Tourist spot in Kagoshima Prefecture

Sengan-en garden [仙巌園]

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Palace in Sengan-en
Palace in Sengan-en

Map of Kagoshima city
Map of Kagoshima city
1) Museum of Meiji Restration
2) Okubo Toshimichi statue
3) Saigo Takamori statue
4) Saigo Cave 5) Nanshu Cemetery

Sengan-en is a Japanese garden located about 5 km northeast of the center of Kagoshima city.
It is also called Iso-teien (磯庭園).

It is along the coast facing Kagoshima Bay.
The site is about 700 meters from east to west and its size is about 5 hectares.

Shimazu Mitsuhisa (1616-1695) was a lord of Satsuma Domain, and this garden was built as a villa by his order in 1658.

There is Goten (御殿, Palace) is the center of the site.
It was the villa of Shimazu Family, and was renovated in 1884.

The main gardens surround the palace, and many walking trails are set up.

Inside of Goten in Sengan-en
Inside of Goten in Sengan-en
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Japanese garden in Sengan-en
Japanese garden in Sengan-en

A real stream flows through the gardens and the grand Sakurajima volcano is also a part of the landscape of the gardens.

In the garden, various events are held in the garden on the days of Japanese traditional festival.

By the way, you may see an alphabetical spelling of "Shimadzu" as the name of the family in Kagoshima.
The reason is because an English teacher taught the children of Shimazu Family the spelling and they had always written the spelling.


Shoko Shuseikan (尚古集成館)

Shoko Shuseikan
Shoko Shuseikan
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Ruin of reverberatory furnace by Shoko Shuseikan
Ruin of reverberatory furnace
by Shoko Shuseikan
Photo by

Shoko Shuseikan is a museum introducing the works of Shimazu Nariakira (1809-1858).
In Japanese, it is pronounced as "Shôko Shûseikan".
It is located at the western edge of Sengan-en.

Shimazu Nariakira was a son of the lord of Satsuma Domain.

Japanese feudal government had continued the policy of seclusion for over 200 years.
But Nariakira had been interested in advanced Western countries and been collecting the information.

The Opium War broke out between Britain and China, and China suffered a crushing defeat in 1840.
(As a result, the island of Hong Kong was taken by the British.)

Nariakira was shocked by the news.
In addition, the ships from Western countries had sometimes appeared around Japan.

He thought that Japan had to have the policy of increasing wealth and military power.

As soon as he became the lord of Satsuma Domain in 1851, he established some factories to produce the advanced production using the Western technologies around Sengan-en.

They were Western ship, reverberatory furnace, land mine, glassware, gas-light, etc.

But extremely conservative Edo Government ignored such progressive policy.
And he died from a disease in 1858.

After that, the samurais in Kagoshima such as Saigo Takamori, Okubo Toshimichi, etc. made the new Japan following Nariakira's will 10 years later.

The building of the museum is the former factory of machinery built in 1865.
It is designated a World heritage site as one of "Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining".

We can see various historical materials of his works in the museum.

How to get here

By route bus, 15 minutes from Kagoshima-chuo station to Sengan-en-mae stop.

Other Tourist Attractions in Kagoshima Prefecture

Mainland of the prefecture

Southern islands of the prefecture

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