Satsuma-cho in Kagoshima Prefecture boasts one of the largest bamboo forest areas in Japan. This town of bamboo has passed down the tale of the Legend of Lady Kaguya. It also has breathtaking scenery, great food and a wealth of photogenic spots. It has a wide range of attractions including renowned sweet potato shochu spirit breweries, spas for beautiful skin, and traditional handicrafts.
Satsuma-cho’s own firefly fairy, “Satsumaru-chan”, will guide you around this captivating town.
What kind of town is Satsuma-cho in Kagoshima Prefecture?
Located in the northwestern area of Kagoshima Prefecture, Satsuma-cho is a town full of nature surrounded by leafy mountains. Through its center flows the Sendai-gawa River, where countless fireflies flitter about from May to June. It is a town of bamboo, boasting one of Japan’s largest areas of bamboo forest, and a number of famous hot springs overflowing with spa resort streets can be found all over town.
Access to Satsuma-cho, Kagoshima Prefecture
If coming by car from Kagoshima-Chuo JR train station…Takes about 1 hour 10 minutes by National Routes 3 and 328
If coming by bus from Kagoshima-Chuo JR train station….Take JR Kyushu bus
Takes about 1 hour 35 minutes by Miyanojo-bound bus
If coming by car from Kagoshima Airport…Takes about 40 minutes by National Route 504
If coming by bus from Kagoshima Airport…Takes about 46 minutes by Nangoku Kotsu bus bound for Izumi or Akune from Kagoshima Airport
(E.g.) When coming from Tokyo Haneda Airport
Plane from Haneda Airport to Kagoshima Airport takes about 1 hour 50 minutes, then it takes about 40 minutes from Kagoshima Airport by car. So, it takes a total of 2 hours 30 minutes.
* Traveling by Solaseed Air will save you money!
Three must-go places when you come to Satsuma!
This famous brewery has been brewing shochu spirit in earthenware pots since its establishment in 1909, keeping tradition with a handmade filtration method practiced since olden times. Visitors can experience its brewing processes firsthand while touring the brewery, so try learning about Japanese shochu brewing when coming to Satsuma-cho.
Satsuma Vidro Art & Crafts
Satsuma Vidro Art & Crafts produces Satsuma Kiriko cut class, a traditional Kagoshima Prefecture handicraft. Visitors can observe the production processes while trying their hand at making glass works. Come and make something in glass that is the only one of its kind in the world!
Peaceful hotel consisting of six separated guest rooms located at the foot of Shibi-san mountain. Guests can enjoy a luxurious bath in water flowing directly from the hot spring source named “kami-no-yu” (hot water of the gods”), which surges from below the worship hall of the Shibi-jinja Shrine. Guests of this luxurious hotel can partake of beautiful and painstakingly prepared creative cuisine incorporating specially-selected ingredients from sea, river and mountain.
Three must-eat dishes when you come to Satsuma!
Lunchtime buffet at “Restaurant Dororo-tei”
This restaurant can be found inside “Miyanojo Chikurin-kan”, a souvenir hall that stocks fresh farm products and processed goods. Customers of this restaurant can enjoy a lunchtime buffet that makes abundant use of local products. The luxury of eating its famous “tori-sashi” (raw chicken meat) alone is worth the visit.
“Kitchen Inoue” Western food
Well-loved by locals, a Western style restaurant that has been passed down from father to mother and then to mother to son. Including the “lunch plate” dish, which combines lots of favorites from the menu, this Western-style restaurant has a welcoming and friendly charm.
Soaked overnight in the Shibi hot spring, also known as “kami no yu”, these naturally bitter persimmons transform into a distinctly sweet and delicious fruit! Enjoy them in season from October to November!
Three must-buy souvenirs when you come to Satsuma!
Komaki Brewery sweet potato shochu spirit
Since its establishment in 1909, Komaki Brewery has created a lineup of refined sweet potato-flavored shochu with its carefully prepared ingredients. Try to find one that matches your tastes, such as an easy-to-drink shochu that can also be enjoyed by women. We recommend asking the storekeeper of the “Hori-no-uchi Sake-ten” liquor store in Satsuma-cho about which shochu will match your personal taste. The brewery also has a wide range of unusual products such as retort-pouched curries made with shochu.
Satsuma Kiriko cut glass
”Satsuma Kiriko cut glass” has been made since the era of the Satsuma Domain at the end of the Edo period. Works made by Kiriko glass masters are rare even in Japan. Pay a visit to ”Satsuma Vidro Art & Crafts” in Satsuma-cho and you should be able to find a product you can treasure your whole life.
“Koreeda shoten” store’s strawberry manju-bun
A strawberry manju-bun made by “Koreeda shoten”, a long-established Japanese-style confectionery store that has been trading for over 100 years. This famous confection does not contain strawberries – rather, it represents the time from when strawberry flowers bloom until the fruit ripens. This strawberry manju-bun has a soft and stick texture that you will be hooked on after trying once. We recommend trying one straight out of the oven in the store and then buying some for souvenirs later!
Three most photogenic spots in Satsuma-cho
You will hear the sounds of camera shutters at the bamboo forest of Satsuma-cho, a bamboo town which is home to one of the largest bamboo forests in Japan. Visitors can try their hand at digging-up bamboo shoots while taking Lady Kaguya shots that can’t be done in town.
Nagano railroad museum
The Satsuma Nagano train station lies on the Miyanojo national railway line, which was discontinued in 1987, and its preserved station building and track make it a photogenic spot. Take a spontaneous shot of this train line!
Koreeda shoten store
While enjoying a strawberry manju-bun, take a snap of the pink sign at the front of the store. Even more photogenic when wearing pink clothes!
Satsuma dialect passed down through the ages
Aigato sagemoshita… Thank you very much
Undamoshitan…I don’t understand
Hyatta magatta…What a surprise/well I never etc.
You may be able to hear some Satsuma dialect in the NHK period drama, “Segodon”, due to be aired in 2018!?
Why not visit Satsuma-cho in Kagoshima Prefecture, and enjoy its many other attractions?
Photo by Yusuke Kozuka
- The Promotional Movie Of Kashima City Ibaraki Prefecture Shows Us The Eternal History Of Kashima Jingu Shrine