What is Tanegashima like?
- Length: approx. 58 km
- Width (at its widest point):
approx. 12 km
- Width (at its narrowest point):
approx. 5 km
- Population: approx. 30,000 people
From the history of matchlocks to space exploration, opportunities to come in contact with nature,
examples of geology, rock layers, and natural science,
Tanegashima offers many ways to learn new things while you enjoy yourself.
While I was having fun traveling, I was learning at the same time. That is Tanegashima.
The island has ocean stretching to the horizon, diverse and expressive natural scenery,
striking views of majestic rocks, unnamed, yet impressive features, and many more scenic spots.
I'm sure that other travelers will find favorite sights that will stay in their hearts forever.
Moments spent frolicking in crystal clear waters are blissful moments.
None of the beaches are crowded,
so you can enjoy the beautiful ocean as if you had your own private beach.
The sun sinking into the ocean in the evening is remarkable.
You don't really do anything.
Just sitting on the shore and gazing at the sparkling,
ruby-colored surface of the water is enough to feel moved.
I'm sure that, from the day I saw it, the sunset claimed a special place in my heart.
By all means, make sure you go outside when the night is clear.
A casual drive can become a star tour.
If you stand in an area with no ambient light, it will be just like a huge natural planetarium.
Even on a day without a meteor shower, the shooting stars are non-stop.
For some reason, my tears also would not stop.
From kayaking to snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, and more,
Tanegashima's natural environment gives you many chances to play in nature.
While basking in the fresh air, you can get your feet wet and feel the soil and plants.
I realized how much fun it is to play with your whole body.
When I arrived on the island, I came across young surfers carrying their boards and when I drove on the road,
I saw high school student also with boards.
The times that I stopped into shops, I met surfers who had moved to this island.
Tanegashima is a paradise for those who are into surfing.
Now, more than its history of guns and space exploration, the island is a draw for its surfing.
Matchlocks were essential firearms in the battles of the Warring States Period.
The area where foreign ships drifted ashore and brought the first guns is on the south side of the island.
If you hear one of these guns fire, the blast makes you wince and if you hold one in your hand, the weight surprises you.
Tanegashima offers a visceral experience of what a battle is.
If you visit Tanegashima, I think a trip to the Tanegashima Space Center is a must.
The gorgeous blues and greens of the scenery around the Center make it hard to believe that this is a space-related facility.
For space exploration fans, a truly exhilarating experience awaits,
including the guided tour that brings you up close with an actual rocket.
Nearly all of Japan's rockets blast off from Tanegashima.
Witnessing a launch is like an experience out of this world and will surely take your breath away.
Spectators will be treated to an uncanny and moving event.
Time moves in a relaxed way on Tanegashima.
There is none of the hustle and bustle of the big city. You won't find anyone working double time.
Wherever you go, you will find a slow-paced lifestyle.
For me, just being within this kind of relaxing environment feels soothing.
The entirety of the island is a spiritually rejuvenating (perhaps even rehabilitating) space.
I've presented a nice list of Tanegashima's charms, but I think the greatest one is the people.
In particular, everyone is very kind.
The island culture that accepted foreigners in the age
when guns were first brought here seems to have been handed down even to the present day.
They have a very kind disposition towards people from outside Tanegashima.
Experiencing the scenic spots and famous products of the island is wonderful,
but I also hope that visitors meet many of the locals as well.
The people on the island are great people.