Top things to do

Top Choice Noodles in Satsuma Peninsula

Tōsenkyō Sōmen Nagashi

In a gorge near Ikeda-kō, Tōsenkyō Sōmen Nagashi is a pilgrimage site for many Japanese (an estimated 200,000 annual visitors!) as the 1967 birthplace of nagashi-sōmen (flowing noodles). Sōmen (thin wheat-flour nood…
Top Choice Museum in Chiran

Chiran Peace Museum

Around 2km west of town, Chiran’s air base was the point of departure for 1036 WWII kamikaze pilots (Tokkō), the largest percentage in the Japanese military. On its former site, the large, thought-provoking Kamikaze…
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, in which water is usually symbolised by sand, shirasu (volcanic ash) or gravel. Allow up to one le…
Aquarium in Satsuma Peninsula

Seahorse House

This seahorse hatchery is totally unique, offering close-up looks at thousands of hatchling seahorses, plus information, videos, souvenirs and a small cafe. One of the exhibits is the only two-headed seahorse ever s…
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…
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…
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 a bowl of hot soba (¥650) or Satsuma specialities such as tonkotsu teis…
Teahouse in Chiran

Satsuma Eikoku-kan

Chiran Eikoku-kan is across the main road from the samurai houses and marked by a slightly dented double-decker British-style bus. It offers tea (from ¥540), a cup of which entitles you to take the tour of the tiny …
Izakaya in Ibusuki

Aoba

Behind the yellow or green noren (door curtain) a minute's walk left of the station, this cheery shop serves satisfying kurobuta rōsukatsu (black pork cutlet) teishoku (¥1420) or, if you dare, Kurosatsuma dori sashi…
Seafood in Satsuma Peninsula

Daitoku

Fish fans should head to humble Daitoku on Makurazaki's main drag for award-winning katsuo funado meshi, a donburi (dish served over rice) with fresh bonito, bonito flakes, green onion, nori strips and rice crisps i…