In southern Kyushu, southwest of Japan’s main island of Honshu, is Kagoshima Prefecture. Around 600 islands, small and large, are scattered offshore throughout the prefecture. Many of these islands are cut off from human contact, separated by distance and rough seas. Some are blessed with virgin forests, while others are connected intrinsically to the livelihoods of the islanders. The richness and beauty of the islands are unlimited.
The most famous of these islands are Yakushima, Tanegashima, and Amami Oshima.
Yakushima is most well known for its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. There, the Jomon cedar is more than 1000 years old. In particular, “Shiratani Unsuikyo” is a must-see spot. Its deep, lush, and green forests are filled with mystery, which made it the model for the forest in the movie “Princess Mononoke.”
This island is known throughout Japan as the site of the Tanegashima Space Center, launch pad for Japan’s space rockets. The area surrounding the space center is well known for its scenic landscapes. The beautiful blue seas and sandy beaches are breathtaking.
Amami Oshima is so large, it is Japan’s fifth largest island. The island is a mecca for many water sports, including snorkeling and surfing. It is also home to many campgrounds. Camping in such a natural setting is such a joy.
Address: Kagoshima Prefecture
Airport: Kagoshima Airport
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