Kagoshima (鹿児島) is a city in Japan. It is located within the Kagoshima Prefecture. This is also the largest city in the Prefecture. It is located on the southern tip of Kyushu, the most south-western island of Japan's four main island. Kagoshima is located in the heart of the prefecture. Mount Sakurajima is an active volcano in this area. It is four kilometers away from Kinko Bay. There have been thirty major eruptions recorded. The climate of the island is said to be sub-tropical with warm weather and plenty of rain. The population of this city is said to be 600,000 over 547 square kilometers. The city flower is the Oleander and the city tree is the Camphor.
Because of the cities location to the ocean and to Asia Kagoshima has been a gateway for trade and exchange between Japan and the outside world. This is still true today. The major industries in this area are the exports of agricultural and commercial goods. Because of the sub-tropical climate this area is perfect for agriculture. Sweet potatoes, Radish and Pongee rice is grown and sold throughout this area. There are other cultural goods sold such as tin ware, bamboo ware and Satsuma pottery.
In the middle ages this area was the heart of the Shimazu fief. In 1549 a Spanish missionary Francis Xavier introduced Christianity to Japan. This led many people to changing their faith. This area was always a center for activity because of the port and the cities location to Asia.
In the 17th century the Shogunate forbade contact with other nations, but the area still managed to trade and absorbs aspects of modern culture. In the mid 1800's Nariakira Shimazu helped modernize Japan through construction of modern facilities. He built a steel refinery, a glass plant and a blast furnace. This area was attached by the British Navy in 1863 because Charles Richardson was killed in Japan. Satsuma Daimyo refused to pay compensation for the loss. This event helped motivate the area to do even better.
Kirishima is located in the North of the prefecture. This mountain range was the first one to be designated as a national park in Japan, and is a natural treasure with more than 20 volcanoes, hot springs and crater lakes. This is very popular area for hikers and people just wanting to see the scenery. This is said to be the place where the gods Ninigi-no-mikoto descended from heaven and was even the site of the first emperor of Japan's birth.
Yakushima was named Japan's first World Cultural and Natural Heritage site in 1993. There are over 1300 types of plants and 3000 species of animals that naturally inhabit this area. There are beautiful mountains and scenery in this area. The areas highest mountain Minanouradake is called the Alps of the ocean. This is also a popular spot for hikers. There is a Yaku cedar which is believed to be over 7200 years old.