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Tanegashima Island is situated approximately 43km southeast of Cape Sata at Osumi peninsula, the most southern end of the mainland. The island is 58km long from north to south and 12km from east to west in the widest area. Its highest altitude is 282m in contrast to the neighbor island Yakushima. Minamitane town is located in the south of Tanegashima and is the location of the ‘Tanegashima Space Center’ which is known as the most beautiful rocket-launch complex in the world. Other places of interest include ‘Cape Kadokura’ where firearms were first introduced, ‘Chikura Caverns’ where it is believed to be able to seat a thousand people inside,‘Hirota site (Ruins)’where it is designated as national histric site, and more.

Minamitane Town

 

Minamitane Town Sightseeing Map(PDF)

Restaurant,Pub,Local specialty Map(PDF)

 

Tanegashima Space Center
Tanegashima Space Center

Tanegashima Space Center

The Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) was established in 1969, when the original National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) was formed. It is the largest rocket-launch complex in Japan (9,700,000 square meters) and is located in the south of Kagoshima Prefecture, along the southeast coast of Tanegashima. It is known as the most beautiful rocket-launch complex in the world. On-site facilities include the following: the Yoshinobu Launch Complex, a launch site for large-size rockets like the H-IIA and H-IIB Launch Vehicles; Spacecraft Test and Assembly Buildings, where payloads of launch vehicles, satellites and explorers, are tested and assembled; and the Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building. In addition , there are also tracking facilities in Tanegashima including the Masuda Tracking and Communication Station in the north, and the Uchugaoka Radar Station and the optical observation facilities in the west. The TNSC’s main role is the management of satellites at every stage of flight including countdown, launching, and tracking. The TNSC is expected to play an increasingly important role as the demand for satellites grows.

 

Mangrove Colony
Mangrove Colony

Mangrove Colony

Enjoy sea-kayaking in the Oura river estuary where the ‘Kandelia Obovata’mangrove grows natually.

 

Chikura Caverns & Hamada Beach
Chikura Caverns

Hamada Beach

The biggest sea cave in Tanegashima. It is believed to have been named ‘Chi-Kura’(lit. A Thousand Seats) because it ‘s large enough to seat a thousand people.

 

Hirota Site(Ruins)
Hirota Site(Ruins)

Hirota Site(Ruins)

A mass grave site in the Yayoi period and a designated national historic site where many ancient artifacts made of seashells have been discovered and designated as important national cultural property.

 

Tanegashima Rice Museum
Tanegashima Rice Museum

The museum exhibits the culture and cultivation of red rice which has been passed down through generations in only 3 places in Japan.

 

Houman Pond
Houman Pond

A lagoon known for its dragon myth. It has a circumference of 1.2km and during winter, is filled with Mallards(A type of wild duck).

 

Maenohama Kaihin Park
Maenohama Kaihin Park

The ‘ingi foul’(chicken) was gifted to locals by the British as a way to show their appreciation for their rescue when their ship, The Drumeltan, was wrecked on the Maenohama seashore.

 

Nanairo Observatory
Nanairo Observatory

Overlooks extensive rural landscape, the Maenohama seashore with its beautiful white sand, and the Tanegashima Space Center.

 

Cape Kadokura
Cape Kadokura

Famous for being the place where firearms were first introduced to Japan by the Portuguese as their ship was shipwrecked here.

 

Yakushima View
Yakushima View

From the west coast, enjoy the beautiful scenary of the World heritage site, Yakushima, while the sun sets over the East China sea.

 

Shimama Port
Shimama Port

The port provides ferry services to Miyanoura Port in Yakushima and is also a port of call for many large cruise ships.

 



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