Sakurajima in Katanagatari episode 5

After procrastinating for months I finally processed the rest of the photos from my trip to Kyushu

Click here for Part 1

Sakurajima today, seen from Kagoshima

Seaside hot springs resort

Aerial view of Sakurajima

Convenience store

Vending machine + dinosaur


Shrine gate buried in ash

School with ash around the ground

Lava rocks around base of mountain

Older town

On the ferry

More volcanic rocks in the ocean

Small market/convenience store

Kyushu, located to the south of Japan, is a mountainous area with several active volcanoes. Sakurajima (櫻島 “Cherry Blossom Island”) is among the most active and it spews ash every once in a while, so nearby cities such as Kagoshima (鹿児島 “Deer Island”) are often covered in a soft gray powder. As you can see in the pictures, only one of the two peaks are active. There are caves for escaping eruptions and specially-built canals for channeling lava into the sea. If you watched Katanagatari, you’ll already know that because of these volcanoes, there are also quite a few hot springs (溫泉) around.

We visited several onsen hotels, though I didn’t bring my camera in. There were quite a few highlights, featuring stuff like a sky bath and a sand bath. Yukata (Japanese pajamas) are standard issue in hotels, as is the breakfast buffet.

仙巖園- “Sengan-en”

Old residential building (鹿児島)

Road through lawn

Shot of garden and ocean

Farm on some hills

No animals due to foot-to-mouth disease

Children playing on hill

Traditional building

Garden overlooking valley


Grass at base of mountain

Next up is some pics of the Sengan-en (仙巖園), a garden formerly owned by Shimadzu, the ruling clan of Kagoshima for several hundred years. There were also some residential buildings on site. I also visited a bunch of other gardens; it’s pretty peaceful there, and one could spend all day just lying on the grass and relaxing. I actually wanted to post more pictures but most of them ended up pretty crappy thanks to the cheap camera I got for free from some bank.

Anyway in conclusion, Kyushu is a nice place and the short time I was there certainly wasn’t enough to enjoy it all. However while this part of the country is definitely very charming, I would like to check out the excitement and buzz in a large metropolitan city like Tokyo sometime as well.


  1. It depends on the person, but when I went over to Japan, while I did enjoy the scenery, architecture and the like, the most fun I had was at Akihabara, Nakano Broadway and making the Lucky Star pilgrimage to Washinomiya Shrine.

  2. Was there too this last November. The Arimura Lava Observatory was awesome to visit ! How was Sakurajima’s activity for you ? I witnessed some massive explosion (could see rocks flying from the crater) when I got there; quite the eerie atmosphere if you ask me.

    Anyway, I spent a whole month and a half all alone in Japan last November and I have no words to describe how it was; backpacked across Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku and Kyushuu.

    Returning next year (just a week or two in Tokyo or something), will go for even longer 1½ after, when I’ll be done with my degree.

  3. It’s so clean over there, city and rural… Can’t even see a bit of mould.
    It’s probably just the camera, but these photos look so… unreal and paint-like. (a good thing).

    Also, does anyone know what these flowers are?

  4. Kyushu looks amazing! During my visit to Japan last summer, I did not have time to visit Kyushu, but I would love to go in the future. My trip was mainly to Tokyo, but I also went to Chiba’s suburbs, Kamakura, Nikko, Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone, and Nara. Seeing these photos almost makes me want to start my own travel blog, but realistically, I wouldn’t have the time to update it or sort through my thousands of photos. To anyone who wants to travel to Japan and doesn’t know any Japanese at all, I would suggest, at least, learning to read katakana. You can teach yourself using many free internet resources which are mostly excellent. Katakana is useful for ordering in restaurants which serve foreign food (there are tons of these kinds of restaurants). Also, many signs containing foreign words will be written in katakana, so it will help you navigate a bit easier. Anyone who is dedicated can learn katakana in a few short days (even less if you don’t want to bother learning to write it).

  5. Thank you so much for the photos!!!
    So amazingly beautiful.

    I’ve never been interested in Japanese islands (more like only the usual Tokyo and Osaka and stuff), but this is very beautiful.

    In your opinion, is this kinds of place worth staying at for at least half a year? I’m going to Japan for internship and they asked me if I have any place preferences. It might sound otaku-ish, but I’d love to live in a place just like Natsume from “Natsume Yuujinchou” lived in. Peaceful, small and lots of nature.

    So would it be nice to stay there for so long? Or it’d be boring? I’m not a party animal though.

  6. @Green: the flowers are snapdragons.

    Here’s a Sakurajima webcam. Usually you don’t need to wait long to see an eruption. It’s best viewed during daylight hours in Japan, though sometimes you can see some incandescence at night.

    Here is a video taken yesterday at Sakurajima.

    Just this past week a neighbor of Sakurajima on Kyushu, the Shinmoedake crater of Mt. Kirishima, put on a show. There’s much information and many links in the posts here.

  7. Japan is such a beautiful country, I went there twice had alot fo fun but still I cant help but get the feeling that if only I have a Japanese friend he could show me around and my enjoyment would double or triple of the amount. Is one thing to visit and explore but having someone whos familiar with the place and showing you all the in and out of this beautiful country is totally different.

  8. What a great coincidence! I’m planning my Kyushu trip for June, too.

    I have a business partner who needs some hands at a convention in Fukuoka. I’m thinking a 7-10 days trip around Kyushu (Fukuoka/Hatate, Kumamoto and the biggest castle of Kyushu, some famous shrines like the Tenmangu, the Azo Volcano, and perhaps the Cherry Island volcano featured here if I can squeeze it in…)

    Any Katanagatari fan care to meet me and say Cherio?

    Prooof, by the way, how the hell you got that Aerial view of Sakurajima? You rented a heli.?

    d as in tora

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