May require a car plus another means of transportation, such as a ferry.
15. Pristine Forests of Famed Yakushima (Kagoshima)
Yakushima is famous as the model for the forests featured in the Ghibli movie Princess Mononoke. This island is a registered World Heritage Site, and is also renowned for its population of Yakushima cedar, particularly Jomon Sugi, which is said to be 7,200 years old. Over 90 percent of the island is covered by these mysterious forests and an estimated 1,500 unique varieties of plant life, representing more than 70 percent of Japan's vegetation and earning it the nickname "The Galapagos of Japan."
Address: Yakushima Town, Kumage District, Kagoshima Prefecture
Access: Approximately a 120-minute ride (via high-speed boat) from Kagoshima Port or 110-minute flight via Kagoshima Airport
16. The Marvelous Higashi Hot Springs on a Lonely Island (Kagoshima)
This open-air mixed bath (swimsuits allowed) is iconic of Kagoshima Prefecture's many hot springs, and is located on the southern tip of Iwo Jima. Here you can gaze upon the wide, blue ocean while being splashed by the sea spray as you enjoy your bath. The gorgeous, clear, emerald green spring water boasts a high acidity.
The island of Iwo Jima itself was created by volcanic activity, and is located approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the shore of mainland Kagoshima.
Address: Iwo Jima, Mishima Village, Kagoshima District, Kagoshima Prefecture
Access: Approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes from Port Kagoshima via ferry (1 trip every 2 or 3 days)