RecommendedSpots in this Park
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The Heartland of Creation Mythology

Kirishima: Kirishima Shrine and Mt Takachiho-no-mine

The sacred Kirishima Shrine is at the very heart of Japan’s creation mythology. Devoted to the grandson of the sun goddess Amaterasu, it was said that he descended from heaven to Mt Takachiho-no-mine to rule over the earth. Though the original shrine was destroyed multiple times by volcanic eruptions, it was always rebuilt, and now stands amidst ancient and serene forests that are also an important cultural property of Japan. Mythology aside, Mt Takachiho-no-mine is a hiker's dream. Beginning at the pampas grass-covered highlands of Ebino Kogen, a trek to the sacred mountain will take you past some of the National Park's most spectacular volcanic landscapes, including the active Shinmoedake volcano.

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The Power of the Earth

Kinkowan: Sakurajima Volcano

Literally translating to "cherry blossom island", Sakurajima is Japan's most active volcano and a symbol of the seaside city, Kagoshima, in Kagoshima prefecture. Erupting almost every day, even from a distance, you can see the volcano's rising plumes of grey smoke and clouds of volcanic ash. While you cannot climb to the top of Sakurajima, you can trek or drive all the way around it and explore the solidified lava flow that has shaped much of the National Park's landscape. For a spectacular panoramic view of Sakurajima, visit the elegant and historical Sengan-en — a traditional Japanese garden that has been passed down within the same samurai clan family for over 350 years.

RECOMMENDEDItineraries
2 DAY TRIP / 1st day
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8:15Fly to Kagoshima AirportLeave Haneda Airport at 8:15, land at Kagoshima Airport at 10:10, then transfer by bus and ferry to Sakurajima.
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12:20Arrive and lunch at SakurajimaArrive at Sakurajima 12:20, stop for lunch, and then carry on the Shirahama Onsen Center bus stop.
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14:00The Miracle of Sakurajima VolcanoMeet a local farmer, and harvest incredible crops fertilized by volcanic ash from Sakurajima—Japan's most active volcano.
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16:15Sakurajima Visitor CenterMove to Sakurajima Visitor Center, a volcano mini-museum, to learn about Sakurajima's history and its impact on the area.
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17:00Sakurajima Port to Aira StationMove to the Aira Station area by train, have dinner and a good rest, ready for the next day's activity nearby.
2 DAY TRIP / 2nd day
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9:15Tour Kagoshima's Largest Tidal FlatExplore the Shigetomi-higata tidal flat—the largest coastal wetland in Kagoshima—and learn about its ecosystem from an expert guide.
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12:45Lunch breakHead back up to Aira Station and have lunch in the area.
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15:40Kamo Hachiman ShrineHead out to visit Kamo Hachiman Shrine, home of the most massive tree in all of Japan.
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16:45Kamo Bussankan Kusukusu KanWalk from the shrine to Kamo Bussankan Kusukusu Kan, and shop for local foods. Stay in Aira City and get ready for your next steps.
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