Sakurajima and Kirishima

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Takachiho-No-Mine Volcano (1574m)

A recently rebuilt «torii» introduces into the holy area where the old Kirishima Shrine was placed: it celebrates the first apparition of Japanese Gods. We selected this site to observe the Big Leonid Meteor Shower. Francesca shows the exact point where meteor photos were taken.

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A waterfall, Kirishima

All the chain of Kirishima Volcanoes is protected by a National Park status: this preserves wild environment and allows astronomers to find a very dark night sky, perfect for astronomical observations. Ancient lava flows force rivers to sudden jumps, resulting in typical basaltic waterfalls.

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Iso-Teien Garden, Kagoshima

Centuries ago, the prince of Tatsuma province built-up this summer palace, with a superb view on the Sakurajima Volcano.

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Iso-Teien Garden, Kagoshima

The calm perfection of the Garden of the royal palace contrasts with the unforeseeable restlessness of Sakurajima Volcano, distant less than 10 km.

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Kagoshima Harbour

A susnset view of Sakurajima Volcano from the harbour of Kagoshima, the «Naples of Far East».

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On the Ferry

We are on the ferry covering the 2km from Kagoshima to Sakurajima Island in twenty minutes.

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Sakurajima: Yunohira Lookout

The ascent to Sakurajima top is strictly forbidden, since the volcano may always erupt with strong blasts. All the volcano flanks are punctuated by well-orgainzed lookouts, like this at 373m a.s.l. on the west side. Kagoshima City appears behind the Lookout building.

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Sakurajima: Arimura Lookout

On the south side of the volcano, another lookout is built-up over the last lava flow erupted by the volcano in 1946. The same lava flow enters the sea in the direction opposite to the volcano. Note the cracks in the floor: earthquakes are frequent here...