Tanegashima Island

Tanegashima is most famous for the space center where Japan launches rockets, and is often said to be the world’s most beautiful rocket launching site. Tanegashima’s nature is beautiful with an uncountable number of sea caves, lush rainforest, idyllic beaches and coral reefs with clear blue water. However, Tanegashima doesn’t receive many nature-loving tourists since its natural beauty is overshadowed by its neighboring island, Yakushima which is internationally famous for its Unesco’s World Natural Heritage site.
Tanegashima is also famous in Japan as the place where western guns were introduced into Japan in the mid 16th century by the Portuguese.

Tanegashima’s clear blue sea is home to many types of tropical fish and pristine coral reefs which are great for scuba diving and snorkeling (mid-May to mid-October is the best for those who want to snorkel without a wetsuit).
Tanegashima has over 10 popular surf beaches which attracts many surfers from western Japan.
The sea of Tanegashima is popular for big game fishing such as GT, swordfish, grouper, wahoo, tuna, etc.

For those who love kayaking/packrafting/SUPing, the southeast coast is amazing with many sea caves and idyllic deserted islands with white sand beaches. Kumanoura Bay (where the famous Chikura Grotto is located) is highly recommended for paddling activities.
Tanegashima is known as Japan’s northern limit for mangroves, and the mangrove rivers and swamps are also great for paddling at high tide. Kayaking/packrafting/SUPing in mangroves is usually a great activity in case of strong wind as mangrove forests block the wind, but that doesn’t apply to Tanegashima’s mangroves since they are much shorter in height than those found on other Japanese islands further south.

For forest bathing, Cyatheaceae Natural Forest (Flock of Cyathea Spinulosa – large spiny tree fern) is highly recommend. The sight of a forest covered with ferns and tree ferns is truly beautiful.

PrefectureKagoshimaSize445 sq kmPopulationApproximately 33,000AccessA jet ferry from Kagoshima takes approximately 1.5 hours. A flight from Kagoshima takes approximately 30 minutes.Getting aroundCar rental