By Jocelyn Yu
Are you a history and nature fan? Then Kagoshima might be worth a visit! Even though the largest city in southern Kyushu and capital of Kagoshima Prefecture is not close to Tokyo, and many travelers don't have it on the top of their sightseeing lists, it has a lot to offer. Being birthplace and scene of Saigo Takamori, one of the most influential samurai during the Edo period, Kagoshima provides a lot of historic facts all over the city. You will find information boards at special spots, such as the hideout cave, where he spent the last days of the Satsuma rebellion. And regarding nature in Kagoshima, the island of Sakurajima and its active stratovolcano provide great scenery, which you can either enjoy from an observatory in the city or experience up-close by taking a ferry over to the island and exploring the volcano there in Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park.
If you’re looking for reasonable accommodation, I can recommend Dormy Inn Kagoshima. The hotel is located about fifteen minutes on foot from Kagoshima-Chuo Station, right in the lively center of the city. You’ll find many restaurants and a shopping arcade within walking distance. A stop for busses and cable cars is in front of the hotel, and the airport bus stops just a few meters down the road.
Dormy Inn Kagoshima offers double and twin rooms with air conditioning, a fridge, a flatscreen TV and free Wi-Fi. Every room has a bathroom, but if you like onsen (hot springs), you can also shower and then relax in the outside bath on the top floor. While sitting in the hot spring bath after dark, you can watch the stars from the roof. The hotel also provides nightwear, which you can wear on your way to the onsen.
The room rate includes a buffet breakfast and noodles in the evening. I was really impressed by the choice I had for breakfast. The buffet includes Western-style foods, such as croissants, bread rolls and jam, as well as Japanese foods like rice and fish. And you can try regional specialties like kibinago (silver sprat) sashimi. From the dining area you’ll have a nice view on the busy street in front of the hotel.
All reception staff members of Dormy Inn Kagoshima speak English and the hotel has a 24-hour reception, which is located on the second floor. Vending machines are available on several floors, and apart from the usual soft drinks, they also offer a regional drink made with honey. This way you can start exploring the taste of Kagoshima in your accommodation, before you get out to try kurobuta (black pork)!
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Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, I realized that my hometown is a village when I first came to Tokyo over 10 years ago. I love to experience the world and show people what I discover, so I never travel without my camera. One of my favorite hobbies is getting lost, as I have no sense of direction. But that is how you'll find the best places - and it's a source for your best stories. Other things I like include rollercoasters, thunderstorms, good food and onsen.