If you love history, Kagoshima is the place to go. Christianity was first introduced to Japan in Kagoshima by Francis Xavier, and Western technology entered Japan at Tanegashima in the form of muskets. But perhaps most notably, the powerful Satsuma Domain, which ushered in the Meiji Restoration, was located in Kagoshima; not surprisingly, the leader of the Satsuma Rebellion, the revered Saigo Takamori, was born there as well. Kagoshima also houses the somber Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots.
History aside, the southernmost prefecture of Japan (excluding Okinawa) is famous for Yakushima Island, a World Heritage Site; the island is noted for its majestic Yakusugi trees and is an excellent hiking location. The great volcano of Sakurajima, one of the most active in the world, towers over the city.
Some of Japan’s best sake is brewed in Kagoshima from their Satsuma sweet potatoes.