Cycling Kagoshima’s Two Peninsulas

Cycling Kagoshima’s Two Peninsulas
九州最南端・鹿児島の旅


Kagoshima prefecture is the southernmost prefecture on Kyushu Island and the climate there sure feels that way. In late December, rape blossoms start to bloom in a spattering of fields around the island. We start our ride from the city of Kagoshima, which has many historic sites relating to the heroes of the Meiji Restoration. We pedal south along the western peninsula of Satsuma, passing by the airfield in Chiran Town where many Japanese kamikaze planes took off during the war and none returned.

The route continues further south through taking you through a land filled with charms and attractions. You’ll discover the spectacle of meticulously groomed ridges of tea trees and the smell of fuming bonito in Makurazaki, a main source of katsuobushi, an indispensable ingredient for Japanese cooking.

After relaxing in the sand bath in Ibusuki hot springs, take an eastbound ferry to Osumi Peninsula and visit Cape Sata, the southernmost tip of Kyushu Island. We then return to Kagoshima City by way of the smoking Sakurajima volcano, completing the roughly 220-kilometer tour around the two peninsulas of Kagoshima.

鹿児島は九州にあって、さらに南を感じさせるところ。12月下旬ともなると、県内のあちこちで菜の花が咲く。
鹿児島市内で明治維新の立役者たちの足跡を訪ね、知覧で特攻隊の悲しみを知りつつ、広大な茶畑を駆け抜け、枕崎でカツオの水揚げ量・日本一にして鰹節の産地を訪ねる。

そして指宿で砂蒸し温泉で癒されたら、さらに大隅半島に渡って九州最南端の佐多岬を訪ね、噴煙を上げる桜島を経由して鹿児島へ戻ると、約220㎞の旅となる。