With approximately 600000 inhabitants, Kagoshima is the largest city in south Kyushu. Because of its bay location, warm climate and presence of nearby Sakurajima, it is often compared to Naples, one of its sister cities. That said, I know Naples and the comparison stops there.
As I live in Nagoya, a two million people city, I try to get a change of scenery whenever I travel and therefore spent less than a day in Kagoshima itself. However, I had a great first impression and if it were better located, I could probably even live there. Tourists usually come to visit Sakurajima, or go down to the southern islands.
The main attraction is Senganen, a beautiful Japanese style garden offering great views of the volcano.
There is a "Culture street" in the center but I have no clue where the name comes from, as it has almost nothing but snacks!
As always, some of the names are really weird and I found two great "franponais" (the French equivalent of "Engrish"). I'm not sure they would translate well to "Engrish" (the first one would be "saloon of together", and "poire" means "pear" in the second one), but now you know that English was not the only language "adapted to the local needs"...
By the way, there is a preconceived idea in Japan that every non-Asian foreigner speaks English perfectly fluently and it's not uncommon to be addressed in that language, which can sometimes be irritating. After all, it's just as ridiculous as assuming that all Asians speak Chinese. Anyway, I was all the more surprised when, as I was walking through a small public garden, a kid playing soccer spontaneously addressed me with a "bonjour"!...
From Kagoshima, I went to Ibusuki for half a day, a small beach town famous for its sand baths. The least I can say is that the weather was not terrific:
On the other hand, I couldn't wait to lie on the beach, body covered with hot sand, listening to the sounds of the lapping waves...
...But then I had a reality check: first, I expected to actually be on the beach, not under tents specially fitted out for that purpose, and contrary to what is skillfully suggested by some advertisings..
But the real problem was the noise: well, the waves could be heard...sometimes, when their sound wasn't drowned out by the shoveling, announcements, noisy children and parent reprimands...I was actually more stressed when I left than when I arrived!
As usual, I'll conclude this post with a few pictures from Kagoshima...