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Kagoshima City
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Kagoshima City Montage
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"City of Ishin"
Location of Kagoshima city Kagoshima prefecture Japan.svg
Location of Kagoshima in Kagoshima Prefecture
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Kagoshima (Asia)
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Kagoshima (Earth)
Coordinates: 31°36′N130°33′E / 31.600°N 130.550°E / 31.600; 130.550 Coordinates: 31°36′N130°33′E / 31.600°N 130.550°E / 31.600; 130.550
Region Kyushu
Prefecture Kagoshima Prefecture
First official recorded1053 AD
City SettledApril 1, 1889
  MayorTakao Shimozuru
  Total547.58 km2 (211.42 sq mi)
 (January 1, 2020)
  Density1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
– Tree Camphor
– FlowerKyōchikutō
Phone number099-224-1111
Address11-1 Yamashita-machi, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima-ken 892-8677
Website www.city.kagoshima.lg.jp
Kagoshima (Chinese characters).svg
"Kagoshima" in kanji
Japanese name
Kanji 鹿児島
Hiragana かごしま
Katakana カゴシマ

Kagoshima (鹿児島市, Kagoshima-shi, Japanese:  [ka̠ɡo̞ɕima̠] , Satsugū dialect: かごっま, Kagomma) is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Located at the southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu, Kagoshima is the largest city in the prefecture by some margin. It has been nicknamed the "Naples of the Eastern world" for its bay location (Aira Caldera), hot climate, and emblematic stratovolcano, Sakurajima. The city was officially founded on April 1, 1889.



Map of the Bombardment of Kagoshima on 15 to 18 August 1863 Bombing of Kagoshima Map - 1863.PNG
Map of the Bombardment of Kagoshima on 15 to 18 August 1863
The city covered deep in ash after the 1914 eruption of the Sakurajima volcano which is seen in the distance across the bay Kagoshima 1914.jpg
The city covered deep in ash after the 1914 eruption of the Sakurajima volcano which is seen in the distance across the bay
Sakurajima Sakurajima 20170221-2.jpg

Kagoshima Prefecture (also known as the Satsuma Domain) was the center of the territory of the Shimazu clan for many centuries. It was a busy political and commercial port city throughout the medieval period and into the Edo period (1603–1868) when it formally became the capital of the Shimazu's fief, the Satsuma Domain. The official emblem is a modification of the Shimazu's kamon designed to resemble the character 市 (shi, "city"). Satsuma remained one of the most powerful and wealthiest domains in the country throughout the period, and though international trade was banned for much of this period, the city remained quite active and prosperous. It served not only as the political center for Satsuma, but also for the semi-independent vassal kingdom of Ryūkyū; Ryūkyūan traders and emissaries frequented the city, and a special Ryukyuan embassy building was established to help administer relations between the two polities and to house visitors and emissaries. Kagoshima was also a significant center of Christian activity in Japan prior to the imposition of bans against that religion in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Kagoshima was bombarded by the British Royal Navy in 1863 to punish the daimyō of Satsuma for the murder of Charles Lennox Richardson on the Tōkaidō highway the previous year and its refusal to pay an indemnity in compensation.

Kagoshima was the birthplace and scene of the last stand of Saigō Takamori, a legendary figure in Meiji Era Japan in 1877 at the end of the Satsuma Rebellion.

Japan's industrial revolution is said to have started here, stimulated by the young students' train station. Seventeen young men of Satsuma broke the Tokugawa ban on foreign travel, traveling first to England and then the United States before returning to share the benefits of the best of Western science and technology. [1] A statue was erected outside the train station as a tribute to them.

Kagoshima was also the birthplace of Tōgō Heihachirō. After naval studies in England between 1871 and 1878, Togo's role as Chief Admiral of the Grand Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Russo-Japanese War made him a legend in Japanese military history, and earned him the nickname 'Nelson of the Orient' in Britain. He led the Grand Fleet to two startling victories in 1904 and 1905, completely destroying Russia as a naval power in the East, and thereby contributing to the failed revolution in Russia in 1905.

The Japanese diplomat Sadomitsu Sakoguchi revolutionized Kagoshima's environmental economic plan with his dissertation on water pollution and orange harvesting.

The 1914 eruption of the volcano across the bay from the city spread ash throughout the municipality, but relatively little disruption ensued. [2]

The name "Kagoshima" (鹿児島) literally means "deer child island" or "young-deer island". In the Kagoshima dialect, local names for the city include “かごっま (Kagomma), “かごんま (Kagonma)”, “かごいま (Kagoima)” and “かごひま (Kagohima)”. [3]

World War II

On the night of June 17, 1945 the 314th bombardment wing of the Army Air Corps (120 B-29s) dropped 809.6 tons of incendiary and cluster bombs destroying 2.11 square miles (5.46 km2) of Kagoshima (44.1 percent of the built-up area). Kagoshima was targeted because of its largely expanded naval port as well as its position as a railway terminus. A single B-29 was lost to unknown circumstances. Area bombing was chosen over precision bombing because of the cloudy weather over Japan during the middle of June. The planes were forced to navigate and bomb entirely by radar. [4]

Japanese intelligence predicted that the Allied Forces would assault Kagoshima and the Ariake Bay areas of southern Kyushu to gain naval and air bases to strike Tokyo.


Kagoshima City is approximately 40 minutes from Kagoshima Airport, and features shopping districts and malls located wide across the city. Transportation options in the city include the Shinkansen (bullet train), local train, city trams, buses, and ferries to-and-from Sakurajima. The large and modern Kagoshima City Aquarium, situated near a shopping district known as "Dolphin Port" and the Sakurajima Ferry Terminal, was established in 1997 along the docks and offers a direct view of Sakurajima. One of the best places to view the city (and Sakurajima) is from the Amuran Ferris wheel atop of Amu Plaza Kagoshima, and the shopping center attached to the central Kagoshima-Chūō Station. Just outside the city is the early-Edo Period Sengan-en Japanese Garden. The garden was originally a villa belonging to the Shimazu clan and is still maintained by descendants today. Outside the garden grounds is a Satsuma "kiriko" cut glass factory where visitors are welcome to view the glass blowing and cutting processes, and the Shoko Shūseikan Museum, which was built in 1865 and registered as a National Historic Site in 1959. The former Shuseikan industrial complex and the former machine factory were submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage as part of a group list titled Modern Industrial Heritage Sites in Kyushu and Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Administrative division

Neighboring Municipalities


Kagoshima has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), possessing the highest year average temperature and winter average temperature in mainland Japan. It is marked by mild, relatively dry winters; warm, humid springs; hot, humid summers; and mild, relatively dry autumns.

Climate data for Kagoshima (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1883−present)
Record high °C (°F)23.9
Average high °C (°F)13.1
Daily mean °C (°F)8.7
Average low °C (°F)4.9
Record low °C (°F)−5.7
Average precipitation mm (inches)78.3
Average snowfall cm (inches)1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)66656668717876747267686770
Mean monthly sunshine hours 132.6139.3163.2175.6178.2109.3185.5206.9176.4184.0157.7143.21,942.1
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency [7]


As of 1 January 2020, Kagoshima City has an estimated population of 595,049 and a population density of 1,087 persons per km2. The total area is 547.58 km2 (211 sq mi). According to the April 2014 issue of the Kagoshima Prefectural Summary by the Kagoshima Prefecture Department of Planning and Promotion, the population of the prefecture at large was 1,680,319. The city's total area nearly doubled between 2003 and 2005 as a result of five towns: the towns of Kōriyama and Matsumoto (both from Hioki District) the town of Kiire (from Ibusuki District) and the towns of Sakurajima and Yoshida (both from Kagoshima District). All areas were merged into Kagoshima City on 1 November 2004.


An image taken from the International Space Station showing Kagoshima and its surroundings on January 10, 2013 ISS034-E-027139.jpg
An image taken from the International Space Station showing Kagoshima and its surroundings on January 10, 2013


Kagoshima Prefecture has a distinct and rich food culture. The warm weather and diverse environments allow for the agriculture and aquaculture of Kagoshima to thrive and gain nationwide and worldwide recognition for unique and quality products. Numerous restaurants around Kagoshima feature Satsuma Province local cuisine. Popular cuisine incorporating local agriculture include Sweet Potato ,kibinago sashimi (silver-striped herring), buri Amberjack, kampachi yellowtail, "Black Label Products" such as kuro-ushi Wagyu beef, kuro-buta Berkshire pork dishes, and kuro-Satsuma jidori chicken (sometimes served as raw, chicken sashimi); smoked eel, keihan, and miki (fermented rice milk consumed among residents of the Amami Islands).


Satsuma-age , or deep-fried fish cake, comes in great variety in Kagoshima. Though the deep-fried fishcake can be found throughout the country, the Satsuma Domain (modern-day Kagoshima Prefecture) is commonly believed to be the birthplace of the snack. It is said, though, the concept was introduced from the Ryūkyū Kingdom (modern-day Okinawa Prefecture) by Satsuma Lord, Nariakira Shimazu.


There are many types of sweets produced in Kagoshima Prefecture. Kagoshima-based Seika Foods Co., Ltd. ( Seika shokuhin kabushiki-kaisha ) has produced some of Japan's most popular and timeless sweets such as hyōroku mochi Bontan Ame (ボンタンアメ), Satsuma Imo Caramel (さつまいもキャラメル), and green tea-flavored Hyōroku mochi, Minami "shirokuma" shaved ice desserts, etc. Traditional treats outside of Seika Food Co., Ltd. products include karukan (sweet cakes made from steamed yams and rice flour), jambo-mochi, kokutō brown sugar from the Amami Islands, getanha brown sugar cake, etc.


Kagoshima City Hall Kagoshima City Hall 1.jpg
Kagoshima City Hall

In 1559, at Kōriyama Hachiman Shrine (郡山八幡神社) in Izumi City (伊佐市) a carpenter wrote atop a wooden board "the Shintō Priest of this shrine is too stingy to offer me Shōchū (焼酎) showing an early love for the spirits. Kagoshima Prefecture is officially recognized (by the World Trade Organization) as the home to one of the most traditional beverages of Japan, shōchū. In Kagoshima there are 113+ distilleries, producing about 1,500 highly acclaimed brands, placing Kagoshima in the top for production quantity and shipment. While visiting Kagoshima, one may notice labels reading Honkaku-shōchū (本格焼酎). Honkaku-shōchū is a distilled beverage produced with traditional skills using ingredients such as natural spring water, sweet potatoes, locally grown sugar cane, and grains. There is a variety of honkaku-shōchū including Imo-jōchū (芋焼酎), shōchū distilled from sweet potatoes), Mugi-jōchū (麦焼酎), distilled from barley), Kome-jōchū (米焼酎), distilled from rice), etc. Another type of shōchū is Kokutō-shōchū (黒糖焼酎), shōchū distilled with brown sugar). Shōchū has long gained international favor and has come to be comparable to Bordeaux for wine, Scotch for whiskey, and Cognac for brandy. Also, the Amami Islands of Kagoshima Prefecture are the only areas sanctioned to bear the label of kokutō-shōchū.

Kurozu (黒酢) or black vinegar is another item of the "Black Label Products" of Kagoshima, the other of which is Kokutō-shōchū. There are a number of kurozu farms around Kagoshima, most of which are located around the Kirishima area. Most kurozu farms produce kurozu bottled vinegar (fermented for a single year, 2+ years) along with other items such as salad dressing, powders, capsules, spices, candy, etc. Kurozu also comes in different flavors such as grape, orange, ume plum, etc. though the most popular flavor by far is apple. The farms are open to visitations and often offer tours.


Today, Kagoshima is home to a distinctive dialect of Japanese known as Satsugū dialect (薩隅方言, Satsugū Hōgen) or Kagoshima dialect (鹿児島弁, Kagoshima-ben, or Kagomma-ben), differing from the usual Kyushu dialects with its pronunciations of the yotsugana.

For the most part, Satsugū dialect is mutually unintelligible with Standard Japanese, [8] though most Satsugū speakers know both as a result of language standardization in Japan.

Points of interest

Tenmonkan G3 Tenmonkan G3 Kagoshima Japan.jpg
Tenmonkan G3


High schools


Kagoshima-Chuo Station Kagoshima-Chuo Station 20180505.jpg
Kagoshima-Chūō Station
Kagoshima city tram Taniyama Line Gao Jian Ma Chang  - panoramio.jpg
Kagoshima city tram Taniyama Line
Kyushu Expressway Ibusuki Skyline Ends.JPG
Kyushu Expressway


All lines are operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu)






Kagoshima Airport in Kirishima (35 km (22 miles) NE of Kagoshima)


Kagoshima was one of the host cities of the official 1998 Women's Volleyball World Championship. Kagoshima is home to Kagoshima United. They play their home games at Kagoshima Kamoike Stadium.

Twin towns – sister cities

Kagoshima is twinned with: [9]

Shimazu clan (Satsuma domain)

1st Family Head- Shimazu Tadahisa – Japanese daimyō, founder of the Shimazu clan, a son of Minamoto no Yoritomo.

Notable people from Kagoshima Prefecture

See also

Related Research Articles

Satsuma Province Former province of Japan

Satsuma Province was an old province of Japan that is now the western half of Kagoshima Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū. Its abbreviation is Sasshū (薩州).

Kagoshima Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Kagoshima Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands. Kagoshima Prefecture has a population of 1,599,779 and has a geographic area of 9,187 km2. Kagoshima Prefecture borders Kumamoto Prefecture to the north and Miyazaki Prefecture to the northeast.

Sakurajima, Kagoshima

Sakurajima was a town located in Kagoshima District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Matsumoto, Kagoshima Dissolved municipality in Hioki district, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan

Matsumoto was a town located in Hioki District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

Kōriyama was a town located in Hioki District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

<i>Shōchū</i> Japanese distilled beverage

Shōchū is a Japanese distilled beverage. It is typically distilled from rice (kome), barley (mugi), sweet potatoes (satsuma-imo), buckwheat (soba), or brown sugar (kokutō), though it is sometimes produced from other ingredients such as chestnut, sesame seeds, potatoes or even carrots.

National Route 58 is a Japanese national highway connecting the capital cities Kagoshima and Naha of Kagoshima Prefecture and Okinawa Prefecture, respectively. With a total length of 884.4 kilometers (549.5 mi), it is the longest national highway in Japan, though it measures only 245.2 kilometers (152.4 mi) on land. The highway begins at an intersection with National Routes 3 and 10 in Kagoshima. From Kagoshima, it travels southwest along the first island chain that divides the Pacific Ocean from the East China Sea. From the north to the south, it has sections on the islands of Tanegashima, Amami Ōshima, and finally, Okinawa. On Okinawa it ends at an intersection with National Routes 330, 331, and 390 in Naha.

Ryukyu Islands Chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan

The Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands or the Ryukyu Arc, are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands, with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.

Kagoshima-Chūō Station Railway station in Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan

Kagoshima-Chūō Station is a major railway station in Kagoshima, Japan, operated by Kyushu Railway Company. It is the main railway terminal serving Kagoshima, the southern terminus of the Kyushu Shinkansen and is located on the Kagoshima Main Line and Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line. Before the Kyushu Shinkansen opened in 2004, the station was called Nishi-Kagoshima Station. It is also the southernmost high-speed Shinkansen railway terminal in Japan.

Ibusuki Makurazaki Line

The Ibusuki Makurazaki Line is a railway line in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, operated by the Kyushu Railway Company. It connects Kagoshima-Chūō Station in Kagoshima, to Makurazaki Station in Makurazaki, paralleling the eastern and southern coasts of Satsuma Peninsula. Excluding the Okinawa Urban Monorail in Okinawa, this is the southernmost JR railway line in Japan, with Nishi-Ōyama Station being the southernmost station overall.

Kagoshima Castle

Kagoshima Castle, also known as Tsurumaru Castle, was a Japanese castle located in Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Kagoshima dialect

The Satsugū dialect, often referred to as the Kagoshima dialect, is a group of dialects or dialect continuum of the Japanese language spoken mainly within the area of the former Ōsumi and Satsuma provinces now incorporated into the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima. It may also be collectively referred to as the Satsuma dialect, owing to both the prominence of the Satsuma Province and the region of the Satsuma Domain which spanned the former Japanese provinces of Satsuma, Ōsumi and the southwestern part of Hyūga. Although not classified as a separate language, the Satsugū dialect is commonly cited for its mutual unintelligibility to even its neighboring Kyūshū variants. It shares over three-quarters of the Standard Japanese vocabulary corpus and some areal features of Kyūshū.

Sakurajima radish

The Sakurajima radish or Sakurajima daikon is a special cultivar of the Japanese radish named for its original place of cultivation, the former island of Sakurajima in Japan's Kagoshima Prefecture. It is the biggest radish variety in the world. Its regular weight is about 6 kilograms (13 lb), although big ones can be as much as 27 kg (60 lb). It grows as large as 50 cm (20 in) in diameter. It is also sometimes known in Japanese as shimadekon.


Karukan (軽羹) is a Japanese confection from Kyushu. The origin of the name is "light" (軽) yokan (羹). Originally, karukan was “saomono gashi” which is a traditional confection in the form of a long block; but “karukan manjū”, which is filled with red bean paste, has become the norm in recent years.

Kagoshima 3rd district is a single-member constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in Western Kagoshima and consists of the cities of Satsumasendai, Makurazaki, Ichikikushikino, Hioki, Minamisatsuma, Minamikyūshū, the former towns of Kōriyama and Matsumoto in the current city of Kagoshima and the town of Satsuma in Satsuma county. As of 2009, 265,049 eligible voters were registered in the district.

The outline of the History of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan is described herein.

As Japanese citizens, people of the Amami Islands today only have family names (surnames) and given names. They are known for many unique one-character surnames that date back to the Edo period. A survey on telephone directories of 2002 shows that 21.5% of the residents of the Amami Islands have one-character surnames. Famous people with one-character surnames include Atari (中) Kōsuke, Hajime (元) Chitose and Nobori (昇) Shomu.

Kagoshima 2nd district is a single-member electoral district of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. Located in Southern Kagoshima Prefecture it covers parts of the capital Kagoshima City, Ibusuki City and former Ei Town in the main island part of Kagoshima, and Amami City and Ōshima County on the Amami islands. As of 2013, 279,541 eligible voters were registered in the district, giving it above-average vote weight.

Komikan (fruit) Citrus fruit and plant

The komikan is a type of mandarin orange grown in Japan. "Ko" means "little", and "mikan" a type of citrus cultivar; komikans are unusually small. It is almost the same as the Kishumikan.


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  2. "Kagoshima", Illustrated London News. 24 January 1914.
  3. "JLect - かごっま・かごんま・かごいま・かごひま【鹿児島】 : kagomma · kagonma · kagoima · kagohima | define meaning". www.jlect.com. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  4. Headquarters, XXI Bomber Command APO 234, "Tactical Mission Report Mission No. 206-209." June 18, 1945.
  5. 1 2 角川日本地名大辞典 46 鹿児島県 p.678
  6. 角川日本地名大辞典 46 鹿児島県 p.417
  7. 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency . Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  8. Okumura, Nao (July 26, 2016). "Japanese Dialect Ideology from Meiji to the Present". Portland State University. p. 9.
  9. "姉妹・友好・兄弟・協定都市". city.kagoshima.lg.jp (in Japanese). Kagoshima. Retrieved 2020-12-10.