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Sakurajima is an active volcano and island, which has come to symbolize Kagoshima. Just four kilometers from the city, it is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes, and you can often see smoke billowing from the crater. Sakurajima is connected to the mainland by road along a narrow straight formed by lava, but it is easiest to access by ferry. The volcano is 1,117 meters high and 50 kilometers around, with two peaks; the southern peak is the most active. The closest point to the crater is Yunohira Observatory near the north peak. The Sakurajima Island View bus covers most of the main sites around the island, with regular departures from the ferry terminal. You can also rent bicycles at the ferry terminal and the Sakurajima Visitors Center. Don’t miss the shrine gate at Kurokami, which once stood around 3 meters high and was almost completely buried by a major eruption in 1914. Sakurajima Yogan Nagisa Park and Foot Spa is a free hot spring foot bath near the ferry port, where you can soak your feet while looking at the volcano.

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