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Oh, Kagoshima Prefecture, you beautiful, underrated gem. Sure, everyone knows about Sakurajima Volcano and... actually, that's about it... but we're here to change that! We've teamed up with Tarutaru, local mascot of Tarumizu City and Kagoshima native, to bring you these rare, lesser-known pearls that can make any trip to Kagoshima truly unforgettable. Ready to explore Kagoshima's 'not so obvious' side? We'll be diving into the Sand Bath at Ibusuki, the Satsuma Kiriko Glass Workshop, and the Yakushima Island Adventure. And, naturally, we'll toss in all the essential details like location names and prices, because, you know, we're helpful like that.
Things to do:
If the idea of being buried alive in hot volcanic sand sounds appealing to you (and let's be honest, who wouldn't love that?), then pack your bags and head to the coastal town of Ibusuki. Here, you'll find a unique twist on the traditional Japanese hot spring experience: a therapeutic sand bath.
At the Ibusuki Sunamushi Onsen Saraku (website: http://sa-raku.sakura.ne.jp/en/), you'll don a stylish yukata before lying down on the warm sand, where skilled staff will bury you up to your neck. Don't worry, Tarutaru has tried it before, and he swears by its healing properties!
The cost for this sand bath extravaganza? A mere 1,100 yen for adults and 600 yen for children (as of May 2023). For the unforgettable memories and inevitable Instagram posts, it's a small price to pay.
Are you ready to unleash your inner artist? Of course, you are! And what better way to do that than by learning the art of Satsuma Kiriko glass making? This traditional Kagoshima craft involves intricate, hand-cut designs on stunning glassware. With Tarutaru as your inspiration (because who wouldn't be inspired by this lovable mascot?), you can join a workshop at the Isoyama Satsuma Kiriko Glass Studio (website: https://www.senganen.jp/en/experience/shimadzu-satsuma-kiriko-glassworks/) and create your own masterpiece.
This incredible experience will set you back around 3,300 yen and up, depending on the kind of glassware you choose. They have a bunch of other experiences you can try there too, such as Shihan Mato Archery, traditional bamboo toy crafting, and traditional scented sachet making. Tarutaru says "Priceless memories don't always come cheap, but they're worth every yen!"
Are you tired of those run-of-the-mill island getaways with nothing but sandy beaches, crystal-clear water, and endless sunshine? Tarutaru certainly is. Just look at the disgust on his face!
That's why we recommend Yakushima Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that's home to ancient cedar forests and an array of unique wildlife.
Channel your inner Tarutaru and join a guided trekking adventure through this magical island. The friendly folks at Yakushima Experience (website: https://yakushima-experience.com/) offer various hiking tours, with prices starting at 12,000 yen per person for a full-day adventure. Trust us; this is the kind of place where you'll half expect to see Tarutaru himself frolicking with the island's mythical creatures.
Now that you're armed with these three 'not so obvious' one-of-a-kind experiences in Kagoshima Prefecture, your friends will be begging for your travel advice. So, whether you choose to embark on these adventures solo, with friends, or accompanied by the ever-charming and somewhat enigmatic Tarutaru, your visit to Kagoshima should be anything but ordinary!