We had now traversed from Kyushu’s northern tip to its southernmost major city, Kagoshima. Overlooking the busy port city (and not too far away too) is the majestic volcanic peak of Sakurajima (Island). For the last sixty years is has been actively pouring out smoke and ash. The most violent eruption in 1914 poured out over three billion tonnes of lava and spewed it all down it’s southeast face, into the sea where it joined into the mainland, turning the island into a peninsula.
We took the public ferry across and had the day to visit some of the various viewpoints on the island by bus and walking.
Sakurajima’s main peak is Minami-dake (1040m) and it is visible from nearly everywhere offshore and on the island. Halfway across and we got the surprise of our Kyushu trip thus far; Minami-dake erupted right in front of our eyes!
Once on the island, a tourist bus took us along the main coastal road to the various viewpoints. If you had more time or stayed on the island, there were more viewpoints further away and on the other side of the island. Including some treks up the slopes for a closer look. (But not too close!) Each viewpoint had a slightly different angle, height and closeness to the volcano.
And then this strange monument.
Visited 2nd March 2014.