On our first Grand Japan voyage, we made a maiden call to Kagoshima, Japan. The seaside city of Kagoshima is best known for Sakurajima, an active volcano facing Kinko Bay. We took a tour to the Shiroyama Observatory and to the peaceful Edo-period Sengamen Japanese Garden. Visited the Ishibashi Park and the three Edo-period stone bridges or travel to the nearby village of Chiran and saw the well-preserved Samurai Houses and the Chiran Peace Museum, exploring the background of kamikaze pilots.
One of the things which takes a lot of time during the first visits is the ship welcoming ceremonies by the various Japanese Ports. These range from simple plaque exchanges onboard to full-blown dock side entertainment and shows. Welcoming ceremonies in Japan are always the best and rarely seen anywhere else.
“Kagoshima was a first welcoming ceremony for me after quite a few seasons in Japan! They have obviously invested a bit of time and money in the port and have also built a new aquarium to show species native to the area. It was quite a surprise when we were invited at the last minute to do the ceremony in front of the Dolphins in the Aquarium and were then treated to a dolphin show & tour of the facility. What was really great was that we were able to take some of the crew from more back of house areas with us to join in the fun. There is little doubt that it is a popular destination for the guests and they are made to feel very welcome. Just for good measure, the local volcano started to vent as well during a perfect sunny day so our guests really did have a treat.”
∼ Star Legend Captain Mark Symonds