Translated by Hilary Keyes
How To Reach Kagoshima From Major Cities Like Tokyo And Osaka
Kagoshima prefecture is located in the Kyushu region of Japan and is where you will find two World Natural Heritage sites, Yakushima and Amami Oshima islands. In this article, we introduce routes to Kagoshima from Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.
Written by Mami Wakamatsu
What Kind of Place Is Kagoshima?
Kagoshima is a prefecture located in the Kyushu region of Japan. Kagoshima is best known for its temperate climate and plentiful nature, not to mention its numerous regional dishes, like Satsuma-age (fried fish cakes), and Kagoshima ramen, among others.
In addition to that, from Kagoshima, the popular sightseeing and World Natural Heritage sites Yakushima and Amami Oshima can easily be reached by both ferry and plane. Yakushima is home to the Jomonsugi, a 7200 year old cedar tree, while Amami Oshima is famous for its Oshima tsumugi woven textiles, peculiar local dishes, and sake.
Those who would like to travel to both locations should take a look at Amami Ōshima - A Paradise Only Two-And-A-Half Hours Away and Ways To Travel To Yakushima, Japan's First World Heritage Site for more information. There are also direct flights that depart from airports in both Tokyo and Osaka as well.
To learn more about Kagoshima prefecture as a whole, please refer to Kagoshima Travel Guide: 32 Sightseeing Spots, Local Food, and More!
Traveling to Kagoshima from Major Areas in Japan
From the major tourist destinations of Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and the like, it is most convenient to fly to Kagoshima. In particular, it is most convenient to travel from Tokyo's Narita or Haneda Airports, from Osaka's Itami Airport, and from Fukuoka's Fukuoka Airport to Kagoshima Airport. Let's now take a closer look at each of these routes.
About Kagoshima Airport
Kagoshima Airport is the gateway for travel in Kagoshima as it is located only 40 minutes from the Kagoshima city area and a mere 20-minute taxi ride to Kirishima, Kagoshima's preeminent hot spring resort area.
Within the airport you can pick of many of the famous confectioneries and foods from the prefecture, as well as other great souvenirs, which makes it convenient to shop for others. And, there are ashiyu (foot baths) and galleries showing natural spots from the region as well.
From Kagoshima Airport, head to JR Kagoshima Chuo Station, the center of transportation for Kagoshima prefecture. Via the airport shuttle bus run by the Nankoku Transportation company, it takes 40 minutes to reach the station, and costs 1250 yen. Incidentally, there is also a JR Kagoshima Station, so please be careful not to get the two confused when traveling.
Traveling from Tokyo To Kagoshima
If you were to take the shinkansen from Tokyo to Kagoshima, it would take about six hours and be quite expensive, so it is much cheaper and more convenient overall to fly there. By plane, it only takes about two hours to reach Kagoshima.
From Haneda Airport to Kagoshima Airport
From Haneda Airport, JAL, ANA, Skymark and other low-cost carriers operate flights to Kagoshima Airport. It takes about two hours to reach Kagoshima Airport; if you take a JAL or ANA flight, it will cost up to about 20,000 yen, while if you use Skymark, it will cost from 8000 yen and up.
From Narita Airport to Kagoshima Airport
Narita Airport also has direct flights to Kagoshima airport; the most convenient and reasonable ticket comes from the low cost carrier, Jetstar Airways. If you take the Jetstar flight from Narita Airport to Kagoshima Airport, it will take two hours and 15 minutes, and cost 7000 yen.
The Route from Osaka to Kagoshima
The fastest route from Osaka to Kagoshima is by plane. It costs from 12,000-18,000 yen, and will take an hour and 15 minutes. If you were to take the Sanyo/Kyushu shinkansen from Shin-Osaka, it would take from four to four and a half hours and would cost 21,400 yen.
Traveling from Fukuoka to Kagoshima
If you want to travel from Fukuoka to Kagoshima, your two best options are to rent a car from one of the services operating out of Hakata Airport, or take the shinkansen.
It takes approximately three and a half hours to drive from Fukuoka Airport to Kagoshima Chuo Station, if you take the Kyushu Expressway. The Kyushu Expressway is also a convenient route to take to several other sightseeing spots, so if you would like to enjoy a road trip while in Japan, this is your best option.
For more information about renting a car in Japan, check out All You Need To Know About Renting A Car In Japan.
When traveling from Fukuoka to Kagoshima via public transportation, the shinkansen is your best option. It takes roughly an hour and a half from Hakata Station to Kagoshima Chuo Station and costs 10,000 yen.
For visitors to Japan who want to do a lot of sightseeing and use the shinkansen, we strongly recommend purchasing the Japan Rail Pass, a special discount ticket for the JR trains and buses. To learn more about this ticket, please see Tailor-Made Holidays in Japan with Japan Rail Pass.
** Information in this article was provided by various transportation companies and is subject to change.