This is the nice place to enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Sakurajima and Kagoshima City.
Also, there are many souvenir shops.
Walk to Observatory
I took the video of the road from parking lot to the observatory.
Not only tourists but also many local people are here to enjoy exercise. It takes about 5 minutes from parking lot to observatory by foot.
You can have a wonderful view of Mt. Sakurajima (1,117 meter abover sea level) at the top of observatory.
The height of the observatory is about 107 meter.
If weather is fine, you can see Kirishima Mountains at north and Mt. Kaimon at south.
View of Sakurajima
I took the view of Mt. Sakurajima from Shiroyama observatory.
My wife and I came here many times before we got married.
One of my dreams is to take my daughter to this place and let her see this scenery.
The left part of the Mt. Sakurajima has many deep valleys which have been curbed by rain.
On the other hand, south crator has kept erupt constantly and falls ashes on right part of the volcano. So the surface of right part of the volcano is smooth and have relatively liitle valleys.
Sakurajima had originally been isolated from Osumi Peninsula and 300 meter water straight had separated the volcano from the peninsula.
Big eruption in 1913 provided huge amont of lava and it connected the volcano and the Peninsula.
The eruption was massive to an extent that its ash reached as far as Kamchaka peninsula of Russian Federation.
Is Kagoshima Safe?
Kagoshima City is only 6 km away from volcano crator.
Many tourists ask me if it save to live in the city.
Usually sometimes volcano ash falls, but stones rarely flies to city.
Production of Agriculture
North part of Mt. Sakurajima is rich in water and the land is very suitable for agriculture.
Sakurajima daikon, or huge raddish is known as the biggest raddish in the world. Guinells records 31 kg raddish.
On the other hand, Sakurajima orange is known as the smallest orange in the world.
The sea surrounding Mt. Sakurajima is called Kinko Bay.
The bay has more than 1,000 thousands kinds of fishes and dolphins.
In 1863, English navy invaded the bay and hard battle took place between English navy and the Satsuma Domain.
Transportation to Sakurajima
You can take ferry to the Mt. Sakurajima.
The ferry runs for twenty four hours.
It take 15 minutes to the volcano.
Shiroyama is covered with forests now, but it was the residential area until the 16th century.
Tsurumaru Castle was built just in front of Shiroyama and Shiroyama became the second castle of Tsurumaru Castle in the case of battle.
For this reason, peple left Shiroyama and many camphor trees were planted.
In 1877, Saigo Takamori and his fellows took a final battle at Shiroyama against Meiji government forces.
But new weapons and many forces overwelmed the Saigo’s army. Saigo took suicide and was defeated.
You can still visit Saigo’s cave where Saigo put headquarters during the war.
After the war, many emperors have visited Shiroyama observertory and planted monumental trees.
Sakurajima Ash Ice Cream?
There is a small shop at the observatory. The shop was selling very unique ice cream which I had never seen…!
Information of Shiroyama Observatory
Kagoshima City View Bus is the most convenient transportation to visit Shiroyama Observatory.
Free parking lot is available.