Sakurajima (桜島) is an active volcano located in Kagoshima prefecture in Kyushu. It’s easily accessible by ferries that run from Kagoshima Port to the Sakurajima Ferry Terminal. If you are traveling from Tokyo or Yokohama city, you can get to Kagoshima city by Solaseed Air (low-cost airline). It’s cheap, comfortable and they provide English language services for foreign travelers. Even though it’s a low-cost airline, they serve free drinks to passengers during the 1 hour 45 minutes flight from Tokyo Haneda airport to Kagoshima airport.
It’s a spectacular view from Kagoshima city. The photo below was taken from the Shiroyama Observatory in a park located near Kagoshima station. It’s accessible by rental bicycles and buses.
This is a 15-minute ferry ride towards Sakurajima. For more details, please refer to the following guide (PDF) provided by Kagoshima Prefectural Visitors Bureau.
Karasujima Observation Point 烏島展望所
These are the closest sightseeing spots near Sakurajima Ferry Terminal. It’s definitely a thrill to see and hear the billowing sound of smoke coming out of the volcano.
Nagisa Lava Trail 溶岩なぎさ遊歩道
Take a stroll down the Nagisa Lava Trail, enjoy the smell and sight of everything covered in volcano ashes. And if you have the time, you may also try the volcano ash bath near the area.
Kurokami Observation Point 黒神展望所
This is the furthest location from Sakurajima Ferry Terminal. At this point, you can view the volcano from the opposite angle. The billowing sound of smoke only gets louder as you walk towards the volcano. And if you intend to snap a photo from here to send to your family and friends, be sure to tell them that it’s not erupting and that you are at a safe distance. It does look pretty scary from this location.
The best way to travel around Sakurajima is by rental car which you can easily get at Kagoshima Port. There are sightseeing buses and regular buses that will take you to a few places in Sakurajima but they are infrequent. Here are the details on sightseeing buses in Sakurajima.