is a small hot spring resort town on the souther tip of the Satsuma Peninsular
in Kagoshima Prefecture on the Southernmost main island of Kyushu. During World
War 2, this area was the site of one of the largest Suicide Dive Bomber bases
(refered to in the west as "Kamikaze"), and there is a museum dedicated to those
who lost their lives in the battles, at Chiran.
Arrival in Ibusuki
For those whithout a vehicle, the JR Ibusuki - Makurazaki line is generally the
easiest way t get to Ibusuki. This is a small local line, so trains are not that
frequent, and trains stop at all stations along the way. Make sure you get a
train heading to Ibusuki, Yamakawa, or Makurazaki, as the other trains only go
part of the way to Ibusuki. There are 3 limited express trains, and a couple of
local express trains per day. Only use the limited express if you have a rail
pass, as the trip is only about 10 minutes shorter than the local train.
There is also a bus service from Kagoshima to Ibusuki
There are bus services around the area. Most pass by Ibusuki Station en-route
which makes it a good getting on, jumping off point.
Things to See
is a stunning caldera lake, and is the largest body of fresh water in Kyushu. On fine days, the view across the lake to Mt Kaimon (called Satsuma's Mt Fuji) is fantastic.
For a dose of the reality o war, head up to Chiran and take in the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots
. While is is almost all in Japanese, if you have a translator with you, you can understand the fear and trepidation that was going through these young mens minds before their missions. And it makes you wonder if they were the mad, fanatics portrayed in the west.