Virtual Volcano Vacation challenge #65 WINNER! – Sakurajima

sakurajima cover

Sakurajima at sunset – Photo by Kimon Berlin – Original image found at Flickr.

After staying an extra 3 days at Asamayama, I was feeling a bit pressed for time to be at my next volcanic destination on the next day: so rather than taking to the skies (and starting another panic among the world’s airlines) I decided to rent a car and visit another volcano in Japan. Far be it from Li’l Volcanohead to choose an inconspicuous car OR volcano…because that’s how I flow, yo.

Sakurajima is about as far from inconspicuous as a volcano can be. She has been in an active phase since 1955 and her eruptions are spectacular, but there’s more to her than meets the eye.

sakurajima eruption

Sakurajima eruption of February 2014 – Photo by Martin Rietze – Original image found at

Sakurajima is actually just the name of the volcanic mountain which is the most visible part of the 17 X 23 km Aira caldera, whose borders correspond with the northern part of Kogashima Bay on the island of Kyushu. The Sakurajima volcano on the southern rim of that caldera was originally an island, but the eruption of 1914 produced enough lava to fill in the narrow strait and join it to the Osumi peninsula.

Sakurajima 1914

Sakurajima eruption of 1914 – Photographer unknown – Image is public domain under Japanese copyright law.

Sakurajima’s eruptions can be effusive or explosive and may be small or large. The volcano’s proximity to populated areas and her propensity for volcanic behavious have earned her status as a Decade Volcano to be closely monitored.

By the way, Sakurajima, or 桜島 in Japanese, means “Cherry blossom mountain”. One need not be a minerologist to see this as somewhat ironic.

sakurajima blossom

Sakurajima and cherry blossoms – Original image found at

Also, we have more than one volcano-cam view of this amazing and lively volcano.

Congratulations Jesper AND George for finding me….and bon voyage to Jesper on your own REAL volcano vacation next week. Have a safe journey full of happy memories. Meanwhile, everybody can still come looking for me again this coming Monday when I start a new adventure at a new volcano.

Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Aira (282080) in Volcanoes of the World, v. 4.4.3. Venzke, E (ed.). Smithsonian Institution. Downloaded 16 Apr 2016 (


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