the most incredible "secret beach" of Bouno-tsu

Sakura-jima at dawn.

beautiful satsuma-kiriko glassware museum

Digging through some old photos, I found these I took in my trip to Kagoshima nearly 5 years ago. It's such a sweet memory, this trip was one of the best trips I've ever had within Japan.

I met up with my friend who had flew in there earlier visiting her grandma at the Kagoshima airport one early December morning where our fun journey begun.
In case you wonder where Kagoshima is, it's a prefecture located at the southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu in Japan. It was a great 4 day road trip, we drove around (well my friend did all the driving and I was in charge of the DJ-ing as I don't drive) Kagoshima from Kagoshima City to Chiran visiting the War Museum and Samurai Houses then drove down past endless beauty of the green tea fields to the southwestern tip of the Kyushu island Ibusuki

It was beginning of December and leaves were changing colours in Chiran but in Ibusuki we could still see bougainvilleas flowering everywhere. We tried the famous steam sand bath getting buried in the naturally hot and steamy sand at the beach with only our heads sticking out, we kept on laughing and was fun but I don't think I will try again. We also went into this gorgeous onsen (hot spring) near Kaimon-dake mountain overlooking the ocean, it was fantastic!

We kept on driving through the coast line towards Makurazaki, a small fishing town heading even further down to this most amazing beach called Bouno-tsu. After we drove past Makurazaki, we saw nobody around. It was so quiet and somehow felt pretty scary, there were smuggler warning signs everywhere. "Call police if you see suspicious boats or persons". When we finally reached our destination, Bouno-tsu, my heart started beating so fast. Half with excitement and half with fear. It was the most beautiful and most spiritual sight I had ever seen. I was scared not just of the smugglers but was scared of the beauty, I never felt like that before or even after that until now. I hope one day I can go back there, in the summer time.

We drove back to Kagoshima City, then took a ferry to Sakurajima - an active volcano. The power of nature is really incredible, I felt so a lot while travelling around Kagoshima. Other things I must mention about Kagoshima is their sweet and gentle people and gorgeous food. Everywhere we went, we ate. A lot. They had so much to please us. I was really sad to leave.
I parted with my friend at the airport and flew back to Tokyo.

Now I wonder how my friend is, the one I had this amazing trip together. Since she moved out from Tokyo 3 or 4 years ago we kind of grew apart. And it turns out her birthday is coming this weekend, what a good reminder. Time to be reunited I think.


  1. Lovely adventures! And I hope you get to see your friend again soon:)

    I really enjoyed these pictures by the way!

    1. Thank you Blue Eyed Night Owl :)
      I'm happy to know that you could enjoy these photos!

  2. I just saw the tamago onigiri on a TV show about an hour ago! Now I want to go there and your post came at the perfect time! IKITAI~!

    1. Hi Ebo-chan, what is tamago onigiri??? Is it something from Kagoshima? Kagoshima is so beautiful, very different from other parts of Japan I've been to I really loved it. I hope you will get to go there one day soon!

  3. That's such a sweet story, I hope you will see your friend again :)
    I love the mood of the first photo, that's another destination in Japan I have to visit, your country is fantastic !

  4. It seems to have been such lovely journey Thank you to share your travel throughout your beautiful photos Kiss from Paris

  5. Ha ha, Hiki I know exactly what you mean.. I experienced a hot sand bath in Beppu.... it was fun but I started to panic towards the end, felt a bit too hot a trapped!
    Beautiful photos again!

  6. The secret beach is amazing :)

    lovely story and photos!

  7. What a great idea! I love it. Simple and lovely article.

  8. I always love your photography, and this post made me have to leave a comment - I lived in Kagoshima for 3 years, so your descriptions and photos take me back to this time in my life so much. I miss it! Thanks for sharing the pretty shots.

  9. Hi Hiki!

    I've been a regular (secret, lurking) reader of your blog and it has become my "database" whenever I'm planning for a Tokyo trip. I visited your shop last Nov when I visited Tokyo!

    And I'm so glad to find this entry as I'll be moving to Kagoshima shi for a year under the JET programme this August =)

    Pls continue to blog as I really love reading your entries =)


  10. Aww I loved reading this post!! X) My bf and I will be travelling to Kyushu next month and we plan to go to Kagoshima too! It was so fun reading about your road trip and how you were so scared/excited when driving in the really quiet place with no one around… I was reading with bated breath! Anyway, hope you and your friend managed to reconnect. But at least you will always have those wonderful memories no matter what.


your kind words are always welcome and appreciated! arigato :)