Update : March 1, 2016

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Outline of Kagoshima


Kagoshima Prefecture is situated in the south-western region of the Japanese mainland. With a total surface area of 9,188 km2, it is the 10th largest prefecture in Japan. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and East China Sea, Kagoshima has a shoreline extending 2,643 km and a wide expanse of land stretching approximately 600 km from north to south.

The climate ranges from temperate to sub-tropical and is characterized by higher than average temperatures for Japan and a generally mild climate.

A large number of islands that include Tanegashima, Yakushima, and the Amami Islands account for some 28% of the total land area of Kagoshima Prefecture.

The Kirishima Volcano Chain crosses the central region from north to south. There are 11 active volcanoes spread out from Kirishima in the north to the Tokara Islands in the Southern Sea and a great number of natural hot springs in between. Moreover, most regions throughout the Prefecture are covered in a layer of volcanic ejecta that is known as “shirasu”.

2Kagoshima Life

Kagoshima is blessed with abundant “Hommono (authentic)” resources – Rich nature such as the World Natural Heritage Yakushima Island, a huge variety of food ingredients such as the Kurobuta pork, Shochu liquor, etc, and a distinct history and culture.

As a leading prefecture in quality living, Kagoshima is proud to offer a captivating and serene lifestyle, and we would like to introduce some of its charms to you.

World-class Natural Environment

Kagoshima is blessed with a diverse array of rich natural environments, including Yakushima Island, the first site in Japan to be registered as a World Natural Heritage; unique islands such as the Amami islands, which boasts coral reefs and rare wild animals; active volcanoes like Mount Sakurajima, Kirishima, etc., lush green forests, and varying coastlines.

 Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

<Annual Average Temperature 18.9℃ (Ranked 2nd in Japan)>Reference: Social Indicators by Prefecture 2013, Statistics Bureau

The climate of Kagoshima Prefecture covers a wide spectrum from temperate to sub-tropical, making it more climatically varied and complex when compared to other regions. With a yearly average temperature of 18.9℃, the climate is mild and comfortable throughout the year.

Leading Hot Spring Prefecture

Known as an “Onsen (Hot Spring) Paradise”, Kagoshima prefecture is ranked second in Japan in terms of the number of hot spring sources and public baths (also called Sento) equipped with natural hot springs.

Traditional Arts/ Events and Local Practices

Traditional arts/events and local practices are passed down orally throughout every region of the Prefecture. They are a part of everyday life and serve as a foundation for the local culture.

Ruins, Modern Industrial Heritage, etc.

There are more than 30 known ruins that remain from the Incipient Jomon Period to the Early Jomon Period. These include the Uenohara ruins, a typical hamlet that represents the first stages of settlement (approx. 9500 years ago) in the southern region of Kyushu.

Kagoshima Prefecture is home to many industrial heritage sites –all which served as foundations for the modernization of Japan, such as the “Shuseikan” (Former Industrial Complex) and “Sekiyoshi-no-Sosuiko” (Sekiyoshi Sluice Gate for the Yoshino Aqueduct). These sites belong to the serial inscription of registered world cultural heritage sites, “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Modern Industrial Heritages of Kyushu-Yamaguchi” which is overseen by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (established in late June-early July 2015).

Delicious Food

Kagoshima yields an abundance of high quality agricultural and marine products. Food industries that utilize these products are clustered here, making Kagoshima a “food supply base” for the rest of Japan.

A Rich Gastronomic Culture

Kagoshima boasts numerous food ingredients and local cuisine, such as the Kagoshima Kurobuta pork, Kagoshima Kuroushi beef, Kurosatsuma chicken, Kurozu vinegar, brown sugar, Shochu liquor, Kagoshima Ramen (soup noodles), Tonkotsu (braised pork), Satsuma-age (fried fish cake), Satsuma-imo sweet potatoes, Local Chicken Sashimi (raw sliced local chicken), Kibinago Sashimi (raw sliced Silver Striped Herring fish), Bonito cuisine, Amami Keihan (Amami style chicken rice), Karukan (steamed rice cake), Kagoshima Tea, and Shirokuma (shaved ice with fruits)

Kagoshima Brand

There are 18 items in 27 production regions that are officially designated as “Kagoshima Brand” (as of May 2014)

Kagoshima Seasonal Fish

There are 18 species of fish from around Kagoshima Prefecture that have been appointed as “Kagoshima Seasonal Fish” since they highlight the particular taste of each season.

Thriving Volunteer Activities

 <Annual Ratio of People Involved in Volunteer Activities: 34.4% (3th place in Japan)>Reference: Social Indicators by Prefecture 2015, Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

The ratio of people involved in volunteer activities is comparatively high in Kagoshima. There is a very strong spirit of volunteerism and mutual assistance here.