Dubbed the Naples of Japan, Kagoshima is an attractive city dominated by Sakurajima, a volcanic island a short ferry ride away. There are a number of museums about the history of the city and some beautiful gardens at Sangan-en,which is noted for its collection of stone lanterns. This is also a great spot to take in views of the Sakurajima volcano. The city was the first in Japan to embrace the Industrial Revolution and to introduce western civilization.
You can take ferry to volcanic island of Sakurajima to join a bus tour and visit the interesting visitor centre which gives you more background to the volcano. There are free foot spas heated by the volcano to rest your feet in after a long walk. There are also a number of day trips possible from Kagoshima - try hiking in the Kirishima National Park, indulge in a hot sand bath at Ibusuki, visit the historic homes and gardens of Chiran or sample local beer and shochu at the Mejiguru Brewery.