Sakurajima is an active volcano just across from Kagoshima's city centre. Its last fatal eruption was in 1914, which killed 58 people. Not afraid of seismic activity in the area with the recent eruption near Kumamoto, I headed onto the ferry for the short ride to the volcano.
The ferry is huge for a 15-minute crossing with both indoor and outdoor decks plus room for cars. There is even a noodle shop if you get hungry during the short journey.
The Sakurajima ferry terminal looks quite basic. Head downstairs for the tour bus to sightsee around the island. I recommend purchasing the "Welcome Cute" day pass, which costs 1000 yen and covers trams, the ferry, and the sightseeing bus.
The vehicle approach to the ferry area is seeing some construction.
Back on the Island View bus, the first sightseeing stop was the Karasujima Observatory.
The next stop at Akamizu Observatory Square had similar views.
Headng uphill, the Yunohira Observatory lets you admire the city from above and also the volcano.
It is also possible drive around the island, which includes several more attractions that this tour bus does not reach. While I had a good time, this bus is way too small to cater for demand and comes only about once an hour. Luckily, it waits for you at each stop so the entire group will stick together from start to finish.
With the sun out, I walked towards the public foot baths, which face the sea and also the volcano. From here, the Nagisa Lava Trail extends along the waterfront for 3km.
Satisfied and tanned, the trip back to the city was even more beautiful under blue skies.