With Kinko Bay dividing the Satsuma and Osumi Peninsulas, one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get from one side to the other is by taking a ferry. This can shorten a three hour-plus drive to just an hour. Kagoshima operates a number of ferry ports, not only between Osumi and Satsuma peninsulas, but also between the mainland and the islands, down to Okinawa, and even all the way up to Osaka and Tokyo. You can also bring your car or bike on board (for a fee).
It can take some time, but a ferry is a great way to relax and enjoy some of the great scenery of Kagoshima. If you’re prone to motion sickness, you might want to pack some medicine for the longer rides to the islands. Schedules are subject to change due to weather. Be sure to plan ahead and consult either the ferry company or a travel agent before leaving, especially if a typhoon is approaching.
Satsuma (薩摩) ⇔ Osumi (大隅) Ferries
Sakurajima (桜島) Ferry
This ferry runs between the Kagoshima City terminal north of the aquarium to Sakurajima. The ferry takes around 15 minutes and runs 24 hours. Ferries leave every 10-15 minutes during the day. From 8:00am–10:00pm, they run every 30 minutes, and from 10:00pm until 6:00am, they only run once an hour. If you’re coming from Sakurajima and don’t want to bring your car into the city, you may be able to park for free at the Rainbow Hotel right next to the ferry port.
Kamoike・Tarumizu (鴨池・垂水) Ferry
This ferry runs between Kagoshima’s Kamoike Port (鴨池港) (near the Prefectural Goverment Building, Kenchō 県庁) and Tarumizu Port (垂水港). The ferry takes around 40 minutes and runs from 5:20 in the morning until 10:30 at night. Ferries run roughly every 25 minutes during the day and about once an hour early in the morning and late at night. If you’re coming from Tarumizu, there is free parking at the Tarumizu Port.
Yamagawa (South Satsuma) ⇔Nejime (South Osumi) Ferry
Nankyu Ferry Information
Kagoshima New Port (shinkou 新港)
For services to the Amami Islands, Tokunoshima, Okinoerabu, Yoron and Okinawa. Departures may vary each month so check when planning your trip.
Kagoshima South Pier (minamifutou 南埠頭)
For services to Mishima-mura, Tanegashima, Yakushima, Toshima-mura & limited service to Okinawa.
Tane-Yaku Jet Foil (for the high-speed “Toppy” and “Rocket” service to Tanegashima and Yakushima): 099-226-0128
Cosmo Line (for the ferry “Princess Wakasa” to Tanegashima): 099-222-8271
Orita Kisen (for “Ferry Yakushima 2”): 099-226 -0731
Ferry Mishima (for Mishima): 099-222-3142
Ferry Toshima (for Toshima/Tokara Archipelago): 099-219-1191
Kagoshima North Pier（kitafutou 北埠頭）
Amami Kaiun (for Amami-Oshima and Okinawa): 099-222-2338
Ibusuki Port （指宿港）
Tane-Yaku Jet Foil (Toppy & Rocket for Tanegashima and Yakushima): 099 322 4880
The splendid and unspoiled scenery of the islands is a sight to behold.