuro-Dori Stop(いづろ通電停)
At Izuro Intersection(いづろ交差点),there are antique stone lanterns. These stone lanterns are called ishidoro(石灯籠)in Japanese. Ishidoro was said to have become "Izuro" for Kagoshima dialect.

Tenmonkan-Dori Stop(天文館通電停)
This neighborhood is called Tenmonkan(天文館). That name stands for astronomical observatory,and it is the downtown area of Kagoshima City. Shimazu Shigehide,25th lord of Satsuma established the astronomical observatory here, so it is called like this.

Okubo Toshimichi(大久保利通)Statue
There is statue of Okubo Toshimichi near Takami-Bashi stop(高見橋電停),who is one of the biggest contributors of Meiji Restoration(明治維新). This statue was produced by Nakamura Shinya(中村晋也) in 1979. He is a Professor Emeritus of Kagoshima University, and is also a member of The Japan Art Institute(日本芸術院会員).

Kagoshima City Tram has started as KAGOSHIMA-DENKI-KIDO(鹿児島電気軌道)since December 1st, 1912. It was transferred to Kagoshima City on July 1, 1928. By opening Ishiki Line(伊敷線)in 1961, the number of operating kilometers had extended to 19.4 km.

The tram introduced one person operation in 1967,uniform fare system in 1969,transfer tickets on 1975. It has always been streamlining management and improving service. However that was difficult to follow the rapid change of motorization,Kanmachi Line(上町線), Ishiki Line(伊敷線)were abolished in1985. The current number of operating kilometers is 13.145 km.


The brilliant autumn leaves at Soginotaki

Overlooking Soginotaki(曽木の滝/Sogi Fall)from the observatory

The width of the waterfall is 210 meters, and its height is 12 meters.

The autumn leaves on the riverbank were brilliant. It had rained the day before,so the amount of water increased. As I came near the river, the mist came down on my face.

On the downstream side,there is Shin-Sogi Bridge(新曽木大橋). Previously it was on the upstream of the river, but was rebuilt due to landscape problem. It is 204 meters in length and completed on November 5, 2011.

There is a view terrace on the riverbank. A transparent acrylic board is spread under the feet.The height of the fall seems to exceed 10 meters,but it is horrible to look down at the water surface.

The autumn leaves information of Japan Weather Association's app is accurate!

The honorable monument of Horinouchi Ryoganbo(堀之内良眼房)

Soginotaki Park(曽木の滝公園、伊佐市/Isa City) has a waterfall called "Oriental Niagara". In the park, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms in spring,and autumn leaves.There are also many restaurants and souvenir shops.

The fall is in Sendai River(川内川), and during the Edo period(江戸時代), Nengumai was shipped on the river. In order to facilitate the transportation of them,Kawazarae had began. Thanks to the construction, many farmers had been able to easily pay Nengumai. In the park, the monument of Horinouchi Ryoganbo erects, who made a great contribution to the construction.

A system that farmers pay taxes in rice.

A construction that makes the bottom of the river smoother to advance the boat easily.


Remains of the summer

It’s a sunny day and good for surfing.

A good sea breeze blows to the coast.


Do not miss the chance.

Fukiagehama Sunset Bridge

There is Fukiagehama Beach(吹上浜)along the East China Sea in Kagoshima Prefecture, and the length is around 50 kilometers. A good sea breeze blows against the beach at the mouth of Manose River(万之瀬川) in Minamisatsuma City(南さつま市), so windsurfing and kitesurfing are actively performed.

The mouth of the river belongs to Fukiagehama Prefectural Natural Park(吹上浜県立自然公園). Both banks of the river are connected by Fukiagehama Sunset Bridge. The bridge is 405 meters long and 6 meters wide, completed in July 1993.

There are event plaza, pool, campground, bird observation facility, Nansatsu Youth Learning Center(南薩少年自然の家),etc. in the park.There is also a service of bicycle rental, and it can be used only within the cycling road in the park. In addition,Fukiagehama Sand Sculpture Festival(吹上浜砂の祭典)runs every May.


Kareigawa Station

JR Kareigawa Station,Kirishima City(嘉例川駅/霧島市)

Fresh green and blue sky of May

The limited express Hayato no Kaze(はやとの風)has just arrived.

The stoppage time is short.Take a commemorative photograph in a hurry!

The train bound for Kagoshima Chuo Station(鹿児島中央駅) is about to depart.

Tranquility has returned to the station.

JR Kareigawa Station is the oldest wooden station building in Kagoshima prefecture. It has opened since 1903, and was more than 100 years old.Although it is now unmanned station,the old-fashioned building attracts many tourists. The limited express train (Hayato no Kaze) stops here. Ekiben(駅弁) are sold only at weekends,but they are popular with tourists.

The Hisatsu Line(肥薩線)
The section of the Hisatsu Line is from Yatsushiro Station(八代駅),Yatsushiro City to Hayato Station(隼人駅),Kirishima City.And Kareigawa station is on the line.

The Construction of the line began in 1899, and the section between Hitoyoshi(人吉)and Yoshimatsu(吉松) was completed in 1909. This meant that the railway was finally connected from Yatsushiro to Kagoshima.

At that time, it was called The Kagoshima main line(鹿児島本線), but when another line started along the coast in 1927, the new line became the Kagoshima main line, and the original section's name was changed to the Hisatsu Line.


Chiran Samurai Residences

The main street of Chiran samurai residences(知覧武家屋敷群) in Minamikyusyu City(南九州市)
Chiran samurai residences are called "little Kyoto of Satsuma(薩摩の小京都)"where there is a feminine and elegant atmosphere.

Saigo Keiichiro(西郷恵一郎邸) garden the style of which is called"karesansui"(dry garden).

Hirayama Katsumi(平山克己邸) garden is also karesansui. Mt.hahagatake(母ヶ岳) can be seen beyond the garden, and the landscape appears to be continuous.This is called "shakkei"or "borrowed landscape".

You can see Mt.Hahagatake from the main street too.

This stone is called "sekkanto(石敢當)", and is set at the crossroad of the three-way street. It is a kind of amulet, which has been transmitted from China to Satsuma via Ryukyu.

In the Edo era,Shimazu clan(島津氏) divided Satsuma Domain(薩摩藩) into 102 districts called "tojyo(外城)",and created samurai settlements called "fumoto(麓)". Shimazu intended not to concentrate samurai in Kagoshima, but to disperse to districts.It meant to prepare for external attacks.Chiran was one of them.

The landscape of stone wall and hedge along the main street of Chiran samurai residences has well-balanced and fabulous, and was designated as an Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings(重要伝統的建造物群保存地区) of Japan in 1981.

The seven gardens of the samurai residences are also designated as a scenic spot(名勝) of Japan as being valuable for knowing the propagation of garden culture.

karesansui is a garden that does not use water,and is a style that expresses mountains, forests,seas and rivers using stones, sand, plants and moss,etc. It is a garden of abstract expressions developed at Zen temple in the Muromachi period.

Shakkei has no boundaries between the garden and the outside landscape. In other words, it is a garden-building technique in which the artificial garden and the nature such as mountains and forests in the background are integrated.



A stunning view of Sakurajima from Shiroyama Observatory(城山展望所).

Yunohira Observatory(湯之平展望所) of Sakurajima.

At Yunohira Observatory. The high-speed ship heads toward Tanegashima, Yakushima from South Pier of Kagoshima City.

Akamizu Observatory Square(赤水展望広場).The name of the statue is "Portrait of a Scream", and tourists are taking commemorative photos next to the statue.

Sakurajima is about 4 kilometers far from Kagoshima City side, and it takes about 15 minutes from Kagoshima Port to Sakurajima Port by ferry. The altitude of Sakurajima is 1,117 m, and the circumference is about 55 km.

Sakurajima is one of the most active volcanoes of the world, and was originally an island, but the explosion in 1914 leaked the lava, flooded the sea,and connected with Osumi Peninsula(大隅半島). The magnificent figure on the sea is overwhelming and is one of the symbols of Kagoshima.