Luxurious Kyushu Train Adventure
Explore Kagoshima on a fairy tale train
Be captivated by Kagoshima’s famous sights and sounds when you venture its tracks on the unique, popular Urashima Taro-themed train. Reinvigorate your body and soul as you go on a nature trip along the coast of Satsuma Peninsula, which stretches for 50 kilometres south of the city. The area is teeming with natural attractions including the Flower Park, Nagasaki-bana Cape, and Mount Kaimon. Savour the tastes of Kagoshima cuisine to gain fresh perspectives of delicious Japanese food. Pamper yourself in a one-of-a-kind sand bath or by staying in a lavish hotel with classic Japanese furnishings and outdoor natural onsen.
11:56 Take the Ibusuki no Tamatebako Train at Kagoshima-chuo Station
The Ibusuki no Tamatebako Train follows the story of Urashima Taro, which locals believe has originated from Kagoshima. Urashima Taro rescued a turtle, and as a reward he was brought to the Dragon Palace under the sea and met Princess Otohime. About to return home, he was given a bejewelled box (tamatebako; also the train’s namesake) by the princess. He felt like he spent only a few days in the palace. However, when he got home 300 years have already passed and became an old man with white hair when he opened the box. The train’s design, inside and out, is based on this legend; the black and white exterior colours symbolize Urashima Taro’s transformation. The train itself represents the bejewelled box.
The interior design is filled with wooden furnishings made from cedar of South Kyushu and teak that’s usually used in yachts. The colourful swivel chairs make it convenient when viewing the seaside. Car 1 has a designated wheelchair space that offers panoramic sea views while Car 2 has a dedicated reading nook with sofas and a kids’ counter with a crib. To complete the train ride experience, try the bento boxes and local bites and drinks such as a Kamelon Bread or Ibusuki Onsen Cider. Doesn’t this train ride sound unique, enjoyable, and relaxing?
12:48 Ibusuki Station
Walk, 7 mins
13:00 Black Pork and Local Cuisine Restaurant Aoba
Kagoshima is well known for its Kurobuta pork, which is known as Kagoshima Black Pork, is like Wagyu beef of pork. Savour Kagoshima’s local food at Kurobuta and Kyodo Cuisine Aoba Restaurant. They are popular for their black pork and chicken dishes with locals and tourists alike. Their menu uses only local ingredients, showcasing a taste unique to Kagoshima. Some of their signature dishes are shabu-shabu, black pork fillet, poached egg bowl and grilled eel.
Walk, 7 mins
Rent a car around Ibusuki Station
14:30 Ryugu Shrine
According to Japanese folklore, Ryugu Shrine is dedicated to a sea god called Ryujin. Legend has it that it is also the birthplace of Urashima Taro. The shrine overlooks the sea and Cape Nagasakibana, so it’s a good place to catch sea view.
15:00 Nagasaki-bana Cape
Located in the southernmost point of Satsuma Peninsula, Nagasaki-bana provides extensive views of Mount Kaimondake which is also known as Satsuma Fuji because of its similarities with Mount Fuji. To admire featured variety of flora and fauna, head over to Nagasakibana Parking Garden.
15:30 Flower Park Kagoshima
Enjoy the fresh air and colourful array of plants and flowers in Flower Park Kagoshima. It has a massive collection of 2400 varieties of plants from various parts of the world scattered across 36.5 hectares of land. The park also provides breathtaking views of Satsuma Peninsula’s coastline.
Rest the day with a relaxing stay at Ginsyou. Located at the cape of Satsuma Peninsula, Fufurotenburonoyado Ginsyou is just right next to the natural sand bath onsen which Ibusuki is famous for. The open-air baths of this hotel are located on the ninth floor and provide incredibly stunning views while you soak away your tiredness, stress and worries. The public bath both has indoor and outdoor settings. Guests are surprised at dinner with “onsen tables” where the tables have a mini onsen partition in the centre to cook onsen eggs or warm up sake. They also offer Satsuma-age, or fried fish cake, which is a local delicacy in Kagoshima.
10:00 Check out
Car, 15 mins
10:15 Healthy Land
Healthy Land at Ibusuki is not just an ordinary onsen resort, its infinity open-air bath offers you amazing, unblocked views of its surrounding sea and the Satsuma Peninsula. Aside from the views, many variations of healthy baths are also available – rock bath, walk-in bath, traditional onsen and western-style bath – design your own course and enjoy them to the fullest. Another highlight of the resort is the sand bath, where guests are almost completely buried in the sand (except for their heads) near the shore. The sand is naturally warm because of the onsen in the area. As you perspire from the heat of the sand, your body becomes detoxified. It is believed to help alleviate certain types of ailments, such as rheumatism and anaemia, reduce cold sensitivity and boost the immune system. Feel your mind and body get reinvigorated while being lulled by the warm breeze and gentle waves.
Car, 30 mins
Taste the divine flavours of Ise Shima in this mouth-watering seafood dining experience while enjoying fantastic views of the ocean and Mt. Kami-dake. Iseebisou elevates the experience with the treasures of the sea. Feast both your eyes and tastebuds on fresh lobsters paired and thoughtfully arranged with other local ingredients. The soup stock from boiling the lobsters is used to create delectable prawn miso soup that will warm your body and soul.
Car, 10 mins
14:00 Kamafuta Shrine
Known as a power spot, Kamafuta Shrine is famous for its unique way of praying. Visitors put a traditional pot cover over their heads, walk towards the shrine and pray while holding it atop their heads. It is said that the practice has been around since the Asuka Period (550-710 CE); when the lid of a large rice pot was blown by a strong gust of wind onto the grounds of the shrine during the visit of the then Emperor and his guests. The lid was enshrined as a deity, and the shrine was named kamafuta, which translates to iron pot lid.
Car, 20 mins
15:00 Mount Kaimon (Kaimondake)
Reward yourself with spectacular views of Kaimondake! Located at the southern tip of Satsuma Peninsula, it is an inactive volcano with an almost perfect conical shape. As it has such resemblance with Mount Fuji, it became known as Satsuma Fuji. The dormant volcano stands at 924 metres with rocky and boulder trails for exploring. Once you reach the summit, the panoramic views of Kinko Bay, Cape Sata, and Tanegashima will take your breath away.
Car. 15 mins