Day 5 – Kagoshima Japan – Part 1

Our 4th, if you include Tokyo, and last port in Japan was Kagoshima. We arrived in Kagoshima after an overnight sail of 262 nautical miles (485kms) from Kochi for our first overnight stay in a port.


The Tour

On the first day I went on an Azamara arranged tour, Kagoshima Highlights.

Marvel at Japan’s natural wonders on this journey to Arimura Observatory in Sakurajima, followed by a stroll through a traditional Japanese garden at Sengan-en. On this exploration of Japan’s “Southern Gateway” you’ll visit Sakurajima, a midly active volcano which has erupted over 30 times in history. Walk a trail along the lava flow at the Arimura Observatory. Then, visit the 17th century Sengan-en (Iso) Garden. Stroll throught the exquisite garden designed for a samurai lord.
Admire incredible views of Kagoshima Bay. And the ruin of reverberatory furnace built from 1851 during the reign of Nariakira Shimazu, was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2015 as a Site of the Industrial Revolution in Meiji Japan. Together with the adjacent Satsuma faceting craft gallery, you will be amazed to learn about the Satsuma techniques of the time.

Our itinerary was changed, we went to the gardens and the glassblowing factory first before heading over to Sakurajima by ferry. This was definitely a better itinerary than going to the Volcano first.

Our tour guide for the was Yukio, another very chatty and knowledgeable guide. She is not a resident of Kagoshima, she lives in Nagasaki. And is very proud mum, we heard a lot about her son as well as the low birth rate in Japan.

Sengan-en (Iso) Garden

Our first stop was the Sengan-en Garden which was originally built as a part of the Shimadzu family residence in 1658. The garden was built using the borrowed scenery method. The gardens themselves are pretty good though I think that the view over Kinko Bay over to Sakurajima is even better.

Whilst we wandering around the gardens we came a cross this couple who may have been there for a pre-wedding photo shoot. As most people are in Japan they were very accommodating and posed for photos whenever asked.

The gardens are spread over 12 acres and have a number of different sections, even a cat shrine.

Senjingan is an 11-metre-high set of characters that were carved into the cliff face in 1814. Carving characters into rocks is a Chinese custom, and is unusual to see in a Japanese garden.

There was also an interesting looking water pump that was used to pump water to the pond in front of the main residence.

A lot of time and effort has and is going into the establishment and maintenance of these gardens. Definitely would have enjoyed more time to explore them. Next time.

Not sure about cats doing yoga though.

Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks

After our exploration of the gardens we headed to the Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks.

The production of Satsuma Kiriko was started at Sengan-en in 1851 by the Shimadzu family. Production of Satsuma Kiriko was stopped when the workshops were destroyed during the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion. The knock on effect was that the glass blowing and cutting techniques were lost for over 100 years.

In 1985 research into reproducing Satsuma Kiriko began, followed by the building of the new workshop in 1986. The produce some impressive stuff, with equally impressive prices.

Kagoshima, Kagoshima Japan, 2023 Asian Odyssey, Azamara, Azamara Quest, Japan

Our next stop, Sakurajima.

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2 thoughts on “Day 5 – Kagoshima Japan – Part 1

  • July 8, 2023 at 18:10

    Interesting place

    • July 8, 2023 at 18:37

      A lot more to come…


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