By Peter Sidell
Kagoshima not only has stunning beach views and has Sakurajima to show off, but the city also offers some beautiful night views from atop the Amu Plaza Ferris Wheel! Heighten your experience by choosing to ride the all glass cart, offering you great views of Kagoshima city whichever way you turn.
The ferris wheel is located on the 6th floor of Amu Plaza, which in turn is located right next to Kagoshima-chuo station. Amu Plaza has plenty of clothing and fashion stores, and is in fact split into a "main" building and a "premium" building. The main building has 6 floors, with the clothing stores selling at more affordable prices than the premium building, which sells higher-end branded goods. The 6th floor of the main building also has a gaming arcade, cinema, and several restaurants.
To access the ferris wheel, simply make your way to the 6th floor of the main building (not the premium one!) via the escalators or elevator. Buy your ticket for ¥500, and head for the entrance to the ferris wheel! Once you get there, the lovely staff will ask you whether you want to ride in the all-glass carriage, or half-glass carriage. As there was no queue, I went to for the all-glass one! To give an honest review I was quite disappointed with the so-called "all-glass" because the windows were quite scratched and dirty giving the glass a very cloudy look. It was not the crystal clear view I thought I would get with an "all-glass" carriage.
Nevertheless, the view of Kagoshima City was still quite beautiful at night, especially with the cars lined up in traffic creating some neat light patterns. The ferris wheel also flashed different coloured lights, creating a fun-filled and joyous atmosphere in which to view the nightscape (especially with the extra Christmas lights put up around the train station). A complete circle of the whole ferris wheel course only takes around 10-15 minutes, so pop up to the ferris wheel for some neat views of Kagoshima City if you are shopping at Amu Plaza or making a short stop at Kagoshima-chuo station!
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I love Japan for its people, culture, food, scenery, and overall ambiance and never-ending list of things to explore and enjoy. I lived in Kyoto for one year as an exchange student, and was able to travel around various parts of Japan during that exchange time. Now I'm back in Auckland, NZ, but am aiming to be back in Japan soon in the future for travel or work!