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Kagoshima Airport is located somewhat distant from major cities including Kagoshima City. However, you can access major cities in about 38 minutes by the airport shuttle bus. This airport is used by not only tourists but also citizens of Miyazaki and Kumamoto prefectures.
The tourism & General Information Office located in the domestic terminal on the 1st floor and in the international terminal on the 1st floor provide information about car rentals. Or you may directly go to a car rental service office located in front of the airport from domestic terminal exit 5.
Kyushu Expressway Mizobe Kagoshima Airport IC is the closest interchange to Kagoshima Airport. Kirishima hot spring village (Maruo Onsen) is about 30 minutes drive via general roads. Sengan-en (garden) is about 35 minutes, Hitoyoshi is about 50 minutes and Sakurajima is about an hour and 20 minutes via the expressway.
Yakushima is famous for Jomon Sugi (the oldest and largest Cryptomeria japonica tree) and is accessible by airplane or boat. Yakushima Airport is about 30 minutes flight from Kagoshima Airport. From Kagoshima Port to Miyanoura Port is about 2 hours by Express Boat and is 4 hours by ferry. Flying is recommended for those who want to travel in a short period of time. A boat or ferry is recommended for those who want to travel leisurely and enjoy views of the sea.
Car rental service offices in Yakushima are located at both Yakushima Airport and Miyanoura Port. Since rental cars are essential for Yakushima tourism, it is recommended to make a reservation in advance.
Yakushima is about the same size as the 23 wards of Tokyo and to drive around the island takes approximately 3 hours. Jomon Sugi is a must-see when you visit Yakushima. Jomon Sugi is about 40 minutes, Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen is about 45 minutes and the Ohko Waterfall is about 65 minutes drive from Yakushima Airport.
Amami Oshima is a beautiful island referred to as the Galapagos of the East. It is the 5th largest island of Japan excluding Honshu (the main island of Japan). Many tourists visit this island to enjoy a lot fascinating sights.
Amami Oshima is accessible by airplane or ferry. Each flight from Haneda, Narita, Itami, Fukuoka and Naha operate once a day. Ferries to Amami Oshima are available regularly from major cities including Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and also in the regions including Kikaijima and Tokunoshima.
Ohama Seaside Park is about 16 minutes, Amami Park is about 50 minutes and Sakibara Beach is about an hour from Naze Port. Cape Ayamaru is about 9 minutes and the Amami Forest Police Park is about 2 hours from Amami Airport. It might be a good idea to decide where to rent a car based on your destinations.