By Jaime Wong
Massive but easy to navigate, Kagoshima-Chūō Station serves as the gateway for vistors and commuters within Kagoshima Prefecture. The station is served by the Kyushu Shinkansen, Kagoshima Main Line and Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line, all of which are operated by JR Kyushu. In fact, there is a sizeable JR Kyushu tourism and booking office right next to the Shinkansen ticket gates.
Upon arrival, step right over to the Information Center and gather some informational pamphlets about the area. The staff at the desk can offer various maps and guides in English, which include coupons for travel around Kagoshima. One of the offerings is The Welcome Cute for Foreigners, a passport for discount facility fees. For tourists journeying to multiple destinations within Kagoshima, such as the Kagoshima Aquarium, Sengan-en Garden, Museum of Meiji Restoration, Shiroyama Observation point, and Sakurajima, this one or two-day pass can come in handy. The one-day pass costs 1,000 yen and the two-day goes for 1,500, with children fares at half-price. Kagoshima is famous for its shōchū, a distilled spirit, often made from sweet potatoes.
Before exiting the station, be sure to stop by the Satsuma Bar, located right next to the Shinkansen waiting area, which houses 250 types of shōchū to choose from. For 800 yen you can get a sampler set with five types. Once you’ve had your taste of shōchū, venture out of the station and adventure around Kagoshima City. The City View buses are easy to navigate and connect to all of the main tourist attractions. Or step back in time and take a ride on the tram. Be on the lookout for the super kawaii dog and pig painted tram!
JR Kagoshima Chūō Station is a great starting point for your journey throughout Kagoshima. Besides being home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Kagoshima boasts palm trees, warm weather, a colorful history and a number of attractions making this prefecture worth a visit.
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