At the Foot of a Volcano
In the far south of Japan an MSC cruise will help you discover the city of Kagoshima. It is populated by little more than half a million people and enjoys a mild climate for most of the year.
The town is dominated by the active volcano Sakurajima and is called the "Naples of Japan" for its similarity to the landscape of the city of Naples. It is not uncommon for the volcano to perform with spectacular eruptions.
On an excursion you can visit Shiroyama Park, located in the city centre but stretching all the way to mount Shiroyama. Just over a hundred meters high, it was the backdrop of a battle between the Imperial Army and a group of samurai rebels in the late 19th century. The park leads to the Observatory from where you can admire the spectacular scenery of the town and the bay of Kagoshima as well as the volcano.
Along the northern coast of the centre are the Senganen gardens, also known as Isoteien, a lovely example of a Japanese garden with ponds, streams, shrines and a bamboo grove. They date back three hundred years and were constructed by the Shimazu family. There is a fine restaurant inside the garden where you can dine and enjoy the meat and fish specialities that this country offers and for which it is famous all over the world. Next to Senganen is a building which dates back to the mid-19th century which originally housed a machinery factory and is now the "Shoko-Shuseikan" museum. It houses objects from the Shimazu family 700 year history.