How to Get to Kagoshima
Kagoshima is located in the south of Kyushu and at significant distance from Japan’s major cities. But thanks to Japan’s fantastic ‘Shinkansen’ (‘Bullet Train’) network, Kagoshima is easy to get to. On this page you will find the following information:
Kagoshima-chuo Station is the terminus of the Kyushu Shinkansen line. Running from Hakata Station in Fukuoka city, the Kyushu Shinkansen connects through to the San’yo line – running from Fukuoka to Osaka – which then connects to the Tokaido line – running from Osaka to Tokyo. In doing so, it is possible to travel from Tokyo to Kagoshima – covering a distance of around 1350km – in under 7 hours with only a single transfer required.
Once in Kagoshima, visitors can enjoy some of Japan’s best outdoor destinations including the volcanic island of Sakurajima, Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park, the beautiful Satsuma Peninsula and World Heritage-listed Yakushima. For more suggestions on what’s on offer in Kagoshima and nearby destinations, see our ’30 Things to Do Around Kyushu & Where to Stay’ page.
WHERE IS KAGOSHIMA?
Kagoshima is the largest city in Kagoshima Prefecture, an area that accounts to the south-western corner of Japan’s Kyushu region. While the city itself is relatively small, it is a popular destination for visitors heading to outdoor destinations including Sakurajima, Kirishima, Satsuma Peninsula and Yakushima. Kagoshima-chuo Station is the southern terminus of the Kyushu Shinkansen line, allowing travellers access the Kagoshima easily from regional cities including Fukuoka and Kumamoto along with far more distant starting points including Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo – around 1350km to the northeast of Kagoshima – thanks to connecting shinkansen lines. Given the distance of Kagoshima from those and other cities, flying in and out via Kagoshima Airport is a good option for many travellers.
HOW TO GET TO KAGOSHIMA BY TRAIN
Kagoshima-chuo Station is the largest station in southern Kyushu and acts as the terminus of the Kyushu Shinkansen lie running from Hakata Station in Fukuoka. in this section you will find information regarding how to reach Kagoshima by train from the following starting points:
We endeavour to keep this information as up-to-date as possible and in recognition that most international visitors will be using the train network to move around Japan. We start with three other destinations in Kyushu – Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Nagasaki – and then move onto popular starting points on Honshu including Hiroshima, Osaka, Tokyo and others. The services listed below – other than the fastest services on the San’yo and Tokaido Shinkansen lines – are covered by the Japan Rail (JR) Pass. It should also be noted that all listed fares are for non-reserved seating and accurate as of time of first publication but are subject to change. Listed fares should therefore be considered as indicative of the likely fare.
FROM FUKUOKA / between 75 to 110 minutes
Hakata Station in Fukuoka City is the northern terminus of the Kyushu Shinkansen line, making it an easy starting point from where to reach Kagoshima. Services from Hakata Station to Kagoshima-chuo Station run regularly through the day, from 06:10 until 22:20, taking 75 to 110 minutes (depending on which service you choose) / JPY10,110.
FROM KUMAMOTO / approx. 60 minutes
Kumamoto Station is another stop on the Kyushu Shinkansen line. Services from Kumamoto Station to Kagoshima-chuo Station run regularly throughout the day from 06:10 until around 23:00. The journey takes around 60 minutes / JPY6540.
FROM NAGASAKI / approx. 3 hours
While Nagasaki is also located in Kyushu, Nagasaki Station is not a stop on the Kyushu Shinkansen line. It is however still easy to move between the two cities. From Nagasaki Station take the Limited Express ‘Kamome’ bound for Shin-Tosu Station and once there, switch to a Kyushu Shinkansen service bound for Kagoshima-chuo Station – a journey of around 3 hours / JPY14,400.
FROM HIROSHIMA / approx. 3 hours
Though Hiroshima lies at significant distance from Kagoshima – around 550km to the northeast – moving between the two cities is quick and easy. Hiroshima Station is a stop on the San’yo Shinkansen line with some services continuing onto the Kyushu Shinkansen line via Hakata Station and without the need to transfer trains. Taking one of those services is the fastest way to move between the cities – a journey of between 160 to 180 minutes / JPY17,470. Should you need to transfer at Hakata Station, it should not add too much to your total journey time.
FROM KOBE / approx. 4 hours
When traveling to Kagoshima from Shin-Kobe Station, travellers can also take advantage of shinkansen services that run first along the San’yo line and then onto Kyushu line without the need to transfer. The fastest services take around 4 hours / JPY21,980. Should you need to transfer at Hakata Station, it should not add too much to your total journey time.
FROM OSAKA / approx. 4 hours
Shin-Osaka Station is the eastern terminus of the San’yo Shinkansen line running to Hakata Station. Some services continue on past Hakata and onto the Kyushu line and then run all the way to Kagoshima-chuo Station. Taking one of these direct services is your best option to reach Kagoshima – a journey of around 4 hours / JPY21,780. Should you need to transfer at Hakata Station, it should not add too much to your total journey time however it your travel is at a time of day requiring multiple transfers, the journey can take up to 6 hours.
FROM KYOTO / between 4.5 to 5 hours
From Kyoto Station, take any service that runs to Shin-Kobe Station. Once at Shin-Kobe, transfer to San’yo Shinkansen service that continues onto the Kyushu Shinkansen line and runs to Kagoshima-chuo Station – a total journey of between 4.5 to ５.5 hours / JPY22,110.
FROM NAGOYA / approx. 5.5 hours
From Nagoya Station, take any service on the Tokaido Shinkansen line that runs to Shin-Kobe Station. Once at Shin-Kobe, transfer to San’yo Shinkansen service that continues onto the Kyushu Shinkansen line and runs to Kagoshima-chuo Station – a total journey of around 5.5 hours / JPY24,860. Should you not be to take this or a similar connecting service, your total journey time between the two cities may be substantially longer and noting that it’s possible to fly from Nagoya to Kagoshima – see below for details.
FROM TOKYO / approx. 7 hours
Tokyo and Kagoshima lie around 1350km apart and for that reason, when traveling directly between the two, many people choose to fly – see below for details. Should you wish to make the journey by train, you can do so from Tokyo Station by taking the ‘Hikari’ service on the Tokaido Shinkansen line to Shin-Kobe Station and then transferring to a ‘Mizuho’ service on the San’yo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines running directly to Kagoshima-chuo Station – a total journey of around 7 hours / JPY29,360. Should you not be to take this or a similar connecting service, your total journey time between the two cities may be substantially longer and noting that it’s possible to fly from Tokyo to Kagoshima – see below for details.
HOW TO GET TO KAGOSHIMA BY FLIGHT
Given the distance of Kagoshima from many of Japan’s other major cities – such as Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka – flying into the city can be a convenient and cost-effective option. Kagoshima Airport (KOJ) is located 40km to the northeast of Kagoshima City. 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. Approximate flight times to Kagoshima Airport include:
FROM OSAKA: flights from & to Kansai Airport = 75 minutes
FROM NAGOYA: flights from & to Chubu Centrair Airport = 85 minutes
FROM OKINAWA: flights from & to Naha Airport = 90 minutes
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.
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
Heading to Kagoshima using the rail system, flying or driving yourself are all workable options. 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.