Travel: 48 Hours in Kagoshima, Japan

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Travel: 48 Hours in Kagoshima, Japan

I traveled to Kagoshima, Kyusu, Japan, just for two days in the beginning of February, 2016. This trip was so spontaneous and one of the most underprepared ever. I didn’t even read a guidebook, nor did I plan to take any photos. I just wanted to relax and have fun, but inevitably I took some snapshots with my trusty A7RII.

KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN - February 4, 2016: Locals pass by the Kagoshima Chu-o station and Amu Plaza shopping mall around sunset.

February 4, 2016: Locals pass by the Kagoshima Chu-o station and Amu Plaza shopping mall around sunset.

KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN - February 3, 2016: A ferry leaves from the Sakurajima Pier to Kagoshima City. Sakurajima stands for Cheery Blossom Island in Japanese and is known for its active volcano. The lava from the 1914 eruption connected the former island to the Osumi Peninsula. The regular ferry service connecting Sakurajima and Kagoshima City was implemented on November 19, 1934.

February 3, 2016: A ferry leaves from the Sakurajima Pier to Kagoshima City. Sakurajima stands for Cheery Blossom Island in Japanese and is known for its active volcano. The lava from the 1914 eruption connected the former island to the Osumi Peninsula. The regular ferry service connecting Sakurajima and Kagoshima City was implemented on November 19, 1934.

KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN - February 3, 2016: Fumes come out from the Sakurajima volcano. Sakurajima is an active stratovolcano and erupts regularly.

February 3, 2016: Fumes come out from the Sakurajima volcano. Sakurajima is an active stratovolcano and erupts regularly.

KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN - February 3, 2016: A steward gives a hand signal before a ferry's departure from Sakurajima Pier to Kagoshima City.

February 3, 2016: A steward gives a hand signal before a ferry’s departure from Sakurajima Pier to Kagoshima City.

KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN - February 3, 2016: Locals cross a crosswalk in Tenmonkan, a bustling shopping and entertainment district in Kagoshima.

February 3, 2016: Locals cross a crosswalk in Tenmonkan, a bustling shopping and entertainment district in Kagoshima.

KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN - February 4, 2016: Customers exchange banters with the owner and enjoy Japanese food and drinks at an izakaya in Kagomma Furusato Yataimura. The place is a mock village of food stalls and small restaurants. Its quaint alleyways with colorful lanterns provide a glimpse into authentic Japanese dining experience.

February 4, 2016: Customers exchange banters with the owner and enjoy Japanese food and drinks at an izakaya in Kagomma Furusato Yataimura.

KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN - February 4, 2016: Kagomma Furusato Yataimura is a mock village of food stalls and small restaurants. Its quaint alleyways with colorful lanterns provide a glimpse into authentic Japanese dining experience.

February 4, 2016: Kagomma Furusato Yataimura is a mock village of food stalls and small restaurants. Its quaint alleyways with colorful lanterns provide a glimpse into authentic Japanese dining experience.

KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN - February 4, 2016: A view of the Shimazu residence Sengan-en Garden, Kagoshima from within. Sengan-en was a stately home and estate of the Shimazu family for more than 350 years and recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in July, 2015.

February 4, 2016: A view of the Shimazu residence Sengan-en Garden, Kagoshima from within. Sengan-en was a stately home and estate of the Shimazu family for more than 350 years and recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in July, 2015.

I had a newfound appreciation of the Japanese aesthetics at Sengan-en Garden. As a tourist, Kagoshima – and Japan at large – is a great place to visit. Everything is so clean and orderly, and Japanese people are almost over friendly to customers. My Japanese was pretty rusty, but everyone was really willing to help me out and trying hard to talk to me in English. Too bad the Yen is on a roller coaster ride amid the global economic recession. A few hours after I left Kagoshima, the Sakurajima volcano erupted in a spectacular sight. I missed it, but it was probably for the better.

These photographs and more are available in high resolution at my agency laif Photo Agency and its affiliate Redux Pictures.

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