Kagoshima Airport (KOJ) is the second busiest airport in Kyushu, after Fukuoka Airport. It services both domestic and international routes while regional carriers also operate to local islands including the World Heritage-listed island of Yakushima. On this page you will find the following information:
— Entering & Exiting Japan: Essential Info
— Getting To / From the Airport & Kagoshima-chuo Station
— Accessing the ‘Shinkansen’ Network from Kagoshima Airport
— Exchanging & Activating a JR Pass
— Accommodation In & Around Kagoshima Airport
— 30 Things to Do Around Kyushu & Where to Stay
Located around 40km to the northeast of Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Airport is a small but busy airport in the south of Kyushu. Buses run between the airport and stops in the city, including Kagoshima-chuo Station, throughout the day – a journey of around 40 minutes, depending on your start or end point in Kagoshima. As the southern terminus of the Kyushu Shinkansen, Kagoshima-chuo Station provides convenient access to Japan’s fantastic rail network while ferry services from Kagoshima City head to some of the country’s best natural attractions including the World Heritage-listed island of Yakushima.
Both of Japan’s major carriers – All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) – operate domestic route to major destinations including Tokyo and Osaka, with other carriers including Jetstar Japan flying to destinations including Nagoya. Affiliate regional airlines of both ANA and JAL fly from Kagoshima to domestic destinations including Naha, Sapporo and local islands including Yakushima. International carriers including China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Jeju Air, Korean Air and others fly to and from destinations including Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and other cities in Asia.
It is important to note that this page is intended for international visitors using Kagoshima Airport as they enter, exit or move around Japan – with a focus information regarding entering Japan, moving to and from the airport, finding nearby accommodation and what’s on offer in the region. This page does not provide information about all services and facilities at Kagoshima Airport.
ENTERING & EXITING JAPAN: ESSENTIAL INFO
Kagoshima Airport is a small but relatively busy airport servicing both domestic and international routes. As such, it is the entry and departure point for many international visitors heading to Kyushu and western Japan. Our ‘Entering & Exiting Japan’ page has useful information including visa requirements, clearing immigration and customs and things to take care of while at the airport. For further essential travel information, see our ‘Plan Your Visit’ main page.
Given the continued impact of COVID-19 on global travel, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest news and requirements. Our ‘Who Can Enter Japan & What’s Required’ page includes information about who can enter, whether you need to quarantine and vaccination passports. For other essential information including the latest COVID and vaccination numbers from Japan, see our ‘Clean Green & Healthy’ main page.
GETTING TO / FROM THE AIRPORT & KAGOSHIMA-CHUO STATION
Kagoshima Airport lies around 40km to the north-east of central Kagoshima City. From both the city centre and Kagoshima-chuo Station, the airport is most easily reached using bus services which take around 40 minutes / JPY1300 one-way. Buses depart from Bus Stop No.2 at the airport terminal or from Bus Stop No.21 of the Nangoku Kokutsu Highway Bus Terminal, located only a couple of minutes walk to the east of Kagoshima-chuo Station. Advance booking is not required.
ACCESSING THE ‘SHINKANSEN’ NETWORK FROM KAGOSHIMA AIRPORT
Travelers wanting to head access the ‘Shinkansen’ / ‘Bullet Train’ network can do so easily from Kagoshima Airport. Nearby Kagoshima-chuo Station is the southern terminus of the Kyushu Shinkansen line running to Kumamoto and other destinations enroute to the northern terminus of Hakata Station in Fukuoka City. Hakata Station is also the terminus of the San’yo Shinkansen line running to destinations including Hiroshima, Kobe and Osaka. Some services starting from Kagoshima-chuo Station run along the Kyushu Shinkansen line and then onto the San’yo Shinkansen line without the need to transfer at Hakata, and carrying passengers as far as Osaka. For more information, see the relevant shinkansen page.
EXCHANGING & ACTIVATING A JR PASS
Holders of the Japan Rail (JR) Pass will need to exchange/activate that pass before using it. You do so by exchanging the order/proof of purchase you received online. This can be done a numerous JR Pass Exchange Offices found at any major train station and multiple airports however passes cannot be exchanged at Kagoshima Airport. This doesn’t present any great problem as you can exchange and activate your pass at the following offices in Kagoshima-chuo Station:
— Travel Service Center: open daily (except Thursdays) from 10:00 to 18:00
— JR Ticket Office: open daily (except Thursdays) from 10:00 to 18:00
To exchange/activate your pass you will need your exchange order and passport. Make sure you allow adequate time to exchange and activate your pass if you are intending to use it on the same day or do so a day or two before you plan to start using it (you can always nominate a later activation date).
Once you have your activated pass you are free to ride however you can’t insert your pass into the ticket gates. Simply walk through the side booth (permanently attended by station staff) and show your pass. You will be waved through and you can make your way to the platform. For full details, refer to our Japan Rail (JR) Pass page.
Kagoshima Airport has multiple car rental companies including Budget Rent-A-Car, Nippon Rent-A-Car, Nissan Rent-A-Car, Times Car Rental and Toyota Rent-A-Car. Vehicle types and prices vary by company but prices are competitive. The process of renting a car in Japan is easy. We recommend booking online prior to arriving in Japan and arranging a vehicle and unless you have decent spoken Japanese, making sure to request a vehicle with English or other foreign language navigation system. To rent a car in Japan, you must:
— be 18 years of age or older,
— and have a valid Japanese drivers license, or
— have a valid drivers license in your home country and a valid international drivers license*
It is important to note that if you do not have a Japanese drivers license, you cannot drive in Japan unless you are also carrying a valid international license – even if you have a valid license in your home country. To obtain one, you will need to apply and have it issued before traveling to Japan. The process and cost varies by country so check with your local/national automotive association for further details. For more information about driving in Japan, see our ‘Moving Around Japan: Using Trains, Buses, Planes or Drive Yourself’ page.
*Nationals of Belgium, Estonia France, Germany, Monaco, Switzerland and Taiwan are not eligible for an international drivers license. Agreement between those countries and Japan means that those nationals can drive in Japan on the drivers license issued in their home country as long as they are also carrying an official Japanese translation.
ACCOMMODATION IN & AROUND KAGOSHIMA AIRPORT
Kagoshima Kuko Hotel is located just outside the airport providing easy access to the terminal. You’ll find the greatest amount of accommodation in the central city in the Temmonkan area with more options nearby Kagoshima-chuo Station – click on the links for more information including links to accommodation listings.
30 THINGS TO DO AROUND KYUSHU & WHERE TO STAY
Lying to the southwest of Japan’s main island of Honshu, Kyushu is a region blessed with attractions, from the historic to the natural and the exotic. Fukuoka is the largest city in Kyushu while Nagasaki’s history transcends the national to occupy a place in the global consciousness. Kumamoto and its famous castle or Kagoshima and its nearby natural splendours including the World Heritage island of Yakushima, all combine to make this one of the most rewarding travel destinations in Japan. Our ’30 Things to Do Around Kyushu & Where to Stay’ page is a great place to start when planning your visit to the region.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
For some international visitors, Kagoshima Airport will be their point of entry when arriving in Japan but as we all know, your trip begins long before your get here as you plan your adventure in this wonderful country. Our ‘Plan Your Visit’ page has everything you need to know about visiting Japan – from tips on the best time to travel, times to avoid, entering and exiting the country, money matters, staying connected, accommodation, staying safe and healthy and plenty more to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.