Top things to do in Satsuma Peninsula

Top Choice Museum in Chiran

Chiran Peace Museum

There is perhaps no more eloquent monument to the futility of war than this harrowing museum about WWII kamikaze pilots. Around 2km west of town, Chiran’s air base was the point of departure for 1036 WWII tokkō ('sp…
Top Choice Noodles in Satsuma Peninsula

Tōsenkyō Sōmen Nagashi

This sprawling restaurant in a riverside gorge near Ikeda-kō gets an estimated 200,000 annual visitors (!), paying tribute to the 1967 birthplace of nagashi-sōmen (flowing noodles). Sōmen (thin wheat-flour noodles) …
Historic Building in Chiran

Samurai Houses

Seven of the mid-Edo-period residences along Chiran’s 700m street of samurai houses have gardens open to the public. Water is usually symbolised in the gardens by sand, shirasu (volcanic ash) or gravel. Allow up to …
Nature Reserve in Satsuma Peninsula

Bandokorobana Shizen Kōen

Down a side road between Ibusuki and Makurazaki, this small-ish seaside nature park has been noted for its beauty since an Edo-period surveyor named it the nation's most picturesque spot. Whether or not that's true,…
Aquarium in Satsuma Peninsula

Seahorse House

This chill, seaside seahorse hatchery is unique, offering close-up looks at thousands of hatchling seahorses, plus information, videos, souvenirs and a small cafe. Among the exhibits is the only two-headed seahorse …
Island in Ibusuki

Chiringashima

Lovely Chiringashima is connected to the mainland by a thin land bridge that appears only at low tide, when hikers, beachcombers and tide-pool explorers can walk the coral and shell-strewn connector and visit a smal…
Ramen in Ibusuki

Taketora

Even tiny Ibusuki has its own ramen style. This polished shop won a prefectural ramen competition for its Kaimondake ramen (¥950), filled with local ingredients like ground black pork and hot-spring-boiled egg. The …
Noodles in Chiran

Taki-An

Just off the samurai street, Taki-An is a lovely restaurant in another traditional house where you can sit on tatami and admire the garden over hot or cold ocha udon (noodles made with green tea; ¥650) or Satsuma sp…
Izakaya in Ibusuki

Aoba

A minute's walk left from the station, this cheery shop serves a satisfying and varied menu of local specialities like katsuo-donburi (bonito on a bowl of rice; ¥740), kurobuta rōsukatsu (black-pork cutlet) teishoku…
Museum in Ibusuki

Satsuma Denshōkan

This striking museum offers a history of Satsuma plus displays of Chinese ceramics and gleaming Satsuma-yaki in a temple-style building that seems to float on its own lake. There are English-language audioguides. It…